Australian girl, born on the wrong side of the world and obsessed with all things British. Trying to emulate the style and grace of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge as much as I can, whilst still remaining me. Lover of Emma Bridgewater, Royal Albert, Jo Malone, Lush bath bombs, Audrey Hepburn movies, high tea's, picnics, the ballet and musicals.
Luckily for the British at heart, there are many people looking for a comforting British fix so one can find a tea room or British pub just about anywhere these days. I am always on the lookout for authentic British themed places to visit and one of my favourites must be Teddies N Sweets British tea rooms in Brisbane.
A quaint little cottage style tea room and traditional British sweet store I have had the pleasure of visiting a few times for high tea and lunch and popped by this weekend for their reopening after undergoing a recent renovation where they added a sitting room area complete with decorative fireplace.
Post renovation the tea rooms have retained their British charm, the shop is still filled to the brim with Teddies that are on sale, British and royal themed souvenirs, think the Queens 90th birthday memorabilia and double decker bus teapots and a thank you note from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is framed proudly on the wall from where the owners sent a children’s book as a gift upon the birth of Prince George.
They serve breakfast, lunch and tea 6 days a week from Tuesday to Sunday. The food is simple home cooked British fare, with staples such as bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and my favourite the ploughman’s lunch. They offer a full dessert menu with delectable sweets such as bread and butter pudding, apple crumble and a traditional knickerbocker glory, always a delicious treat that I love after a beach front stroll along the Redcliffe pier which is just across the road from the tea rooms. For more special occasions you can even enjoy high tea. On my next visit, I plan to book the new sitting room area for just that.
With a full belly and smile on your face you can then browse through the gifts and teddies section, before purchasing some British sweets and grocery items to take home so you can keep enjoying your British fix once you return home.
Teddies n sweets is in the Cominos Arcade on Redcliffe Parade in Brisbane and you can phone them for bookings on (07) 3283 7327. You can also check out their website on http://www.teddiesnsweets.com.au/
Did you do anything to get your own British fix this weekend?
This weekend, author, philanthropist and sister to the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton, will wed her fiancée, hedge fund manager James Matthews in a private ceremony which will include official roles for Prince George and Princess Charlotte in the wedding party, followed by two lavish wedding receptions for the couple. Pictures have already leaked of a stunning glass marquee on the Middleton family property, filled with cherry blossoms which is sure to be an ultra glamorous setting for what is sure to be THE event of the year.
To celebrate Pippa’s wedding I have complied all the images off Instagram I have shared in the last 2 years of my outfits inspired by that other fabulous Middleton!
The first and my favourite Pippa outfit is this dress which was co designed by Pippa and Tabitha Webb with proceeds going towards the British heart foundation, a orgaisation Pippa is a patron of. There was also a scarf available in the same print. I received both as birthday gifts.
The next dress is one that I wear very regularly through spring and summer. A navy floral tea dress which was available from British retailer Next, it has been seen on Pippa on multiple occasions, including the first day of a family trip to Spain to celebrate her 30th birthday. I bought my dress off eBay for $10.
The next dress was available from Anthropolgie and seen on Pippa during an outing to the Invictus games she attended with her brother James to watch a game of ‘murder ball’ wheelchair rugby which Harry took part in. I was lucky enough to be online at the time the ID was made and was able to purchase one before it quickly sold out.
In her book Celebrate, which looked at various British holidays and celebrations throughout the year, Pippa was pictured in a yellow daisy dress from British retailer Next.
Pippa regularly wore dresses from US designer Tory Burch long before her sister the Duchess of Cambridge did. Pippa looked stunning in the ‘Talley’ dress in June 2014 when she watched the Aegon tennis championships at the Queens club.
The next two purchases were inspired by my christmas trip to London. When Pippa appeared in a christmas column of Waitrose magazine wearing these exceptionally festive outfits, a purple sparkly jewelled neck boucle dress from high st store Zara and a snowflake sweater from Celtic co, I knew I had to have them in my luggage! This Zara dress remains a favourite today which I regularly wear to work and it never fails to receive multiple compliments.
