TEAM ZOELLA MAY 30, 2021

Weekly Wants: Pieces We Are Loving From & Other Stories

Dream wardrobe incoming: one scroll of the & Other Stories website and boom, your basket is full, you have 5 packages en route and your bank manager is on the phone wondering what the f*ck is going on.

Dream wardrobe incoming: one scroll of the & Other Stories website and boom, your basket is full, you have 5 packages en route and your bank manager is on the phone wondering what the f*ck is going on. Their irresistible combination of design influences from Paris, L.A and Stockholm means they nail new-in, on-trend yet classic styles every time, and you can shop safe in the knowledge that you can’t go far wrong where & Other Stories is concerned. 

This week the team are running you through their favourite ‘add to basket’ picks as the dreaminess of June 21st approaches and hugs, kisses, parties and picnics become the new, ‘new normal’. Insert all the heart eye emojis.

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TEAM ZOELLA MAY 29, 2021

A 10/10 Weekend in Margate & Broadstairs

Both Margate - dubbed Shoreditch-on-Sea - and Broadstairs offer plenty of iconic sandy beaches, vintage shops, quirky cafes, art galleries and world-class fish and chips.

Like the sound of old school seaside charm, Instagrammable sunsets and a blossoming street food scene? Then you’ve got a couple of scenic soulmates in these charming Thanet towns. Both Margate – dubbed Shoreditch-on-Sea – and Broadstairs offer plenty of iconic sandy beaches, vintage shops, quirky cafes, art galleries and world-class fish and chips.

Fancy a weekend getaway that’s just an hour ½ from London? Here’s how to get the best of England’s creative coast.

Check out the current exhibitions at Turner Contemporary

Margate is fizzing with artistic energy and frankly, no trip to this coastal gem is complete without experiencing the Turner Contemporary, named after Romantic artist JMW Turner. Widely recognised as the catalyst for the regeneration of Margate & East Kent, its ever-changing programme means there’s always something new to see, whether you’re a local or a visitor.

📍 Rendezvous, Margate, CT9 1HG

Pick up a coffee at Storeroom by Curve Roasters

For a solid cup of Joe and a delicious lunch menu, head 10 minutes down the road from Turner Contemporary to Storeroom by Curve Roasters. Their menu changes depending on the seasons and what’s fresh in from their most recent harvests. If you like your coffee with a story, this is the good place.

📍 1D Print Works, Union Row, Margate, CT9 1PP

Pop into Mar Mar Margate

A café-cum-shop full of house plants, stationery and homewares. When you’re done flexing your green fingers, grab a pastry and a brew for the road.

📍80 Northdown Rd, Margate, CT9 2RE

Inhale a seaside snack at Po’ boy

Deep-fried scallop sub anyone? The dream team behind Po’boy have transformed the seaside tradition of fish and chips to a gourmet delight, served with fresh mango and lime sauce. Bib me up already.

📍The Sun Deck, Royal Crescent Promenade, Westbrook, Margate, CT9 5AJ

Step back in time at Dickens House Museum

Dickens House Museum celebrates the author’s connections with Broadstairs from 1837 to 1851. Housed in the real-life cottage that was Dickens’ inspiration for the home of the legendary character Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield, you’ll find work by H.K Browne, the famous illustrator of the original Dickens novels, on display here alongside furniture owned by the man himself.

Please note, the museum is temporarily closed keep your eyes peeled for reopening times.

📍Dickens House Museum, 2 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs, CT10 1QS

Have a sup lesson at Joss Bay Surf School

Surf’s up! If you want to work on your water sports and learn to sup ‘n’ surf, there’s no better teacher than Joss Bay Surf School. The instructors are ISA qualified and all your equipment is included. For stand-up paddling, you’ll have one full hour of coaching before hitting the water for another 60 minutes of free practice (price £40 for a group lesson). If catching waves is more your thing, you can have 1 ½ hours of contact time, 30 minutes free practice (price £40 for a group lesson). Have a splash around on the baby waves and get a much-needed dose of vitamin sea.

📍 N Foreland Hill, Broadstairs, CT10 3PG

Tuck into famous ice cream at Morelli’s

This famous ice cream parlour has been serving sweet-toothed customers since the 1900s and if the queues are anything to go by, the hype is still real. Scoop up the best gelato of all the land, made in-store daily.

📍 14 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs, CT10 1QS

Get your sushi fix at Hantverk & Found

When in Margate, you simply have to try to get a table at Hantverk & Found. Serving fresh handmade sushi, scallop ramen, gyoza and bao bun. They also offer takeaway so you can box it all up and head to the beach for a seaside picnic.

📍18 King Street (in the Old Town), Margate, CT9

Swim like a local at Walpole Bay

For safer sea swimming with plenty of wildlife, have a paddle at Walpole Bay – one of just 13 tidal pools in England. Designed in 1937, it’s now grade II listed and covers over four whopping acres, so you’re guaranteed to have a proper interrupted swim here. It has all the allure of the wide-open sea without the crowds, just check tide times as the sand is entirely covered at high tide.

📍 Walpole Bay, Margate, Cliftonville, CT9 2JN

For all the fun of the fair, head to Dreamland

Dubbed the heartbeat of Margate, Dreamland is the oldest surviving theme park in Great Britain. Experience retro rides (some of which date back to the 1920s), an indoor roller room, art installations, street food and a programme packed with live music and events for all the family. When you’re done on the Chair-O-Planes and the Pendulum, have a paddle at the beach and come back for a night of dancing under the stars at one of their iconic gigs. Dreamland, indeed.

📍49-51 Marine Terrace, Margate, CT9 1XJ

Stay at the bougie Reading Rooms

Get some kip in this Grade II listed Georgian town house, situated just a short walk away from the beach, historic Old Town and vintage shops. Featuring floor to ceiling windows, ornate plaster cornicing, a hand-carved bed and a double-ended cast-iron roll-top bath, you’re guaranteed a sound night’s sleep in the Salon room (our personal fave). In the morning, roll out of bed and tuck into fresh pastries, fruit and freshly baked sourdough delivered straight to your room upon your request.

