Glorious Goodwood with Theo Fennell

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

Remember a time before the weather turned all autumnal? I barely do at this point. Actually if I’m honest I’m starting to get quite excited about unearthing my favourite knits and no doubt adding a few more to my ever growing collection but I am rather missing the sun on my skin and the effortlessness of simply throwing on a floral dress without having to consider multiple other layers to wear with it. Here in London, it’s actually been a pretty glorious summer and it certainly was the day I went to glorious Goodwood for The Magnolia Cup as a guest of Theo Fennell. Much like big polo matches, the races are a wonderful British tradition which sees scores of people pack up their picnic blankets, slip into their summertimes finery and and head to the heart of the countryside for an afternoon of indulgence and enjoyment. If you live in the UK or have plans to visit next summer I definitely recommend buying a ticket. Goodwood is an utterly beautiful place and for anyone that likes fillies, frocks and champagne teas it’s simply perfection.

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

I wore… dress & bag by kate spade ny, shoes by Pollini & glasses by Karen Walker

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

Now in its fourth year, The Magnolia Cup is a charity race in aid of Best Beginnings and The Reading Agency that kicks off Ladies Day during the Glorious Goodwood five day racing bonanza. It sees the equestrian loving likes of supermodel Edie Campbell, jeweller Philippa Holland and international eventer Tina Cook don jockey silks designed by Vivienne Westwood and Sarah Burton for a gallop off (not the technical term) on the immaculately groomed Goodwood turf. As a longterm friend of Charles March, the dynamic aristocrat in charge of goings on at Goodwood, iconic British jewellery designer Theo Fennell decided to get involved in this year’s festival by sponsoring the charity race and smartly launched his aptly names 18ct yellow gold “Whip” collection to coincide with it. When his team invited me to join them, I leapt at the opportunity. Fun in the sun, the chance to wear a fancy floral number, drink champagne and hang out with Theo Fennell? It was a no brainer. And so a few weeks back, Steph – who you may remember from my Thierry Mugler project – and I boarded a Cheltenham bound train for what was a truly wonderful English summer day out.

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

Me & Steph at The Parade Ring

We arrived just in time to grab a glass of champagne before heading to the Parade Ring to watch the jockeys weigh in and admire their truly gorgeous silks. I’ve always thought that equestrian gear can be incredibly chic (possibly one of the reasons I was so pony obsessed growing up) and this only served to confirm it. One way or another, I will find a way to get back into riding, but that’s going off topic. Once the weigh in was done we made for the track, pretty slowly thanks to a combination of high heels and excellent people watching opportunities. In the end, we literally made it as the starting gun fired and the jockeys took off at a gallop. I have vivid memories of watching racing with my Granny as a child and still find it one of the most exhilarating sports a spectator could hope to see. In the blink of an eye, the thoroughbred troop had flashed past and it was only over the loudspeakers that I learned Edie Campbell had won for the second year running.

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

After hearing the result we all tottered through the grounds – thank GOD I wasn’t in charge of directions! – back to the Parade Ring for the winner’s presentation. Of course, I knew that Theo would be presenting the awards. What I didn’t know however was that he would be joined by none other than Tom Cruise. Unsurprisingly, this caused something of a ruckus as everyone brandished their iPhones, vying for a non blurry instagram shot. Given that Goodwood Ladies Day is one of the main events on the English summer social calendar, it was a given that there would be many a familiar face among the crowds and indeed, guests included everyone from Otis Ferry to Martha Ward.

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

Tom Cruise, Edie Campbell & Theo Fennell

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

Me & Theo Fennell

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

glorious goodwood theo fennell ella catliff

Photos taken and official duties over, we hit up the picnic swiftly followed by cream tea in the Richmond Enclosure and a whole lot more champagne. All in all, I could not have enjoyed my first Glorious Goodwood more and will definitely be returning next year! Thank you Theo Fennell for a fabulous day.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment

Look Du Jour: Happiness

happiness la petite anglaise ella catliff

What: J.Crew floral top (click here to buy) and coral skirt (similar here), Ostwald Helgason for ALDO Rise bag c/o (similar here), Pollini sandals c/o (similar here & here) and AllSaints studded leather jacket (similar here & here)

Where: Dinner at Wilton’s (read the review here)

