Monday, August 20, 2012

Girls’ Weekend in Birmingham





LTS navy dot flats

I had Friday off work and drove down to meet my friend S just outside Birmingham for a girls’ weekend away. We arrived around 1pm and headed out to Walsall for the afternoon as the hotel wasn’t far from there. I wasn’t sure what to expect, having never been to Walsall (though I did stay in Great Wyrley once), but there was a large market that we had a wander around and plenty of shops. We had a cup of tea in a cafe in the shopping centre then headed back to the hotel. We’d spotted an Ember Inn just down the road from the hotel so we walked down there for some tea. Knowing we had an early start the following day we went back to the hotel and watched The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas on TV and had an early-ish night.


I got this top for £5 on eBay a few months back, BNWT, and it has been languishing in my wardrobe ever since, waiting for an opportunity to be worn. I decided I would wear it on Friday as it is a bit smarter and more interesting than an ordinary cotton tank and I really like the idea of dressing up a bit more for daytime. To go out in the evening I just switched to a pair of nude heels (that I didn’t get a picture of at all all weekend).
Navy cardi – Next Tall
Blue/grey top – New Look Tall (eBay)
Jeans – Armani (David Jones, Sydney)
Navy and white spot flats – Long Tall Sally (gifted)
Blue heart necklace – Scope
Tan leather belt – River Island

Total Est. Cost £100



Saturday morning we were up bright and early, breakfasted in the hotel then headed into Birmingham city centre. We parked up in the Bull Ring and spent many happy hours shopping the sale racks of the department stores, the Long Tall Sally concession in House of Fraser and TK Maxx. S seemed to have a knack for finding £100+ dresses reduced to £30, and I got some bits in LTS including, for the first time in my life, a fleece that actually fits me.


We were booked in for afternoon tea at the Hyatt Regency at 3.30pm so we made our way over there mid-afternoon and were very grateful to be in air conditioned comfort for a while – the weather in the Midlands over the weekend was glorious. Various websites I had read said it was essential to book, but as there was us and another two ladies in there I think you would be OK to turn up on spec. I can highly recommend the afternoon tea – it’s a bit pricey but the setting is splendid and I was treating S (belatedly) for her birthday so it was well worth it. The service was impeccable and we were offered two refills of our tea pots and the waiter obligingly took our photo without us having to ask.



We spent about and hour and a half in the Hyatt then walked across to have a look in the Mailbox. Harvey Nichols is there, along with LK Bennett and Jaeger but many of the units are empty giving it a bit of a sad feel. However, there is building work going on around New Street Station which should help to link the Mailbox to the rest of the city centre once it is finished. Saturday evening we chilled out at the hotel for a while, having eaten late in the afternoon we weren’t particularly hungry. Around 8pm we went to the Harvester that was attached to the hotel and had some food. I was glad I wore a dress as it was hot out all day, even though the sun didn’t put in an appearance until the afternoon. It was the perfect outfit for shopping and afternoon tea-ing.

Navy dress – Next
White tank – Zara
Navy and white spot flats – Long Tall Sally (gifted)
Silver hoops – gifted Blue bead bracelet – gifted
Brown wood bangles – gifted
Brown metal bangles – Dorothy Perkins
Blue heart necklace – Scope
Tan leather belt – River Island

Total Est. Cost £56



Sunday morning we were rudely awoken at 2am by banging on the door opposite ours. When we looked through the spy hole to see what was happening there were two police officers in the corridor. I have no idea what was going on but with the banging and then talking and doors being open and shut we were awake for half an hour which didn’t make for a good night’s sleep.



However, we got up in good time and headed to Leamington Spa for the day. It’s not somewhere either of us had been before but we will definitely go back. It is much bigger than I’d thought it would be with some lovely old buildings and beautiful flowers everywhere. There may have been a little more sale shopping (S, not me –she was still on a roll with those dresses!) and we stopped for lunch in a little cafe/deli called Ardens. We went back to the hotel then went our separate ways after a fabulous weekend.


Further embracing the idea of wearing smarter, more interesting tops in the daytime, I wore one of my sale bargains (seriously, check out the Debenhams sale – there are multiple markdowns on things now) on Sunday. It was lovely and sunny in Leamington Spa and I could have done with having worn my dress again, or at least a paler wash of denim. But we enjoyed the sunshine.

Navy top – John Rocha (Debenhams)
Jeans – Armani (David Jones, Sydney)
Navy and white spot flats – Long Tall Sally (gifted)
Blue heart necklace – Scope
Silver hoops – gifted
Blue bead bracelet – gifted
Brown wood bangles – gifted
Brown metal bangles – Dorothy Perkins
Tan leather belt – River Island

Total Est. Cost £105

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