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Out and about, Something different

Magical Westonbirt, courtesy of Co-Wheels car club

December 22, 2015

It was mid-December, and I was feeling decidedly un-Christmassy. Step up Co-Wheels and Westonbirt Arboretum for some magical, enchanted Christmas cheer to get me in the mood!

I was invited to use a Co-Wheels low emission car (which was, very handily, right around the corner from where we live) to go to Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas event. Co-wheels is an independently owned car club which specialises in low emission, hybrid and electric cars. You can hire the cars on a pay-as-you-go basis, which is great if you need a car every now and again and for short journeys like this one, but don’t want the hassle of owning a car and trying to find parking (which, if you live pretty much anywhere in Bristol, is a nightmare!!). Plus, it’s super easy to sign up and get started – you get sent a smart card in the post and you use this to ‘unlock’ and use the car, using the online booking system.

And for those of you who don’t know, Westonbirt light up the hundreds of trees they have at the arboretum with colourful and ambient lighting. It sounds a bit strange, but the effect is simply beautiful!

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I’m afraid I couldn’t do the lit up trees justice with my iPhone…my camera was non-functioning :( however hopefully you can see how pretty and atmospheric it was!

The trail took around an hour or so to go around – or longer if you stopped off more and took loads of photos like we did! So perfect for a family outing. I have to say it was lovely seeing it so busy at night, and their were points along the way here you could grab a snack or some mulled wine – yummy!

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Check out for more information of what’s on at Westonbirt into the New Year, and I would seriously recommend looking in to the Enchanted Christmas event for next year.

Also, for more information about Co-wheels, visit or you can join as a member here.

Merry Christmas!

Out and about, Something different

Ted & Muffy do good boots (and shoes)

October 16, 2015
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I was a little bit in heaven last Thursday. I got invited to the launch event for the Ted & Muffy A/W collection at the newly renovated and refitted store on Milsom St in Bath.

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The evening began with some nibbles, Prosecco and a browse around the store, before we were given an introduction to the shoes and the story behind Ted & Muffy. The brand has come from what used to be DUO, but it’s been given a serious makeover in terms of their offering and the general look and feel.

The shop was lovely too, with lots of exposed brickwork and a clean white finish that, with the lighting, set off the shoes and and boots beautifully.

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And can we just take a moment to appreciate the branding. I love it! The drawings are just lovely and fit brilliantly with the whimsical, yet classic, style of the store and the boots themselves.

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The brogues were beautiful too. A girl can never have too many brogues… (pretty sure that’s a well known saying somewhere).

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We were invited to try on any pair we liked, and although I was totally torn between over-the-knee boots and a pair of lace-up ankle boots, in the end the over-the-knee style won me over. I am totally indecisive most of the time, and the amazing choice didn’t make it any easier!

The leather is so soft, and they fit like a glove. The expert fitters were on hand in the store to make sure I got the perfect fitting pair – they not only make sure you’re wearing the correct shoe size but check your calf width as well, to make sure that the boots look and feel great. This pair are the Quest boots. And when I wear them I certainly feel like I can go anywhere and do anything!!


Having not been exposed to the Ted & Muffy brand much before I am a complete convert now. The shoes are expensive, but they appear to be very well made, and so I’ll be checking out how they fare over the rainy Bristolian winter. If they survive that, they’ll survive anything! Add to that the amazing sounding plans for the next season, it looks like Ted & Muffy are on to a winner.

An outfit post with these boots will be on here very soon!!

<3 Sofia

Out and about

Aperol Spritz Socials – the best summer cocktail bar is in Bristol for the weekend!

June 18, 2015

Last Friday night I was invited to an Aperol Spritz media event at the Severn Shed, ahead of the upcoming Bristol Aperol Spritz Socials this weekend and next weekend in Bristol. Now, I LOVE an Aperol Spritz, and being half Italian I couldn’t well turn down an opportunity not only to learn more about this awesome cocktail, but also be in for a chance to win a bottole of Aperol and Prosecco to take home!