What do you think of Pippa’s style? Have you purchased any Pippa outfits? I look forward to seeing all the pictures of Pippa’s wedding in a few hours and seeing what you think of her dress.
I was recently tagged in one of those 20 random facts posts and as there is simply not enough room to put 20 facts onto Instagram, I thought I would turn it into this week’s blog post. So, if you have ever wanted to find out more about me, read on………
1)People are shocked when they hear about my wedding. Everyone says that I am the most princessy person they have ever met and they can’t believe I didn’t have the full princess wedding. Hubby and I flew to Las Vegas and had the whole tacky Elvis Vegas wedding works!
2)Before I met my husband, when I was 26 and single, I bought my own house. A cute little two-bedroom townhouse. Don’t let anyone tell you, that you can’t if you’re a young single woman.
3)For my day job, I work in recruitment. I’ve been with the same employer for 10 years, quite an achievement considering we move interstate every 3 years for my husband’s job.
4)I hate coffee! Detest it, I can’t even stand the smell. I’m a tea drinker all the way.
5)I think San Francisco is the most romantic place in the world! I found it way more romantic then Paris.
6)I cried at the memorial for Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods
7)I loved Princess Diana as a child but I don’t think of her as a real person like I do with Kate. Kate seems like someone I could go shopping with and to high tea with whilst Diana is larger than life. She is more like a fairy-tale Princess, like Cinderella or Snow White (despite her life being anything other than a happy fairy-tale)
8)I love to have fresh flowers in the house. My favourite are peonies but they are only in season for about 5 weeks of the year. The rest of the year I will buy tulips when in season or roses. If money wasn’t an issue I would have fresh bouquets of different flowers in every room of the house all year long!
9)My husband is the third man I have dated, as they say the third time lucky.
10)My fur baby Charlie turns 16 this year. He is a bit of a miracle, having survived an aggressive form of Cancer 2 and a half years ago. At them time we were told it would be a miracle if we still had him in 8 months’ time.
11)My happiest memories are all on holidays. Whether its eating clam chowder in San Francisco, drinking champagne in Buckingham Palace or swimming in waterfalls in Vanuatu, I have a real passion for travel. My husband and I have made the decision not to go on any more trips though whilst we have Charlie as he is too old to go into vacation care.
12)I find it impossible to sleep in past 6:30 in the morning, even on the weekends or on vacations, it drives my husband nuts
13)I got excited when I read the news reports that linked Prince Harry and actress Emma Watson, I thought they would be perfect together. As we now know this was all gossip. When news reports broke, that Harry was dating Meghan Markle I thought it was all gossip again and didn’t read any of it. That was until Kensington palace released that press statement…..
14)I have been reading a lot of classic literature this year and am currently reading Anne of Green Gables. The biggest lesson I am learning from this book is I have a highly-underutilised imagination which I really should put to better use!
15)My most expensive replikate purchase was a DVF Simyonette coat I bought from EBay. I had just gotten my tax return and I bought it the week of my birthday so my husband chipped in as well, I think he was glad to not have to come up with a present of his own that year. Sometimes I look at the coat and think it should be on display in a museum.
16)My replikate obsession goes beyond clothing and accessories to household goods. My house is full of Emma Bridgewater pottery and Jo Malone washes and candles just like Kate used at her wedding.
17)Whenever Prince Harry comes on TV my husband and I get into a fight about who his father is, it gets heated and I usually end up storming out of the room! Thankfully it’s just about the only thing we fight about
18)I met Tabitha Webb at her store in London
19)Our whole house is slowly being changed to shabby chic décor. Expect a few upcycling posts to come soon as I am obsessed with turning all our furniture white. It just makes all the rooms look so much brighter and lighter.
20)My husband says that teapots are slowly taking over the house but 7 isn’t that much……. What do you think? Feel free to share your own random facts below!
