26 May 2012

A Present from Pashley...

At the recent Tweed Run, The Boy and I were having a light-hearted lament about the Princess Classic (my model of Pashley) not coming with a Propstand as standard. This came about as we were trying to prop-up Frankie with an impromptu stand (a heavy twig!) before heading off for the group photo - but with little success. Overhearing our discussion & watching us battle with the bike, a very kind Gentleman came over and offered to park my Pashley alongside his against a tree.
 "We really must sort out a Kickstand for you", he said looking at Frankie...
I didn't think anything of this at 1st... and then after a little chat about it all he introduced himself to me: Adrian Williams, MD of Pashley Cycles!    
 Adrian presenting a Pashley Saddle Bag prize at the end of the Tweed Run
Photo courtesy of Ian (The Boy) James

To say I was stunned would be a total understatement! It was a pleasure to meet Adrian, along with John who works with him at Pashley. This meant a lot to me - it almost goes without saying! Of course, it was also wonderful that they didn't take our lamenting about the lack of Kickstand on the Classic as an insult, but as "something to consider".

We exchanged details & both he and John offered to send me a stand for Frankie... and true to their word, a wonderful present arrived in the post this week...
isn't the stamp on the envelope the cutest thing?

Determined to sort it out this weekend, I wanted to attach the Pletscher to my frame - and I'm pleased to say I did it!

I'm sure to some this seems like a piece of cake (and it was very straight-forward attaching it), but this is the 1st time I've done a bit of DIY on my bike - and I'm chuffed with it! Tightened, in place and on without incident, this was a bit of a proud moment for me.
Frankie looks wonderful standing on her own at last... wouldn't you agree? 

Thank you very much Adrian and John for the lovely gift... we love it, a lot! x

21 May 2012

Style The Cyclist with Bikeminded...

Last Friday saw the launch of 'Style The Cyclist' - a fabulous competition Bikeminded are running in collaboration with Harrods. When I received an invitation to attend the Bloggers launch party a couple of weeks ago (the invitation being box of Ladurée Macarons, which were hand delivered to my house!), I knew it was going to be something rather special...

The aim of 'Style The Cyclist' immediately struck a chord with Vélo-City-Girl. As Kathryn King of Bikeminded explains:
"The competition aims to show that fashion and cycling can go hand-in-hand, with the latest trends from the catwalk looking just as good on two wheels"
'Style The Cyclist' is a brilliant chance for any fashionistas out there to style two very inspirational & successful Londoners. The two personalities who are to be styled in this competition are Sam Galsworth of the boutique Gin Distillery Sipsmith, and world renowned jewellery designer Carolina Bucci. All you need to do is create a Pinterest board for either one of the 'Style The Cyclist' personalities, selecting clothes and accessories from Harrods online boutique & create an outfit which you feel reflects their lifestyle and personality.

As the invitation suggests, the launch party was held in Ladurée and involved a very early start... 08:30am! The sheer excitement of the event was more than enough to keep me awake for my journey there. I admit to leaving the Pashley at home, opting for the Tube... but I did give a nod to cycle-chic with my Alex Monroe necklace...

Arriving at Harrods, I was greeted by the lovely staff of Ladurée and guided upstairs to the plush seating area, which was all ours for the morning.
Not only was it decked out with Pastries, Teas, and their exquisite Macarons, some of the items from the exclusive Paul Smith cycling collection & pop-up concept shop where on display...
 I can't tell you how much I wanted that Condor behind me!

Soon after, other guests arrived for the morning, including Fashion Blogger (and one of the judges of the competition) 'The Clothes Whisperer' Kristin Knox, 'For The Young Dude' and 'London Cycling Campaign'. Over a breakfast of Macarons, & Champagne, we got down to the serious business of  styling the cyclist All provided with iPads, we started to create our own looks on Pinterest...

Using the specially selected clothing available from the Harrods website, it was fantastic amounts of fun creating my idea for cool cycle-style.
I love using Pinterest for VCG, so the look of concentration on my face should give you an idea of how into this I was!
I was quite pleased with the look I created - you can see further details of it here... and let me know what you thought of it too! Of course, I'd love to have everything on that board!

'Style The Cyclist' runs until the 27th May, and full details of the competition can be found on here on BikeMinded. Further pictures from the day can be viewed in my Flickr Set. Thank you Kathryn & Bikeminded for inviting me to the launch and good luck to all those entering 'Style The Cyclist!'

14 May 2012

Put on your Sunday Best: Tweed Run 2012!

Official group photo, courtesy of Tweed Run.

Sunday 6th May saw the return of the London Tweed Run. Five-hundred of us gathered together with our steeds for what still remains the most sartorial cycle in the city. There were some excellent surprises throughout the day, including a celebrity rider taking part for the first time...

When The Boy & I were confirmed as having places, we both excitedly started wardrobe planning for the event. He put together a splendid outfit this year, which made me happy...
Cycling Cap: Vélobici
Tanktop & Tie: Tweedmans Vintage
Breeks: Courtesy of @thefixedfactor
Argyle Socks: J. Alex Swift
Brogues: Clarks Shoes

My planned attire for the day was a beautiful dress from Anthropologie. As that adage goes, "the best laid plans of mice & men go oft awry"; the man in this situation was fine, making me the mouse... the dress didn't happen! A last moment shopping trip (and the odd piece from previous TR outfits) resulted in an alternative outfit, which was a tad more boyish...
Vintage LV Scarf: Borrowed from Mamma Vélo
Rose Earrings: Massimo Dutti
Bicycle Necklace: Alex Monroe
Shell Ring: Massimo Dutti
Jacket: H&M
Jumper & Loose-fit Capri Trousers: Mango
Mocacasins: Massimo Dutti

With the threat of rain holding out, we rode across London to the registration point, Princes Gardens in Kensington, where we met our good friend and first-time Tweed-Runner Chloe. She looked stunning with her brand new Pashley Sovereign!

