We have been blessed with gorgeous sunshine and warm temperatures over the past few days here in Edinburgh and I think everyone is in a much better mood because of it. I went to the Life and Style Edinburgh Event on Saturday at the Royal Society of Edinburgh and it was so lovely to see people smiling and wearing summery clothes. This was a really great opportunity for me to act and feel like a blogger, especially because I knew that a lot of my Edinburgh favourites were going to be there.
Edinburgh Life and Style is a weekend event created by Edin Events that hosts a whole range of activities from workshops and masterclasses to fashion shows and beauty treatments. I was lucky enough to win a pair of tickets in a competition hosted by Laura (The Style Stories blogger) on Instagram so I took my friend Olesya to enjoy the day with.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh really is a beautiful and majestic building with each room lit up by spectacular chandeliers and sunlight that flooded in from huge windows. Chandeliers would look a bit strange in my university halls but I did draw interior inspiration from the fireplaces. They were all topped with armies of small vases filled with flowers which I think makes a nice change from all the larger bouquets that usually adorn mantlepieces, along with gigantic mirrors.
When Olesya and I arrived we were given a map/event guide, an offers booklet, a list of beauty treatments and a wristband. The wristband allowed us to have access all day to come and go as we pleased and had little coupons for our free drink and treatment attached. First on our agenda was the tea-tasting workshop with The East India Company so we booked our beauty treatments for afterwards to fill some time we had.
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of tea but I was open to all the different types and flavours that were offered to us throughout the workshop. I had heard of The East India Company before the event but I had no idea how prominent they were in the tea industry. The company have centuries of experience behind them as they celebrated their 417th birthday on New Year’s Eve in 2017. They now stock over 150 types of tea in their shops as well as different coffees, biscuits, chocolate and accessories such as teapots. The East India Company have strong links with Scotland especially with Earl Grey tea which contributed to a large part of their history.
Over the course of the workshop, we tried four different teas all with very different tastes. First was a ‘Darjeeling First Flush,’ which turned out to be my favourite of them all because even though I don’t like tea very much I would happily drink quite a lot of it. It was followed by a green tea with flavours of lemongrass, turmeric, ginger and black pepper which seemed like an odd combination to me. Olesya laughed at the face I pulled after my first sip as it was not to my taste. I finished the sample that I was given but to me, it tasted far too strong and medicinal but it would be great if I had a cold.
The third was an Earl Grey tea which was no surprise given the facts we had been told earlier. I didn’t think it tasted that bad but it wasn’t as good as the Darjeeling in my opinion. Olesya has never been a huge fan of Earl Grey so she was happy to move on to our last tea sample which had been brewed as an iced tea. It was a ‘white tea’ that had been infused with orange, apple and banana (there may be more flavours but I can’t remember) and had a very refreshing taste. My favourite thing about it was the gorgeous red colour it had as I wasn’t too fussed by the flavour. Olesya, on the other hand, loved it and it was her favourite of the teas we tried.
Even though Olesya and I had different tea opinions what we both could agree on was the delicious taste of The East India Company’s chocolate. We were given samples of white chocolate with strawberries and cream, based on the Wimbledon classic as the company had a pop-up shop there a few years back. The other nibble we were given to try was a coffee bean, coated in chocolate and covered with a cappuccino dusting. I had my reservations about trying it but it was a lot better than I thought. The chocolate taste sweetened the coffee enough to ensure it wasn’t overly bitter.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the teas that I tried. After having Gunpowder tea in Madeira a couple of years ago, I’m a bit wary of any flavours that aren’t the bog standard English Breakfast. It’s always nice to have that reminder about being open to more things and tastes and who knows, maybe I’ll convert to a tea drinker now?
Next up were our beauty treatments. I’m obsessed with Molton Brown scents so I was very quick in opting for their luxurious hand massage. My favourite smell is the Vintage & Elderflower which I got as a shower gel at Christmas but unfortunately, it wasn’t one that they had brought with them for the event. I opted for the Gingerlily (another favourite) moisturizer with Pink Peppercorn perfume.
The only thing I regret about the day was not asking the name of the woman who gave me my massage. We chatted a lot about life and university and she was so, so lovely and genuine. I also think she might be a bit of a secret badass because she just finished her second year of studying Criminology and Law. Not to mention that the hand massage she gave me was incredibly relaxing and smelt amazing so if anyone from Molton Brown Edinburgh reads this and knows who I’m talking about, please reward her in some way as I think she really deserves it.
Throughout the weekend Edin Events were constantly updating their Instagram with photos from Life and Style. Olesya and I had fun trying to spot ourselves when they posted videos of the talks and workshops to their stories. It was also a pleasant surprise to see a photo of someone taking a photo of us in front of their lovely backdrop, surrounded by balloons. Ellie Morag photographed the event and therefore took this photo that is our small claim to fame.
After being pampered we headed to the Lifestyle Stage for a Style Talk, which was a lot more enjoyable than some of my lectures at uni. It was given by Alisa Cox, the personal shopper at Topshop, Edinburgh and hosted by Susie Cormack Bruce, a blogger from Glasgow. Together, they went through three key trends for the Spring/Summer season: embellishment, animal print and pinks & reds.