I definitely don’t need to tell you how I feel about this particular ensemble! The Pollini sandals and Ostwald Helgason for ALDO Rise bag have been some of the most worn items in my wardrobe since they entered chez LPA. As for the J.Crew floral tank and flirty coral mini, where to begin… The colours, the prints, the chic yet comfortable shapes. Looking at them makes me happy and wearing them makes me even happier. Some might say it’s superficial and silly to find happiness through clothes but I think they couldn’t be more wrong. Just to be clear, I’m not talking profound, long lasting happiness and spiritual meaning here. The happiness I’m referring to is the transformative power that clothes and fashion in general can have over our mood and how we feel about ourselves, our personalities, identities and of course, our bodies. An outfit that makes you look in the mirror or any nearby reflective surface and think “hot DA-YUM” probably won’t guarantee that you’re going to spend the next decade in a state of deep personal fulfilment and yogi like blissed out zen. It can, however, make you feel good about yourself, confident and uplifted, helping you to put aside your own insecurities and anxieties for a while and focus your energies on work, friends, family and generally enjoying life. This slightly preppy, kinda flirty, minimalists-worst-nightmare get up does that for me.

happiness la petite anglaise ella catliff

happiness la petite anglaise ella catliff

happiness la petite anglaise ella catliff

ella catlif La Petite Anglaise J.Crew

ella catliff la petite anglaise J.Crew

ella catliff la petite anglaise

Sorry if I got a little real there guys. My point is largely that neon shades and florals rock and fashion is great, but I stand by what I’ve written. Do certain outfits have a similark effect on your mood? Or do you reckon that happiness and fashion don’t equate? I’d love to know what you think!

Love Ella. X

Images by Michaela Peker

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 2 Comments

Introducing: Beautiful Soul London

Beautiful Soul London SS15 2

A few weeks ago I was going through my emails when I found one from Nicola Woods, Founder and Creative Director of Beautiful Soul London. Given how many hundreds of emails most of us send and receive every day, it’s sometimes tempting not to pay as much attention as we perhaps should to those from brands or people we’ve never heard of. Beautiful Soul London was a name I didn’t know and, being in a mega rush as per always, I almost clicked straight on to the next one. Luckily I didn’t. Entranced by the incredibly beautiful blooms adorning Beautiful Soul London’s “Secret Garden” SS15 collection, I decided further investigation into this label was necessary. And I’m very glad I did as some of the pieces are truly exquisite. While it was Nicola’s summer designs that reeled me in, I thought I’d better take a look at AW14 because that is of course the season essentially upon us. Entitled “Viola Sunshine”, Beautiful Soul London’s latest collection has some really stunning prints and pieces. While some of it’s a little too feminine for me – not something that happens often – I’ve fallen hard for the minidresses which tap into the season’s sixties ingenue vibe without compromising the Beautiful Soul London aesthetic. If, like me, you’re struggling to start packing away their floral print summer fare, Nicola’s delicate take on moodier blooms are perfect for easing the transition into autumn.

Beautiful Soul London AW14 1

Above & below: Beautiful Soul London AW14

Beautiful Soul London AW14 2

Beyond the fact that Beautiful Soul London has some gorgeous pieces at very reasonable price points, what interested me once I started looking into the label were its brand values and its founder. I have to admit, I’m a bit rubbish when it comes to really considering where the clothes I wear come from. This is not a good thing, and something I’m trying to pay much more attention too as it’s a huge issue. Whether your talking about supporting local textile manufacturing and how those industries and their demise can effect communities, where fabrics are coming from or the working conditions of the people who craft those fabrics into clothing all over the world, it’s important although not always easy to consider the wider context of our sartorial choices. Beautiful Soul London may have hooked me in with adorable florals but their commitment to sustainability, especially as an independent start up, is equally worth celebrating. A conscious approach to fabric sourcing, focus on minimising environmental impact and commitment to local, UK-based production lie at the heart of the label combined with a zero-waste policy which sees material remnants used as fastenings and embellishments. Beautiful Soul London’s approach to design and sustainability saw the brand win the 2014 “Business Acumen and Innovation Award” at The Luxury Law Summit – organised by The International New York Times and The Global Legal Post no less – and has landed its pieces in the wardrobes of Livia Firth, Katy Perry, Laura Bailey, Lily Cole and Amber Valetta to name but a few. With this in mind, it’s surprising the label remains so under-the-radar. If you like rocking frocks half the world wont have seen before, I suggest you get in on the action asap.

Beautiful Soul London SS15 1

Above & top: Beautiful Soul London SS15

As I mentioned, Beautiful Soul’s Founder and Creative Director, Nicola Woods is a pretty interesting lady herself. I mean, turning round after 11 years working in high level corporate insurance and deciding to give it up in favour of pursuing the, let’s be honest here, hugely unreliable, potentially financially disastrous, odds-stacked-against-you career of being a fashion designer – I have boundless respect for anyone who pursues this path – is a fearless move. But, determined to follow her childhood dream, Nicola swapped the corporate ladder for London College of Fashion and launched her label the year after graduating. Obviously Nicola was in possession of both a well honed business acumen and design talent, the decision to make a career 360 and combine the two was both an impressive and high risk move, but one that was evidently well worth taking.

