Thursday, 5 September 2013

London birthday fun: Cambridge Satchel embossing, Kate Spade jewellery, Kensington Palace, afternoon tea and A Doll's House in the West End.

Wow, that was possibly one of the longest blog titles I've ever written, but I just can't help it - last weekend mama whisked me down to London for an early 21st birthday treat day of fun in London, and we just packed so many amazing things into one day, hence the super long title.

Oh, what a day!

To kick off, we met up with another fabulous mother-daughter team and long-term family friends, Tanya and Ellie. Do you remember in my blog post about Cambridge a couple of weeks ago I mentioned how the Cambridge Satchel Company had told me they were offering free embossing on all satchels every weekend in August? Awesome, right? 

So, I definitely wasn't going to let this fab offer pass me by, and as two stylish satchel-owning ladies, Tanya and Ellie were keen to take advantage of it too. We rearranged our plans and organised the whole day around getting our satchels embossed, as this was the only day in August we could make it to the store.

Unfortunately, all did not go to plan. Upon arrival at CSC's (Cambridge Satchel Company's, obvs) wonderful Covent Garden store, we were informed that there'd been some big misunderstanding or miscommunication to the staff in the Cambridge store - apparently, the free embossing offer was only on new satchels bought instore. NOOOOOOOO!

Unsurprisingly, we were all feeling pretty disheartened at this point. I explained to the helpful man in store that I'd specifically asked whether we could bring in old satchels for the offer, been told yes, and blogged about it all too. I imagine I had my sad face on.

So, we did a little bit of pleading, the CSC man made a call to the HQ in Cambridge, and huzzah! He said they would emboss our satchels for free after all. I was so happy and am so incredibly grateful to the Cambridge Satchel Company for being so cool about it all. It was very kind of them, and I think it goes to show that they're a real human company who understand their customers. I don't think the same can be said for a lot of businesses these days...

When getting your satchel embossed, you can choose both the colour (there are handy examples to see what different colour fonts look like on different coloured leather) and whether you want dots between your initials or not (if you're having initials, that is.)

We excitedly made our choices and skipped off round the corner for a drink and a catch-up while the satchel masters got to work. Being the generous lady and supportive blog reader that she is, Tanya gave me this very exciting looking early 21st birthday present (and a smoothie)! KATE SPADE BAG OH EM GEE OH EM GEE.

*squeal!* And what was inside, I hear you ask? Behold:

The gold Skinny Mini Long Station Necklace
I absolutely adore the necklace! Don't you? Bows are classic Kate Spade (in fact, their latest 'it' bag, the Beau Bag, is all about the bow, and the pun just makes me love it even more), and it's the type of piece of jewellery you can wear day and night, at any age. I plan on wearing mine for the rest of my life. Sorry, as-of-yet-non-existent daughter. 

Every girl needs a pretty necklace with which to mindlessly fiddle.
As a girl who loves, well, pretty much everything, I'm not hard to buy presents for, but I was so touched that Tanya went to Kate Spade - no Handbags and Cupcakes reader will need reminding how much of a fan I am!

An hour or so later, four excitable girls (poor satchel-less mama was even excited too!) popped back to the CSC store to pick up our satchels. And boy, are we thrilled with the results.

One neon, one metallic and one patent. All gorgeous. Which is your favourite? That's the thing about Cambridge Satchels, isn't it? You just want one in every colour!

Three happy girls, three lovely satchels.

I loved my satchel before, but now I love it even more. The embossing is so special, and it's so nice to have my own personal, unique bag.

On handbag highs (they're a thing you know), we parted ways and mama Hosie and I went back to Kate Spade for another cheeky little browse. Well, we were there, so couldn't possibly not, could we?

Having spent far too long admiring, well, everything, there wasn't much time for lunch. Wearing my new necklace and sporting my newly-embossed satchel, we grabbed a quick bite in M&S (still a treat for this hard-up student), and watched the world go by for a few minutes. On a sunny summer Saturday, the world and his wife were certainly going by!

