Just when I had thought my birthday celebrations had passed in the blink of an eye, my two closest pals had decided otherwise. Although it’s a month since I turned , ahem, 30, Jenna and Katie had decided to treat me to a surprise day out. Undetermined by my travel plans in Poland, engagement celebrations or work commitments, they patiently waited until the day of my belated birthday treat arrived. Last Saturday, the girls took me to experience Tea Parlour on Liverpool’s infamous Matthew Street.
Escaping the tourists exploring the Beatles’ legacy, a staircase leads you to another world. Situated on the first floor, Tea Parlour invites you to experience a forgotten era. Once a warehouse originally used to store bananas, Tea Parlour has now been lovingly restored into a vintage tea room. Our first impressions certainly did not disappoint. Draped in royal velvet, chintzy mismatched florals and dark, wooden floorboards, from the moment you enter, Tea Parlour envelopes you in 1940’s glamour.
Branded as ‘A very British affair’, Tea Parlour’s menu offers useful tips to help you navigate the tricky issue of etiquette. Did you know that one should place one’s spoon in a 6 o’clock position and fold the tea to the 12 o’clock position? And heaven forbid a careless clink of a tea spoon against one’s china. Tea Parlour boasts rare and limited edition loose teas. Brewed in clear tea pots, you can time the perfect cuppa taking account of helpful tips from your waitress and a useful egg timer. For our first cup of tea, we chose to sample a Breakfast tea.
Just when we’d decided the walnut piano was merely decoration, it sprang into life playing wartime classics creating a soundtrack to match the luscious interior. Just in time for our chosen sandwiches to arrive. Boy, they were delicious. They were a selection of:
English cucumber and cream cheese
Free range egg and watercress
Roast ham and Cumberland sauce
Beef, horseradish cream and rocket
Scottish smoked salmon and herbed butter
…I could have eaten the entire plate and, if so, I’m sure the staff would have been on hand to offer us more. As soon as we’d finished a cup of tea, our waitress was there and ready to offer us another brew of our choosing. Jasmine.
I’ve never drank so much tea in my life. Bliss.
Always nearby, once we’d wolfed our sandwiches (politely, of course) our waitress delivered a plate of freshly bake scones, fresh cream and jam. Our menu dictated we should apply the cream first, but as one does not abide cream, I applied lashings of jam to each scone I devoured. They were simply delicious.
And, if that wasn’t enough, to ensure we were full to bursting, a stand of cakes were delivered in quick succession. We had bite-size chunks of each of these:
Chocolate Guinness cake
‘In life, there are few more pleasant time hours dedicated to afternoon tea ceremony’ – Henry James.
Whilst this is certainly a motto to live life by, I’ll add to this… there are few more pleasant time hours dedicated to afternoon tea ceremony with friends. Afternoon tea at Tea Parlour was the perfect place to celebrate my birthday, the perfect place to catch up with Katie and Jenna and receive a couple of hours (yes, a couple of hours) to drinking tea and feeling spoiled. The quality of tea, food and service was definitely worth the £20 per head price tag. We left Tea Parlour, with cakes, feeling suitably full of our favourite things. Perfection.
So, are you a fan of Afternoon Tea?
Have you visited Tea Parlour?
It’s been way too long, but it’s great to say I’m finally free and back to blogging! Although I haven’t finished for the summer break…yet, I’ve handed in a class set of reports (insert huge sigh of relief here!) Even though I haven’t been far away, my lifestyle posts have been far and few between. I’ve been here in a body dressed in pretty frocks but not in mind. It’s hard to post lifestyle posts when you’re not particularly having much of a life. Polkadot Pink started as an online diary, aimed at being jam-packed to the brim with lifestyle and home posts, so you can understand how I’ve missed those days and documenting the happy times.
On Sunday, following Saturday’s ten-hour work marathon, the boy and I decided to check out the fruits of June’s Mark-It Street Art Festival in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. After an hour in Debenhams treating myself to some holiday clothes, and John scouting out a GoPro camera, we hopped back in the car and drove to the Baltic Triangle, a curious part of the city: part creative hub and part industrial. However, it was the perfect backdrop for the explosion of street art that seemed to happen overnight.
Just down the road, we stopped just by the Cains Brewery on Grafton Street to drink in a feast for the eyes. Featuring work by Whoam Irony, The Stables had truly been transformed. With a smattering of monochrome, paste ups and colour, it was a cacophony of wondrous art. It’s always great to find new artists, but even better to find artists you already love. To find C3’s collared red head girl was certainly something. A quick peek around the corner and we were rewarded for our efforts with an Akse piece of Al Pacino and sweet animals by Jahoer.
Without doubt, finding street art is always a buzz. It’s like a free open air gallery and, even better when it’s on my doorstep!
How did you spend your weekend?