📍31 Hawley Sq, Margate, CT9 1PH

Discover the famous mystery of Margate at the Shell Grotto

These mysterious winding passages have been covered head-to-toe with over four million shells and nobody knows why. How curious. Discovered by chance in 1835 by a man digging for a duck pond, the underground cave has been elaborately decorated with treasures of the sea from mussels, oysters, cockles and whelks and its origins remain unexplained to this day. Some people suspect it was a secret temple, others say séances were held there. We like to think it was all a dark mermaid’s doing. Grab yourself a ticket and see for yourselves.

📍31 Grotto Hill, Margate, CT9 2BU

Pop by The Kentish Pantry

Located in Margate’s Old Town, The Kentish Pantry sells the finest artisan products from wines, cheeses, chutneys and handmade pottery, all sourced in Kent. Grab a pastry and a coffee from their in-store bakery and you’ll be all set for a day of exploring glorious Marg.

📍 1 Duke Street, Margate, CT9 1EP

Snap up some second-hand outfits at Handsome Freaks

Handpicked in LA, this place sells a bunch of handsome vintage pieces with a streetwear edge. Drop in. Spend all your wages. Don’t look back.

📍 10 Broad Street, Margate, CTN 1BN

Shop sustainably at Haeckels

Based in a clifftop lab in sandy Margate, this sustainable beauty brand was created to enthuse people about the health-giving benefits of the sea. Using natural ingredients such as ocean mud, local botanicals and seaweed, Haeckels’ Founder Dom Bridges and his team have developed a range of cruelty-free skincare products from the ocean, for the ocean. They are one of only two companies licensed to harvest seaweed from the English coast.

They also offer bespoke treatments designed to revitalise the mind and body, from seaweed baths to reflexology and full body massage. Never. Coming. Home.

📍18 Cliff Terrace, Margate, CT9 1RU

TEAM ZOELLA MAY 28, 2021

We Made Our Own Bespoke Jewellery With CAST

CAST offers bespoke jewellery making experiences across the UK, from public events to private hen dos, team building sessions and wedding ring workshops for couples. We thought we'd give it a go on rainy lockdown evening and let you know how we got on.

As at-home activities go, we can safely say we’ve peaked with the CAST jewellery making experience. The humble diy flower crown is cancelled, guys.

CAST, a company based in Sheffield and owned by brothers James and Luke Cottingham, offers bespoke jewellery making experiences across the UK, from public events to private hen dos, team building sessions and wedding ring workshops for couples.

The second element of CAST is the bespoke jewellery making kits, designed for all those people who prefer to get creative in their own time and in the comfort of their own home. It’s genius.

The bespoke jewellery making kit is £29 and contains everything you need to design and create your very own jewellery at home, including shaping tools, sandpaper, wax moulds and a tin and freepost envelope so your design can reach the team safely, ready for casting.

You don’t need any experience but if you find yourself stuck for ideas, you can always check out the Makers Table section on CAST’s Instagram or website for tips and design inspo.

Whether you want to make a signet ring, a hammered coin pendant, earrings or cufflinks, the possibilities are endless. The more unique and special to you, the better!

Once you’re happy with your piece, you simply fill out the online form and send your piece off to the CAST experts. There’s also an opportunity to add in your ring size, metal and choice of finish.

Every piece then goes through a strict ancient process of lost wax casting by the silversmithing team and is finished by hand in solid silver, platinum or gold. Prices for casting the jewellery start from £60 for a single wax jewellery piece weighing upto 1.5g in wax. You can also select optional extras such as engraving, gold plating and stone setting.

Not only do you get the opportunity to switch off and make some magic, you also get a piece of jewellery designed and carved by you, for you. Buzzing!

You can find out more about the CAST experience and jewellery making kits here!

And because we couldn’t resist having a go at it ourselves, you can see the team’s CAST creations below!

Holly says…

I bloody love getting crafty and I would go as far as to say this is my favourite activity so far. The whole experience was just great. The guys who run its were so friendly and it was just like friends hanging out. I sometimes worry that zoom calls and classes will be awkward but this wasn’t awkward at all. We were on the call for over 2 hours and it absolutely flew by.

I decided to make a ring because I want to have some that I like and want to wear every day. I engraved all my families names in to it so it means something too. I can’t say I was great at it but I really enjoyed it.

I have giant sausage fingers and got a bit carried away when I was trying to make the ring bigger and made it too big. The guys were so helpful and made it a tiny bit smaller so it wouldn’t slip of, I would have cried if I’d lost it after 700 hours making it.

I couldn’t stop, I kept adding to it afterwards so it actually took me about a month to sign up in the end. I opted for a gold finish in a kind of worn style, if that’s what you call it? And actually love how it came out. I genuinely think this would make a great gift for someone and love the idea of making wedding bands for each other.

Lareese says…

For someone who writes and takes photos for a living, you’d think I’d have creative bones but for whatever reason, crafting and me have never hit it off, so I had to manage my expectations of my jewellery making abilities. I wasn’t exactly confident I’d be up to the task of creating something I could realistically ya know, wear with pride. I have a hard time drawing a star (true story) let alone chiselling something from wax with my own barely functioning hands. Luckily for me Luke and James were pretty pro imperfection when it comes to making unique pieces of jewellery, which bodes well for this clumsy girl.

The bespoke kit is beautifully presented with all kinds of fancy utensils – the jewel blade slightly terrified me at first but if I can use it without hacking a finger off, you’ll be fine. For £29 I think it’s a pretty good deal for the quality tools you’re getting. Plus, you can carry on making jewellery time and time again, just order some more wax refills for 50p and job’s a good’un.