It was a good flatbread. Needless to say, I was loving life. 

We whizzed over to Kensington Palace and spent a lovely few hours exploring inside the palace, the Fashion Rules exhibition (LOVED IT), and the gardens. But you can read all about that in a separate blog post here

One of the dresses in the Fashion Rules exhibition
Before we knew it, the afternoon was nearly over and it was time for afternoon tea. Having looked at a map, I had come to the conclusion that the hotel wasn't too far away. I was wrong. But it was a glorious day and we were only a teeny bit late so it didn't matter. I thoroughly enjoyed our stroll through the park and by the oh-so-snazzy houses of Kensington, Knightsbridge and Chelsea. Oh, to live there!

The Cadogan
But this was not just any afternoon tea, my friends, oh no. We went for a Champagne afternoon tea at the five star and very luxurious Cadogan Hotel on Sloane Street. It. Was. AMAZING! Naturally I devoted a whole blog post to this too, so click this cheeky little link and have a lookie for yourself. Trust me, you want to.

And look at that, I'm modeling the Kate Spade necklace.

Feeling happily full, it was time to head to the last stop on our journey of London birthday fun - to the theatre! 

I absolutely adore live performances, whether it's a play, musical, ballet, music or anything else for that matter. Mama is a big theatre fan too, and she made a fabulous choice with A Doll's House, the critically-acclaimed play in London's Duke Of York theatre.

Now, I'm no theatre reviewer, so I'm not going to say too much. But I will say that we loved it. The play is in no way a happy-clappy, feel-good performance (head on over to Hairspray if that's what you're after), but it's intense, interesting and really thought-provoking. 

The set is fantastic, the acting is incredible - Hattie Morahan in particular is astoundingly good in the lead role of Nora - and the bar staff outside... Well, they almost stole the show. (I am definitely not just saying this because ma bezzie m works there...)

Pic from the official website
What's really interesting about A Doll's House is that although it was written in the 1870s, the themes are still incredibly pertinent today. It's fascinating. I love going to productions that are all about the jazz hands, but occasionally I really enjoy going to see a bit of a thinker, like A Doll's House.

We were extra lucky to be sitting in the stalls just a few rows back from the stage, as we really got the power of the performance. I tell you what, we were exhausted just from watching the play, so goodness know how the actors felt!

I probably don't need to tell you that this was probably one of the most fun days of my life, and I'm feeling very lucky indeed to have had such wonderful birthday presents.

To sum up: get your satchel embossed, shop at Kate Spade, visit Kensington Palace, go for Champagne afternoon tea, and see A Doll's House. It is a recipe for happiness.


  1. This all looks amazing, especially the afternoon tea! I had a 21st afternoon tea at Gleneagles for my birthday in May. It was also incredible, i'd recommend it if your ever up in Scotland lol :P

    Hope you had a great birthday, love all your blog posts!

    Lucy xo

    1. Oh, Lucy it truly was! Ooh I definitely will, thanks. Love a bit of Scotland ;)
      Thanks so much! X

  2. You've definitely turned me into a Kate Spade fan, its all so pretty!

  3. I love this post, so adorable!
    I love how you all have completely different coloured satchels, and that you managed to get them embossed in the end! You can personalise satchels so much it's wonderful!

    Cambridge satchel is such an amazing company!
    I'm a fashion promotion student, and because I love cambridge satchel so much I've chosen to base one of my final year projects on the wonderful brand! I stumbled across your blog when researching, and was wondering considering you and your friends visisted the store and had your satchel's embossed, would you be willing to fill out my survey for me?

    Would be a massive help towards my final year project!
    You can check out my blog
    if you want to make sure this is a legit post first! :)

    If you are happy to fill out the survey just click the link and go ahead :) Considering you had your satchels embossed instore would you be able to choose that as the 'place of purchase' instead of wherever else you purchased your satchel- As that will then lead you onto the embossing questions! Thankyou so much! :) X


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