A short while ago, Rachel asked, ‘What’s your off-duty style?’ whilst showing us hers, a perfect Breton teamed with leopard print pumps. It’s funny when you consider how many different dimensions of style we have. Our style has to match our lives; work, play or leisure. It’s only natural that when we share pictures publicly, whether it be on a blog or Instagram, we subconsciously edit and select pictures showing us at our best. So, I’m glad Rachel shared her off duty style because it made me consider mine. I found myself agreeing, my wardrobe is stacked to the brim with stripes, but despite this my off duty look will always centre on a dress.
Why? Well, I’m short and curvy. Jeans without heels aren’t my friend, but dresses suit my shape. With tights, or without, they’re the perfect all year round friend. This dress was a Primark sale buy I snapped up in Blackburn after Style Wars. At £7, I couldn’t resist its Celia Birtwell style print and practical style. I think it looks so much more than £7, don’t you?
Today, John and I visited Inglenook Farm, a lavender and chamomile farm, with aromatherapy shops and a farmhouse cafe, not to mention Whitey the donkey, Lucky the sheep and a whole rabble of goats. Situated on the way to my mum’s house, and only a short drive from mine, we decided to pop in on the way for a delicious home cooked full English breakfast in the sunshine. It was such a treat after a busy weekend. Yesterday, my parents came down and helped me revamp my front and back garden. Needless to say, my garden is transformed and a rest was very much needed.
// Dress :: Primark //
// Leather bag :: Topshop //
// Clogs :: Lotta from Stockholm //
// Sunglasses :: Ray Ban //
I think we can agree, the goats definitely stole my thunder. But, what I haven’t mentioned is my new sunglasses. I’m absolutely smitten with them. I’d been hankering after a pair of Ray Bans for some time now, and voila, just like that, John had decided to gift me with a pair. It was so totally unexpected and such a thoughtful idea. I know that I’ll be wearing them for years to come.
What’s your off-duty style?
‘She was a day tripper, a one way ticket yeah’
Day Tripper, The Beatles
It had been one of those weeks. The kind of week when your feet don’t touch the floor, coming up for air is a luxury and life passes by in a blur! So, when the weekend arrived, I was ready to spend time with my friends and to celebrate my first anniversary with the boy. Just one problem, tonsillitis. Maybe it’s because I was run down, but my sore throat ensured a 4.30am wake up call on Friday morning. I was not a happy bunny. However, I was determined to enjoy the weekend almost as planned. Originally, we’d planned to visit Bowness in the Lake District, the place where it all began. Aching muscles and a throat of razor blades forced us to be more realistic, so we headed into Liverpool.
As it’s been uncharacteristically warm here, hello spring time, it’s been refreshing to lay the winter coats to rest and say hello to lighter layers mixed with colour pops. This time, it’s colourful brights thanks to George at Asda. When they heard about our master plan to swap unloved and overly loved items from the depths of our wardrobe, they decided to help us out by allowing us to choose two items each to swap from their range. Naturally, I chose a satchel. It’s an iconic accessory that I wear daily. I’m interested to see how Erica, Debbie and Rachel will mix it up.
Did you see what Erica chose? A mustard pinafore dress with my name written all over it. As you can imagine, I’m incredibly excited to receive that package. However, on Saturday, I received Rachel’s George picks. As Erica said, Rachel had chosen the biker jacket with the intention of challenging Erica. However, what she didn’t forsee was just how challenging the dainty floral blouse would be for me. But, that’s the best part of the frock swap. It’s pushing our boundaries and forcing us to be creative in a wardrobe where we can’t buy items to match. Oh no, the spending ban has put a stop to that! Speaking of challenging, Debbie chose a kimono. I’ve never worn a kimono in my life, but my, it’s stunning.
So, with tonsillitis turning me into the Grinch that stole our anniversary, we strolled through the historic side of Liverpool. John wanted to show me a Banksy piece and I fancied a bit of fresh air. I can’t say I was overly impressed with the Banksy piece, but it was refreshing to see a side of Liverpool that I rarely see anymore. If you haven’t visited the historic side, you should, even if it’s just for an hour. Every corner holds a surprise.
// Dress :: Topshop // Satchel :: c/o George at Asda // Shoes :: Topshop // Biker Jacket :: George at Asda* // Scarf :: H&M // Denim Shirt :: ASOS //
With our stomachs grumbling, our stroll led us into the centre of Liverpool and past Matthew Street, where the revellers were already celebrating the makings of St Patrick’s Day. Passing a florist, I was totally taken with these shamrocks! Sweet, right? With the lure of John Lewis, Urban Outfitters and a huge Forever 21, I took the boy to my favourite haunt for a liquid lunch. A liquid lunch of soup that is, what were you thinking?
So, how have you been? Are you enjoying this first taste of spring?
As always, much love,
Find me on:
It’s not often I get the pleasure of Susanne’s company. You see, Susanne lives in North Wales now, a world away from the days of being the girl next door. So, when she suggested a shopping trip to Liverpool, obviously I said yes. Susanne has impeccable style, a wardrobe to be envious of and is a constant source of outfit inspiration. You might already know her face, she blogs over at Predict the Day.