What do you think of Beautiful Soul London?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 3 Comments

3 Ways To Wear It: Floral Print Co-ord

Hobbs NYW floral silk co-ord

Left: Hobbs NW3 Floral Print Pioneer Blouse, reduced from £75 to £40. Available here. Right: Hobbs NW3 Floral Print Pioneer Shorts, reduced from £69 to £34. Available here.

Happy Monday mes amies! I used to find it the weirdest thing when people wished me a “happy Monday” or “happy Friday”. I’ve even had the odd “happy Tuesday” which was thoroughly confusing as, I think we can all agree, Tuesday is by far the most nondescript day of the week. But now I’ve gotten over the ingrained belief that good wishes should be reserved only for birthdays and Christmas. It’s so easy to get caught up in the manic business of just trying to get everything done that you stop actually enjoying any of it so why the hell shouldn’t we throw a little celebration into the mix to remind us that life is actually pretty great!? Even on Tuesdays. I think that’s probably about enough philosophising from me so before you decide I’ve gone nuts and click away in disgust, let’s talk about this floral print co-ord. Autumn may be speeding towards us a rate of knots BUT if you’ve invested in a similar two piece, or are thinking about snapping one up in the sales I’d still say go for it. I’m planning on getting maximum wear out of this bad boy for the next few weeks, incorporating the shirt into my new season wardrobe and then whipping the lot out again next Spring. If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that co-ords of all shapes, sized and styles are perennially awesome. And if you live somewhere that’s got a few months of heat left or, even more jealously inducing, is just about to begin their sunny season then you have endless floral co-ord wearing opportunities ahead of you. Thanks to nobody’s fault but my own, I’ve left it so damn long to do this post that most of the pieces are no longer available BUT I had a hunt on the Hobbs Outlet and they have a few of the shirts and shorts left, yay! I’ve put a few alternatives for others that are previous seasons or out of stock in the details below.

All Together Now…

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

Worn with silver Hobbs NW3 sandals (similar here), Paul & Joe Sister orange satchel (similar here & here) and Kite holographic sunglasses (similar here & here

This adorable Hobbs NW3 floral printed silk shorts n’ shirt co-ord came into my life sometime back in May. The funny thing is, I didn’t actually wear the full shebang together until really quite a lot later. Such is the versatility of this bad boy that rather than wondering how the hell I could mix it up, the pieces just seemed so right with other items already in my wardrobe. I almost started to think that perhaps they were better as separates but then I donned the lot in Trieste last month and realised how wrong I was. There are few things more enjoyable than wearing one dizzying print all over, at least that’s how I feel about it anyway. Rather than going for all out prep I decided to give things more of a modern spin with high shine silver sandals and holographic shades but green ballet flats and maybe a matching belt could be a great alternative if you’re after some prep.

On The Top…

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

Worn with neon yellow J.Crew skirt (similar here & here), silver Next sandals (similar here), Hobbs clutch (suede version available on SALE here & similar here), Dior Riviera nails (available here) & MAC Lady Danger lipstick (available here)

As you might remember, this particular ensemble came out to play in Ibiza while I was there shooting with Claire’s Accessories for Company Magazine. My J.Crew fit n’ flare skirt became a vital component of my wardrobe so quickly I even bought the same style in coral, it just seems to work with so much, this top included. I think the buttoned up style of shirt works well with a mini skirt and heels, it reduces the prep factor and makes the whole thing a little more party ready. I really like how the neon green trim of the shirt picks up the yellow on the skirt and reckon this could work well for a printed co-ord top half and separate block colour bottom half in any colour or for any season. I have a monochrome tibi number I’m intending to do something similar with by combining with white skinnies come autumn, more on than soon. Then of course I added matchy matchy colour pop coral lips and nails because I just can’t resist that kind of thing.

For Your Derrière…

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

Worn with Sandro white biker jacket (similar here & here), Michael Kors Selma tote (available here), Wildfox Bel Air sunglasses (available here) & LK Bennett sandals (available here)

Last but not least, the shorts. As shorts go I have to say these are some of the most comfortable ever. Light and breezy and roomy enough to accommodate a large lunch followed by gelato, they served me well paired with nothing more than a broderie tank top on holiday. To make them a little more city appropriate I paired them with a Sandro light tweed biker jacket, simple Jenni Kayne t-shirt (such great quality!) and structured Michael Kors Selma tote instead. Oh and these Wildfox sunnies which are perhaps my favourite things ever. They caused quite the stir when I wore them to walk on the North Norfolk broads last weekend! With bank holiday weekend coming up, this kind of outfit is perfect for a lazy, possible hungover brunch where you want to look polished without compromising on lazy day comfort. Unlike the matching shirt, you will look a bit cray if you wear floral printed silk shorts like these once Autumn really hits but with the addition of a jacket and fingers firmly crossed for sunshine they’ve got a few weeks left in them yet. For those hailing from sunnier climbs this does not apply, go forth and frolic in silk shorts to your hearts content.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of 3 Ways To Wear It. As I’ve been rubbish and failed to post until my Hobbs NW3 two piece is all but out of stock, I’ve found a few similar floral print co-ords here & here and cracking AW14 alternatives here & here. I fear this may be the last summery 3 ways to come from me this year but don’t despair, I have TONS planned for the next few months. For now, which was to wear the printed shorts n’ shirt co-ord is your favourite?

