My Girls On Tour Hosts White Picket Frock Fashion Event

My Girls On Tour Hosts White Picket Frock Fashion Event

I am so happy to finally share with you all the pictures from My Girls On Tour’s super fun White Picket Frock fashion event that we hosted last Saturday at Cafe Kaizen.  I really had such an amazing time and truly thank you to Eva the founder of White Picket Frock and all of you who came, it was great to meet you! It is so difficult to find timeless elegant dresses and it is for this reason why I decided to throw this fashion party, to help support this new small dress boutique store and their designs. British fashion has been a massive inspiration for my blog and throughout my life and so it was amazing to be help contribute towards its development and avant-guarde reputation. Here are the links to the two collaborative posts in case you missed them: Khalea Strapless Dress and Lia Sequin Mini Dress.  We are currently working on some amazing collaborations which I can’t wait to share with you, so we will be announcing our next event soon! I hope that you like the pics of yourselves partying the night away 😉 and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog via email to get your private invites and guest list to our next party! ❤

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For the party  I decided to wear the Lia Sequin Mini Dress in Black and my Gold River Island Floral Print Jacket, with black high heels and tights. I was so busy with the whole evening, with the guests and then partying that I didn’t have time to take any pictures of my look, but I think my friends did so once I have got hold of them I will be sharing them with you!

Can’t wait to see you all again soon!

Abi xxx

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My Albufeira Weekender

My Albufeira Weekender

We are notorious. From the girl in Magaluf and the 21 apostles, to Torre Molinos and the Inbetweeners…Far away under the hot sun, young and old Brits alike let loose and thrown social conventions and behavioral norms to the wind. Like packs of wolves they prowl the streets in numbers, not howling but singing football songs and exposing themselves. Alcohol fulled boat rides and sex games, the suspicious parents and Malia chanting. Everyone is burnt to a crisp. Who would go to such places or on such a holiday? I had never done and definitely wouldn’t ever!GROSS!

Moral of the story is never say never*

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Probably the reason why so many people go to the sun to let loose is because its actually pretty fun. Leave your nun’s habit and your paddle of rebuke at home and once at the airport simply follow the streams of groups of segregated young people – boys groups who support the matching t-shirts and the giggling girls in crop tops, short shorts and maxi dresses. So get your personalized T on and join the party. Excitement is high. The beach, ladies and gentlemen is that way –>

*Yes, I admit it! I went to Albufeira and I loved it…

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Heart broken?Mid-life crisis?Workaholic in need of some fun? Doctor Abi prescribes a trip to Albufeira but make sure you bring your best partners in crime along for a guaranteed memorable trip.

I went with one of my best friends who I met and lived with whilst attending a top tennis academy in Barcelona. We noticed when we arrived at Faro airport that whereas retired pensioners and us turned right towards Islantilla and Spain, droves of young people turned left deeper into Portugal. After a week of couples and children, we decided we needed a slice of the action too, and so we left Spain and headed off to Albufeira.

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Albufeira is sea side town in Portugal and we stayed in the old town. Little white houses, with cobbled streets which are built around a large sandy bay, it sounds picturesque, but this little picture postcard has had a fire cracker stuck down its pants. Its fun, its electric: the main walkway down to the sea is called “the strip” as in Vegas Strip and there are lots of off-licences, happy hour, menu boards in foreign languages, buff waiters and groups of hungry lads munching away their Full English and washing it down with builders tea at Bob’s bar. Families ( who either have super cool parents or who didn’t read the small print properly), after a long day at the beach come to eat out, browse the lovely bracelets and jewellery at the market stalls and buy home made ice cream and flipping dogs for their sweet little blonde children from the street sellers. It’s not too loud, not too obnoxious, there are no drunks lying in the street and as its all self-contained it is quite family friendly until 11pm.  You may be a bit disappointed, but for me it was quite enough.

