Friday, 15 April 2011

Girls night out and the Country, who could ask for more...

I had a hilarious night out with some of the Miss Jones crew in Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge a couple of weeks ago; great atmosphere, tasty food (with an incredibly reasonable priced menu, particular the prix fixe), and the most delicious wine that slipped down far too easily.

Lots of giggles, it’s the ideal place for a great dinner and drinks (I was also escorted to the ‘ladies room’ which I suspect isn’t mandatory but was very welcome), and the tube is next door so you can literally roll out and onto a train, especially convenient that night for some of our group!

After that I decided to have a few days away lapping up the country air in Somerset, isn’t it amazing how just a short visit out of the city makes you feel as though you’ve been away for a month.

Is it the slower pace? Is it the lack of reception on my blackberry? Is it the strange wardrobe I put together to take with me ‘because I’m in the countryside’ that consists of clothing I would NEVER wear in town but feel it’s acceptable in a different county (mostly items I haven’t seen for half a decade).

Bracing walks along the seafront certainly blew out the cobwebs (and sent me straight off to buy socks as my fabulous new Kurt Geiger wedges were slipping off my feet as they were so cold). Then the search was on for a decent cup of coffee… I tried the pier, the bakers, even the cheese shop; seriously what do these people consider acceptable to drink? Or do they just sit at home smugly foaming milk to accompany the delicious Nespresso selection they’ve just brewed.

However, there was a jewel in the crown… an outlet village. Clark’s Village in the middle of Street (the place, not some random road), with over 90 stores all selling stock at discount prices; Clothing, Home wares, Shoes, Clothing, Kitchen equipment… I was in heaven! Amazing what you can buy (that of course you don’t need) at discount prices.

You just have to be a bit clever about it and think a little out of season, and you can really stock up. Wittards had some fabulous crockery (very Emma Bridgewater but more affordable), Christy towels had a wide range, Gap Outlet had some great jeans, Calvin Klein underwear was a find and I stocked up on a ton of greeting cards from Hallmark cards, although I resisted the boxes of Christmas cards…. There is also a Cadbury shop and a Thorntons… need I say more? And there it was, I thought it must be a vision but then I caught the familiar smell and Starbucks appeared before me *and relax * I love the country!

Next, I’m looking for a Bicester Village road trip, any offers?

Have a great week,


Miss Jones x

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