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Our host for the evening, Aperol’s Brand Ambassador Loris Contro, told us all about the history of this famous Italian ‘aperitivo’ and showed us how to make the perfect Aperol Spritz, in 3 simple steps.

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For those of you who aren’t sure, here is the recipe to make the perfect Aperol Spritz:

Fill a large wine glass with ice and pour in:

  • 3 parts Prosecco (75 ml)
  • 2 parts Aperol (50 ml)
  • 1 dash of Soda Water (25 ml)
  • Garnish with a slice of fresh orange, sit back, relax and enjoy

As part of the evening there was also a competition to see who could make the fastest and best Aperol Spritz…a few of us entered, and it was so nerve-racking! Silly really, all you’re doing is making a drink as fast as you can in front of a load of strangers…!!

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Unfortunately I didn’t win…but I did come a respectable second with a time of 28 seconds! The girl who won made hers in 20 seconds – pretty amazing, and it tasted good!

So tonight the Aperol Spritz Socials are coming to Bristol! In Anchor Square, Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo will be there tonight to spin the tunes, and Aperol are going to be there from tonight and on 19th & 20th, plus next week too on 25th, 26th & 27th June. Apparently there are also going to be tuk tuks to take you and your cocktails between bars! If the weather stays as nice as it is today then I can’t actually imagine a better drink to drink than a nice Aperol Spritz…i’m not even kidding, it’s SUCH a perfect summer drink!

<3 xx



Fashion, Out and about

Bricks magazine – volume #2 launch at Betties and Baldwins

June 4, 2015
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I had a lovely time at the Bricks Magazine launch at Betties and Baldwins last week. Bricks Magazine is a self published magazine ‘supporting emerging creatives within fashion’. The magazine is full of beautiful fashion photography and shoots, and is printed on a lovely uncoated paper stock which gives it a nice feel.

The launch was at Betties and Baldwins, a hairdressers and nail salon on Small St in Bristol. This also meant that I got to get my nails done for the first time by Kadi, the nail stylist there.

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The Bricks Magazine team were really lovely – they are Tori, Joe and Rachel and between them, plus a bunch of contributors and a lot of hard work, publish this great magazine.

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Thanks so much for the invite, and look forward to getting my hands on the new edition!


Out and about, Something different

Bespoked – the UK handmade bicycle show

April 24, 2015

Last Saturday 18th April we took a quick look around the Bespoked Bicycle show – having acquired some tickets through our printers at work (I think they printed all the brochureware and tickets for them), it seemed a shame to miss it. I wanted to go to it last year but we couldn’t make it, so it was good to be able to go and see what was there this year.

The show was held in the Passenger Shed next to Temple Meads station. This was the first time i’d been to an event there! I know, I know…bad form. It’s a beautiful space, especially on such a sunny day.

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I mostly took photos of the pretty bikes…and there were so many amazing looking bikes! It was hard to know where to start with them all. They were all a marvel of engineering, and so many amazing colours, too, as well as quite a few wooden numbers. Tony and I did wonder whether a wooden framed bike would be a good idea in real life (he particularly commented on the mountain bikes with wooden frames), but they did look very impressive.

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This bike just above was one of my favourites, purely for it’s apparent simplicity, and the simplicity of the stand as well. It was just this one bike, standing on its own, looking very impressive. It’s by a company called AOI.CYCLE , although at a cool €1,599.00, I think I might have to save up a bit in order to afford it!!! Plus I would NOT trust Bristol with it – I don’t think i’d want to lock it up anywhere!


This bamboo bike was pretty cool, but again we wondered whether it would stand the test of time? This one was by Virk Designs.


I loved these two bikes by Seren Bicycles. They immediately caught my eye with the pretty pale blues and greens. Apparently the green one was custom built for a girl doing John O’Groats to Lands End. I asked if the hard leather seat would be replaced with something softer for such a long journey, but apparently not! Good luck, lady, who ever you are! If I spot you on your way to Land’s End i’ll ask how your bum is feeling, and comment on your pretty bike :)

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These guys had a particularly cool logo and stand – Field Bicycles. Plus they had some of the nicest colour bikes (that’s about as technical as i’ll get!).


