Well what a fab day we had! settle back with a cuppa, and I will tell you all about it.
Louise @theVintageRoom and I had been planning it for weeks! The two of us have forged a great friendship through Instagram, but we had never met before! So the plan was that Louise would fly to Gatwick and I would meet her there at the crack of dawn. Many text messages had bounced back and forwards, mainly discussing vital things like what shoes is the other one wearing, and are you taking a coat? what if we are too hot/ cold? What bag? you know, important stuff like that. Oh yeah and what flight are you on..?
On the day, I was so excited! But slightly worried that the Sat Nav would break, or I’d park in the wrong carpark at (possibly even the wrong) airport, or there’d be some sort of hoo-haa at the barriers.It ALWAYS happens to me lol, and it makes me slightly nervous! But I figured I can’t be the only muppet who worries about stuff like that, and Louise had never flown alone before – she NEEDED me!
Needless to say, all went well (it’s def worse worrying about doing these things, than ACTUALLY doing them, isn’t it. there was no terrible disaster at the barriers and all the Sats in the sky that help you to Nav, stayed up there and got me to the right place!)
Louise arrived at the gate all smiling and utterly gorgeous, and I knew it was her as soon as I spotted her huge grin and her pink Bayswater Mulberry!
It was exactly like meeting an old friend – we clicked immediately like I knew we would, grabbed a coffee and jumped on the Gatwick express to Victoria. Nattering and giggling all the way. Two Country Mice, on an adventure in the Big Shmoke. We decided that there’s no such thing as being lost in London, and if all else failed, we’d just hail black cabs everywhere. I am very good at hailing cabs dontcha know. Less good at the underground and doing that contactless payment thing. It usually works… in the end, damn barriers. And whilst I am thinking about it, is it only me that considers taking the car sat nav with me in my bag, so as not to run the phone flat using google maps? (tempted every time, but never actually done that, haha no no forget I even suggested that. Not cool, Sal)
Anyway! we managed to find Laura Ashley HQ and were greeted with a cascade of silk blooms all around the front door. (Noted. Now need a few gazillion silk fleurs to do the same for The Dior)
The lovely ladies on reception (incidentally, I LOVE it when companies have a long line of clocks behind the desk showing the times in Paris, Milan New York, even if the times are all wrong, I wouldn’t know! haha) showed us where to go and off we went, headed like moths to the light, to the interiors area.
Louise recognised the media girls, Gemma and Cat, straight away, and they spent ages showing us all the new collections for Spring Summer 2017 (SS17)
We both fell in love with the soft greys teamed with blush pink, in the Parkhouse collection. The styling was gorgeous and the panelled backdrop was lovely.
The Floral Heritage Collection was a delicious mix of pinks and oranges, (teamed perfectly with the gerberas in the room set) and was a lovely modern twist on an classic vintage LA patterns.
We ended up chatting to a lovely chap about the new shapes of sofa – LA have listened to it’s customers who don’t all have huge rooms, and massive doorways, yet still want the LA look with their furniture, so the best selling ‘Padstow’ sofa comes in ‘boil wash’ setting – ie smaller, yet still perfectly formed, for smaller spaces. If you still fancy a full sized sofa, but fear it won’t fit through the door, some styles come completely apart and arrive in four separate bits – genius!!!! And wait till you see The Garden Room collection! The out door rattan sofa that isn’t all square and straight and dark brown, like you see everywhere. Nope, this is The Padstow shape! All soft curves and gorgeous, with a choice of two cushion colours and it comes in a lovely shade of warm grey. YESSSSS! I did try and fit one in my bag, but alas, handbag not made for stashing stolen sofas. (have a word, Mulberry!)
I asked the girls who the lovely chap was, that we had been nattering to. Oh just the CEO of Laura Ashley OMG ground swallow me up! what did I say??? did I rabbit?? (probably, its a trait) and did I really tell him how I think LA should make phone covers that we would buy, and, what’s more, how to do it? (yeah, I did) rolls eyes at self. Thank goodness Louise was there talking sense!!
It was also a chance to meet some girls that, until now, had resided inside my phone! It was great to meet them all, and we sat and chatted in one of the room sets, like it was our own private lounge, we even had tea and coffee haha. Suspect CEO quietly wanted us to move along, so proper people from ‘publications’ could actually take some proper shots!
We met these gorgeous gals Sam from Dove Cottage, Catherine from Dainty Dress Diaries Tamsyn Morgans & Charlotte from The Home That Made Me and we totally missed a couple of others DRAT! perhaps next time, we should all post a selfie on instagram so we can recognise each other! lol (failing that, I will just send The Dior as everyone knows what that looks like!)
So after we’d eaten our own body weight in ice cream (good call LA!) and were awash with coffee, we decided to have one last look round before we left.
I tell you what, usually everyone rolls their eyes at me, taking photos ALL the time, of EVERYTHING. Drop me in room full of bloggers and I AM LITERALLY IN HEAVEN. No one minds! Everyone is at it!
We even ventured in to the fashion department and got to see all the collections and stories coming up for SS17. We loved the vintage styling, with a modern twist, and found some beautiful floaty one pieces with flowing culotte style trousers, and admired all the styling of the linen, you know the type, sort of loose and smocky, with big pockets. We spied some lovely little accessories, all fair trade, little strawberries and bees, knitted brooches, and lovely necklaces with teapots and cups as little pendants. Also, a gorgeous carpet bag, with clackety handles! I think they’ll be really popular next season, and quite wanted to errrr ‘borrow’ a few bits…. Security is SUCH a drag!!
So by now it was definitely time for lunch so we hopped in a taxi and went straight off to Fortnum and Mason in Picadilly. Louise was so excited she needed oxygen! In fact we both were to be honest!
We went to The Parlour for lunch and it was fab. Not mega flash or expensive, just nice. I’d really recommend it if you need a little pit stop!
Fortnum and Mason was looking BEEEEEYOOOTIFUL all dressed up in her Christmas gear. (the front windows were blacked out as London hasn’t been ‘switched on’ yet) The staircase was stunning and even had a velvet banister. Which got me wondering how I could do that at home with out it looking rubbish. (I couldn’t do that at home, it would look rubbish)
Pictured below is the perfume counter, not the bar, as it might look at first glance…
We drifted through the perfume department, got side tracked in the china department, and stroked a few gorgeous tureens and ended up in the Christmas Shop (which, dare I say it, rivals Liberty…!)
All too soon it was time to make tracks so we retraced our steps and found our way back to Gatwick 😭
(Apparently they deliver ! This drew up next to the taxi we were in – now that’s service! It veered off and went round the back of The Palace – wonder if Her Maj had ordered lunch?! Bit gutted we weren’t invited – doesn’t she know who we ARE?!😜)
We had a coffee together in Costa and kept putting off the moment we’d have to say goodbye. Mainly cos as a pair we were never going to get ourselves lost. Singly untethered, who knew who could end up where! Haha seriously though, we parted at the gate, and left as firm friends after THE BEST day ever !
And, Louise found her way all the back to Ireland on her own, high five! and I managed to get out of the carpark with only the teeniest bit of bother at the barrier….
Thanks for reading!