What: Cath Kidston Autumn Bloom big leather trim tote bag (click here to buy), People Tree gingham sundress (similar here), Gap wedges (similar here) & Wildfox sunglasses (available here) (all c/o), necklace by Anne Bowes Jewellery & rings by Aamaya by Priyanka (available here)
Where: Picnic in Holland Park, Kensington.
Can you believe that summer is basically over?! I swear just yesterday it was rainy-sunny-rainy-again May and I was counting down the hours until my thesis was submitted and I had months and months of glorious summery relaxation ahead of me… HA! Whatever the season, I always find that there are a million and one lovely things I want to do but somehow the time ends up rushing by in a manic, albeit fabulously so, blur and basically none of them happen. Last Winter, I didn’t even manage to go ice skating at Somerset House for God’s sake. Well, while I haven’t yet swum in the Serpentine, lounged all afternoon on Shoreditch House rooftop, been to an outdoor film screening or gone for a leisurely bike ride this summer, I have managed to have a couple of picnics. In my experience there are four utterly essential ingredients for a successful picnic. The first is decent weather. No one wants to find themselves washed away in a soggy sea of spilt Pimms, semi disintegrated sandwiches and strawberries that have dissolved into an oozing red mess that makes the whole thing start to resemble a scene from a low budget horror film. The others are location, food and most importantly, outfit. Nothing uncomfortable, tight or made from fabric that is either man made or dry clean only. And when it comes to the handbag you need something that looks good but can take a battering, won’t discolour at the first hint of moisture (the grass never really dries out in England) and can fit all the assorted crap you need to carry with you. Since Cath Kidston – surely the most picnic friendly brand on the planet – invited me to collaborate with them on their tote bag launch project this new season floral number has been my picnicking companion. I’ve picnicked with many a leather shoulder bag, an ill advised clutch and several hampers but this baby has served the purpose best. Paired with a gingham frock (ultimate picnic dress, am I right?) and walk-able wedges I felt like some sort of chic 50’s housewife, an effect that may have been ruined by the fact I was clutching a Venti Starbucks iced latte with “Alex” scribbled across it – how you get that from “Ella” I don’t know – in black marker pen and manically answering emails as I strolled to Holland Park for this particular picnic.
As I mentioned, Cath Kidston have just launched their latest collection of super cute tote bags big and small, soon to be accompanied by an exhibition in their Piccadilly store. If you happen to be in the area between August 22nd and September 5th, do pop in and see a GIANT picture of me toting my tote! And tell us which you prefer, #totesbig or #totessmall…
Love Ella. X
Images by Holly McGlynn