Temple Cycles hand make bicycles in Bristol, Southwest England. The company was founded by (a very cool guy) Matt - who after running a small vintage bicycle restoration business while studying Mechanical Engineering at University started designing his own, and this later evolved into Temple Cycles.

I had been looking for a bicycle for a while when I discovered Temple Cycles. It was important to me to get a bike I really loved, enjoyed riding and that looked great. I have had bikes in the past that i've not liked and it has taken the enjoyment out of cycling.

My husband and I went to meet Matt and visit Temple's workshop just outside Bristol so I could test ride some bikes and immediately I was in love!

The bikes are made from a lightweight and durable steel frame and are painted with a highly durable coating which protects them and gives them the unique pastel colours. I went for a cream coloured frame but they are also available in pale grey, mint green and dark blue - you can also get one custom painted to order (yes I nearly got a pink one). 

They come with a Brooks leather saddle which is super comfortable, I also went for the bamboo mud-guards and a wicker basket and a very satisfyingly copper dinning bell. I also opted for the leather carrying handle that fixes to the bottom of the frame - this is such a great idea and design and really works well.

Another important thing for me to was to get a good looking, comfortable helmet to match the bike. I went for a Dashel Cycle helmet - which is a company that was founded by an ex-colleague of mine. They also manufacture in England using premium, sustainable materials. There is a massive lack of good looking cycling helmets on the market so I was really pleased to discover them.

I really (really) love this bike. It is a joy to ride and is a privilege to be able to be able to support such an authentic, exciting British brand.


My family and I have just spent the most amazing August Bank Holiday weekend in the Cotswolds.  We stayed in a beautiful peaceful cottage at night, but spent the days dancing and eating at The Big Feastival - which turned out to be the perfect combination.

I have been to a fair few festivals in my life but usually camp or stay on site - this was the first time that i've stayed in a house and it was great.

The obvious benefits are that you get to sleep in an actual bed and have an actual bathroom, but what I didn't consider were the little things - a full length mirror, a hair dryer, being able to make my own morning coffee!

The other thing that surprised me was the ease of it. At first I was worried that it could feel a bit disjointed travelling to and from the festival but it was so easy, plus the surrounding countryside was stunning so it was great to be able to enjoy the views and scenery.  

I was also impressed by the ease of the whole process, especially the booking (location based search) and the checking in (you simply retrieved the front door key from a coded lock box by the front door and let yourself in). There were detailed instructions and local information in a file in the cottage - that was conveniently located right next door to an excellent pub.

Greystone Cottage (where we stayed) has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room and a sitting room with 2 very comfortable (especially after a day's festival-ling) sofas. There is also a very pretty garden complete with BBQ and garden furniture and the parking was right outside the front door.  It was perfect and we were very reluctant to leave.

The cottage is listed on booking.com who have over a million places to stay around the world - suitable for everything from holidays, weddings to festivals. You can search for accommodation using addresses, postcodes or towns which makes it so easy to find the most suitable locations.

We had the perfect weekend and will defiantely be doing this again.

This post was kinding sponsored by Booking.com - and it is the perfect sponsored post because it is something we would defiantely do as a family anyway. Thanks Booking.com


BOOK REVIEW: The Awkward age by Francesca Segal

The Awkward age by Francesca Segal

Did you know that it’s scientifically proven that in teenagers, the hormone that encourages sleep, melatonin, isn’t released until late in the evening and continues being released in the morning, meaning they can’t help but go to bed late and wake up late? I didn’t. But I wish I had known, in fact I wish my parents had known, because it probably would have made that particular stage of my life a little more pleasant.

James and Julia however, do seem to know, both seeming to have the ‘being parents to teenagers’ thing licked at the beginning (only at the beginning mind) of The Awkward Age, a novel about trying to do whats right for you as an adult but also your beloved offspring - and realising that often, it can’t be one and the same thing.

Julia is a widow, her husband leaving her and their heartbroken daughter Gwen living in the family home and with close ties to his parents. Julia falls in love with James, the American divorcee doctor with two kids, one of whom, Nathan, is still young enough to have to live at home when not at boarding school. Gwen and Nathan hate each other. This makes James and Julia sad and they decide to go on holiday together to try and make it all better. Instead, they unleash hell and everything goes to shit.