I found the process of sanding away at the wax and seeing the design take shape really calming. I was in the zen zone! In terms of the making side of things, it was much easier than I thought it would be, which speaks volumes because, did I mention, I’m outrageously bad at crafts. Now I’m not saying my creation is Hatton Garden worthy or anything but that’s kind of the point. I wanted to create something a bit battered and irregular (like its mother) and I think it’s going to come into its own when it’s been through the casting process.

I love that you can create anything you set your mind to with CAST – from wedding rings to sentimental keepsakes or even a blooming croissant ring if you so wished – I did wish very much so but without exhausting this self-deprecating memoir I’m writing here, I think that would have been a little bit ambitious. You don’t need to be an expert, you just have to have fun with it.

I can’t wait to see the finished result and wear a piece of jewellery I designed and made myself, all in the comfort of my own pad. I’ll definitely be making another piece in the future. Thank you to the lovely CAST team for making it happen!

Charlotte says…

I would consider myself a relatively creative person but for some reason my brain really struggles with tactile things like this, as I learnt the hard way during my art GCSEs in which my vision rarely translates IRL, haha! I absolutely love jewellery though, and especially rings, so I was so excited at the prospect of this lovely evening activity with the team, and it certainly did not disappoint!

I was definitely a little intimidated when I first opened up the box as the different tools and materials looked v professional for an extreme newbie, but the CAST guys were so wonderful and knowledgeable that it definitely helped me feel at ease. The team shared one of their Pinterest boards at the beginning of the session which was really helpful as it is quite easy to feel a bit overwhelmed with just how many possibilities there are in terms of the direction you want to take your design in. I decided on a simple band design for my ring (managing expectations of my abilities early on) and shaping, adjusting and fitting the ring was really therapeutic actually! It’s the perfect mindful activity to be focused on and feel very ‘in the moment’ whilst also allowing for a glass of wine (optional!) and chat with the group too.

I decided to melt some wax too and give that a go, adding some small bead-like textures to the front of the ring which looks super simple but I think once CAST will be quite chic (hopefully) and classic. I’m opting for a gold finish as I’m definitely a gold lover through and through and I can’t wait to see how this more personal, unique 

Danielle says…

Normally when we do crafty things as a team I have grand illusions of how it will turn out, try-hard for about 10 minutes, then mess it up and just decide to have fun and make a mess instead. But because I love jewellery – specifically rings – so much, I put my all into this one so I could create something I can wear and wouldn’t leave in a box for years to come!

The box came beautifully packaged with some really high-end tools, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. To kick things off we had to sand the inside of our rings to fit our fingers, I wanted one for my index finger as this is my chunkiest finger and always harder to find rings for. Sanding down the hole was time-consuming but super easy and I realised what a good opportunity it is to get a perfectly sized ring.

I started chipping away at the ring to get it a bit thinner and realised I loved the hammered effect so I kept on chipping and sanded down the edges so it wasn’t as sharp. I wanted to keep my band quite long like a cigarette band as apposed to something thin and dainty. I haven’t received my ring back yet but I’m super excited to see how it turns out.

I’d highly recommend using CAST if you’re looking to get into jewellery making, and it would also make a great activity for an event or party. I’ve done so many hen do activities in the past that cost so much money, doing something like this where people can go away with something they will actually want to keep is perfect!

Darcey says…

I don’t usually get crafty and actually I do really enjoy it once I get stuck in but I’m bad at finding time to just sit and make something or get creative. So when I found out we were going to be making our own jewellery I was so excited! It’s also so nice to spend some time away from your phone and just enjoy the moment creating something cool.

I had such a fun experience with the CAST guys and the kit is so lovely with all the bits and bobs you need to make your own bespoke jewellery! Their Instagram and Pinterest are also full of great inspo if you find yourself a bit stuck on the design (which I absolutely was at first).

I decided to create a ring, which let me tell you took a while as I have rather large fingers, so carving out the size of my ring took me ages but it was so worth it for the accomplishment. For my design I decided to go with a textured metal effect by heating up one of the tools with a candle and then melting the wax to create a bumpy, textured effect. I hope once it’s cast to metal it should look pretty cool! I’ve gone with a silver finish as I think that looks best with the style ring I’ve designed.

I’m really excited to see the finished result and wear a piece of jewellery I designed myself! I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who is looking for something crafty to do, it would also be a fabulous gift!

This article was part of an AD – Gifted experience.

TEAM ZOELLA MAY 27, 2021

Get Your 5 a Day With These Fruity ‘Fits

Appearing in bold and statement prints or smaller micro nods to the trend, the variety of ways to rock fruit print mean the possibilities for summer outfits are truly endless.

The summer months bring colour and freshness to your evening dinner plate, and the same can be said for your wardrobe too! As the weather warms up (please universe) and fake tan gets topped up with a real one, the urge to embrace bold, primary colours increases along with the fun and flirty vision that’s forced into hiding during the season of jumpers and boots. And what screams Italian vineyard or English orchard during a heatwave more than the humble fruit print?! Appearing in bold and statement prints or smaller micro nods to the trend, the variety of ways to rock fruit print mean the possibilities for summer outfits are truly endless. 

What screams Italian vineyard or English orchard during a heatwave more than the humble fruit print?!

Dream brands such as Realisation Par and Revolve have this trend nailed to a tee, with their classic itty bitty dresses offering the perfect base for a youthful and playful look that screams hot girl summer to the max. The trend has trickled down to some of our high street faves this season too however, with good ol’ Zara, Mango and ASOS offering chic, simple and effortless interpretations of the trend that embody what it is to dress for the hot, sticky weather we are so desperately craving. Lemon and cherry prints are perhaps the most popular fruit features to be found in the shops right now, having us dreaming of a Sicilian getaway or stroll through downtown L.A. We can dream, right?! 

Which pieces are going straight into your basket?

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TEAM ZOELLA MAY 26, 2021

The Team’s Most Loved Television and Movies

From the series we can quote verbatim to the on-screen comfort food greats like Gavin and Stacey and the pandemic viewing we discovered when we were elbow-deep in wishful baking, here’s a look at the team’s most treasured television and movies.

