Monday, 20 April 2015

The George at Asda Seaside Print Dress: How to Get Vintage Right on the High Street

First of all I need to express my thanks to the lovely She and Hem for sharing this dress on their blog.
As soon as I saw it I knew that I just had to have it.
It's possibly the cheapest dress I have ever bought and at £20 is an absolute bargain! Not only does it have a lovely netted underskirt but the shape and proportions are just right for the 1950s silhouette and the PRINT...

Oh my gosh. This print is so summery, you can wear it with anything! I think it depicts the Italian coast line, but I could be wrong. It may be the South of France.

ASDA lists this dress online as the 'SEASIDE PRINT DRESS' which to me, is missing the mark. If you're going to sell a 1950s style dress, hit the right market with a name like The Riviera Dress or "The Audrey Dress".

But enough of a rant about that. Whether you're looking for a smart dress for a special occasion or simply to bask in the nostalgia of a 'Roman Holiday', this dress is perfect!

I posted a photograph of myself wearing this dress on a Novelty Print group on Facebook and was soon deluged with questions asking where I got it. I should note that most of the people on this group are American and are willing to pay international shipping to get their hands on this beauty.

And why not? For £20 this is a true steal. Dresses like these in Cath Kidston and Joules are priced at anything between £50-150 and yet they're not as authentic-looking as the Seaside Print Dress.
The fact that George at ASDA have taken other body shapes into account when designing their Limoncello collection shows their commitment to providing the best range for their customer and a true understand of customer needs.

The Seaside print dress is available in a wiggle dress style as well as a skirt, top and in some stores, even Capris!

Because I love the 50s style, I added a Vivien of Holloway cinch belt and my beloved Clermont Bottier peppermint green 1950s shoes! They even have tassels!

If you're looking for the dress for the summer, look no further but hurry, stocks are limited!

The Vintage Girl x

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Vintage Girl Reviews...Jeffries Vintage Drinks

Recently I was browsing aimlessly through Twitter when a recommended page appeared on my profile and as it was tagged with 'vintage drinks' I decided to take a look.

I am so glad I did. Jeffries Vintage Drinks are a small independent beverage business based in London set up with the aim to bring back the flavours of yesteryear inspired by home brew recipes from Mr Jeffries himself! 

Available in variety of flavours, Jeffries Vintage Drinks are perfect for on-the-go and nostalgic indulgence. Bottled and handmade in London, they have a third less sugar than that of other soft drinks and as such make a perfect addition to a picnic basket or summer party. 

I selected Iced Tea, Ginger Soda and Cranberry and Pomegranate as my sample flavours and was absolutely delighted.
All bottles are presented with a colour theme for each flavour which adds a sparkle to the brand's label with vintage style font and calorie content clearly displayed underneath.

There aren't many companies who produce Iced Tea in bottles, with the exception of Liptons, which, in my view is best avoided due to its high sugar content and bitter aftertaste and I must confess I was slightly concerned that Jeffries recipe would simply be another copy of this.
However I was pleasantly surprised. The Jeffries Iced Tea flavour is light with an almost floral quality and a definite hint of soft vanilla. It is a drink which I feel is best enjoyed on a warm summer's day in a long glass complete with ice and a slice of orange for a zesty twist. That said, the drink is filling without the hit of sugar commonly associated with soft drinks and the flavour lingers long after the drink is finished.

My first experience of drinking Ginger Soda in general was in the famous Farmacy soda fountain in Brooklyn, New York. having consumed several glasses of Schweppes Ginger Ale on my transatlantic flight it was difficult to taste the flavour of the Farmacy Ginger soda, and unfortunately I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked.
In complete contrast to my previous tasting, Jeffries version of Ginger Soda has a flavour similar to that of Fentiman's Ginger Beer in terms of its sweetness, with the smoothness of Fever Tree. In my opinion, it would make a great addition to a summer cocktail however it is slightly too heavy to drink on its own. This is probably due to the caffeine content which causes a certain function that can cause embarrassment in some situations.
Nevertheless, the Jeffries Ginger Soda is definitely worth tasting and will be another addition to the picnic basket at the Pin Up Picnic in London this summer.