What follows is a funny, beautifully written story of an unusual family, detailing how far removed teenagers are from being the child they once were and from being the adult they will become.

Throughout the book, the close relationship that Julia and Gwen have at the beginning is torn to shreds which I found a little heartbreaking - Gwen starts to think that her mum doesn’t love her and I think that at some points Julia’s devotion to Gwen is sorely tested. I thought that as a mother, I’d be completely on Julia’s side, but in fact the writing is so precise and engaging, I found myself remembering being a teenager and really sympathising with Gwen’s bloody mindedness.

As a parent to young kids, it’s fairly easy to love them 90% of the time (don’t call social services, I challenge anyone to feel deep love at 4am when you’ve been woken up 5 times beforehand because the cuddly toy they can’t find is on the floor by the bed - again).

However, when my beautiful young children turn into sulky, hormonal teenagers, is it going to be a challenge to even like them 90% of the time? Anyone else hear ‘I love you but I don’t like you’ fairly regularly throughout their teenage years? I certainly did, but that’s ok, because sometimes, I wasn’t very likeable. What this book has reminded me of though, is that being a teenager is bloody hard, but with lots of understanding, love and patience, once they come out of the other side, you’ll be left with an adult who also understands how hard you’ve tried. And please remember about the melatonin, it could save everyone a lot of grief.

Book review by Hannah @alondonviewofbooks

BOOK REVIEW: Help your kids with growing up by Robert Winston

My 9 year old is hilariously easy to embarrass. I only have to say the word S. E. X (even in the context of Middlesex, seriously) and he goes the most beautiful pink colour whilst scrambling to get out of earshot. I have sat down with him and gone through the very basics of the facts of life, but he couldn’t cope with much and frankly, I’m in no rush for him to know all the details - I guess that soon enough that’s all he’ll be thinking / talking about. But the good old Clare Rayner book that I bought to assist with that conversation is a little dated and although very factual and not too complicated, doesn’t really cover all the issues that kids these days need to know.

The same cannot be said about this book, which the nice Robert Winston with the big mustache has written, alongside other worthy contributors including child psychologists, mental health nurses and professors in sexuality education (no, i didn’t know that was a thing either).

This book literally covers EVERYTHING. Literally - from studying abroad to armpits, dandruff to halitosis, household chores to safer sex - it’s all in here. It’s format is simple, there are chapters and within the chapters are more detailed sections. There are diagrams and pictures, little boxes with side points. It’s this that makes it so useful - a lot of the info is for older kids (it’s meant to cater for kids aged 9 - 18) but as the chapters have been broken down into different sections, you can ensure that your kid only sees the bits that are relevant (unless you let them loose on it, which I wouldn’t recommend for anyone younger than 15/16).

In a year or so, I’ll be able to sit down with my kid and talk him through the healthy body section (maybe he’ll start actually washing in the shower rather than just making a godawful mess). The healthy mind section will be useful too, to engage him in chats about positive mental health from a young age, and covering confidence and self esteem and resilience and stress as he makes the transition from primary to secondary education. There’s a great chapter on School life, with homework tips and of course the all important Digital life chapter, all about staying safe on the internet, and how to use social media effectively. There is also, obviously, everything you need them to know about sex and reproduction, all in glorious technicolour - I honestly found a lot of it really informative, and although I knew most things (but not all!) it’s really helpful to have the facts laid out in such a clear and direct way.

I genuinely think this book will give me the confidence to tackle issues which I feel important to have a dialogue with my kids about - as with all things in life, I feel more confident with a book in my hand and as a reference resource for me and them, this will go a long way toward being able to broach certain subjects, secure in the knowledge that I’m giving them the right information.  

In many ways this is the modern day Clare Rayner book, dependable, sensible, not too worthy and above all, hugely informative. For parents of kids aged nine upwards, I would say this is a must have.