Let’s just say somewhere between the blur that was 2020 and now – Google informs us it’s now May 2021 but that’s news to us – we definitely got our money’s worth out of our Netflix subscription or whoever else is still paying for it. One day we will grow up and put that right but until then, the show must go on.

What else was there to do but disappear down a rabbit hole of frothy period dramas, feel-good movies and nostalgic box sets that acted as a welcome distraction from reality? Bridgerton made us horny, The Greatest Showman stepped up as the perennial all-singing all-dancing tonic we can always count on and Normal People gave us Connell’s sexy f*cking chain. When we finally decided to stop getting a boner over quizzes and other equally terrible organised virtual fun, tv was there to pull down our pants and smack our arse with the biggest I told you so of the century. Watching tv is a top-tier activity, let’s not underestimate it again.

From the series we can quote verbatim to the on-screen comfort food greats like Gavin and Stacey and the pandemic viewing we discovered when we were elbow-deep in wishful baking, here’s a look at the team’s most treasured television and movies.

Holly says…

The Greatest Showman – Probably my favourite film of all time. I just love everything about it, the storyline, the cast, the songs, just everything. Especially Zac Efron, let’s be real. My favourite scene is when they’re in the bar and it zooms in on his face and he smirks (you know the one). I went and saw it 5 times in the cinema and brought it on DVD and Sky TV. It also has quite a nice story behind it. The first time I went to see it, Alfie, Zoe, and I went for dinner beforehand and this is where they told me they wanted me to work for them. So I will always have fond memories of that time, when I couldn’t concentrate for a whole film. I guess it kind of symbolises a turning point in my life.

Gavin and Stacey – Oh, What’s Occurring? I mean obviously, this was going to be there. I absolutely LOVE Gavin and Stacey with my whole being. For my birthday, my best friend got me a video message from Dave Coaches and I cried. It’s such a feel-good programme, I can put it on any time of day, I know it word for word but it goes beyond a comfort programme, it’s honestly just everything. If I had to only watch one thing for the rest of my life, I’d choose this.

One Tree Hill – Ultimate comfort programme. I remember being in my bedroom, age 12 watching One Tree Hill before school. I think I love it so much because the characters are really relatable, as are the storylines. Some of them are far fetched but of course what is a soap without a kidnapping every now and then. I also feel like I grew up with the characters, going through school, first loves, then growing up and having children. The characters are all so likeable and it’s another one I have the whole box-set on DVD.

Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging – Ace gang, it’s boy stalking time. When I was younger I was convinced that I was Georgia Nicholson (Still am a little bit) – What film is more classic than Angus Thongs. It’s set in Brighton and I was the same age as the main character when I read the books. It’s so relatable, to the point where I have accidentally shaved my eyebrows off in the past. The playlist is great and you’ll struggle to find someone my age who doesn’t think this is an absolute classic.

Football – Over lockdown, I got so into football. I’ve always been interested but over the past couple of months, I literally watch every match. I think it’s been something to keep my mind occupied and now I’m at a point where I cancel plans to watch matches that have no effect on Brighton. It’s so easy to have on in the background while I’m scrolling Tik Tok and I just love the absolutely outrageous goals, goal celebrations and random acts of comradeship every now and then. My absolutely favourite thing is an underdog story too. My highlight this year was when Marine got through to the 3rd round of the FA Cup

Lareese says…

Bridgerton – It’ll come as no surprise that I think Bridgerton is the best thing Netlfix ever did, and if the 82 million households that tuned in to watch it in its first 28 days are anything to go by, I’m not alone in my regency rapture. I am obsessed with period dramas and this one blew me away. From the classic covers by the Vitamin String Quartet to the costumes and the unforgettable cast (I think about the Duke of Hastings and his exceptional ability to pull off a cravat every damn day), it had all the ingredients of a binge-worthy series and I have no problem admitting I’ve watched it four times. In the year when we needed it the most, Bridgerton came through with top-notch escapism, full of romance, scandal and madly-hot leads. We will forever be indebted to Shonda Rhimes.

Normal People – It’s not often a tv adaptation can match the book but in the case of Normal People, it absolutely did. With Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal at the helm as Marianne and Connell, it became something of a masterpiece. The awkward chemistry between the two was quite frankly poetic and the soft-focus scenes in Italy were beautiful. I also think the sex scenes were pretty revolutionary; very ordinary but intimate and, much like author Sally Rooney’s signature writing style, deceptively simple and direct. I feel like we needed to see sex scenes like that. The cinematography was also beautifully done, flooded with natural light and shot in a way that felt very observational, much like a documentary. The script was quiet and allowed for silence which, again, I thought was done remarkably well. It was just an incredible example of storytelling from start to finish, I can’t fault this show.

Downton Abbey – Downton is like the on-screen equivalent of comfort food and a long soak. I find myself going back to it time and time again, particularly on a rainy day when all you want to do is watch something cosy with a cup of tea and a box of chocolate fingers on your lap. I find the era fascinating, from the interiors to the architecture and the etiquette. Dame Maggie Smith is an absolute gem and expertly delivers her razor-sharp one-liners – she’s the star of the show IMO. It’s the perfect Sunday night watch.

The Intern – I can’t explain the attachment I have to this film, I just love it. I know it’s bad, I know the script-writing sucks but there’s no denying that final scene will get you sniffling into the sleeve of your very own slightly-less-fluffy- robe. Despite its predictability and silliness, there’s something endearing and likeable about it – it’s a Nancy Meyers movie after all, and I put that down to a handkerchief-carrying Robert Ne Niro.

A Star Is Born – It makes me weep every single time. Bradley Cooper’s mumbling demeanour as a barely functioning alcoholic, Lady Gaga’s tender performance, the soundtrack – ugh, it’s great. A love story and a tragedy all wrapped up in one, I find myself both doing anything to avoid watching it again (for my heart’s sake) but equally craving a lip wobble along to I’ll Never Love Again.

