Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

Friday, 29 July 2011

A gorgeous holiday escape...

We love to recommend places for you to stay - tried and tested by one of us, so you know it will be just lovely.

After a recent break in Dorset we are delighted to tell you about a cottage on one of the most photographed streets in the UK. Gold Hill in Shaftesbury is famous for the Hovis bread TV advert of the little boy pushing his bicycle up the steep, cobbled hill.

Updown Cottage was found on Alastair Sawday's invaluable website, and is every bit as special as promised. Comfy beds, crisp white sheets and fluffy towels, squashy velvet and tweed sofas, a log-burner for colder nights, a beautiful terraced garden (for breakfast coffee and evening G&Ts) and even a baby grand piano!

The local area offers tons to do for any age - Lulworth Cove for fossil hunting and swimming, Durdle Door for breathtaking scenery and walking, Stonehenge for a must-see experience, Punch and Judy and ice creams in Weymouth, the huge cathedral with modern art installations in Salisbury and idyllic views at Stourhead are just a few of the highlights within driving distance.

Shaftesbury itself is a quiet market town with an eclectic selection of shops and eating places. Great delis and shops for one-off gifts and crafts, and a treasure trove of gorgeous clothes and things found at Six the Commons, just look at these irresistible dog clocks! Mine's the spaniel please!

Take a look at Updown's website here.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Gorgeous on Wednesday... crafts for the holidays

What better time than the long summer break to sit down with your girls and learn something new?

Crochet is my new must-learn craft, to start making flower corsages and accessories... these books are simply inspirational:

100 Flowers to knit and crochet

75 birds, butterflies & beasties...

Kids learn to Crochet

 And if you fancy trying your hand at knitting - take a look at this book, the pictures were shot by ilovegorgeous's favourite photographer Christina Wilson... Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Knitting. Jane's blog is inspirational, take a look to discover some gorgeous images, links and crafty ideas.

Have a go - send us your pictures via our Facebook page or website!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Gorgeous on Monday... A/W11 sneak peek behind the scenes

We were lucky enough to have snow when we shot the forthcoming autumn/winter collection last December. Christina Wilson, our photographer, and Mary Mathieson, our stylist, made everything look like a magical Narnian kingdom!

The cold wasn't quite so much fun for our gorgeous little models, though! But warm blankets and plenty of jumping about and hugs kept them warm...

There are some beautiful new clothes for the coming season, rich velvets, cosy knits, starry party dresses, s smattering of sequins and practical everyday pieces too. Here's an informal, behind the scenes, preview:

Watch out for that Turkish Delight! Remember what happened to Edmund?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Gorgeous on Friday... wonderful bridesmaids

We've loved seeing the beautiful little bridesmaids at the weddings of the two Kates - Middleton and Moss - this year, so we thought we'd have a round-up of our lovely little dresses which make any little attendants beautiful for your own very special wedding day.

BRIDEfinds blog recently featured our Dorothy Dress here... take a look at their blog for some lovely ideas and syle inspiration.

But no matter how gorgeous the big, news-worthy weddings may be, we still love romantic English weddings the best, stone churches, sweet peas and roses, the greenest countryside, little girls running barefoot across daisy-strewn lawns... too pretty for words!

Take a look on our website for details of dresses in this season's collection...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Gorgeous on Wednesday... surf's up!

What better way to celebrate the start of the summer holidays than with a round-up of our favourite Cornwall beaches? Read about them here...

We're celebrating too with some great sale prices on our favourite beachwear, perfect for paddling, building sandcastles and games of beach cricket!

If you haven't signed up to our newsletters yet, go to our website to put your name down. Be the first to hear of exclusive discounts and offers, and get a VIP look at new season and sale stock! Have a read of our latest newsletter for the special summer 'Surf's Up!' offers...

Friday, 15 July 2011

Gorgeous on Friday... 50% off! and an exhibition for the summer hols

There is now 50% off many items in our summer sale - and still lots of summer left to be wearing these outfits! 

So, a couple of weeks ago we receommended the wonderful Wiveton Hall in here our blog.

Now we hear of a beautiful exhibition happening at the Wiveton Hall Cafe during August, and ideal place to take the children to see some of the timeless illustrations by Edward Ardizzone.

(These images are borrowed from the Ardizzone prints website)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Gorgeous on Wednesday... Saying thanks...

When a friend of ilovegorgeous... asked us to help them raise money for one of the best causes around we were pleased to be able to help out. And it wasn't just us, lots of great companies dug deep and donated vouchers, prizes and subscriptions for the Angels and Urchins 10th Anniversary raffle in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Angels and Urchins is the indispensable London parenting guide - all you need to know for parents and families in and around London. There's a magazine and a website to browse, with loads of great information, inspiration and practical advice.

Anyway, here's a letter they sent us which explains everything...

"I wanted officially to write and thank you for your incredibly generous donation in our raffle. 