Review by Hannah @alondonviewofbooks


I’ve been married for 7 or 8 years now (both my husband and I regularly forget exactly how long it has been and have to be reminded by friends and family - I count that in our favour for relationship compatibility) and it still never ceases to amaze me how male he is. For instance, when I say things like, ‘y’know I just felt that, well, it was a bit weird, y’know?’, he genuinely doesn’t know what I’m talking about and really needs me to clarify, whereas a female friend will say ‘oh I know, totally agree, it was weird’. And she means it.

Men also guage relationships differently (mainly by how much sex they're having) while we, as women, are much more emotionally intuitive (obviously I’m generalising but I think that’s mainly fact) and what Standard Deviation does so brilliantly is actually lead the reader through the workings of a man's thought process and highlights the differences in how a man (in this case Graham) and a woman (his 2nd wife Aura) think.

The story follows Graham through a small mid life crisis and explores the way he parents his autistic son whilst also trying to figure out Aura, who is a dynamo of a woman, whichever way you look at it. Graham is actually a really lovely husband and father. He’s also a bit of a dick, but not in a mean way - more in a ‘how did this actually happen to me?’ way, so he remains likeable.

Alongside the story of their relationship, this is also a brilliantly funny insight into the challenges and rewards that having a child with special needs can provide. It’s set in New York and the family and their numerous associates feel very American (funnily enough) and sometimes they feel like caricatures of themselves, but actually I think it’s just that they are American and therefore do things differently to the British.

The main crux of the story is how a man and a woman, who are in an imperfect marriage (ie the only kind), come at life from completely different angles and sometimes, just sometimes, end up in the same place.

It’s a good, meaty read, with an outcome which I found strangely satisfactory. Being in an imperfect marriage myself, this story helped me remember that although men do think differently to us, and although loving and being loved is amazing, it doesn’t always guarantee a happily ever after - it is however, a bloody good place to start.  

This book review was written by Hannah @alondonviewofbooks


I am very pleased to introduce the first in a new series of Book Reviews.  The reviews will be written by the amazing Hannah de Lasti who already has a popular Book Blog: A London View of Books and who is the fastest reader in town.

Hannah will be regularly reading and reviewing and helping you choose your next book. If you are an author or have any suggestions of books you think should be featured in the DLAM Book Review Series then please email Hannah on: info@dresslikeamum.com. And if you have feedback on the books we feature please feel free to add your comments in the box at the end of the post. Thanks Zoë X


This is obviously an ‘interesting’ time for the NHS. The amazing service they provide to us on a daily basis in London alone, coupled with the pressure they've been under very recently from the terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster, means that my admiration and gratitude for all of its staff has never been greater. So reading a first hand account of the daily grind, straight from the horse's mouth, felt really appropriate.

Adam Kay kept this diary throughout his journey as a junior doctor, outlining the pitfalls of each stage and attempting to document the reality of the task in hand. He has had to go through the diary with a lawyer to ensure that nothing is too liable (although I think I’d prefer not to know about some of the things doctors get up to between shifts) but that doesn’t detract from the genuine feel of the book.  

If you want a one line summary it's this: It is an absolute travesty that these people, who train so hard to do a job which benefits us, are so badly treated by our government.

But before you think that the whole thing is an ongoing moan about the terrible conditions that our doctors and nurses have to work in, it really isn’t. I mean, it is, but it’s also one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time and made me laugh out loud and interrupt my husband so I could read him excerpts (which he asked me to stop doing as he wants to read it next seeing what a great time it gave me).

There are some real gems (why would anyone put a toilet brush up their arse?!), heartwarming stories of success over adversity and insights into the real and scary stupidity of some (only some) individuals. He marvels at humanity on a daily basis, not just the patients, but also his work colleagues, the good, the bad and the downright ugly. On a personal note, I found the bits about Obstetrics and Gynecology (in which he specialised) fascinating and terrifying in equal measure, and I think I’m quite pleased I didn’t read it whilst pregnant (maybe a word of warning there for anyone who is).

Mainly the diary explores why doctors stay doctors - after all, some of them aren’t very good, while others obviously find the whole thing really stressful. And eventually Adam answers the question himself, making a decision which although shocking, is entirely understandable.

We all know that doctors work long hours and we all think we can imagine the things they have to do, but this diary that Adam has brought to life in book form, really drives it home. If it wasn’t funny, it would be tragic and it’s his irrepressible & almost entirely black humour which makes this read a memorable one.