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On our first night we met a large group of Dutch guys who were all really nice and (in typical “Magaluf weekender” style) our two groups merged and became one large one. We are still in touch with them now, so really a highlight of our trip was making friends with such nice people. We would wake up, go to the beach, have some lunch with  a summer wine over looking the sea. Then back to the pool but not before a quick stop at the ice cream shop and then around 8 after getting changed, wonder down to the many bars and have a few scrumptious cocktails (yes, a few, because they are so cheap!) Dinner time can be anywhere from between 9-11pm after which it is time for some serious partying!

The Great Gatsby and the Roaring Twenties Party

The Great Gatsby and the Roaring Twenties Party

Last night we had our  Great Gatsby and 1920s Inspired Party held in the wonderfully opulent Gibson Hall. I thought I would write about what we did so that if you wanted to plan a 1920s themed party you could get some ideas!

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In the early 1920’s World War I had just come to an end. A new generation flocked from small towns to big cities in search of excitement, opportunity, and a “modern” way of living. Electronics like radios became more common, particularly in metropolitan households. Flashy new car designs rolled down city streets. Women had finally earned the right to vote, and their hard-fought equality and independence was reflected in their fashion– shorter haircuts, higher hemlines, less curvy silhouettes. Great fashion accessories include a feather boa, a strings of pearls and a cigarette holder. Click here for more outfit ideas: Great Gatsby Fashion and Flapper Girl Attitude

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Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin were creating names for themselves on the big screen. It was an era of change—and that change was not welcomed by all. Alcohol flowed like water in homes across the country, and drunkards filled America’s prisons and poorhouses. A powerful group of activists made it their mission to eradicate liquor in an effort to help the country return to simpler times. Gambling was rife and there was an emergence of underworld activity with Prohibition.

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As the demand for illegal liquor increased, so did the methods for masking its production and consumption. Cocktails gained popularity—heavily flavored concoctions assembled to disguise the taste of potent bathtub gin with juices, herbs, sweeteners and syrups. Finger food became fashionable, which helped to increase liquor tolerance by ensuring that party-goers weren’t drinking on an empty stomach. So after some gambling, our second activity of the night was a cocktail making class. Recipes for drinks popular in the Roaring Twenties include some full of innuendo, like Between the Sheets, or favorites like the Mint Julep or the Old Fashioned. Champagne cocktails were also a big hit.

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The Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age, and what F. Scott Fitzgerald would later describe as “the greatest, gaudiest spree in history”. In Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, we are introduced to the opulent lives of wealthy east coasters during one of the rowdiest periods in American history.No book captures this wild and carefree time period quite like Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. The character of millionaire Jay Gatsby represents the extremes of 1920s wealth and decadence. Gatsby devotes his life to accumulating riches in order to attract the attention of his romantic obsession, the lovely but spoiled Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby’s fortune is evident in the raucous parties he throws from his mansion on Long Island’s north shore. These decadent bashes, free flowing with food and liquor, represent the indulgent excesses of the “flapper” period:

“At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from the other.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

To create the intimate, secretive vibe of a speakeasy, decorate your room with dark, rich fabrics, faux furs and velvet, for a lavish touch. Provide small, round tables with chairs and cover the tables in heavy tablecloths. The lighting should be subdued – pop a few low-level lamps or small candle holders on the tables – empty liquor bottles fashioned into candelabras are another fun touch. If you have bartenders, they should be in some sort of uniform. Provide drinks in crystal glasses or use innocent little teacups and saucers for your cocktails – this was the traditional way to serve alcohol at a speakeasy back in the Roaring Twenties. Serve your canapés from silver platters and glass plates, with shiny red or black tableware. We were served mini hamburgers and southern fried chicken as finger food, which became very popular during this era.

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The 1920s through to 1933 was known as the Ag of Jazz. Through the fusion of European music with Ragtime and other African American forms of music, Jazz exploded as a dominant in music. Young people danced the Charleston to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Their fast rhythms and closer physical contact between contact filled nightclubs and the silver screen with subversive energy. So don’t forget to play some Jazz and why don’t you teach you guests how to dance the Charleston. Hope you have a fabulous party! 😉

Orange for Kings Day in Amsterdam

Orange for Kings Day in Amsterdam

Queen’s Day, on April 30, is the Dutch monarch’s official birthday (it was the actual birthday of Queen Beatrix’s mother, Queen Juliana, but when Bea ascended the date was kept the same). However, Beatrix officially handed over the throne to her son Willem-Alexander last year, so the event is now known as King’s Day. The king’s birthday is April 27, but because celebrations do not traditionally take place on a Sunday, the festivities in the Netherlands will this year it happened on Saturday 26th of April.