How could I resist taking a photo of this beautiful turquoise number! I think they were all custom built for customers, so not for general sale.

All in all it was a great show – particularly if you are reeeeaaally in to bikes. For me it was more about how ‘pretty’ they looked, and daydreaming about swanning around Bristol on a powder blue bike, with chrome mudguards and tan leather handles and seats…Well, maybe one day it might happen!

<3 Sofia

Out and about, Something different

The Ladyboys of Bangkok are oh so fabulous!

April 21, 2015
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Last night we went to see the Ladyboys of Bangkok in their popular cabaret show, over in Castle Park. I had no idea what to expect (to the point where when I told a work colleague, she was like ‘oh I thought you were going to see one of those Thai ping-pong shows…’) and no, it wasn’t like that at all!

Cabaret shows aren’t really my thing, or at least I thought they weren’t, maybe they are and I never knew it?! To be fair I haven’t gone to see many cabaret shows in my time, so I haven’t got a lot to compare this to. The ladyboys were great, I loved it! They were tongue-in-cheek funny, and all of the ladyboys were so beautiful! You honestly couldn’t tell they were men…(well, maybe apart from a couple of them…)

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Their repertoire included songs by Rihanna, they did a 3 minute Sound of Music medley (AMAZING!), Katy Perry, Tina Turner, Diana Ross to name a few!

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The masks for sale in the foyer were particularly fetching!


Any opportunity to take a photo!

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This is when they did ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen. Although, I must be the only person in the world who has STILL not seen Frozen!! And from the sounds of it, i’m totally missing out.

Their dancing was brilliant, and you couldn’t help but smile, sing and dance along while watching the show – I couldn’t have asked for a more random, funny and entertaining Monday night out with the girls!


Tina was my absolute favourite. This ladyboy ROCKED every single act, and was hilarious to boot!

This is definitely going to be an annual thing from now on. Next time we’ll do Friday or Saturday night, for sure!!

Sofia <3

Bristol, Fashion, Out and about

Bristol Fashion Week: the Spring / Summer 2015 show

March 30, 2015
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On Wednesday I was fortunate enough to be invited to the VIP show of Bristol Fashion Week, which is the first time i’ve ever been. It’s up at Cribbs Causeway which, if you don’t have a car and live in the centre is a bit of trek to get to…I had to race out of work at 5.30, run to the bus, and then just about got there on time for the show, which started at 6.30,

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The show was co-presented by Lucy Watson (of Made in Chelsea fame…i’m afraid I was a bit clueless as to who she was as i’m not a particularly massive MIC fan…), and featured high street shops from Cribbs – Topshop, Jigsaw, Gap, Superdry and Hobbs.


The theme for the Spring/Summer collections was, of course, holidays and travel, which made for lovely colourful backdrops on the catwalk.

My favourite looks were the pastels and florals – i’m not usually one for florals but there were some lovely prints, and the dresses were oh so pretty.

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Afterwards we headed to M&S for a preview in to their new collection, and of course CHEESE and MEAT and SPARKLING WINE. I won’t lie, that was a real highlight after having left work with nothing to eat, and sitting through the fashion show…

It didn’t take us long to tuck in to it, after taking a few photos of ourselves and the clothes, of course.

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Thanks so much for having me, can’t wait for the Autumn/Winter show now!

<3 Sofia x

Bristol, Out and about

Wine, cheese, meat, friends…all the best things at Bar Buvette

January 21, 2015

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Tony and I stumbled across Bar Buvette by pure chance. We had decided to go to Bao Wow for some Pho noodles before the cinema the other week, and on the way to the Watershed from Bao Wow we walked past it. We noticed it because it had those amazing ‘Caravaggio’ lamp shades, and also because the previously empty shop was actually open with people in there. So we popped in to have a look. After checking out the cheese, crudite and salad bar, we spoke briefly to the owners who said they were only here for a month as a ‘pop up’.