By Ben @cooklikeadad (my husband!)

We've been to some cool places recently, so I thought you'd like to see some behind the scenes tips, tricks and holiday hacks for traveling with a family. Before I start, I was asking myself does the internet need another family travel blog? Answer's probably not, but I think we have got pretty good at this family travel thing, so I want to keep these really brief, informative and to the point. So here we go...

Amsterdam was not the first city that came to mind when traveling with the family, but any memories of my teenage 'interrailing' days were quickly replaced by a beautiful, quirky and family friendly city. My mission was to put the kids in a cargo bike to explore the city's parks, districts and museums.


If you’re a confident cyclist, go for a traditional cargo bike, with a wooden front to them where the kids can sit. The advantage of these over the back child seats is that you can have two kids sitting together facing forward. You can see them, they can see out and it's generally a far more fun experience. If you're less confident at cycling you might want to consider the three-wheel version.


It's worth saying that not all bike shops in Amsterdam are the same. Check the reviews on Google, TripAdviser or other trusted source. Amsterdam is famous for its bike riding, which means there are going to be people profiting from tourists who are easy pickings. I failed on this front and was left renting a bike with handlebars too low to clear the kid’s heads. (I opted for a forearm across the bar to protect them, but both got the odd clout to the head). Likewise, Zoë's bike had seen better days. Black Bikes seemed like a better outfit, so they'd get my recommendation. 


As I said, Zoë and I are terrible at directions (Zoë denies this with the confidence normally reserved for five star generals marching troops into battle). My solution was to use my Bluetooth headphones, combined with Google Maps voice prompts. This allowed a hands-free, in ear direction guidance, meaning we flew around the city like locals. Well almost, there were the odd wrong turn and back track, but it felt far safer and more sensible than riding while trying to read a map off you phone.

Having a bike clip for your phone would also have been another good idea, which I’ll bring for the next family bike trip.


DAY ONE: We flew in and dumped the bags off and headed straight out to the NDSM area of Amsterdam. This former disused dock yard has been transformed into a hipster playground, with its own beach, hotel in a crane and other cool bars and cafes. Great views over the bay and lots of decaying/reborn industrial heritage to check out. Easy bike ride to one of the free ferries taking you to the NDSM. Once there, you're free to cycle round and explore with few cars to bother you.

Photos taken using an original Polaroid camera

DAY TWO: Vondalpark was a 1.8km ride away, where we cruzed around the park seeing the beautiful gardens and cafes, then stopping for a paddle in a kids bathing area. After this, back on the bikes and across town to the Horus Botanicus (botanical gardens), with its spectacular café serving exceptionally nice salads, butterfly houses and picturesque gardens for the kids to explore.


DAY THREE: Artis Zoo, is a reasonably sized, but very nicely laid out Zoo in the centre of the city. We rushed it in about an hour and a half, but really you should be spending the day there. By this point we were riding like the Tour De France peloton and felt confident to dash back to drop bike off and get our taxi to the airport.


OTHER OPTIONS: We could have had at least another two days in the city as there are so many other places to explore. The NEMO Science Museum looks like a great option for the 6 years plus age group.

·         WHERE TO STAY

The Pulitzer Hotel is based in the fully gentrified Jordaan district of Amsterdam. The Hotel encompasses a number of sixteenth century town houses in a street block, with a fascinating higgledy-piggledy maze of stunning rooms and courtyards. It had that balance of beauty, function and play that is so hard to get from a hotel experience.

Giving us some variation from the bikes, we went on the Pulitzer boat tour. They have their own canal boat, which is so far removed from the tourist cattle trucks, it’s hard to even compare the two experiences. Zoë and I had a glass of Chablis, while the lively Captain entertained us with stories of Winston Churchill being taken around the canals on this very boat after the liberation of the city.

We ate at their restaurant the Jansz the first evening there. The menu was unpretentious, but with enough flare to feel both homely and high end. Even if you’re not staying there, just go for breakfast to get the scrambled eggs on brioche with avocado and truffle oil. Perfect start for a hard day cycling the kids around town. 

According to Zoë the shops around the Pulitzer Hotel are also excellent.