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King’s Day celebrations make the end of April a fun and lively time to be in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities.

The day is celebrated with street parties all over the country, for example most cafes and many restaurants will set up on the pavement outside their doors. It is also celebrated with something quintessentially Dutch – a nationwide flea market.People empty their attics and set up stalls on the street, selling anything you can imagine. Or they provide services (cakes and drinks, massage, make-up – anything they can turn their hand to). Children especially put on side-shows or have a go at busking.

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Amsterdam is the focus of the celebrations and gets very crowded, especially along the main canals and city squares, with sometimes up to three million people in a city with a population of 750,000. The fun traditionally begins on the eve of the big day (King’s Night) with the carnival atmosphere continuing throughout the city on King’s Day.We spent this evening in Leiden, where live music played and floats paraded along canals.

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Photo from Loveland, the techno festival that we went to on the 26th. Below is a video from the festival, best seen in full screen.

DJs play parties on public squares, brightly decorated boats fill canals and live music spills onto streets from cafe patios. Never has gridlock traffic been so much fun! On King’s Day, thousands of brightly decorated boats pack the narrow Amsterdam canals. The next best thing to being on one of the boats is watching – and dancing – from one of the many bridges.

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The Vondelpark is usually devoted to acts and stalls from children, while the Zeedijk (near Centraal Station) and Reguliersdwarsstraat, and a stretch along the Amstel River are given over to huge gay street parties. My personal favourite spots are a little south of the centre, along Apollolaan and around Sarphatipark, where there is still something of the Queen’s Day of yore.

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WEARING

ZARA JEANS

TRUSSARDI GLASSES

TOP SHOP BOOTS

ZARA JUMPER

Mango Dress and Clubbing at Kitsch Club

Mango Dress and Clubbing at Kitsch Club

imageIt is always difficult to know what to wear on a night out.In fact sometimes I actually choose to stay in rather than subject myself to the depressing event of opening up my wardrobe, pulling everything out and realizing that anything which looks half decent I have already worn it 100 times over and is probably still stained from the last event it was subjected to because I forgot to take it to the dry cleaners. The rest of the clothes…well they are either so raggedy a charity shop wouldn’t sell them or they are inappropriate, despite all your best efforts to convince yourself otherwise: ” so what if it’s a long ball gown, can’t I just tuck it in?” (eye brown raise from my girlfriend as a massive bulge bubbles up around my stomach). I could always wear the electric  blue dress, you know the one which was bought even though it was about three sizes too small  because it was a bargain. It’s new at least, but not quite sure it’ll do up…

So knowing that some Mayfair London club nights were about to come up, I went shopping for a dress. Dresses I find are simpler than trying to match trousers and tops. All you need to find is one item and match it with shoes whereas with a top/shorts/skirt/trousers, there are three things to combine. The pressure is on, especially to get into places where one wrong look will get your whole group turned away at the door!

It was time for some shopping!This is the new white dress that I bought from Mango’s new collection for my next few nights out in Mayfair. Now I wore it with gold earrings from Accessorize and gladiator heels. What I really like about the dress is that in the summer I will be able to wear it with some rhinestone flip flops or even some leather flat shoes to go to a bar or even for a walk along the promenade. ! What do you think? What are your latest clubbing purchases?

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Going out in Kitsch is really fun. Nominated for best new club of 2014, this is a small and friendly private members club. Drinks are a plenty, the music is a mixture of House, Deep House and R’n’B. The owners are Russian and the crowd is nice, a good proportion of men to women, (i.e. not too many girls) which is difficult to find in Mayfair.