Danielle says…

Moneyball – Probably a bit of a random choice but I love baseball and I think this movie did the ‘behind the scenes’ of the sport a lot of justice. Brad Pitt had to make it in here somewhere as he’s such a great actor, especially when playing fairly chilled out roles. I love the soundtrack, how it’s put together, but most of all the writing. Aaron Sorkin is one of my fave writers because he packs so much witty dialogue in and it always feels real, he also wrote The Social Network, Steve Jobs and most recently The Trial of the Chicago 7 which are also some of my faves. Jonah Hill is also both adorable and hilarious in Moneyball. For some reason, I always end up chucking this movie on when I’m flying somewhere long haul.

Midnight in Paris – I know Woody Allen is pretty problematic in his personal life but if we’re separating art from the creator then I have to say I love Woody Allen movies. Midnight in Paris follows a nostalgic screenwriter who finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight. I am 100% one of those people who glorify other generations, I love being transported through time whether it’s the 20s, 50s, the 1800’s etc. The movie shows us that the grass isn’t always greener and we should live in the now but in SUCH a fun way.

You’ve got Mail – I’ve probably written about this movie so many times for Zoella but hey, we like what we like. I can watch this movie at any point of the year for pure joy. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are so adorable, I love watching them together, I love that it’s set in New York. Nora Ephron is the height of comfort watching, When Harry Met Sally comes in a very close second to YGM!

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel – I’m obsessed with this show, it’s HILARIOUS, the writing is superb, the costumes and set design are so dreamy and the cast is simply magnificent, they were all made to play these roles. Taking place in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the series stars Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a New York housewife who discovers she has a knack for stand-up comedy and pursues a career in it. It’s created by Amy Sherman-Palladino who also created Gilmore Girls, so if you love that fast-paced quirky comedy packed full of references vibe then you’ll also adore this.

Orange is the New Black – This series is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, about her experiences at FCI Danbury, a minimum-security federal prison. It lasted for 7 seasons and I started it when it came out so it was in my life for a good 6 years. The show evolved so much over the years and tackled so many hard-hitting subjects that occur in the American prison system and life in general, but they did it all with such grace and tact. The ensemble was fantastic they all hold a special place in my heart.

The Chef Show – My fiance and I love this show, it’s so easy to chuck on and enjoy, packed full of amazing food and recipes but also interviews and educational bits. It’s presented by Jon Favreau and Roy Choi who have great chemistry and the whole thing just feels quite effortless. If I’m thinking about shows I can’t wait for a new series of this is definitely up there and I think it deserves more love!

Darcey says…

Stranger Things – I think I am with many in saying this is probably one of the best series on Netflix. I watched the first two series within about two days (with a lot of snacks) and was HOOKED. Not to mention series three wasn’t released soon after, so I didn’t have that long to wait. However, series four is really taking its time, no hate to them I know it’s because of covid, but still, I can’t wait to watch it. I surprised myself liking Stranger Things as I’m not usually a sci-fi kind of gal, but this is just toooo good not to like.

Doctor Foster – I was obsessed with this series, still am to be honest I’ve rewatched it like three times! The mystery, the drama, the scandals, I loved it. I was actually distraught (no joke) when they said a third series wasn’t coming back. like? How will I ever know if Tom comes home? I NEED ANSWERS.

Good Girls – Another Netflix firm fave, became obsessed with this when the first series was released and now eagerly wait for the next series every year. Although again to my dismay, NBC are thinking about cutting it and not doing a final series… I can’t take this kind of pain. This series is so good! It’s a comedy, with female power, a lot of motherhood and drug cartels all rolled up in one. I mean when do you ever get to see a group of three mums doing the school run and then making fake cash to money launder? Never. That’s what makes it so good.

The Sweetest Thing – Absolutely one of my favourite films, I love Cameron Diaz and I love a rom-com. She is so sassy and the girl power in this film is immaculate. Also very much enjoy a cheesy ending where the girl gets the guy, guy gets the girl etc. You know what’s going to happen in the end, but it doesn’t matter, cause you are here for the ride and every bump in the road. Also, the fashion in this is chefs kiss, 2000’s eat your heart out.

Ocean’s 8 – I feel this film needs no explanation, if you’ve seen it you know how good it is. Again female power! Can you see a theme here in my choices? I also do love a comedy/thriller and anything crime related to be honest. The way they strategically steal this Cartier necklace I find fascinating, like I know it’s not real, but it could be and that’s what’s exciting. Also how can you not like a film with Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Awkwafina and Helena Bonham Carter? Come on.

Mary Queen of Scots – Love me a period piece, a film based on real events. Also find Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I relationship fascinating, because they never even met. Maybe this is my A Level history coming out, but the battle they both fought for the throne of England is pretty astonishing really, ending in Mary’s execution. Also again, fantastic actors, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, hard not to like the film with two strong female leads.

Charlotte says…

Prison Break – I LOVE a series with tonnes of episodes to get my teeth stuck into and Prison Break is definitely a long ‘un! With 5 seasons and 90 episodes it’s one you don’t need to be worried will end as soon as it gets good, and boy oh boy does it get good. The story follows Michael Scofield as he is sent to Fox River Prison after he frames himself for a bank robbery in order to try and free his brother who is currently serving a sentence on death row. As the name would suggest, breaking out of prison is the aim, and there are so many nail biting moments throughout that keep you gripped and invested in the storyline and characters- even the baddies you know you’re not supposed to like. 

I don’t think it’s really a spoiler to say that they do indeed break out of prison (it would be a very long run of episodes if they never managed it) and I controversially love the later seasons when they’re on the run even more than the original prison scenes which I know are most people’s favourites. Wentworth Miller is just wonderful and honestly I’m just obsessed with the whole cast and both their on and off screen relationships. If you like edge of your seat drama that shows the power of true friendships, love and alliance against the odds then this is the show for you.

