Travel

City Break Outfit Diary

I’ve just returned from a wonderful long weekend (the best kind of weekend!) away in London and Manchester with my boyfriend for his 21st birthday, and thought I’d tell my lovely readers all about it through the medium of outfit photos, because for me, looking back at what I wear is usually the best way to remember things! 

Most of them feature my new favourite jacket, a pale pink/nude coloured duster coat, a shameless panic purchase from Primark. I adore long length coats, and own similar styles in grey black and navy, but I decided to splash out on colour to match my pink hair, and make more of a statement at London Fashion Week

Despite the rain and cloudy skies, I loved standing out from the sea of black in my pastel colours, paired with a metallic silver jumpsuit, classic ankle boots and a bright red lip.



I used to visit London a lot as I lived close by in Birmingham, but I haven’t been since the summer of 2015 (you can see my London outfit diary from last year here!) so it was great to walk the streets again. We decided to play it fancy and visit Buckingham Palace, window shop at Harrods and Harvey Nichols, explore Kensington and Chelsea, before heading to the city centre for a much needed slap up meal, and shopping for guitars (Jack is a full-time musician and self-confessed guitar shopping addict) on world famous music boulevard Denmark Street. Finally, it was time to join the buzz of London Fashion Week, which was a dream come true, and I already can’t wait until next year! My outfit consisted of a simple silver playsuit courtesy of Primark, the aforementioned duster coat, River Island black faux suede heeled ankle boots, a dark grey roll neck jumper, and a brown leather handbag, both form Zara.

Next we got the bus up to Manchester, Jack’s hometown, to stay with some family friends and explore the city. On the first day we shopped at vintage fashion meccas We are Cow and Affleck’s Palace, ate at cereal killer cafe Black Milk, and saw the sights around the Northern Quarter. I wore a marl grey t-shirt from Monki, ripped blue mom jeans from TTYA at ASOS, and Rita Ora x Adidas trainers.  On the second day I wore a ribbed black jersey dress over a white cropped t-shirt, with the duster coat again of course! We had been out the night before to see Jack perform at a local gig, so we took it slow with delicious brunch from Night and Day in the morning and ten pin bowling with the family in the afternoon. Overall it was a wonderful 3 days and I can’t wait to return to London and Manchester again for more adventures!


Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Belfast Vintage Shopping


Last weekend I hopped over to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a long weekend staying with a friend who works across there. I really enjoyed seeing the sights (a highlight was City Halls lit up with rainbow colours for Gay Pride!), exploring the bustling nightlife scene, and even going to a music festival for the day, Sunflower Fest!  But most of all, I adored the cluster of unique vintage shops. From rare retro finds like 80’s high tops and sports jackets, to classic vintage accessories and libraries full of second hand books, Belfast really had it all. My friend and I spent a good few hours browsing various stores, and of course came home with a few pieces, so I decided to compile a list of our top three favourites here, in no particular order, for anyone visiting Belfast who loves a good rummage around in rails of gorgeous one-off clothing.







Young Savage

24 Church Lane
Belfast
BT8 2QN


This cosy little shop – with a super central location and the loveliest staff- was our first stop-off on the vintage shopping spree.

Young Savage is packed full of hidden gems,  from retro badges, buttons and pins, to quirky knitwear and beautiful shoes.

We came away with some Penguin Classics, and a big old smile after some great chats with the shopkeeper. The opening hours are 10am-6pm  from Monday to Saturday.




2. Octopus’s Garden

Octopus’s Garden is Belfast’s newest vintage fashion store, and decorated in spectacular colours and patterns; ilike walking into another world, I adore their branding. 

Once inside, you are met with expertly styled outfits, complete with every details, even tights, sunglasses and hair accessories. 

We had a great time rummaging through the t-shirts and sweaters, and loved the vintage leather handbags, silk scarves and retro trainers.

You’ll fine stunning menswear and beautiful coats and jackets from every decade. The 

opening hours are 10am-6pm  from Monday to Saturday.



3. Yellow Submarine

44 Botanic Avenue


Belfast
BT7 1JR 


Yellow Submarine has several floors connected with winding stairwells filled with old nik-naks, and sells a huge selection of vintage, retro & modern clothing, furniture, records & furnishings

This quirky wee shop in the Botanic Quarter is like a maze, shoppers must hunt far and wide for their hidden treasure. It felt kind of like I was in an elderly hoarder’s house, in a good way. 

I came away with a beautiful pleated skirt for £6 and an oversized black grandpa-style shirt for £3! Bargains galore. Opening hours are 11-6 Monday-Saturday and 1-5 on Sundays.






Ruth @ Urbanity xxx




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Blow Shawlands Launch and other Glasgow Adventures

I’ve just returned from a wee day trip to one of my favourite cities, Glasgow, which ended in the most fabulous way- the launch party of the brand new Blow on Kilmarnock road, the second branch to open after Blow Finnieston back in 2014.  

What is Blow? It’s a Colour Asylum/Hair Salon/Training Academy/Cult Blogger Hang-out/Selfie Spot/ Braid Bar/ Coffee and Cocktail Club/ Blow Dry Heaven/ Rainbow and Glitter Paradise.  Yup.




I’ve booked myself in for later this summer for a cut and colour treatment using their exclusive, cruelty-free, vibrant vegan hair dye product range, Manic Panic, and I’ll be sure to show you the results!

