By Annette Kellow

As featured at The Lady Magazine

https://lady.co.uk/ultimate-tea-triangle-experience-savoy

We all know food fads come and go but there is one quintessentially English past time that has always been a firm favourite of the nation- The indulgence of afternoon tea! In celebration of National Afternoon Tea Week I ventured down to The London Silver Vaults for a special silverware tour followed by a sumptuous afternoon tea at The Savoy.

The Silver Vaults is officially London’s best kept secret and is home to the largest retail collection of fine antique and contemporary silver in the world since 1876 – My eyes quite literally popped out of my head on seeing the most exquisite and rare silver items which all pass a very strict test to gain their place in The Vaults. Many of the families that run the exclusive luxury stores have been there for decades and it is often a family trade that is passed through generations. Some items were dating back hundreds of years and I particularly loved the vintage silver brush sets, mirrors and makeup holders whilst they are home to the biggest collection of silver animals in the world! The Vaults remain a true hidden gem; and it is not surprising that it is well-loved by international royalty, film stars and discerning shoppers seeking the world’s finest silver. These include The Earl of Snowdon, Anthony Hopkins, Gregory Peck and Twiggy. Not to mention all the silver props for Downton Abbey and Pirates of The Caribbean, which were loaned from The Vaults. I particularly love how secret the establishment is, set in a side street near Holborn whilst there are huge doors and a mastermind of corridors all leading to lovely stores of the finest silverware.

Next we were whisked off to The Savoy Hotel– known as the first luxury hotel in Britain of which they serve a classic afternoon tea- as English as you can get!

If you are not familiar with The Savoy it is London’s leading hotel in finery- from the grand fountain that welcomes you to the beautiful flower displays and opulent furnishings inside, you really feel you are experiencing the epitome of luxury. On entering the Thames Foyer you are greeted with a magnificent glass domed atrium at the heart of The Savoy: an enchanting space that radiates natural light and sociable warmth.

Our afternoon tea started with a vintage tea display direct from the London Silver Vaults and a glass of their best champagne. Their tea list is quite extensive but they have a knowledgeable waiter on hand to recommend the best for your pallet whilst the display of sandwiches that they brought out were so well arranged they looked almost (I did say almost!) too good to eat.

As we were serenaded by a live pianist the cakes arrived set in beautiful bone china tiers. Imagine scones, jam, cream, cakes, macarons and miniature pastries all laid out for you to take your pick- it was definitely time to forget the waistline and indulge!

The ambience of The Savoy is enough to make you feel you are indeed starring in a 1940s vintage film whilst the selection of food is so Instagram worthy you will enjoy capturing every delicious moment. Tea, cake and of course, a dash of champagne is the perfect addition to enjoy any afternoon with relaxation- and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week.

The ‘Tea Triangle Experience’ has been created to celebrate the city’s rich silver and tea heritage and includes a tour at tea devotee, Dr Johnsons House, The London Silver Vaults and an afternoon tea at The Savoy.

To book, email The London Silver Vaults quoting ‘tea triangle’ (enquiry@silvervaultslondon.com). Entry to The Vaults and Dr Johnson’s House is free, but there is a cost attached to the tea at The Savoy – afternoon tea menu starts at £65 per person.

This week I received a press copy of the wonderful Danielle Steel and her new book The Cast- which I simply could not put down!

Hello and bonjour! There’s been a few gaps in my blog lately – infact a huge gap but there is now a new addition- my sweet baby boy Felix!

And tbh I decided to do that because I felt like there should be a gap. There’s no point writing quickly or without a cause so I wanted to enjoy the end of my pregnancy and then concentrate on the birth and new arrival. Sometimes in life we need a moment of space, and this was simply one of them. Although I love writing I felt a gap was good (Although I’ve still had a few new articles for The Lady and you can read some here;

https://lady.co.uk/blogs/young-ladies-about-town )

Being a new mum is terrifically exciting in every way possible! One thing I couldn’t get my head around in my birthing classes and since getting many messages (mainly on Instagram) is how people say ‘don’t worry it will get better soon.’ Now I’m either ever an optimist or I’ve got a screw loose but so far I have really enjoyed it! O.K sometimes it can get a bit mental (a tsunami of poo coming out one end whilst he’s peeing in his own face anyone?) But their all unforgettable moments- The feeding, the being in your own little bubble and learning all about their tiny but perfectly formed self- these are truly magical times and I cherish each of them. They are only ever going to be this small at this time and for that I know I have to enjoy every precious moment.

Also baby Felix is so lovely to look after. He (so far) wakes up at 3am for his feed then sleeps till about 8am – sometimes later, infact today until 9.30am! I didn’t realise this isn’t normal until someone pointed out to me.

Although it hasn’t all gone so seamlessly (and I’m trying to be very positive) as Felix has a rare blood disorder called Glanzmanns. This means his blood doesn’t clot normally and he will have to have constant maintenance throughout his life as there is no cure. When they told me I didn’t know how to deal with it- when he was born he had a lot of unexplainable bruises and this is part of the disorder that people with GT (Glanzmanns) get- they bruise much more easily. Only 1 in every million people get Glanzmanns and it is passed through a blood gene that both parents have. Lots of people can have this but it is rare that their children will develop GT.