Guest list and Table Bookings can be made through Gustavo on +44 7554720406 for a guaranteed good night and if you are lucky free sushi and champagne 😉

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Experimental Cocktail Club

Experimental Cocktail Club

Walk passed its anonymous small black door once, twice, three times. Invisible to the naked eye, this place is secret and it looks like people want to keep it this way. Charm the sturdy Frenchman guarding this gateway and walk through into a beautifully arranged, expensively decorated Brooklyn Prohibition style cocktail club. Sumptuous and well lit, all that is missing is the thick cigar smoke and the jazz musicians. The immaculately turned out bar tenders know their stuff, and you can choose your favorites or pick  from a short list of sophisticated, strong and complex drinks. Quite expensive, all drinks come with an original twist. It can get really busy, but the atmosphere is usually great! Here are some photos of when my friends and I went here for a couple of drinks the other day 🙂

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We had a great time and a perfect place to have a drink if you are ever out in China Town. Will definately be going back soon 🙂image

WEARING

ZARA TROUSERS

ZARA TOP

DKNY JACKET

E-JEWELLERY-BOUTIQUE PENDANT

ACCESSORIZE RING

ALDO STUDDED BOOTS

 

Full moon madness and lycra trauma

Full moon madness and lycra trauma

Tonight, Beijing went wild.The music started. The acrobats appeared dancing dressed in jeweled Lycra. So many acts, so many contortions. Some hung from the ceiling, others jumped through hoops to form human towers. They piled high and flashed passed on moving bicycles. A woman dressed as a snake bent herself completely in half whilst balancing herself on one arm. I saw the human body do things in that dark room that no one should ever see.

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Last night we went out close to the Worker’s Stadium. Surrounded by modern elegant glass sky scrappers and shops, it is here that expats and locals revel and drink into the early hours of the morning. What I had seen up until now had undoubtedly been an ordered, controlled and conservative state and peoples. Perhaps it was the heat or even a change of moon, I don’t know. But tonight we would see things which would rock my perception of China and its people to the core.

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Steam was vented, shots and drinks were downed. From our dance floor we starred blurry eyed into the distance and saw many, many a party on the roof tops of the skyscrapers and through the penthouse windows where music and lights blared out. Strobes and electricity pulsed through the night air. The festivities and madness exposed itself to the stars, loud and visible from where we now stood but had just minutes before been hidden and hushed up. We were young and we were free. The children of the Revolution and tonight the night was ours.

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Reggaeton and elektro-house, zombie cocktails that were so strong after a couple we could barely stand up. It was hot and the room and the heavens heaved with our activity. It was my friend Toni who had bought us here. He was a tennis player and we had lived and played together in Barcelona. Now he studies a masters in Beijing.We lived such parallel lives for a time and then our paths diverged. Tonight, we were reunited and for a brief moment our fates careered forwards once again on the same course.

 

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In the early hours we found ourselves back down in the narrow streets. Sellers and food vendors cooked their meats and sizzled eggs on metal slabs. Red tuk- tuks waited patiently and offered their services to staggering groups. The party upstairs was wild but still sophisticated.

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Down here, mixed with the earth, dust, the smoke, the litter and the dimness the wild grew wilder. Shouting broke out! Aggressive, loud! We heard a massive crash, glass breaking. Then another, high pitched against the droning back noise. It was all very hazy, a man stood erect in the street and aimed a full liquor bottle at an invisible target. He pulled his arm back and threw and then scuttled away. Out popped some heads from behind a car and another bottle was thrown from that direction at top speed – aimed to hit, aimed to hurt. This one smashed dangerously close and set off a car’s alarm. We drifted through this cloud of madness. A police car siren pierced our ears and in a puff of smoke all ran away and the scene dispersed as it was just part of a dream.

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We ate chips and other things, but I can’t remember what they were. It was good, it was grimy. We sat outside and waited for our friend who had returned to the bar to try to locate his lost phone and wallet which he had only just noticed had disappeared. The workers started to pack everything up. It was late, even for this area of town. This was our queue to get going.