Assembling for the group photo infront of the Royal Albert Hall was brilliant. It was such an inspired choice & provided a spectacular and fitting backdrop for the occasion. Posing duties done, we all set off on the ride - bells dinging and caps doffing! The various bicycles taking part in the ride came in all shapes, sizes and interesting guises...

It's never the same route for each ride, and the one plotted out for this year certainly didn't disappoint. It involved some of London's best known landmarks, including Buckingham Palace to the delight of bemused tourists and Tower Bridge. What I really enjoyed about this one was the wonderful little side streets it included & cycling though the City on a Sunday when the traffic is lighter was perfect...

Of course, coming from a cycle-style point of view, the best sights on the Tweed Run for me had to be the Dapper Chaps, Dames & the adorable Dogs who turned out in their best attire!

Coming to a halt for the the legendary Tea Stop, we arrived at the Imperial War Museum. Cakes and brews were kindly served to riders indeed of warmth and refreshment...
There was also a surprise of hot food provided by super-marshall Briggsy... the man is a genius!

Not only is the Tea Stop a chance to refuel, it's always a marvellous opportunity to meet new people taking part! It's always a joy to meet new Tweed Runners and get their opinion on the day.
Of course there is the chance to catch up with friends and familiar faces including the gorgeous Jeni Yesterday and Beth Gwenllian of The Vintage Mafia...

Teas done and cakes demolished, we all set-off for the last leg of the ride heading towards our final destination... The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker pub in Islington! I was certainly in need of something a little stronger to drink...
... as was the ever stylish Miss Fleur de Geurre who met us all at the Pub... after doing a half-marathon that morning!
A well deserved Pint if ever I saw one! Now, if I could look even half as good as this after running a marathon, I'd be a very happy Lady indeed!

In between drinks, there was the very important business of the competitions to attend to. Judging commenced for the two biggest titles of the day: "Most Dapper Chap' and 'Most Dashing Dame'... with none other than Graham Coxon on the judging panel!
It was an absolute pleasure to meet Graham (and his Piggy!) - and he most certainly looked the part for the day! 

Once again, it was absolutely wonderful to be part of the Tweed Run - well organised, immense amounts of fun and another Ride that won't be forgotten. Massive love goes to all of the Marshalls who volunteered for the day and got us through the streets of London unscathed... 
and of course to the team behind the Tweed Run, Ted and Jacqui for a brilliant event and for inviting me and The Boy along...

Photography provided by Ian James* - further pictures can be viewed here.
*a.k.a 'The Boy'... thank you x

3 May 2012

Alex Monroe - Bermondsey Boutique...

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Press Day at the new Alex Monroe boutique. With a huge love for his pieces and of course that Bicycle Necklace, this was an amazing chance to see the inner workings of how a Monroe piece is made, and meet both the team the Man himself.

Established in South London back in 1986, Alex's jewellery is stocked in high-end shops all over the world, but the Boutique located in Bermondsey is his very first shop. Ideally the Pashley would have been my mode of transport there, but with torrential rain hammering down, I thought it best not to turn up dripping water all over the floor and displays!

Decorated with an eclectic theme, the feel of the shop is very organic; borrowed wooden cabinets which once housed preserved Butterflies, to logs, plants and birds, the boutique is a reflection of Monroe's fascination with nature and the beauty of the English countryside...

The Boutique is an intimate space, which showcases the jewellery beautifully. As Alex and his team explained, this lends itself well to the ethos of the Monroe Jewellery experience; each piece is handmade in their workshops (which also includes one in on the premises), giving both a personal and individual identity to the item - something the customer should experience when they walk into the shop.

Alongside showcasing some of Alex's most iconic pieces (you can't think of Alex Monroe without thinking of that Bumblebee necklace), visiting the boutique also gave me a preview of the new collections coming out. Every year Alex produces four collections, he's created two (yes, TWO) for the next season. These collections are entitled 'Dream of Me' which is made-up of quirky and romantic keepsakes (*hint-hint* to The Boy)  and 'Best of British', a tongue-in-cheek celebration of quintessential Britishness to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

After a tour around the Boutique, I had the chance to chat with Alex and the team (who are lovely) about my favourite piece from their entire collection... the Vintage Bicycle Necklace!
A combination of my biggest loves, this intricate little necklace was borne out of Alex's love of cycling - and it was fantastic to find out that he cycles everywhere, as do a majority of his team! Of course, the Necklace simply had to come home with Lady Vélo... it was made for me, right?

I highly recommend cycling down to Bermondsey and popping into the magical Jewellery Box that is the Alex Monroe Boutique. Beautiful craftsmanship, gorgeous designs and a team more like a family than work colleagues... thank you all for a wonderful morning and allowing access to me and my Camera!

More of my photos from the day can be viewed in this Flickr Set.

Alex Monroe Boutique
37 Snowsfields, London SE1 3SU
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