What is a repliKater to do when she has a large and beautiful collection of Kate inspired clothing spilling out of every closet in the house and an underutilised guest bedroom. The answer was simple and obvious- create a beautiful walk in dressing room where my collection could be displayed and enjoyed every day, not just on the day I happened to be wearing that item. The application was a bit more difficult. It took about 6 months of research and planning to come up with a practical solution that suited my needs and lifestyle but in the end, I created the perfect space that suited all my needs and come in at well under $500. Read on to see my dressing room and hear my tips on how to create your own……
The idea for my dressing room was planted about 12 months ago when I had a team from Australian Womans Day magazine come to my home for a photo shoot to accompany an article on repliKating. At the time, we had emptied out the spare room temporarily and 2 stylists created a walk-in wardrobe.
About 6 months later I began to take the idea a bit more seriously and had two IKEA systems recommended to me. The first was the stolmen system. This system offered mix and match shelving and racks you could piece together to suit your needs using a tension-mounted pole system that you install inside a closet or against a blank wall. This system was quite budget friendly and left all your clothing displayed which I loved but seemed quite labour intensive to get up initially and would put a lot of holes in the walls which we couldn’t do as renters, who need to move interstate every 3 years for my husband’s work.
The second Ikea system I considered was the Pax system. Again, you could mix and match to suit your needs, but this system pieces together traditional wardrobes which would leave my clothes hidden away (out of sight, out of mind) and would be difficult to move and we are due to move at the end of the year.
Finally, I settled on using simple clothing and shoe racks, with a bed side table for hosiery, a full length portable mirror and a feature piece which is my stunning dressing table, given to me as a 5th year wedding anniversary gift in December last year (5 years is the traditional wood for gift anniversary). If you can create a permanent space though I would highly recommend considering either IKEA system.
Below are my tips for creating your own walk in wardrobe space;
Do your research so you can pick the perfect solution for your needs. Know exactly how many shoes, bags etc. you need to store and are you likely to add more in the future so need a system you can add to. With my simple shoe racks, I can just keep adding them on top as needed. Select your budget. What are your living circumstances? Is it possible you will need to move in the next 6-12 months or can you make your room a bit more permanent and solid
Matching coat hangers go a long way towards making everything look prettier and neater and saves a lot of room.
If using portable racks such as mine you will need to come up with an alternative option for heavier items like winter coats. The bedroom I used had a small built in robe where I have my coats and gowns hanging.
Pick one feature item. If you are using a smaller space, a large vintage full body mirror or a large fashion illustration would be perfect. If you have the room you might want to think about adding a small lounge or day bed near a window so you can also use it as a sanctuary to hide away, drink tea and read. I love my room so much I will use any excuse to be in there for 5 minutes. The inclusion of my dressing table also means I have a little desk space so I also like to use the room to blog and study. I feel really inspired to write about Kate and repliKating when I am surrounded by her clothing.
Decorate according to your tastes. This room is 100% yours so whatever your obsession is, go for it, no need to worry about upset partners/flatmates is your tastes are wildly different. Paint the walls pink, put up your pictures of Audrey Hepburn or Paris or, like me, fill it with little collectables and trinkets associated with Kate Middleton.
Even if you can’t create a full room wardrobe like mine, you could probably use a little extra space. You could look at adding a portable rack or two, or some shoe racks to your existing bedroom where you can have a few of your favourite things out on display.
If you are a regular follower of mine, you will be aware that I am a big supporter of the Duchess of Cambridge. I love her fashion, regularly purchase some wonderful British products that she has been associated with, such as Emma Bridgewater and Jo Malone, that I would not have heard of without her association and I like to think that I support her causes and work. Of course, I have heard of the Heads Together campaign, when the surprise video came out announcing that it was this year’s partnership charity with the London marathon I watched it, I loved the informality of the video and rushed to the J Crew website to buy my own breton sweater as Kate had worn in it. I knew the campaign had something to do with mental health. For the next twelve months, I eagerly awaited each appearance associated with the campaign by the Royals. However, it was not until well after the marathon had actually commenced that I had a real understanding of what the campaign was actually about. For today’s post, I am going to be taking a much closer look at the campaign and share my own personal #itsoktosay
Whilst I have come a bit late to party on this important campaign, the hard work that William, Kate and Harry have done in promoting the cause for the last year will be wasted if we all move onto the next issue and stopped having the conversation!