The doctors at Great Ormond Street are amazing and although he has had to have 1 blood transfusion he is doing very well and they will be able to monitor and help him to live as normal a life as possible. He will not be able to play contact sports but he will be able to be fit and healthy and play like a normal baby- he just has to be careful with his knocks and if he cuts himself he may need platelet transfusions.

I think this sort of news is shocking for anyone. But you have to find a strength you didn’t know was there. Im normally pretty terrible with bad news and don’t know how to handle things. But I have found myself having strength and positivity that I didn’t know was there and know that Felix has lots of impeccable help around him.

The astonishing thing about this condition is that one of my best friends in New York in a bizarre twist has the same blood disorder- only 300 people out of 350 million people in America has it and she does! And only 135 people in the UK have it and so it has been an uncanny moment that she has helped me in so many ways possible already- giving me info and listening to my every stress, keeping me calm, I still can’t quite believe it. Also she has inspired me as she leads a very happy, active and full life so it is something to aspire too.

Felix is very lovely to look after and has already taught me various life lessons (and finely tuned a few others) Maybe there are a few more to add to this  but this is what I have learned so far….

 

  1. Get your organisation skills up to 100%.

Maybe your like me but I was the kind of girl who would leave the evening dishes until the morning, take all my laundry to the laundrette as I couldn’t be bothered, and keep any old leaflet or scrap of paper then let them pile right up (incase I needed them at a later stage lol). Now everything is much tidier, I clean right away and am much more ahead of the game!

  1. Don’t think about it- just do it.

Sometimes I used to sit there and think ‘what is a good caption for my Instagram photo?’ sometimes I would think about it for a good couple of hours – can you believe it! What a looney! Now I just type and go- the same goes for everything else, admin, emails, sending things off. Move quickly, assertively and don’t worry too much- just get it out there and get on with it.

  1. Cut the crap.

I don’t have time to listen to any more negativity or be involved with anyone that is toxic, and we all encounter this in our day to day lives at some point… I am surrounding myself with positive supportive people who always have my back – and in turn I will of course always have theirs. Let’s just say sometimes a life cleanup is in order and as I’m time poor it was time for a cull!

  1. Be positive

There are moments when the baby does challenge you. When are you going to sleep? Am I doing it right? I try to think positively about it, even with his illness I tell myself it will all work out, he will be fine, I have to be positive.

  1. Keep active.

This may not necessarily mean a 10k run (as if! Anyway I still can’t exercise for a few more weeks due to my C-section) but keeping your life active and full. My mum says give yourself one reward a day and treat yourself. A glass of wine, a cake, even a lovely walk. Even if Felix is crying I put him in the pram, put on makeup and go outside- he soon falls asleep and if he doesn’t at least I’ve had a breathe of fresh air!

  1. Don’t try to be perfect just go with the flow

I’ve already felt the wrath of other judging mummies- I don’t even think they mean it! But they may ask you if you are doing this or that, and why you are doing so. It is a bit of a club, and it’s good to do things your own way in your own routine (hashtag freestyle mummy!)

  1. Sleep whenever you want and don’t feel ashamed about it.

Last week baby Felix had to go to hospital for his bleeding. We were in a freezing over the top air conned room and he had lots of blood taken and injections- plus the nurse came in every half an hour as she wanted him to do a poo and he wouldn’t (by 4am I politely said please don’t ask me for any more poo this evening thank you!) We didn’t sleep a wink- the only time he hasn’t- and I think we were both stressed out. I hadn’t eaten for a day as I was so worried about him and I literally began losing it. I made a vow as soon as I left the hospital to not let eating or sleeping slip and to look after myself even more so I can be 100% for him.

  1. Laugh at it, rather than cry at it.

Your day with a baby mainly consists of poo, wee, feeding, getting him to sleep, washing, cleaning and repeat. But is that actually such a bad thing? I know some people have said to me they find it repetitive but I honestly love waking up and seeing his sweet face every morning and don’t really think about all that- it just sort of happens, even if I have never done this much washing in my entire life!

  1. Make future plans.

I have some lovely ideas for places to go with Felix and feel planning, writing things down, creating a mood board is a super exciting thing to do. Now that he is here and even with his illness I feel like with careful planning we can start going off on adventures and this is always a fun thing to organise.

  1. Don’t feel bad if you have a shit day.

I’m making it all sound wonderful (and many parts are) but there are days when it does go really bad. The baby wont stop crying (cue me wheeling him in the Silver Cross up and down the living room!) – when you both just go off for a VERY much needed afternoon nap then he pukes everywhere and poos (sorry there has been a lot of poo in this blog post!) or you just feel you can’t get everything done in time and feel frustrated. Give yourself a reward, tell yourself your doing ok and say to yourself I will be strong and tomorrow is most definitely a new day.

 

From The Lady Magazine;

https://lady.co.uk/beauty-review-champneys-tring

The name Champneys is synonymous with luxury. Ever since 1981, they have been the inventors of the getaway well-being retreat that city dwellers love to escape to while Mrs Dorothy Purdew (now 86!) is still very active in the business and all that it stands for.