On Friday, we shopped, lunched and chatted. Predictably I missed the train, which meant I was forced to endure a stressful drive into the city centre. Meeting at Lime Street Station, we had barely been in Liverpool ten minutes, when a flamboyant gent, accompanied by a camera crew and crowds, rapidly approached us. Imagine rabbits in a headlight blushing bright red and you may come close to picturing our reaction. Whilst being filmed, the conversation went something like this:
Him: “Ladies, hi, would you like to star in a channel 5 reality show?”
Him: “Are you interested in beauty? Would you like a free spray tan?”
Judging by his reaction, it appears refusing a spray tan in Liverpool is akin to refusing to wash. Turns out, we’d had an incredibly lucky escape. Google Celebrity Super Spa, go on, go see.
First up, Topshop. Specifically, the Topshop sale… a magical combination of nouns, don’t you think? Especially when new lines are added! I bagged two sale buys. Firstly, a cotton shirt which has quickly sold out, Paige Joanna has styled to perfection in this outfit post. I also managed to bag a maxi dress, in petite for £20! I’d like to imagine petite ladies reading this are nodding in appreciation of this finding this little gem, man, petite maxi dresses are hard to come by.
Susanne had a ‘hipster wedding’ to attend and needed to find a matching top for *the* most beautiful powder blue midi skirt she’d bought. Oh, good God, it’s pretty. Oh, how my five foot self envies tall people. Mission successful when Susanne found the most perfect top, complete with sparkles. Succumbing to our growling stomachs, we decided to lunch here:
We found Lucha Libre thanks to an excellent tip off from another blogging friend, Pete. If you like recipes, food reviews and delicious looking food, you’re certain to like his blog. Specialising in Mexican street food, Lucha Libre was inviting from the moment we stepped through the door, not just for its decor. Liverpudlians always have a smile on their face. Our waitress was no exception.
First of all, bonus points for offering Mexican soft drinks. Uber bonus points for offering them in the flavour of mango! Absolutely delicious, what a welcome treat for this driver. The menu was no different, it took us almost fifteen minutes to choose what to eat, although part of this was down to us having the mother of all catch ups.
Stuffed with steak burritos and fizzy pop, we headed to Primark. I’ve been hearing (and seeing) a lot of good things about their Autumn/Winter collection and our visit wasn’t disappointing. Susanne whipped up an oversized jacket for £28, I won’t show you as I’m certain she will be covering it in her outfit posts. But, trust me, it was a steal!
So, I’ve been looking for a new bag recently. I’m becoming distinctly aware of my obsession with satchels, notably the Cambridge Satchel Company. I can’t afford to buy another leather bag and want to try and venture away from the same company, so when I spied a bright red bag in Primark (that didn’t look too much like plastic) I grabbed it. I’ll be telling you how we got on in the week.
Primark impressed us with their Autumn/Winter clothing line, however their home department may need to take heed. Gnome candles and psychotic looking pets anyone?
Apart from spending time with Susanne, a definite highlight of the day was seeing all the new styles that are coming in for the Autumn/Winter season. I’m so inspired right now! Leather, tartan, 60s print, brights and monochrome. It’s really spurred me on to delve deep into my wardrobe and see just what I have and most importantly, what I don’t need. My eBay series ‘How to sell on eBay’ will be starting soon, fancy joining me as I clear out my closet?
Even though we only visited a handful of place, Liverpool never lets me down. Spent up and shattered, we finally said our goodbyes at 7 o’clock and headed home. Let’s not leave it so long next time, hey Susanne?
As always, much love,
Donna x (All shopped out!)
They say, when life deals you lemons, make lemonade.
So, when work deadlines came rolling in and life became extremely stressful recently… I did just that. I was forced to miss Erica’s Big Night In, the FABB Bloggers Manchester event and, not least, a weekend of sunshine. Feeling pretty rubbish about it all, the boy suggested a couple of hours away from the laptop.
In times past, work stress would cause me to lock myself away in a room and power through the work. In fact, I would only surface to drink coffee and eat the occasional round of toast. However, I’m so glad we decided to venture out to Crosby to see Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’.
I’m fortunate to live where I do, because a lot of places of interest are a short drive away. Thirty minutes later, my toes were squelching in the sand as we strode away from the crowds. Avoiding the jelly fish, we admired the barnacled men…although their features were slightly obscured from years of battling the sea.
Sea air, a sherbet adorned ice cream and sunshine beating down on our faces, I started to feel a whole lot better. We snapped and snapped, the boy taking artistic photographs, myself taking, shall we say, less artistic snaps.
So, with a mere two weeks left until the summer holidays, I’m very much looking forward to my time off.
Have you ever been to Crosby beach?
Are you a fan of Antony Gormley’s sculptures?