Pulitzer Amsterdam offers a Family Programme for those travelling with children which includes children’s programming, natural skincare amenities for babies and personalised surprises and activity books for toddlers and kids. Lead-in rates for a family of four start at £410.



Since hitting my mid-thirties I have started to take better care of my body because I have noticed that it doesn't seem to recover so well as it used to and needs a bit more care and attention. I don't mind looking my age because there is nothing I can do about that - I am my age, but I would like to look the best version of myself at my age - if that make sense.

Throughout my life I have dabbled in the world of supplements and vitamins but have never taken one religiously. The reason I haven't committed I think is that I either forget to take or that i've never seen a direct effect from and so ended up stopping.  However a few months ago I started taking Lumity and i'm now committed - I love it.

Lumity is basically a anti-ageing, beauty and well-being supplement. It is good for healthy skin, hair, nails and teeth, inner and outer vitality, brain health, bones, joints, muscles and your immune system. (What else could you need?)

You take 3 brown coloured capsules in the morning and 3 white one before bed. The capsules contain a mixture of Vitamins, Omega 3, Vita and Renew Complex and Minerals, that work with what your body needs during the day and night.

The ingredients in the morning capsules are specifically formulated for daytime health. They support your brain, skin, hair and nails and your immune system. They also contain nutrients to assist with joint, muscle and bone health.

The white (night time) capsules are high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids and contain Amino acids to help maintain the elasticity of your skin.

I keep my morning Lumity in the cupboard with my tea bags and my night time capsules in my bathroom cupboard and haven't once forgotten to take them. 

Since taking Lumity I have found that I sleep better, my skin feels great and overall I feel healthier. So if you are looking for a supplement that pretty much does everything you need it to then I would definitely recommend Lumity. 

This post was kindly sponsored by Lumity. All thoughts and opinions are entirely me my own and I was a fan of Lumity before I wrote this post.




To celebrate the upcoming release of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, HomeAway are running an amazing competition to win a holiday for you and 20 guests to Duns Castle. Plus, five runners-up could win a HomeAway® holiday. I have already mentally prepared my invite list!

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I have just got back from a brilliant weekend in Lisbon where I stayed in a HomeAway apartment. I went with a couple of girlfriends and had a brilliant time.

Lisbon had been on my wish list as somewhere to go for ages and it didn't disappoint. The people were friendly, the bars and cafes lively, the architecture stunning and the shopping was great too. 

Vintage shops / Breakfast with a view / Markets selling Cork products

We stayed in a beautiful apartment that we rented from HomeAway and it was perfect. It had 2 bedrooms (1 twin, 1 double), 2 bathrooms (with gold taps), a fully equipped kitchen (with a washing and coffee machine - the most important things in a kitchen!), a sitting room (with TV), dining area and loads of storage - all to ourselves.  

The owner was so welcoming and organised - he sorted airport transfers for us, adviced us on places to go and things to see - nothing seemed too much trouble. The apartment was so centrally located and we were able to walk everywhere and were even able to pop back during the day to collect something we forgot. 

I have stayed a few times in HomeAway properties and they have all been great. We have rented a large house in Formentera with my entire my family, an apartment with an amazing roof top in Malta when my son was a baby and a flat in London during London Fashion Week. And we have never had a bad experience.

HomeAway have over 2 million places around the world so if you are looking for a place to stay then make sure you check them out.

More information and how to enter the competition to win the enchanting getaway in a castle for you and 20 friends or family go here.

This post and stay was kindly sponsored by HomeAway all thoughts, opinions, photos are entirely my own. 





Mumdays is a gifting business designed for Mums who deserve a bit of a treat (which is all mums obviously).  Founded by mother of twins Ursula, who set out to make mothers feel special by giving them a bit of 'me time.'

Mumdays do stunning, practical gift boxes that include everything from flowers, to cleaning services, to beauty treatments - all of which have been carefully curated and selected with the mum in mind. 

I was lucky enough to receive a Mumdays gift box and loved it - mine included a manicure, pedicure and flowers and made me very happy!