Set in sprawling grounds with grand fountains and well-kept gardens, Champneys at Tring is one of the UK’s most well-known spas, leading the way in expert treatments. It has been transformed from a stately home originally owned by the Rothschilds (which still holds all of its classic English charm) to a state of the art spa which includes a marine wellness centre, spa treatments, fitness and more.

I was there for a day of pampering and rejuvenation and on arrival was immediately welcomed by friendly staff who brought me one of the iconic white fluffy Champneys bathrobes (which I couldn’t wait to get on!) and then whisked away for the grand tour. The venue is luxurious and decorated in an elegant and chic style but without any stuffiness- indeed I revelled in how you can keep your robe on all day should you wish and leisurely wander around! The spa itself is absolutely huge so the tour was definitely needed. It holds jacuzzis, two fitness studios, shops, a swimming pool, gym, a tennis court and of course their famous spa that they are so well known for.

From massage and facials to wraps and scrubs, there was something for everyone to revel in their carefully-crafted list of dreamy treatments – which includes brands like Carita, Clarins, Elemis and Jessica. I prepared to relax and unwind with utmost dedication as I picked out the Beautiful Bumps package and a Collagen Gold facial.

 

I was taken through to a quiet tranquil treatment room and given a massage using the Champneys Shea Butter designed specifically for blossoming bumps. It involved a back, arm, leg, foot and scalp massage which sent me into a bliss-like state (and almost fast asleep too!) Massage benefits many areas of the body whilst helping to ease tiredness, improve circulation and relax the muscles in your lower back.

After all that hard work of relaxing it was time to take a break for some lunch. The Art Deco style restaurant was spacious with banquets and tables looking out onto the vast green lawns. The lunch is a suitable mix of fresh salads, sides, hot seafood, meat, vegetarian main courses and some not too naughty desserts (I fully recommend the healthy cheesecake!) Well, as I have an appetite the size of an elephant at present I tried a mix of salad and main and afterwards leisurely strolled (or should I say waddled) to have the Collagen Gold facial which Champneys is so well known for.

The Collagen Gold Facial is something skin often loses out on- hydration with the infusion of collagen and involves a refreshing mix of cleansing, exfoliating followed by the collagen gold mask suitable for all skin types (which looked a little futuristic but felt very calming on the skin). This was also followed by a massage.

I must admit I am a huge fan of reflexology so when my therapist asked me what massage I would like to try whilst my mask was working it’s magic I had to pick feet of course!

Many of their treatments can be tailored to your time at the spa and my guest (my mum) gave me the full report on her Citrus Blush treatment. She has dry skin so the Citrus Blush is designed specifically for hydrating and gives a full body uplifting experience, including a tension-relieving back massage and hot stone neck and shoulder massage. After being scrubbed, cleansed, massaged and slathered in beautiful Champneys products there was only one thing for it- head to the gift store! Here you can buy the actual products they use on you in an array of sizes and sets. I instantly bought the Shea butter but not sure my massage technique on myself will quite cut the Champneys level at home. And as my mum said on leaving the grand doors of Tring, “It’s hard work being so pampered!”

To book your spa experience;

www.champneys.com

For Beautiful Bumps visit;

www.champneys.com/explore-treatments/baby-on-board/

For Collagen Gold Facials;

www.champneys.com/treatments/facials/champneys-collagen-gold-facial/

Today I had the pleasure of attending the Jacadi store in Westfield Shepherds Bush for a morning of baby talks, sweet treats and viewing their new collection. And let me just say it did not disappoint!

I arrived to hear a lovely speaker Mellanoire talking about her experience of motherhood, giving us tips and hearing more of our stories- I was the last one in and so ended up being asked to be the first one speak (yikes!) but actually the other mothers and pregnant woman were very welcoming and soon we were chatting like old friends.

The Jacadi shop is very beautiful also. Everything is laid out well and the quality of the material are all rich cottons, wools and other lovely materials. Jacadi is a premium children’s brand driven by strong values, providing the world with authentic and timeless children’s fashion in the French tradition and heritage. This reputation is the result of a strong commitment to quality, incomparable fabrics, exclusive patterns and attention to detail. Jacadi products reflect elegance and refinement for children from 0 to 12 years. You can definitely get a touch of distinctive French feeling to the clothes whilst I secretly started wanting everything!

They also went to town with the food!They had some lovely goodies on offer- French pastries and pastel coloured macarons were laid out and of course I couldn’t resist but try each flavour (it was morning but I like to think macarons are good at any time of day 😉 And of course we have the excuse of being pregnant (worried I may keep that one going after I give birth!)

After the talks I wandered leisurely around the store to see their new collection… I also loved their array of sweet soft toys, teddies, rabbits and yes, there was a seagull in there! I found the store spacious, tranquil and beautifully laid out, a very relaxing space away from the business of London.

Jacadi, I’ll be back and next time it will probably be with baby in tow!

mwww.jacadi.co.uk

xxxx