The party held in Hyde Park was a tremendous success. We raised over £20,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital and 200 children of friends and family (and 120 mothers) had an unforgettable afternoon: water games, tug-of-war, Punch and Judy, Lucky Dip and the most sumptuous tea party. And the sun shone.

None of it could have been possible without the incredibly generous donations. £500 from Ilovegorgeous was definitely very high up on everyone's list of coveted prizes. We are hugely grateful as it generated so much interest. 

We would like to pass on the message of thanks we received from GOSH: 'We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended on the day and supported Great Ormond Street Children's Charity. The money raised will help to fund life-saving research and equipment and to redevelop the hospital, so we can help even more of our sickest children. Thank you.'

Have a great summer.

Best wishes

Annie and Emily, and all the angels  & urchins' team"

Monday, 11 July 2011

Gorgeous on Monday - English Wines

With all the concern about food miles and the provenance of our food, why aren't we all drinking more English wine?

We have several great wineries in this country, mainly in the most southerly counties, but even as north as Yorkshire, surprisingly.

A great favourite, regularly winning awards for their wines, is Chapel Down in Tenterden, Kent.

Their English Rose is the perfect chilled summer evening wine, and the Flint and Bacchus whites are just gorgeous too, and the sparkling wines are a match for champagne for any occasion - competitively priced too.  If you're anywhere near Tenterden, pay the winery a visit, you can taste the wines and  there's a great foodie shop, and a fabulous restaurant. After a visit on a hot, sunny day last year (the 10am wine tasting felt very wrong!) and a wander aroung the herb garden and the vines, Chapel Down has much to recommend it!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Gorgeous on Friday... Winter Bridesmaids sneak peek

We can't resist showing you some of our Autumn/Winter collection, and if you're planning a winter wedding you'll already be thinking about bridesmaids dresses, so here are a few beautiful pics to give you a flavour of what's on offer this year. Think soft shades of grey, sage, coral, cream. There are also some gorgeous velvet party dresses that would make lovely bridesmaids dresses in stronger colours like teal, plum and hot pink - available from September.

If you would like to pre-order or have any queries, please do give us a call on 0844 371 3301, we'd be delighted to help and advise.

Don't forget there are still some summer bridesmaid styles in our sale at

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Gorgeous on Wednesday... Sophie Worthington

A few weeks ago we showed you some childhood photos of one of our founders, Lucy Enfield. Today it's the turn of our other founder - Sophie Worthington. This is one of the favourite parts of my job, collecting and scanning photos from the past, seeing the resemblance then and now, and seeing photos so reminiscent of the era!

So here we have Sophie as a tiny one, so sweet, I think we've all worn a little handknit cardi like this one!

And later, looking so very glam!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Gorgeous on Monday... seasonal fruit

It's a fabulous time of year for local, seasonal fruit. And it seems to be a bumper year for berries and currants in particular. Pick your own farms up and down the country are offering a wide range of fruit and vegetables, while in cities, the farmers are bringing their produce to local markets and speciality food fairs.

Now's the time to pick your fruit, and make the most of it in lovely puddings and healthy compotes to stir into yoghurt. Storing it up for later months couldn't be more fun, and it's something we can be doing now, before the children break up from school - the hot pans and volcanic sugary mess of jam making is not for tiny fingers! Turning blackcurrants into jam, jelly (to stir into casseroles and gravies in colder months), cassis-like liqueurs and even home-made cordial is pretty easy as long as you have a few basic bits of kit. Raid your local kitchen shop (or Mum's cupboard, there's often a family hand-me-down lurking somewhere) for a maslin pan, jelly bag and jam funnel. Sterilise some jars and bottles and you're off!
The River Cottage Preserving handbook is an invaluable source of recipes, as is Nigel Slater's Tender volume 2 - loads of simply gorgeous recipes to use seasonal fruit.

You'll get a summery reminiscence in the heart of winter every time you twist the lid off your jam!

And before the children break up, make sure you're stocked up on all the summer outfits your girls will need for the coming sunny months - don't forget to check what's left in our sale, there are still some real bargains to be had! 

Friday, 1 July 2011

Gorgeous on Friday - a gorgeous place to go

Today we have a recommendation from Sophie, it's a lovely place to stay in Norfolk Wiveton Hall
 - a self catering house to sleep 8-9, with nearby cottages for smaller parties or families.
And an equally lovely place to eat: Wiveton Farm Cafe, there's a fab farm shop too to stock up on local produce and foodie goodies!

The north Norfolk coast is a beautiful place to have a traditional seaside holiday. There are beautiful beaches, such as the wide sweep of sand at Holkham, lovely market towns and villages to discover, and peaceful marshes for spotting coastal birds.

Don't forget to pack your gorgeous girl's suitcase with lots of playsuits, summer dresses, shorts and t-shirts - see what we have left in the sale!