Saturday, 22 April 2017

A Cake Mission 🍰

This month has been super action-packed, so I've not had nearly as much time as I would have liked to immerse myself in the blogosphere. Hopefully I can get things back on track! I'm kicking things off with an account of a really lovely day I had with Sammi and Maddie earlier on this month. We decided to meet up in Oxford, with the aim of settling ourselves down in a café.

It was a lovely warm day, and naturally, all the eateries were rammed with people. We found ourselves walking from cafĂ© to cafĂ©, trying in vain to find seating for the three of us. We eventually walked towards Cowley, way out from the centre of Oxford, where we discovered a place called Tick Tock, which had interesting, South American style decor, complete with (you guessed it) all manner of clocks adorning the walls. 

We were relieved to find somewhere to sit at last, but this wave of gratitude was short lived as we looked a little closer. Underneath the quirky decor, it seemed we were in a crappy, greasy spoon caff, and as we covertly surveyed the plates of the other punters, we found the menu on offer to be the exact opposite of the quaint spread we were after. It didn't help that there was an old man seated behind Sammi who kept letting out the most horrendous, sickly-sounding coughs. 

We were just thinking about leaving when we found ourselves swooped upon by a waitress. We awkwardly placed drinks orders, deciding to use this time to gear ourselves up to find somewhere else for food. Somehow, they managed to do a poor job of serving basic drinks. I ordered an apple juice and had a random bottle of some processed crap slammed down in front of me. It was lukewarm and piss poor. About ten minutes later, I was carelessly slid a hot glass, fresh from the dishwasher, and not quite what I wanted to involve myself with on such a warm day. Sammi's iced latte was dire and Maddie was served a pint of the most underwhelming tea. We paid and continued our journey as quickly as possible. 

We tried a very hipster-style café, taken in by the macarons displayed in the window. Turned out they sold nothing else of interest so we simply made use of their WiFi and navigated our way through Google Maps. We walked back down the Cowley Road and ended up at a café called Pastiche. They had all manner of sweet treats in the window and we knew immediately we'd found a winner! Not only were there a ton of lovely desserts on offer, they were all priced very affordably! It was a shock to the system compared to my recent London cake date!

The staff were incredibly friendly and enquired politely about our lolita outfits that day. Soon, we were settled in a corner, chatting away and enjoying our fruit layer cakes. I had a pot of Earl Grey to myself that was very refreshing and tasted amazing. Essentially, this is my favourite sort of day! I love silly conversations, deep and meaningful ones, funny ones... and cycling through all of those different topics over the course of a day over tea and cake is always energising and fun!

As the day wore on, we found ourselves getting peckish and wanting something savoury. It turns out this café specialised in a full range of savoury pancakes. I opted for a mixed cheese crepe, which included cheddar, haloumi, mozzarella and feta. It was absolutely delicious!

While in the café, we couldn't help discussing our coordinate plans for the upcoming Tea Party Club event. It was a lot of fun brainstorming various wild and wonderful ideas, and speculating about different aspects of the weekend. It's the most excited I've been about a lolita event in so long!

Before we knew it, evening was drawing in and it was time we got some outfit pictures in  before heading home. 

Sammi was on-theme in her macaron print! I love how long and glossy her hair is at the moment!

Maddie pulls off neutral colours so well, and always manages to look refined and elegant!

For this little adventure, I went for a simple summery outfit with my Metamorphose Gingham Cherry, and of course my Mickey bag had to make an appearance! 

I used the belt from my Vintage Poodle dress, just to try something a little different.

I loved when Maddie asked if she could touch the bag as it looked so soft!

It was lovely to catch up with these two, and explore a bit of Oxford I've never really seen much of in the past. I only wish I'd gotten some cake to take home with me! Maybe next time! There's definitely going to be a lot more cake adventures in my future!

Do you ever struggle to find seats in cafĂ©s where you live? Do you have any favourite dessert places? I'd love to hear about your own adventures for the perfect slice of cake! Thank you so much for reading, and I'll see you next time! 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

✨ The Fancy Ladies ✨

Well, I sure have some catching up to do here! This past month has been super busy (in a good way!) so this blog has been a little neglected. But now, cosy and comfortable in my pyjamas, with all pressing tasks completed, it seems like as good a time as any to write about a recent day out to London with some lovely people. Have you ever experienced a day where you're enjoying yourself so much you wonder if you ought to pinch yourself, just to make sure you're not dreaming? Yeah, it was one of those.