The Heads Together Campaign is the biggest project that Kate has tackled so far. She has spent the last year, along with Princes William and Harry spearheading the campaign to end the stigma surrounding mental health. The campaign brought together key charities from the trios work in areas such as homelessness, veterans and addiction, such as place2be, the Anna Freud center and contact.
The aim of the campaign was to change the national conversation on mental health and well being so we could all feel confident speaking up if we had any issues, without the fear of being stigmatised by admitting we had problems. Through a video made for the campaign and William and Kate’s recent radio interview with BBC1, we have had an unusually personal glimpse into the lives of Royals with Kate admitting she had a difficult time adjusting after the birth of Prince George and William and Harry opening up about the death of their mother, Princess Diana and how, despite the close relationship between the two, they did not talk to each other or support each other enough.
The #itsoktosay was created as a way for people to join in on the conversation surrounding mental health, by either sharing the videos and press releases from the Heads Together campaign or by encouraging their friends to reach out if they had issues or to use it reach out to others with their own issues when they weren’t sure how to start the conversation.
Which brings me to an important issue I would like to discuss which is online bullying. I don’t think there has been any replikater who has posted pictures of themselves in a replikate outfit who at one time or the other has not been targeted by trolls who want to criticise the person’s weight, their lack of own personal style or chastise them for what they see as a frivolous use of money.
At least twice a week I find myself targeted by online trolls who want to tell me I’m fat or would need to spend a million dollars on plastic surgery to come close to looking like Kate. Even the back handed compliment has come up a few times such as ‘you could be so pretty if you lost weight so why don’t you’. For the record, I know that I am overweight and should lose weight for health reasons, I have a long history of unhealthy yo yo dieting. I also don’t believe I look like Kate but I am highly influenced by her style and wearing an outfit, whether inspired by or directly copied from her gives me a confidence boost and makes me feel special and pretty so what’s the harm in that? I have turned down multiple online media opportunities in the past as I know the criticism will be mainly around my weight. I think its sad that I have let these online bullies influence my decisions in this way for what should be happy and exciting moments.
Whilst I am sure there are people who will feel that I have brought this criticism onto myself by posting a picture of myself side by side with Kate, it is the only way that a lot of us can reach out to find other replikaters or people who share our greater Royal obsession as I can’t think of many who have family and friends outside of the online community who support, encourage and understand our obsessions. Posting our replikates is a way to connect with others so we don’t feel alone, another important aspect in promoting good mental health.
I have also been criticised by one of the major Kate accounts for deleting derogatory comments and blocking the people who leave them. If someone came to your front door right now and started to call you fat or make other derogatory comments, what would you do? You wouldn’t invite them into your home, you would ask them to leave and if they didn’t you’d most likely feel threatened enough that you would call the police. Online bullying is such a problem as there is no escape from it, you essentially invite every bully into your home, your own private space, so I don’t feel there is any harm with deleting or blocking the people who are leaving personal and degrading comments. If you find yourself the target, you don’t want to constantly be seeing the degrading comment or giving that person the opportunity to come back and try to make you feel bad about yourself again so we should all encourage and support each other to block the culprits and even report people for their online bullying behavior.
The bullying has at times been so bad that I have considered shutting down both my blog and Instagram accounts and more than once I have been upset enough that I have stress eaten excessive amounts of sugar, which isn’t helping the weight issue the trolls take so much pleasure in pointing out that I need to do something about but on the flip side I have meet some great women who support and encourage each and inspire me to be completely myself. I would hate to think I wouldn’t be there to encourage or support a new Replikater who was going through the same issues as I had let the trolls intimidate me into shutting down my accounts or making them private. Please remember if you do find yourself a target in the future, the bullying says a lot more about the person making the comment then it does about you.
I have found this post quite difficult to write and I hope that by sharing the experience I have encouraged those going through similar issues to speak out and stand up for themselves and to start their own #itsoktosay conversation
Remember back in July last year when Kate attended the art fund museum of the year awards at the Natural history museum in London. She stepped out looking stunning in her debut dress from designer Barbara Casasola, a stretch jersey off the shoulder figure hugging number called the tribal dress.