Sunshine, Flowers & Tea For Three

Sometimes you meet people you just click with – there’s nothing false or forced, just a comfortable understanding of one another. In the vintage/pin-up world, two people I always feel relaxed with are Kelly and Rhina.

I met Kelly at a Vivien of Holloway sale; she had a great sense of humour and a shared love of shopping. Rhina entered my life at the Tiki Christmas Pin-Up meet-up – she was just a ball of joy and colour. Since then, I’ve chatted to these two online and met up with them as well. Although the three of us share a love of vintage/pin-up style, it’s not the foundation of our friendship. Together, we talk about highs and lows, put the world to rights and support one another in our endeavours.

On Monday, we met up at Kew for tea and talking. As it was the end of term, Kelly and I weren’t feeling too fabulous. Rhina had been working all day too. However after a long afternoon together, we all headed back home uplifted and with smiles on our faces

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Outside Kew Gardens station

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Entering The Palm House

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Kelly wearing a VOH dress and cardigan
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Collectif dress

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Sculpture by Henry Moore
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My favourite door for outfit shots
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Rhina – a spring flower

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High Tea at The Maids Of Honour
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Jam then cream

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Passionfruit Cheesecake

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They made me pose on the ground

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Ninja Poser

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As much as I usually want to hibernate at home, making time for friends is hugely important to me. Sometimes they help me ignore my negative thoughts – sometimes they just make me giggle uncontrollably. Whatever happens, I come away happier. Thanks to Kelly for walking miles and miles with me around the gardens and thanks to Rhina for a ridiculously yummy tea. Here’s to the next one – I can’t wait!

Cake At Kew #2: The Write-Up

I had such a fab response to the previous Cake At Kew blog post – all down to the brilliant photography skills of @darktechsupport!

As a follow-up, this post features my amateur photography and a little commentary on the day.


Let’s start off with my outfit (photos by Kelly). I’m terrible with theming for an event so I chose this old Laura Ashley butterfly dress. For warmth, I added my new Vivien of Holloway cardigan.


The Day

We had such good weather for our meet-up – just a little too windy for my hair! To start off with, we visited The Hive (an amazing architectural space inspired by bees).


After listening to the gentle buzzing and staring at the sky, we settled down for our picnic.


With full tummies, we took a stroll over to The Palm House. It was so hot and  steamy but I loved it – a stunning space!


To top off our day at Kew, we had a full tour of the gardens in a ‘land train’. Late sun streamed through the trees and the whole place was covered in a golden glow.


When our time at Kew ended, Kelly, Rhina, @darktechsupport and I headed to a nearby pub. We ate burgers, talked for bloody ages and put the world to rights. A great end to a wonderful day.


Reflections On The Day

As I’ve shared about my social anxiety previously, I’m often asked why I put myself through these meet-ups and how I cope with them.

If I’m totally honest, I have a huge fear of missing out on things. When I haven’t gone to a meet-up or an event, I get so frustrated and angry with myself. Going gives me the ability to say “at least you went” to myself. At work, I push myself out of my comfort zone all the time so I end up applying that to my social life. Usually I end up exhausted the next day and hibernate! My main methods for coping are as follows: taking my husband along, people-watching and sticking with a small group (I don’t know why but it works for me).

Friendship is the main reason I go to these gatherings. I’ve never been the kind of person to have a huge number of friends but I love it when you find someone you really click with. Through these meet-ups, (apart from fellow fashionistas) I’ve met a passionate teacher, a multi-lingual nature lover, a loud-mouth political ally, a lover of eighties music and a shopping addict. If I’d never have plucked up the courage to talk to these people, I never would have known what great things we have in common – that makes all the anxiety, stress and exhaustion worth it!

I asked some of the other attendees what they get out of meet-ups. Here are their responses:


Kelly M It was fantastic to meet up with so many lovely ladies, who were not only beautifully dressed but beautiful people too! Everyone was sharing everything from picnic nibbles they had made to stories of vintage finds, I even found some fellow Disney fans! The weather was perfect, the company even better and I felt like a Kew VIP thanks to our fabulous host Rhina.

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Holly FI love days out like this, with so many lovely people. There’s something really magical about having a picnic at a country estate, it’s an escape and when you have good company there’s nothing better!


Leanda L I loved organising this get-together with Amelia and Rhina. The pin-up scene is a niche and it’s nice to meet like-minded women, who don’t just enjoy vintage style but also body positivity, diversity, female strength and swearing like a sailor (ok, ok that last one is just me).


Rhina DAs a non-native speaker, it is a great opportunity not only to meet amazing like-minded ladies but to learn more about the vintage / vintage reproduction scene, to share some nice beverages and food and to learn lots and lots of new vocabulary!

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Amelia MI like how these get-togethers result in a beautiful bubble of colour, style and like-minded women appreciating each other’s efforts. I always come away from them feeling like I’ve reached peak positivity – I smile for days afterwards!

Thanks to everyone that contributed to the post – it’s always good to be able to find out other people’s perspectives. Here’s to the next one!