Stranger Things – I’ve been obsessed with Stranger Things since its first season and have eagerly followed the cast and their friendships and endeavours since 2016. ST is one of those series where everything is nailed to a tee. There is nothing you would change or want more from the show because every possible detail has been considered and it goes beyond your wildest imagination. The cast are quite possibly my favourite of any TV series because not only are they so god damn CUTE but you can really see how genuine and real their friendships are off screen too. They all had their big breaks together and it’s so evident that the show is just a wonderful adventure to be a part of. Winona Ryder and David Harbour are personal faves of mine- they can do no wrong in my eyes. 

I’m generally not a big sci fi lover and prefer more ‘realistic’ storylines but Stranger Things really changed my mind on this and I truly appreciate the magic of being transported to another world. The 80s styling, music and references are also simply exquisite, and if I could steal the wardrobe of Nancy Wheeler some time I 100% would.

Grey’s Anatomy – UGHHHH SO MANY EMOTIONS. I haven’t even finished this series yet but after many tears and hours invested I can safely say that nothing compares to the emotion of a Grey’s Anatomy episode. The ups and downs, the highs and the lows, the laughs and the tears- truly next level stuff. The cast is once again 10/10- Patrick Dempsey is chefs kiss and I will never get bored of watching him. Each character is lovable and flawed and difficult but just so human and you connect with each of them in different but complex, perfect ways. They really do feel like your real friends. I’m so addicted that I really did Google ‘how to become a surgeon’ last week, and needless to say I don’t think I’ll be obtaining the necessary qualifications any time soon, but hey, a girl can dream.

1D This Is Us – Fan girls unite! I literally left a university open day early when this film came out because I had booked tickets to see it at the cinema and you best believe that comes before anything else in my schedule. I’m realistically never going to have anything bad to say about My Boys but even if you’re not a fan I genuinely think this film is made up of feel-good magic that anyone would enjoy. I love a tour film like this and the format of backstage content we would otherwise never see as well as on stage performances of their endless BOPS. The Take Me Home tour was a real highlight of their career in my opinion and reliving it every time I watch this is such a treat. Their cover of Teenage Dirtbag deserves an honourable mention here because has there ever been a musical cover as groundbreaking as this? I think not. Watching this feels nostalgic and like pure serotonin in my veins and for that reason it will always be my go-to watch.

Me Before You – If you need to cry, just watch Me Before You. I love both Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin so the film was always off to a great start before I even watched it for the first time, and boy oh boy are you in for a ride with this one. I’ve loved this film for years but since suffering with chronic pain and a plethora of health issues it hits home even more and perfectly conveys the struggles, frustration and isolation that can come with being unwell. I really do feel like it does those feelings justice and I come back to it again and again if I need a cry and to feel a little bit more understood. Despite its sombreness, you’ll be smiling through the tears throughout, and if a film can be feel-good whilst also leaving you sobbing then this is the one.

Titanic – My first celebrity crush was Leonardo DiCaprio and when I tell you I pretty much know the script of this film as a result I am being deadly serious. It’s a classic, I don’t need to sell it to you, but I really feel like the Leo and Kate dynamic just truly never gets old. The styling and costume also deserves an honorary mention too and really does make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. I’m a sucker for a love story and nothing even comes close to that of Jack and Rose in my opinion- this will always hold a special place in my heart as the go-to film of my adolescence. Sometimes I do have to press stop before they hit the iceberg just to soak up the joy of young, new love, but even watching only half the film still cements it as a favourite of mine forever.

TEAM ZOELLA MAY 24, 2021

Between You and Me: Your Problems Answered Part 16

If only there was a vaccination to save us from mardy bum mother in-laws serving sly digs left right and centre, romance ruts and pals slating their dickhead boyfriends but continuing to do absolutely nothing about it.

The end of lockdown is so close we can practically taste the Aperol but that doesn’t mean we’re immune to life’s many, many problems. Pause the bunting people, shit’s going down.

If only there was a vaccination to save us from mardy bum mother in-laws serving sly digs left right and centre, romance ruts and pals slating their dickhead boyfriends but continuing to do absolutely nothing about it. If scientists could make that jab happen by 2030, thank you please. Push it through guys, see what strings you can pull eh?

In this month’s BYAM, we’re working through all of the above and more. Join us for a good venting sesh, won’t you?

TEAM ZOELLA MAY 23, 2021

Weekly Wants: Coffee Table Styling

Balancing the needs of functionality and aesthetics has never been more key than in a living space that's considered the hub of the home- the place guests visit as well as housing your daily bits, bobs and everything in between.

Does anyone else agree that coffee table styling feels like peak adulthood? Us too. Balancing the needs of functionality and aesthetics has never been more key than in a living space that’s considered the hub of the home- the place guests visit as well as housing your daily bits, bobs and everything in between. Clutter but make it cool. Everyday essentials but make it edgy. It’s all the ‘stuff’ that’s worthy of public viewing. Nailing the balance of purposeful decor, whilst also leaving space for your actual coffee cups and snacks aplenty is a fine art, friends!

If you’re in need of inspo then think vases, coasters, candles, plants and our personal favourite: BOOKS. There’s something about buying a chunky, hardback coffee table book (aka an oversized visual book that possibly collects dust but looks fabulous doing so) too that feels 10/10 joyful. A book with no expectations or set reading time can be a welcome break from a heavy reading list or excessive screen time day. The key here is not to overthink. Much like shelf styling it can feel overwhelming to nail the fine line between intentional interiors and excessive ‘stuff’, but the more you play around with the space and switch things up seasonally, the more effortless it feels.

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TEAM ZOELLA MAY 22, 2021

The Perfect Weekend in Bath, Heavily Influenced by Food & Bridgerton

If you want to know where's best to bathe, eat, drink and amble around in this beautiful city, here’s a laid-back weekend itinerary, curated with foodies, book lovers & Bridgerton fans in mind.

