25 November 2011

Vélo-Run for the Tweed Run...

It's less than 24 hours to go until the Tweed Run & unlike my usual organised self, I found myself doing a last minute dash to get the final pieces for the day together!

With a busy week off work, today was the only one I had to sort out some rather important elements of the Tweed Run - including picking up our Registration Packs from Rugby Ralph Lauren! I had a few pleasant surprises when I got there: the 1st was bumping into the lovely Loughton brothers John & Jim, who had just collected their packs from the store!

I met them at the April Tweed Run, so it was lovely to see each other again. Once I'd sorted out the packs for me and The Boy in Rugby (the staff in there are wonderful btw, and possibly the most immaculately dressed in Covent Garden), had my 2nd Surprise - seeing Tony (a.k.a Mr Soul Dandy) who I'd also met last April!
Tony and his brother Victor caught my eye on the Tea Stop and I had to get a picture of them looking super-sharp...
I can't even begin to imagine how good they will be looking this time round... Tony told me a bit about their outfits... pictures of them on the day have to be done!

The rest of my outfit was the next thing on today's agenda which was all about finding a Tweed Blazer (I would have loved a RL one, but I'm a bit too skint for that right now!) and appropriate Seamed Tights and a vanity-fix which was getting my nails done to match my dress. 

Having not booked anywhere to get my nails done, I was expecting utter fail at trying to get seen anywhere on a Friday afternoon for a Manicure - but salvation came in the shape of the O.P.I Nail Bar in Selfridges, who could see me within half an hour of me turning up - result!
They did an immaculate job with my nails - classic round shaping and a deep Red was what I was after, and got exactly that. No doubt I'll be returning there again for another treatment!

The idea of running around Central London after getting my nails done to hunt down a Tweed Jacket? I won't lie, the thought of it filled me with utter dread - thankfully it wasn't a hard or expensive task, thanks to H&M having what I was looking for. The fact there was only one on the rail in my size must have been an omen...

The Seamed-Situation has also been sorted - but you can see those on the day :) 

So, that's it - all set for tomorrows ride. Sadly I can't fix the weather, so I'll just have to wish for sunshine and clear skies for us all... See you at Covent Garden old bean....Pip-Pip!

24 November 2011

Coffee | Cycle | Saturday: New Faces & New Places...

I've fallen in love with cycling early on crisp winter mornings... they are the perfect weather setting for the darker months: cool & fresh air in your lungs, bright skies and a sense of peace and quiet all around you. 
You get to take in a bit more of this crazy-busy city when it's quiet - like being able to stop and take shots like this of the ever changing London Skyline & not be disturbed! The slight chill in the air is also a great opportunity to layer-up... and who says you have to wear drab colours in the winter? Me and my chosen Cycle Wardrobe for the day certainly didn't agree with that - inject colours into a cold day!
Headscarf: Tie Rack
Knitted Cardigan: Topshop
V-Neck Jumper: M&S
"LadyVélo" Name Necklace - Tatty Devine
Handbag: Vintage Mulberry
Tweed Shorts: Zara
Tights: John Lewis
Brogues: Topshop

Me and The Boy were greeted with such conditions last weekend, as we headed out for a long overdue CoffeeCycleSaturday. Fellow caffeine fiend & friend Simon cycled in from Surbiton to meet us, and we were joined by a new member of CCS - the lovely Jo Halstead of Vélos and Vagabonds

With a new route to explore and a new Coffee and Cake stop to visit, we had a busy day of cycling ahead of us. Before meeting up in Prufrock Coffee, I needed to take an bit of an unusual detour - I had to stop in Soho to pick up a new phone...
After being contacted by Nokia a couple of weeks ago via the blog, I was invited to their London HQ to collect a Lumia 800 to use, review & keep... yes, that's right - VCG is getting a bit more tech-savvy! I ended up being filmed throughout the morning about my experience, so keep an eye out just in case I turn up on the Nokia website! Filming and phone-fun done, we met up with Simon and Jo, fuelled up on Prufrock goodness and then made our way out of the City.

