Because of the Olympics and the fact that most other people in the office have children and tend to book off the summer holidays as leave, time off in August was a bit of a no go for me this year. However, having always had my birthday in the summer holidays means I never had to go to school on my birthday and I've never fancied being at work on it either so I decided to book Friday until Wednesday off (my birthday is on Tuesday) and make a long weekend of it.
Ever since I saw Rosie at The Londoner blog about the re-opening of Kilver Court a little while ago I've been desperate to pay it a visit. A 'designer emporium' that hosts a variety of brands at discount prices, as well as beautiful gardens, a quaint little cafe and a farm shop, it is definitely my idea of a perfect day out. My Mum and I set off on Friday morning and it took us about an hour and 45 minutes through beautiful countryside and winding country roads to arrive. When we arrived we nosed around LK Bennett, Jack Wills, Aubin and Wills, Toast and Jane Clayton Interiors, earmarking things to come back and buy after lunch.
Houmous and flatbread in the cafe
Whilst looking in Aubin and Wills we actually ran into Rosie from The Londoner herself, and I rather awkwardly ambushed her and said hello. It's really weird to meet someone 'in real life' whose blog you read religiously but she was really lovely and we had a quick chat before carrying on our shopping. After a yummy lunch of houmous, flatbreads and tabbouleh with an Orchard Pig cider in the cafe I went back and bought a shirt and trousers from Jack Wills and a dress from Toast, as well as picking up another cider and an ale in the farm shop. Of course, no trip to Kilver Court would be complete without a visit to the Mulberry factory outlet just a few metres up the road...
It was in a beautiful old building and I must say I was quite surprised at how discounted some of the clothing was. I saw a gorgeous Peter Pan collar dress reduced to £100 (and even more bargains in the clearance section) but this month is quite a tight month so I couldn't quite push the boat out and bring it home - maybe another time.
After quite an eventful journey back in which the sat nav succeeded in getting us completely lost and taking us down even narrower country roads (and a place called Zig Zag Hill which was one of my least favourite driving experiences of my life) we arrived home for an evening of tea and re-runs of Dinner Date. Bliss.
My Mum then took Bodhi home with her as she is kindly looking after him for a few days as we are out and about so much it wouldn't be fair of us to leave him at home. Yesterday we went to an amazing wedding (more on that later) at the Marwell Hotel near Winchester and today will be spent lolling on the sofa and recovering from all the eating and drinking we did! Tomorrow we are going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour so we are watching through the Harry Potter DVDs in anticipation. Hopefully there will be some sunshine on Tuesday for my birthday and we can celebrate with a walk in the forest and lunch in a country pub. Hope you've all had as lovely weekends as I have.