Here is some more information on the company and how it came about:


DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: Launched December 2016

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Ursula Brunetti, Channel Mum Vlogger and Mum of twins

WHY WAS IT CREATED:  I created Mumdays with a simple mission in mind – to make mums feel special. Becoming a first time mum of twins was such a huge adjustment for me (I’m still reeling from the shock of that first ultrasound!). One of the things I struggled most with was the fact that you no longer have any time for yourself. This inspired me to create a gifting company that offers mums exactly that – experiences and crucially, quality me-TIME that is just for them.

When it comes to mum gifts, we’re often faced with generic tat that no one really wants. I realised customers needed someone to make it easy for them to get it right with thoughtful gifts for mums.

Most of all, mums crave some quality me time (and some appreciation for all that they do). And it’s the least they deserve. As mums we’re so used to putting everyone first that I felt there needed to be a company putting mums first instead. And so Mumdays was born!

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Mumdays is a brand that comes from the heart and is born from that feeling every mum has of finding it all too much. Mumdays are for that mum. The mum that every so often misses a piece of the well put together (and slightly more sane) version of herself that she used to be. It’s for the mum that loves her children fiercely but doesn’t know if she is getting it right. The mum that is exhausted or lonely and juggling a thousand balls but none of them have her name on them. It’s for that mum. It’s for all mums.

I’m also proud that all Mumdays are 100% mum approved! At Mumdays we make buying thoughtful gifts easy, because all our partners are carefully handpicked and tested by our panel of influential mums, to ensure that every Mumday has the desired effect of making her feel like a real life VIP.

We blend experiences together from different partners like Le Salon, Hassle, Urban Massage and Bloom & Wild to offer practical and pampering gift solutions that are thoughtfully presented in our signature pink gift packs.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: I’m particularly proud of our Combination gifts http://mumdays.co.uk/product-categories/combinations/ which blend gift experiences from different partners in combinations you can’t find anywhere else. Our Boost & Bloom http://mumdays.co.uk/product/boost-and-bloom gift combines gorgeous letterbox flowers from Bloom & Wild with an at-home massage from Urban Massage for an indulgent pick me up.

Or our New Mum Indulgence gift http://mumdays.co.uk/product/new-mum-indulgence-package is perfect for new mums or mums to be. It includes flowers, an at home massage, domestic cleaning and even laundry collection services, all focused on making life easier with pampering and practical services – the things that make a difference to your wellbeing as a new mum.

Or you could buy one of our Moments http://mumdays.co.uk/product-categories/mumdays-moments/ which are stand alone experiences for a small gift or treat to self.

I really believe happy mums make for happy children. I think every mum deserves a mumday (and not just for Mother’s Day either!).


Everyone knows going to the dentist is important but it is often something that is put off or forgotten about. We are surrounded by messages encouraging us to eat well, be healthy and stay fit but no one really emphasises the importance of looking after our teeth.

A few weeks ago I took my son to the dentist, he is 4 (and a half) years old, it was his second time to the dentist and he loved it! I don't mind going to the dentist (that much) but I know a lot of people are terrified of it. And it is a fear that we, as parents could easily project onto our children and the fear of the dentist cycle will continue.

My son and I visited Dawood and Tanner  in London and it was great - Dr Saul the dentist made my son (and me) feel really relaxed - he explained exactly what he was going to do, he let my son press the buttons on the chair and look into his own mouth using a special little mirror. He managed to make the whole process fun, interesting and a positive, enjoyable experience.

Since our appointment my son is much more conscientious with his teeth brushing and my daughter after hearing about her brother going is now desperate to go and have her own appointment.  

So the moral of this blog post is to take your kids (and you) to the dentist more often, it is something that they will thank you for later on in life.

If you are looking for an excellent dentist then we can highly recommend Dawood and Tanner (and ask for Dr Saul).





  • The name "tulip" originates from the Turkish language, where this plant represents national flower. Tulip in Turkish means "turbin" because this flower has the similar shape like unique-looking Turkish hat
  • Even though certain parts of tulips are toxic, petals have been used as food during the Second World War.


When you are a parent I'd say it is safe to assume that you go out less at night than you did pre-kids (based on my experience anyway). So when you do make it out you want it to be good and you want to make the most of it.