Our new route for this CCC was along Hertford Union Canal - a pleasant stretch of waterway in Tower Hamlets. I put my hand up and admit that I'd never even walked along Union Canal before, so it was interesting to check it out via bike. We were not the only cyclists who had the same idea on a lovely Saturday though...
Fantastic as it was seeing other riders out and about along the stretch, it was also a maneuvering-mash up trying to cycle along it! I wouldn't rule out seeing it by bike again as it's beautiful, but an advance warning to any others reading this thinking about doing it: be prepared for a lot of human and two-wheeled traffic! Coming off the towpath, we arrived at Victoria Park - another place in London that I haven't explored before on the Pashley... and haven't been to since I was a child.

There was certainly plenty of space for us all to cycle together for this part of the day. The Park was beautiful - autumn leaves scattered around, more happy people on bikes & lots of cute dogs to be spotted (Jo is also a lover of Sausage Dogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs like me...) so that brought lots of smiles to our faces!
After a leisurely and enjoyable cycle around the green spaces, we'd built up a suitable thirst and an appetite - perfect timing to ride over to our Coffee & Cake Stop for the afternoon!

A new one for the CCS team and for VCG - allow me to introduce you to Zealand Road Coffee. Located near to Roman Road Market, this is one of the newest Coffee Houses in East London & already has a firm local following...
With a relaxed atmosphere, it's an ideal place for cyclists to stop of and refuel - good coffee, sandwiches and of course damned good cakes are important to me ...
... ZRC certainly gets the Lady Vélo & CoffeeCycleSaturday seal of approval!

It was a wonderful day of Cycling and absolutely delightful to meet Jo. Another CCS is being planned around another part of London. Lets hope the crisp weather remains this way :)  

15 November 2011

Studio Fleuriot: The launch party...

Last weekend I attended the launch party to celebrate the opening of Studio Fleuriot. A Friday evening of Bellini's, Cupcakes and Cycling Fashion on the agenda, it was guaranteed to be a fabulous event...

On a mission to create imaginative, high-quality clothing & accessories for women who love cycling, it was fantastic news to hear Amy Fleuriot, the woman behind Cyclodelic had acquired her first studio and retail space!
Amy and her team initially worked from her home in Hackney, and now with the addition of her studio based on Columbia Road, they are even more central to the buzzing hub of the East-End Cycling Scene. As Amy has said of the area, Hackney has "so many fantastic looking women on bikes" making the area a fantastic "wealth of inspiration"...

Studio Fleuriot is in the heart of Columbia Road: having seen how many people cycle along that route, it's sure to grab the attention of many style-minded riders.

I think the space itself is reflective of its owner and brand: quirky, stylish and very unique. Will real Silver Birch wood on the walls (provided by Amy's father), along with other fun additions, there is a real personal and natural touch to the surroundings.

The Sewing Machines and jars of Findings & Fastenings around the room are nice touch, giving you the chance to see the work stations of Amy and the Studio Fleuriout team. From the beginnings of the design, through to how they are made and are then ready to buy, it should prove to be an interesting shopping experience and insight for fans of Cyclodelic clothing and those coming to it for the 1st time.

It was an absolute joy to see Amy again, especially in her new surroundings in such a brilliant location! I'll be returning to Studio Flueriot again soon - in the meantime Amy, good luck with your new space!

*Many thanks to The Boy for providing the photography for this blog post!

4 November 2011

Return of The Tweed Run...

Image from the NYC Rugby Tweed Run 2011

It's time to dust-off your Plus-Fours and polish your Pashleys... after the successful collaboration last month for the NYC Ride, Tweed Run have teamed-up again with Rugby Ralph Lauren for the return of the Tweed Run to London!

Saturday 26th November is the date to note in your diaries, and I'm pleased to say that The Boy and I will be taking part, along with fellow Tweed-Run friends from earlier this year! This time starting-off from Covent Garden, the ride will end with what's been described as an "exclusive soiree". Of course the familiar elements of the Tweed Run will be present, including the Tea Stop and the coveted 'Most Dapper Chap' / 'Most Dashing Dame' awards. 

With 22 days to go, planning ahead and getting a look together is a good idea, as the last thing I want to be doing is a last minute dash around the shops. Drawing inspiration from the previous Tweed Ride and some of my favourite designers, outfit ideas have been coming together already, and the first hurdle to be tackled - Accessories...

A very recent purchase means that I definitely have my Handbag for the day sorted out:
... it's a vintage Scotchgrain Leather Mulberry Messenger, and it only arrived yesterday! I've wanted one of these old beauties for so long and the timing of this could not have been better. The colour scheme is perfect for the day too.