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 4 Comments

Dining at: Wilton’s

wiltons review la petite anglaise

If you’d been having a gander at Instagram a couple of weekends ago you may have spotted a snap or three of the most wonderful lobster you ever did see – sorry about the rhyme, couldn’t resist – and that, my friends, was because I had the pleasure of dining at Wilton’s. I have to admit, when Wilton’s invited me in to check it out I’d never heard of the place. It’s not the kind of OTM establishment that has four month waiting lists for a table at 6pm on a Monday night, is frequented by celebs and makes frequent appearances in the Daily Mail as said celebs stumble out in the wee hours. No, I suspect the very idea of such a thing would send a shudder down the spine of all who work there. Founded in 1792 and nestled among the tailors and cigar emporiums of Jermyn Street, Wilton’s is the very epitome of old school British refinement. The interiors are an traditionally elegant affair, think stately carpets, rich green velvet benches, mahogany wood panelling and some pretty serious art works on the walls. The staff themselves are similar, traditional, elegant and so utterly charming and attentive to your every whim it was all I could do not to give them a hug which would have made everyone thoroughly uncomfortable. As for the food… I have almost no words.

wiltons review la petite anglaise

wiltons review la petite anglaise

wiltons review la petite anglaise

wiltons review la petite anglaise

We kicked things off with champagne and Dorset Rock Oysters. Ordinarily I like oysters, I don’t love them. These were a whole different ball game and I could have probably eaten about fifty of them. Flavoursome, rich without being sickly and exquisitely presented with an array of accompaniments in case you fancied spicing things up a bit. Me and Michaela polished off the lot in about thirty seconds and washed them down with an equally scrumptious gulp of champagne. In retrospect that probably wasn’t exactly refined of us.

wiltons review la petite anglaise

Dorset Rock Oysters

Up next, the starter. If scallops are on the menu, it’s rare for me not to order them and on this occasion they were about the best decision I could have made. Served with peas, girolles and succulent golden raisins they were hands down the finest scallops I’ve ever tasted. If I’m honest, Michaela’s Avocado Pear & Crab Salad totally paled in comparison but then I can’t think of many dishes that could have provided competition.

wiltons review la petite anglaise

Scallops with Peas, Girolles & Golden Raisens

wiltons review la petite anglaise

Avocado Pear & King Crab Salad

Wilton’s is famed for being the ultimate in British fine dining thanks to their use and immaculate preparation of wild fish, shellfish, game in season and meat sourced from the country’s best farms. I wanted to try one of the dishes the restaurant is most known for so I opted for lobster. Also how often do you get to order an entire Grilled Native Lobster to yourself? Not often and I wasn’t about to miss out on the opportunity to do so. Michaela went for the Wild Grilled Salmon and between us we ordered a coterie of tasty sides such as Leaf Spinach, Garden Pea Puree and Truffle Creamed Potatoes. They were delicious, of course, but nothing could possibly have held a candle to my lobster. Fresh, tender, fleshy, light and oh-so-flavoursome, it was my absolute favourite thing I’ve eaten in a very long time and proved exactly why Wilton’s has been around for over two centuries. Michaela assured me her salmon was awesome too (I was way to busy tackling the lobster to taste it) but I maintain that I made the best menu choices probably ever that evening and still feel pretty pleased with myself just thinking about it.

wiltons review la petite anglaise

Native Grilled Lobster

wiltons review la petite anglaise

Grilled Salmon with Tartare Sauce

By the time the lobster had been conquered, we were both unsurprisingly a bit too stuffed to order pudding. That said, we did manage to force down a couple of cappuccinos and the dainty (ish) selection of macaroons and gourmet chocolates our charming waiter brought over. As I probably don’t need to tell you at this point, Wilton’s was an utterly wonderful dining experience. From the restaurant itself to the service, food and incredibly fine wines expertly chosen by the sommelier, it was just utterly lovely. It is not, however, somewhere you go for a party or to get raucous. Perhaps give it a miss if you’re more fussed about knocking back the cocktails and spotting a few famous faces than really fantastic food food but if it’s a gastronomic treat you’re after – and have money to burn, it is not cheap – get yourself straight to Wilton’s.

Wilton’s can be found at 55 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6LX and you can visit the website here.

Love Ella. X

Images by Michaela Peker & c/o Wilton’s

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Reviews 3 Comments
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