With Valentine's Day fast approaching my husband and I decided to go out on a 'date night' where we went for dinner together then on to the theater to see Aladdin The Musical and it was brilliant.

Disney's Aladdin has been on in London for just under a year and I don't know how you could not like it. It is full of energy, music and sparkly things and I left feeling full of joy!

The singing, choreography and music is fantastic and I watched a few grown men (including my husband) bopping in their seats. Every single one of the cast is incredibly talented and one thing I didn't expect was that the script is very funny, there are so many good one-liners in it - the Genie especially is brilliant.

The set is incredible and changes continuously. We were lucky enough to have a backstage tour after the show and I was amazed to see the complexities and mechanics of it all. We found out how they created some of the illusions and special effects (that I will not ruin for you) and saw the areas where the cast have to change in seconds. There is so much that goes on backstage with about 100 people working there every performance.

Being a colourful fashion (and fancy dress) lover I really, really enjoyed the costumes. There are over 350 of them and the attention to detail and craftsmanship on them all is incredible. There are also so many different hats, turbans and headdresses in every scene and despite all the energetic movement they all manage to stay on the actor's heads!

The Prince Edward Theatre is in the centre of Soho so we went for a pre-theatre dinner on Old Compton Street.  It felt pretty liberating to be out-out and kid-free for the evening.

Both my husband and I really enjoyed ourselves and loved the nostalgic element of watching the classic Aladdin Disney story that we grew up with as grown ups - it was a whole new world and an excellent Valentine's Day date night.

This post created in assosiation Disney - but when they offered it to me I jumped at the chance because it is something I genuinely wanted to see and do. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.




FLOWER FACTS: The Chrysanthemum


  • The Chrysanthemum flower symbolizes fidelity, optimism, joy and long life
  • The name Chrysanthemum comes from the Greek word 'Chrys' meaning golden (the color of the original flowers), and 'anthemon', meaning flower.

*facts & photo from @flowerbx who delivered the most stunning white roses ever today. 


Cala Lillies

  • Though called a lily, Calla lilies are not really lilies.
  • The word Calla comes from the Greek term for beautiful.
  • The Calla lily roots are poisonous.


The Step Up Club's mission is to empower and engage women in conversations around their careers and provide invaluable advice on how you can achieve your own personal career success.

The Step Up Club host events, consults with brands and businesses, sends incredibly useful and informative fortnightly newsletters (sign up here) and they have recently launched a book.

I have been fortunate to meet the founders Alice and Phanella a few times and absolutely love what they do. They exude a confidence and complete belief and knowledge in what they are doing and so they should - plus they always have such great outfits on too! I would highly recommend reading their book and if you can to attend one of their events.

Here is some more info from these excellent ladies: 



BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Alice Olins, Fashion Features Director at Red Magazine and Phanella Mayall Fine, an executive career coach.

WHY WAS IT CREATED: Because we want to take the conversation around careers out of the boardroom and engage all women. Whatever your job or profession, Step Up celebrates what your career and helps you find your own brand of success. We want to make the chat around women's careers as glossy and widespread as the ones around wellness, fashion and food.

Alice and Phanella sit at opposite ends of the creative/corporate career spectrum and this makes Step Up unique. We inspire and support other women through our monthly events (that we make sure are always in stylish locations - no need for flip charts when Step Up is involved!) and our recently published book, Step Up: Confidence, Success and your Stellar Career in 10 Minutes a Day (Random House).  It’s a new style career manual that blends practical, well-founded advice with our unique 10 minute career workouts, plus the stories of so many amazing and successful women, from Bobbi Brown, via Kirsty Young to Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley, Yvette Cooper MP and the late Zaha Hadid.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: That it's youthful, fun, stylish, supportive and modern. Oh, and ridiculously helpful too. We know that one size really does not fit all when it comes to careers. We work with brands such as Kikki.K, Karen Millen, D&D restaurants, Desmond and Dempsey, Belvedere vodka and the Hoxton hotel group to help spread the Step Up message.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: Our Book! Plus, we want as many women as possible to sign up to our free newsletter for fortnightly career advice (and some fashion tips!), plus first dibs on tickets to our events that combine brilliant female speakers with our trademark 10 Minute Career Workouts.