Oh Bath, you Georgian honey-coloured gem, you! With its sweeping crescents, Jane Austen connections, natural thermal springs, independent shops and artisanal cafes, there’s plenty to see and do in this charming city.

If you want to know where’s best to bathe, eat, drink and amble around in this beautiful city, here’s a laid-back weekend itinerary, curated with foodies, book lovers & Bridgerton fans in mind.

Head to Mr B’s Emporium Bookshop for a reading spa

Within these walls, bookish chat is always on offer, as is cake. When can we move in? The award-winning bookstore offers a unique one-to-one book shopping experience, complete with tailored recommendations from one of Mr B’s well-read doyens.

Take a seat in one of the antique armchairs, chat about your reading preferences and your personal bibliotherapist (need one immediately) will handpick a teetering stack of reads with your name on it.

If you’d rather just while away the hours quietly thumbing through the bookshelves, then by all means, go get your blurbs girl.

📍13-15 John Street, Bath, BA1 2JL

Discover the historic Roman baths

No trip to Bath is complete without taking to the waters! Bathe as the Georgians, Celts, Saxons and Romans once did and take a soak in the relaxing hot springs from which the city derives its name.

The ancient springs were first discovered by Prince Bladud around 863BC, who was cured of his skin disease after bathing in the mineral-rich waters. These days, you can’t swim in the original Roman Baths but you can visit the museum, walk through the beautiful passages past the sacred springs and then take a swim just around the corner at Thermae Bath Spa – Britain’s only natural thermal spa.

📍Roman Baths, Abbey Churchyard, Bath, BA1 1LZ

📍 Thermae Bath Spa, The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath St, Bath, BA1 1SJ

Try a bunn at Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House

Simply put, there’s no bun like a Sally Lunn bunn (yep, double ‘n’ so legend has it). It gets its name from creator Solange Luyon, a Huguenot refugee who came to Bath in 1680 after escaping persecution in France.

Part bread, part bun, part cake, this authentic regional Brioche-style speciality is served in the oldest house in Bath – the former home of Sally Lunn herself – and can be enjoyed with either sweet or savoury accompaniments.

📍4N Parade, Passage, Bath, BA1 1NX

Stay at No 15 Great Pulteney

If you’re looking to get some beauty sleep whilst in Bath, look no further than the whimsical No. 15 Great Pulteney. This dog-friendly boutique hotel is located on one of Bath’s grandest streets and the inherent beauty and authentic Georgian grace is carried right through to the interiors. From the former servant’s quarters transformed into bijou attic rooms and dreamy boudoirs boasting sash windows, tall ceilings and marble-topped washstands, you’ll feel like you’ve walked right into an Austen novel.

📍 15 Great Pulteney St, Bathwick, Bath, BA2 4BR

Dig in at Dough

As the name suggests, this is pizza heaven. Made on site by specialist artisans from Puglia, you can find everything from the classic multigrain sourdough base to trendsetters in the way of turmeric, hemp, black rice and seaweed. We just so happened to have sampled the turmeric and we can confirm, it’s all about that base.

📍 9 Kingsmead Square, Bath, BA1 2AB

Walk the Royal Crescent

This humble protagonist has featured in many a period drama, most recently the one and only Bridgerton (faints dramatically)

The Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most iconic architectural landmarks, arranged around a perfect lawn with views overlooking Royal Victoria Park. No 1 is the most prestigious address on the crescent and is home to an immersive museum, decked out with historic furniture, pictures and objects that reveal how eighteenth-century Bathonians liked to enjoy the season.

📍 1 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LR

Stop by for a scoop of Gelato at Swoon

Oh, you know how those Georgians loved gelato. We don’t know, but we’d wager that they’d want us to be fed and happy whilst dawdling around this creamy cobbled part of the country, dreaming about a townhouse we’ll never own. Stressed = dessert backwards, coincidence? We think not. For an afternoon pick-me-up, snap up this swoonable sweet treat. No doubt the Duke would approve.

📍 15 Kingsmead Square, Bath, BA1 2AE

Head to The Dark Horse for moody cocktails

Voted top 10 best bars in the world by Tales Of The Cocktail, this sultry and dramatic underground drinking den is the place to go for locally-sourced, well, sauce. Thirst-quenching tipples made with their very own syrups, shrubs and cordials go down a treat alongside some of their Somerset Charcuterie cider-cured pokers. Cheers to that, ol’ sport.

📍 7A Kingsmead Square, Bath, BA1 2AB

Get lost in the charm of Topping & Company

Let rolling library ladders and handmade wooden bookcases transport you to the land of fiction & fables. Home to over 60,000 titles, Topping & Company is one of Bath’s most cherished independents, so be sure to stop by for a read and a complimentary tea or coffee whilst you browse. It’s the little things!

📍 The Paragon, Bath, BA1 5LS

Shop at Found

Just a short walk from Pulteney Bridge, you’ll stumble upon this gorgeous shopfront. Stocking a great selection of contemporary womenswear, menswear and lifestyle brands such as Meadows, LF Markey, Neom, YMC London and Hansel from Basel, Found is a wonderfully curated concept store, full of undiscovered goods and up and coming labels. Save some room in your suitcase, yeah?

📍 17, Argyle Street, Bathwick, Bath, BA2 4BQ

Refresh your mags at Magalleria

Ah, the poetry of print. The smell of the ink, the quiet flicker of the newborn pages in your hand, it’s a sensory shopping experience that the online world simply cannot emulate. If you love nothing more than browsing those hard-to-find titles from art and design to travel, music, film and fashion, you’ll find yourself very much at home here.

📍22A Broad Street, Bath, BA1 5LN

Grab a bacon sarnie at Landrace Bakery

A favourite with the locals, this small but perfectly formed bakery focuses on fresh flour, organic British-grown stone-milled grains and naturally leavened sourdough bread.