Why not check it out for yourself at http://www.ohblow.com or follow their Instagram @blowcolourasylum for some unique hair creations. Read on to see my snaps of their fabulous new store, which have given me some serious  interiors envy, and inspiration for decorating my new flat!

     

So what else did I get up to on my rare weekend off work? Well, after a stressful train journey due to the Scotrail Strikes, I needed fooooooooooooood! So I took myself (yes, a solo dinner date. no regrets.) to Bill’s. I’ve never been here before but it looked  and smelled really lovely so I thought I’d give it a try. Food was brilliant: a hallumi, red pepper, rocket , sweet chilli and hummus  burger with skin-on fries and a freshly squeezed orange juice. The Bill’s staff were super friendly, I love the decor, and the cocktails menu looked good too, so I will have to return again!  After lunch, I visited the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. I was blown away by the beautiful building and enjoyed the exhibitions; if I’d had more time I could stay there for hours!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx


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Argyll Escapes

I have just come back from a wonderful ‘staycation’ up in the north of Scotland (yes, nowhere near as exciting as last Summer’s adventures in New York and Norway, but stay with me!). 

Argyll is a beautiful area full of breathtaking lochs (thats Scottish lakes!), huge mountains, spooky forests and twee seaside villages, as well as so much history, culture and nature. It rained non-stop and the midges were out in full force, but we had a wonderful week.

My family and I have been here countless times, as its the original home of our Clan, but this was our first time by Loch Awe, in a Scandavian-style log cabin called Dalriada Lodge (which you can see on Air BnB here!)


On the first day, the other half and I tootled up from Edinburgh  in Tom, the trustworthy wee car, and settled in to our new residence. A huge 6-person bungalow, with a beautiful garden full of birds and trees and even a bustling brook, Dalriada lodge had everything from a sauna to a ping pong table, as well as the world’s comfiest beds and, the highlight of our mornings to come, a waffle machine! We went on to explore the area (closest named village being Dalmally) and take a look at the loch and the surrounding forest. 

The rest of the week was filled with cute little day trips, including to Oban, the nearest big town, where we ate several delicious seaside meals, indulged our sweet tooth at the chocolate company, acted like wee kids in the adventure playground, and admired the views. 

Another highlight was a hilariously rainy motorboat tour of the Loch  Awe and its surrounding secluded islands and historic castles. We loved trying our hand at driving the tiny boat  around the cold, dark mysterious waters, and comically tying it to any random trees we could find whilst we nibbled on cold pizza in the woods. However, the best part of this whole trip was simply chilling out with the people I love in beside the toasty fire with endless cups of tea, early morning yoga, late night scrabble, good books and a guitar.

 Overall, it has been a much-needed break from my hectic life and I’m already dreading going back to work, but it has motivated me to put more time and effort into the blog again, so stay tuned!



Ruth @ Urbanity xxx



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March Round-Up

March- you’ve been great so far! I wanted to write a post about my favourite things from this month, and the highlights include Edinburgh Fashion Week, free hair treatments, a trip to Glasgow, a magazine feature, a great charity concert, a witchy photoshoot and some fantastic shopping (yes, I’m afraid my Buy Nothing Challenge took a hit or two!). Photo of the FROW I sat in at #EdFashionWeek by Dominic Martin.



A press release from Edinburgh Fashion Week’s organisers yesterday confirmed what a fantastic success it was: 
“The Mound was once again transformed into a buzzing style hub, proving it to be a must-attend event for Scottish fashion fans. Over 11,500 people attended the launch weekend on the 5th and 6th of March, an impressive 15 percent increase from last year. Created to celebrate Edinburgh’s varied and unique shopping culture, the weekend showcased exciting collaborations with over 25 of the city’s top fashion retailers and stylish boutiques. Over £1400 was raised on the night for charity”
This photo  shows beautiful model Sarah Ewen backstage before the show!


Next up, the oddest thing happened to me a couple of weeks back: I was sitting in Starbucks when two gorgeous hairdressers came up and offered me a free hair cut and colour in exchange for some modelling and social media at Vidal Sassoon on Multrees Walk. Of course I said yes! 

My hair was dyed an ashy-blonde with greys and purples, by expert colourist Martin Collins and was cut into a shorter, choppier style and dressed into a (his words) ‘fashion shape’ by Sassoon salon Creative Director Bruce Masefield!

 On the 10th, I attended (and made hundreds of cupcakes and brownies for!) a fantastic gig at Studio 24 to celebrate the launch of a new single by female-fronted rock band No Quarter. 

All in aid of deserving charities Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre and Pancreatic Cancer, all the musical acts were phenomenal, including Noah-Noah and Our Smallest Adventures.

The highlights for me were dancing like a proper fangirl to music from my boyfriend  Jack Hinks, and winning a bottle of wine in the tombola! Fantastic photo here of Rebecca Pilcher by Perry Jonsson.

I also cannot wait to show you the pictures from an amazing photoshoot project I modelled for with Creative Director and good friend Daina Renton!

I was transformed into a pagan beauty for an American Horror Story: Coven themed editorial for Witch Way Magazine.

Look out for a full blog post about the results very soon! Photography by the talented Marisa Bruce.


Last but not least, this weekend a friend and I went on a wee road trip to Glasgow, for girly shopping, hangover-curing meals and to see one of our favourite musical geniuses, Grimes, at the O2 Academy. We even took the sunny weather with us!

Also, check out the brand new issue of local online fashion magazine FF Mag Scotland to read a fantastic feature about the project I’ve been involved in at The Scottish Design Exchange!


Ruth @ Urbanity xxx




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