The weather has been largely unpredictable lately. I was expecting a really chilly day, but things turned out to be lovely and sunny on Saturday 25th March. I headed off into central London to meet up with Wing, Reina, and Memz, whose overall squad name is the Fancy Ladies, which I think is beyond adorable. They were the first people I ever really interacted with in the UK lolita community way back in 2011, and we've stayed in touch ever since, regardless of style changes! I used to always lament that I didn't see them often enough, and then one day, with my newfound desire to be more brave, I asked myself what was stopping me from seeing them more!? Thus, we arranged a fun little get together, and planned to meet outside Primark on Tottenham Court Road. From here, we headed off to try out a new-ish Japanese bakery called Kova Patisserie.

The prices were a bit steep for the portions, I felt, but I'm very much used to that in London. I decided to go for the Matcha Mille Crepe, which I'd been eyeing on their website for a couple of weeks!

It consisted of delicate layers of pancake, matcha cream, and a light dusting of matcha powder on top. It tasted very creamy and rich, and I couldn't help feeling rather indulgent. I had Earl Grey to drink (drinks options were pretty limited and they refused to serve water... yeah, the service wasn't the best) and it was a very good cup of tea... but I genuinely think my dessert would have gone much better with milk! Or perhaps a non-matcha cream poured on top would have complemented this well, for people like me for get overwhelmed by the bitter notes of matcha more easily. Still, I'm very glad I got to try this dessert as I've never had anything similar before! 

While we savoured our food, Memz gave me a little pep talk about job-hunting and networking, which made me feel more ready to take on the world! Sometimes, it's nice to have someone to say some encouraging words. It may be that you technically knew what you needed to be doing yourself, but having someone talk about it with you can often give you a new perspective that helps you to figure things out!

Immediately after we finished our matcha treats (there was no point staying... our seating consisted of high stools in a row in front of a long narrow bench top that made conversation exceedingly difficult) we decided to head off in the direction of Lazy Oaf for some shopping! We were all wearing something by the brand, so we made quite an entrance at the shop!

I love this mirror picture! We spent ages in there trying to decide what to buy, as well as making use of the cute decor for our snapshots.

Myself and Reina always seem to end up wearing matching colours or themes! This happened the last time we met up! I guess we both have a thing for red and black! Reina's convinced I should also live in London which, in all honesty, is one of those things I weigh up from time to time! We'll see!

I went for a really simple, cosy outfit consisting of my "Used to be Weird" dress, and the Disney x Lazy Oaf Mickey cardigan. It turned out to be perfect for lots of travelling and shopping!

Before leaving, a bag caught my attention. I tried it on, and spent ages umming and ahhing over whether or not to buy it, even though I clearly loved it and wanted it. Wing tried to convince me to get it, saying she was the same with these sorts of decisions, but I put it down, figuring I could always come back later. If it was still there, then it was definitely meant to be!

We made an obligatory visit to Art Box in Covent Garden, and our friend Aggie was working that day! We stood chatting and browsing the kawaii wares for a little while, and then headed a few doors down to Rokit Vintage, where we found a cute panda sweater and Minnie Mouse top. Neither were quite my style which was a shame as I loved the motifs! 

We eventually ended up in a cafĂ© called Nordic Bakery, and were amazed to find the basement level largely empty. We ordered ourselves food as we were all feeling peckish, and were pleased to be able to sit across from one another, unlike at Kova! I wanted a veggie option, but all there seemed to be were cheese and pickles on bread! I tried and failed to get an artistic food shot of that! We sat talking for ages, and it was really nice to listen to their stories, vent about life, and have a good laugh. Wing and I shared our web design woes and puzzled over my site's lack of mobile responsiveness (though I've thankfully fixed it since then!) 

After a while I began wondering if I'd made a mistake by not getting the bag in Lazy Oaf, so they immediately suggested we go before it closed! We marched back to the shop and I went downstairs, expecting it to be gone, especially as it had been on sale. But no. It was still sat there, patiently waiting for me. I picked it up triumphantly and took it back upstairs to the till.

This is it. This is the bag that captured my heart! It's super fluffy, the perfect size for a day out, and has a zipped pocket for all your bits and bobs. The pom poms are on an elasticated string, so when you walk with the backpack on, they bounce around in the most darling fashion. The straps are very sturdy, and the top handle is perfect to hook onto your arm while you look for something in the bag. I am so glad I let everyone convince me it was worth going back and getting as a treat to myself!

We looked around in a few more shops, before ending up in the Disney Store. I regret not taking pictures of the Emma Watson "Belle" dolls they had in there. They were... pretty horrifying. They were supposed to portray her features, and yet they looked like grotesque, enraged caricatures, and I couldn't stop laughing. Absolutely wild. 

And then... it was time to head home! I stayed out way later than planned, and I loved every minute of it. It was so lovely to spend time with the Fancy Ladies, and I look forward to more adventures with them in the future!

Feel free to tell me whatever you want about how things are going for you lately in the comments! I'd love to hear about any nice days out you might have had, desserts/foods you've tried lately, or new purchases you might have made! As ever, thank you so much for reading, and I'll see you next time!