So we decided to bring our friends back and spend our Friday night here.

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It’s a wine bar, and they specialise in French organic and bio-dynamic wines. As well as that, you can order a platter of cheese, cold meats, salads and the table comes with a jar of cornichons as standard – what more could you want?! Oh, maybe some chocolate cake? Well they have that!! (Flourless too….)

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I don’t normally write about restaurants/nights out but I just felt I had to share this with you. Bar Buvette is like nothing that exists in Bristol. You can go and drink nice wine, without having to spend a huge amount on a meal, or be in a stuffy bar. Did I mention they have CHEESE?

CHEESE and WINE. There is literally nothing more than you need in life. Nothing.

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On top of that, the owners are just so lovely. They were really accommodating with our group of 10 (we did book in advance – probably a safe bet if you’re going in a big group at the weekend), and I think they’ve really hit on something good with this bar. Peter Taylor, part owner (I believe with his partner/wife Max Ososki) used to be owner of the Riverstation, and he now runs a restaurant in Haute Loire, France called Auberge de Chassignoles. From what I gather, the restaurant is closed in the winter months, therefore he’s back in Bristol bringing us unique wines that you won’t find anywhere else.

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I will definitely be back before they shut up…and hopefully if the rumours are true they will be sticking around a bit longer than the end of January. If not, take my advice and go, you won’t regret it!

If you want to find out more about Bar Buvette, the best way to contact them is either on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Big love <3 Sofia

Out and about, Something different

GF Smith – a retrospective in paper

November 26, 2014

Last week I had the pleasure of attending an exhibition by the paper merchant GF Smith. We use their papers in some of the clients I work with, and they always send the designer lots of lovely paper sample books which are almost like works of art in themselves! The exhibition was held at the Bower Ashton campus of UWE, and although a small selection of some of the paper samples and books were on show, it was still a really lovely exhibition.

Please excuse the less-than-ideal photos – the papers were displayed under glass so it was really hard to take a decent photo!

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The exhibits took you from the humble beginnings in the early 1900s (although the company was formed in 1885), all the way through to modern day print. I have to say my favourite era was probably the 1920s/30s – the print was just so eccentric, pretty and stylish. They were all out extravagant and I can just imagine the ladies at the time, sitting down to write their letters on some gorgeous, flocked coloured paper…



Some of the fashion students at UWE were also comissioned to create ‘outfits’ out of GF Smith paper. I particularly liked this child’s skirt. Like an art deco tulip!


I particularly love this cover by the American paper mill, Strathmore Paper Company. It says ” Which cover shall you use? The answer to that question is in another question…”What is the task the cover must perform?”

I think that is so relevant, still today! Paper choice is really important in print projects, whether they’re big or small, and it’s always right to bear in mind the purpose that the cover of something should have. Love it!

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Thanks to GF Smith for having us!

Sofia <3


Out and about, Photography

An almost-Autumnal walk in Westonbirt Arboretum

October 30, 2014

It was the beginning of October, pretty much the start of Autumn, or so we thought! We decided to go to Westonbirt Arboretum with my mum and brother to see what they call the ‘autumn firework display’. However,  it was still so warm (as it is now, in fact!) that hardly any of the trees had started to turn orange and yellow! It was still incredibly beautiful though, and everywhere you looked there were lovely, old, huge trees. My mum had a field day (ahem…) admiring all the trees and I think it took us about 2 hours just to the round the first half of a section!! It was such a lovely, warm day though, you couldn’t help but walk though and take it all in at a nice, slow pace.

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Tony liked hiding amongst the logs….

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I’m glad we finally made it there, it’s been so many years that i’ve wanted to go! Although next year we’ll definitely get it right with the timings, and hopefully see all the Japanese Maple trees in their full red splendour.

Big love <3