Outstanding loaves may be their bread and butter (we couldn’t help ourselves) but their legendary bacon rolls and plaited cinnamon buns equally bring in the crowds. PS the cinnamon buns are so good they make Frozen Anna’s hair look pitiful in comparison to their ginger greatness.

📍 61 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BN

Catch up on all the scandal this side of the crescent at The Abbey Deli

You might recognise the double-fronted bay windows of The Abbey Deli (previously called Pickled Greens) as Madame Delacroix’s dress shop ‘Modiste’ in Bridgerton. When it’s not playing Regency dress up, it’s a delightful deli just a few minutes walk away from the Roman Baths. Pop in for a slice of cake and all the latest tea from the ton.

📍 2 Abbey St, Bath, BA1 1NN

Make a pit stop at Colonna & Small’s

And because all city breaks need to be punctuated with a series of intense little drinks, head to Colonna & Small’s for a real lesson in the art of coffee making. Speciality coffee doesn’t get much better than this, but you don’t need to be a caffeine geek to appreciate the sheer passion, brilliance and skill that’s gone into making this place so much more than just another pretentious coffee shop.

📍 6 Chapel Row, Bath, BA1 1HT

TEAM ZOELLA MAY 21, 2021

Win £500 to Spend on Luxury Designer Handbags with Fellows Auctioneers!

In the market for a designer handbag but don’t really have the budget to splash out on a brand-new Birkin? Here’s a competition you’re going to want to circulate in the girls’ WhatsApp group asap.

AD This is a paid partnership with Fellows Auctioneers.

In the market for a designer handbag but don’t really have the budget to splash out on a brand-new Birkin? Here’s a competition you’re going to want to circulate in the girls’ WhatsApp group asap.

One of our lucky readers will be able to get their hands on a £500 voucher to spend at Fellows Auctioneers, making it possible to get hold of the ‘It’ bag of your vision board dreams without breaking the bank. Praise be.

Founded in Birmingham in 1876, Fellows is one of the UK’s most established auction houses with a focus on luxury watches, designer brands and unique jewellery. They hold regular specialist designer handbag and accessories auctions, with a luxury handbag auction each quarter, at a variety of price points.

With names such as Chanel, FENDI, and Louis Vuitton regularly appearing in their saleroom, you can pick up the most covetable arm candy and iconic designer totes at a price you can afford.

Designer handbags on a broke girl budget? Yep, we’re sold.

Hold up, why the bargain price?

Klaxon: there is no catch. Most designer handbags – the holy trinity Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton aside – depreciate with ownership. Every item listed at Fellows is pre-owned and therefore classed as second-hand goods.

Buying pre-loved designer bags at auction is not only a great way to get your hands on a hot-ticket item for a fraction of the retail price (excluding big buck Hermès Birkins) but it’s far more sustainable than buying new. Bring on the bidding buzz!

Authenticity

Fellows have a specialist team to check and authenticate every item. A handbag’s estimate depends on various factors including condition, desirability, brand and past auction results, though the price could exceed the estimate if multiple people keep bidding.

Every item has an extensive condition report listed online alongside its description but if you’d like to view an item or you have any specific questions, you can book a pre-auction one-to-one Zoom appointment with one of the Fellows specialists for the ultimate virtual personal shopping experience. No one wants to deal with buyer’s remorse.

Place your bids

Whether you’re on the hunt for a Louis Vuitton Monogram Neverfull MM, a Chanel lambskin Hidden Chain or a Céline Phantom, you can snap up the deal of the century from the comfort of your own home thanks to the Designer Collection timed online auction.

Firstly, you’ll need to register for a Fellows account in order to bid. Once registered, you’ll be able to see the remaining time left to bid on each lot before it closes and access past auction results.

The timed auctions normally take place over two weeks but unlike a live auction, there isn’t an auctioneer. The extended time frame means you can re-submit bids mid-auction, should your initial maximum bid be beaten. In this event, you’ll be notified, allowing you to bid again at the click of a button.

Conveniently, you don’t have to wait for the day of the auction to take part. You can bid on your desired items as soon as the catalogue becomes available. Sign up for alerts to get notified of the auctions so you’ll never have to sleep on that FENDI baguette ever again.

Even if you’re new to the world of auctions, Fellows make it easy to bid for the bag of your dreams with Samantha Jones-worthy confidence.

The next Designer Collection timed auction starts on 7th June at 9am and you can view the catalogue right here.

How to enter…

For your chance to win a £500 voucher to spend at Fellows, simply enter your name and contact email address below. Good luck fashionistas!

Find the Terms & Conditions here.

Enter the competition here

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TEAM ZOELLA MAY 20, 2021

Four Cute AF Jewellery Trends For The Season Ahead

Jewellery: the fun, flirty, low commitment fashion purchase that can take a look from classic to current as quick as you can press 'continue to checkout'.

Jewellery: the fun, flirty, low commitment fashion purchase that can take a look from classic to current as quick as you can press ‘continue to checkout’. It’s these non essential purchases that are a style lovers dream- the items we might not have been able to justify during the past 12 months but that really make you feel like you’ve got your sh*t together when you put them on.

Resin and clay rings are next inline as Instagram’s current must-have accessory.

Making kitsch beaded jewellery that looked like it jumped right out of our 12 year old self’s dressing up box took the world by storm during quarantine as a fun and funky pastime, and the rainbow trend shows no sign of stopping now too. Resin and clay rings are next inline as Instagram’s current must-have accessory, with these chunky babes continuing the momentum of the bright and bold trend that is a maximalist dresser’s dream. Etsy, Instagram and Depop take the crown here as the go-to destination to shop the trend, and their affordability makes boasting a collection of interchangeable statement pieces all the more achievable.

Other notable trends include pearls (Bridgerton and other period dramas we thank you), seaside inspired jewels (still seeking a slice of escapism? Us too) and bangles (hello 90s disco), and the variety of styles means there really is something for everyone here! 

Which trend will you be rocking during hot girl summer?

Rings

Pearls

Sea Themed Jewellery 

Bangles

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