Embellishment was my favourite by far as I am a lover of sequins and sparkly things. First Alisa showed a gorgeous denim jacket covered in rhinestones, but what really caught my eye was the black denim jacket and skirt co-ord set. The pops of colour from the tropical flowers and little sparkly details meant that I fell in love instantly. Much to my disappointment, it’s out of my current price range at the moment but if there’s any chance that Topshop are reading this, feel free to give me a large discount (pretty please) because I love it so much.
Personally, animal print is not to my taste but full credit to anyone who rocks it. Since I love glittery items so much I think I’m more similar to a magpie instead of a leopard. As for reds and pinks, I’m more than willing to give it a try when out shopping. I probably won’t go for colours quite as bold as Alisa had picked out because I’m unsure if they will compliment my pale skin and ginger hair. I’ve always thought that softer pinks look better with my hair rather than fuschia because of a jumper I bought a few years ago.
As we had an hour to spare between the style talk and fashion show, Olesya and I snacked on the free pop chips that were handed to us out of the blue and made use of the free drink voucher that came included with our tickets. It was called an ‘Edinburgh Gin Fizz,’ so it was a drink made with gin and prosecco. I don’t like either so the drink was a big miss for me which was a shame because it looked nice in the glass and I had wanted to like it.
As if there wasn’t enough to keep us busy throughout the day, there was also an interior showroom showcasing furniture and accessories from The White Company, BoConcept, Jenners and Le Creuset. I loved the display from Le Creuset the most because it was so colourful. They had even created a ferris wheel from their utensils that looked rather impressive. I would love a little pot of theirs so I could make cute little pies for myself though settling on a colour would be difficult as there are so many to choose from. I was, of course, more than happy to accept a goodie bag which included a catalogue and mini recipe book so I could pretend what life would be like if I was actually a decent cook.
When choosing a seat for the fashion show, I thought to myself, “where would Anna Wintour sit?” It worked because we were in a good position to photograph the models as they posed at different points on the runway. The fashion show consisted of looks from many retailers including Jenners, Anthropologie, Debenhams and Oliver Bonas though there were many more. My camera is awful for taking photos of moving subjects, as you may have seen in my squirrel photo from my Edinburgh Botanics post as it takes too long to take a picture but Olesya’s all turned out fine so I’m using her photos instead of my own.
I couldn’t see myself in many of the outfits unless I was attending a wedding. They weren’t all particularly formal but I don’t wear beige trousers ever, never mind day to day. I preferred individual items that were models were wearing instead of full outfits, including this bag. I wouldn’t wear the rest of the outfit, the main reason being the orange colour would clash badly with my hair.
I also quite liked this jumpsuit as I could see myself wearing it in Paris whilst strolling through Le Jardin du Luxembourg, amongst all the flowers.
My favourite piece by far was this Palm print blazer. Unfortunately, neither Olesya or I have a photo of it so I’ve taken this one from the House of Fraser website. It was part of a two-piece suit with a bold pink stripe that ran down the outside of each trouser leg and then styled with matching pink accessories to really make the colour pop. I’m not overly bold when it comes to clothes and wouldn’t have the courage to wear the entire ensemble together but I’d wear the jacket in a heartbeat. Like the Topshop jacket, it is also too expensive for me which is rather upsetting but if I could only afford one I would buy the denim from Topshop because I feel like it is suited to my age group.
I thought the fashion show was great in showcasing a range of styles from the upcoming season and they were explained in further detail by Lynne McCrossan, a fashion expert, afterwards in a little trend talk, similar to one earlier from Alisa. However, if I were to change one thing about the show, it would be the models. I just want to make it clear that they were all fantastic and I wouldn’t change them because they were bad at their job, just the lack of diversity. It was apparent that the audience was predominantly female so I understand why there were only two male models. What really was missing were female models that are larger than a size 8 or 10. Looking around the room there were very few women with long, perfectly slim legs and very tall like those modelling the clothes. Therefore, I think using more models that may be considered ‘plus size’ (though they are beautiful and a perfectly normal size) or ‘older’ (experienced) would have been better for the audience attending the show.
That minor issue aside, I had such a wonderful day and I know everyone else who visited over the weekend would agree with me. I’ve already decided to go back next year whether I buy them or if I’m lucky enough to receive a pair for free. I know I’ve mentioned quite a few brands and people in this post so I’ve tried to link as many of them as possible down below so you can check them all out for yourselves. Thanks again to Laura for the free tickets, I really did have the best time and it helped me feel more like a blogger for the day.
Olesya’s Instagram: @olesyalesyk
Laura – Style Stories
Blog: The Style Stories
Ellie Morag (photographer): @ellie_morag
Alisa Cox Instagram: @alisac0x
Susie Cormack Bruce Instagram: @sincerelyyourssusie
Fashion Show and Trend Talk
Lynne McCrossan: @lynnemccrossan
Viola (model): @violamarx