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Taxi drivers turned down our custom left right and center. The combination of foreign, alcohol and a dodgy address was too much ,even if one of our party was half Chinese and spoke the language. It was getting light, we would have to walk back towards the bus stop and wait for the buses to start up. Our tiered party set off down the deserted boulevard. For us the night was over, we just wanted to get back into our beds and sleep. But somehow the madness and the revelry hadn’t quite finished.  On he other side of the street construction workers started grappling. A girl looked on in horror, perhaps she had been the spark that had ignited the barrel. Spades were drawn. Really? Did that guy just hit the other guy with a giant spade? The moment felt surreal and it wasn’t the alcohol that made it that way.

We got caught between two stops when the first bus eventually passed us. By then we had been walking over an hour. When we got back to our hostel around 10am. We collapsed into the warm soft duvets and pillows and took the feet off our aching shoes. People were stirring from their slumber but we slept like logs and nothing could wake us. This little episode didn’t help our jet-lag and we woke up around 5pm to a smiling hotel receptionist who laughed and wished us good morning.

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The Grotesque Wonderland of Las Fallas de Valencia

The Grotesque Wonderland of Las Fallas de Valencia

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I followed the white rabbit and here I am Valencia’s own Grotesque Wonderland. Funny and full of color, the imagination towers and looms above the heads of the people crowding below. Creatures from children’s books, dreams and fantastical lands. Princess, flowers, beauty and elegance.

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Everywhere there are lights, like thousands of worms, flickering in the night. Explosions in the sky, and thousands of stars trickle down, showering the river in gold.

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All that is beautiful and good in the world, is here, brighter than usual and larger than life. There is the Eiffel tower, Paris in all its glory and at the end, in a blaze of color, a couple in black and white dancing. Is it right for people to have taken the world, created by God or by chance and made it so much better? My neck aches and my eyes drink in the wonders. This is real and I still can’t believe it.

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Beautiful girls and women walk around the city with flowers. Their journey has been long. From all four corners they have come and with their flowers the dress of the Virgin Mary takes shape. She is protective and oh so beautiful! Red and white, red and white, the fabric is lush and fragrant. It cascades down, like nature’s own velvet waterfall.

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But beware, in a world where there is good and joy, there must also be evil. The sky is getting darker and eyes grow colder. The light goes down and then we see. We see the Devils, the imps and the monsters satirically laughing and leering at us. Faces become menacing and reproachful.

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Thunder and lightning. We hide behind others. Here they come, they approach. Their tails flick, their ears are red, like the color of the fire which they spit and twirl. The noises are terrible, loud bangs, my ears will explode and so will my heart.

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The whisper goes round. It is time. The jury have given their verdict. It is time. The condemned stand stone still, the plebs stand greedily close. The fuses are light. The beauty, the ugliness, nothing is exempt. We have created, we can destroy. Today, if only today, we are the Gods of this Earth.

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It begins. One by one, they fall. We watch in horror and awe. Our faces are scotched by the heat. Shrieks and creaks, hands reach up out of the flames. Mercy they cry. But tonight, they will get none. The fire fills the plaza and licks dangerously close to houses and great buildings.

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The dream and the nightmare are over, reduced to ash and when I wake up nothing is left.

Las Fallas is a traditional celebration held in Valencia to commemorate Saint Joseph. Each neighborhood of the city has an organized group of people, the Casal faller, that works all year long holding fundraising parties and dinners, usually featuring the famous dish, paella, a specialty of the region. Each casal faller produces a construction known as a falla which is eventually burnt. The fallas are constructed according to an agreed upon theme that has traditionally been, and continues to be, a satirical jab at anything or anyone who draws the attention of the critical eyes of the falleros—the celebrants themselves.

The five days and nights of Falles are a continuous party. There are a multitude of processions: historical, religious such as the offering of the flowers to the Virgin Mary and comical. Crowds in the restaurants spill out into the streets. Explosions can be heard all day long and sporadically through the night. Huge firework displays, the fire parade, la Mascleta and the burning are just a few of the highlights of this extraordinary festival.