The next item on my accessory list is a new hat. OK, so I could wear the gorgeous Cloche I wore in April, but as my outfit itself (more on that later) is going to be a bit of a departure from the last one, a different style of hat will be required. I was rather impressed with the Brielle Felt Hat featured on Rubgy, and have found a version that may fit the bill...

This wide-brimmed Felt Hat by Catarzi for ASOS has fantastuc autumnal tones - perfect for the seasonal timing of the Tweed Run... which leads nicely into another autumn-themed piece that has caught my eye...

Of course, a bit of Tatty Devine was bound to feature... you all know how much I love their pieces! From their current A/W Collection comes the Forest Cluster Necklace. Without giving away too much about the whole outfit I have in mind, the colours in this should be a brilliant match... more updates to follow :) 

1 November 2011

A Sunday in Surbiton...

Before these dark evenings started drawing in and the temperature started to drop, me and The Boy met up with our friend Simon a few weeks ago for a CycleSunday afternoon ride around Surbiton. We'd been wanting to do this for ages as Surbiton is Simon's cycling-ground, and he sure knows the place! He planned out a wonderful tour of the area, including two of my favourite things - Coffee & Cakes... and an unexpected encounter with a famous resident of Bushy Park...

En route to Kingston we made two stops that were definitely reflective of our interests! 1st one was for The Boy. He needed to make a Rib-Stop on Brick Lane (he will explain this one on his Food Blog...), which allowed us to get a big-spicy breakfast. I muscled in on this pit stop, as the morning light was to lovely to ignore to get a photo of my Autumn-themed Cycle-Wardrobe for the day...
Head Scarf: Tie Rack
Earrings: Dorothy Perkins
Oak Leaves Wooden Necklace: Tatty Devine
Cable Knit Jumper: Forever 21
Drum Brooch: Tatty Devine
Shorts: Gap
Leather Boots: M&S

The second stop was one for me... our ride out of London would take us past the City Cycle Style exhibition in the Royal Exchange. Although I'd attended the celebratory drinks for the exhibition at the Grange Hotel a few weeks ago (all very posh indeed) I'd not actually seen it...
It was great to see the outdoor show in all its glory... and of course I had to get a cheesy photo in amongst those selected to be on display! Quick-stops done, we made our way to meet Simon for the leisurely 'Tour de Surbiton'.

Cycling along the Thames was beyond picturesque - the weather was fantastic, lots of people were sat along the river bank enjoying the day and the light glistening off the water was beautiful!

After a lovely ride along the water, it was time to feed the Coffee and Cake desire I always get from cycling! Our fuel-stop was Mada Deli - and when it came to cakes, it was more than a sweet treat...

Suitably fed & caffeinated, we got back on our bikes and headed to Hampton Court Palace Maze. I've done the Maze before - but there was no way I could possibly remember the lay-out of it.
Don't ask me how, but The Boy managed to work out the route to the middle of the Maze and back out again in one go! I think me and Simon are still a bit perplexed by this...

Anyway, back on our wheels and to Bushy Park we went. This was a new one for me - I'd never been there before and admit to being very excited at the promise of seeing Deer close-up in real life. Thing is, I didn't realise just how close-up my encounter with these creatures would be. We'd spotted what we assumed was a deceased Stag - his Antlers were standing tall above the blades of grass. Curiosity got the better of me, so as we all got off our bikes to investigate, I decided to walk a bit closer to check the poor thing out. The good news - he wasn't departed and just sleeping. The bad news - he was "The Beast of Bushy Park" and we'd just woken him up...
As captured by The Boy - the look on my face should explain the sheer levels of "Holy Sh*t!" thoughts going through my mind at this point!
This was the picture of the Stag-Daddy I got when he woke up, before slowly backing away from him. That saying about letting sleeping dogs lie? The same applies to these fellas too.

Thanks to not getting (deservedly) charged at by Mr Beast, the rest of the afternoon in Bushy Park went without incident, and some more Deer-Spotting happened as we made our way out of the beautiful area...

It truly was an amazing Cycle-Sunday, again reminding me there are so many beautiful things to be seen in the UK by Bike... happy cycling. 
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