I will be the first to admit that I have never been a fan of Cranberry juice. For me it is too sweet to be enjoyed and as such, I left this drink til last, thinking that it would only re-confirm my attitude towards cranberry drinks in general.
Once again, I was very surprised and delighted by the flavour. Upon opening the bottle I was greeted with an almost perfume like scent of fruit which was certainly encouraging.
The cranberry flavour has been carefully balanced with the pomegranate to ensure that the drink does not taste too sweet although there is a sweetness from the natural juices which is very refreshing.
To those of you who love Pimms, this would make a lovely light punch for a non-alcoholic version. It evokes the scent of summer and I will certainly be recommending it to all my friends. If I am able to make a punch for the Pin Up picnic I will certainly be using the Jeffries Cranberry and Pomegranate as a basis.

Overall, Jeffries Vintage Drinks are a great alternative to other soft drinks which can feel heavy after consumption and are a great addition to any event. I ask the vintage community to support this little business as I believe it can do very well if given the right marketing an d support.
Don't just take my advice, try them for yourself!

The Vintage Girl x

You bet!

The Vintage Girl Reviews Lindy Lou's Vintage Tea Room

When you first think of vintage tea rooms, images of quaint villages and little nooks come to mind. The last place you expect to find such a place is in the suburbs of London. Whilst the South East is not particularly well known for its love of vintage, it seems to have gathered quite an interest in the past year, with shops popping up all around areas such as Sidcup and Bexley.

Although these places are technically London areas they have Kent postcodes, but this is not rural Kent, far from it. Amidst the hubbub of Bexley and its surrounding towns lies an exceptional oasis, known as Vintage Lindy Lou's Tea Rooms.

I visited this dear little cafe after spending a few long hours Christmas Shopping in the adjoining town of Bexleyheath and I needed somewhere to relax. I had heard about it from a relative and it seemed the perfect time to experience it for myself. I drove to Crayford, not really recognised for its "vintage" interests and parked up, looking around for the tea room, which exists right in the centre of a small park with the address as "Waterside."

From the outside the tea room isn't much to look at. A brick building previously used as a pop in parlour doesn't exactly excite anyone, but take a step further, open the door and you step into another world.

This is the era of the late 1940s and early '50s, where tea is served in china cups and tempting cakes await under glass domes. I fell in love with it at once.

The actual building encompasses a dual purpose as a tea room and vintage/memorabilia shop which sells everything from kid gloves, to glassware and vintage novelty cards, I even spotted an Enid Collins bag high up on the shelf. This was an exception to the low-end pricing for the items, at £75, which is to be expected from such a famous designer.

There were also two dresses on display which I was told later had belonged to the owner's mother who came from Italy. The dress is in simply stunning condition and I was very moved by the story that went with it. Another dress stands on a mannequin by the window with a hand painted floral design, it is truly a work of art.

Still, I was there to have the full experience so I settled myself in a large comfy sofa covered with a hand knitted blanket and waited patiently for someone to attend on me. It took about five minutes but was definitely worth the wait. My order was taken, swept into the kitchen and planted on the table barely a few minutes later. What service!

Now, I'm a bit picky when it comes to eating in independent restaurants and cafes. I am generally very cynical of anything that says "home-made" but I can honestly say that the sandwiches (I chose cheese and ham) were lovely and fluffy with hand grated cheese and even a little garnish on the side. The tea was served in a fine old china teapot with a mismatched cup and saucer. This seems to be the theme of the entire room, as everything is very cleverly put together. It is very clear that a lot of thought has gone into the design, and you can't really go wrong with Laura Ashley wallpaper! I also noticed that the owner has paid homage to tradition with portraits of Her Majesty the Queen as many shops used to do back in the 40s and 50s.

I was told later that almost every item on display has either been brought from the owner, Linda's personal collection, or donated by customers. This really does make a difference, and gives the whole place a real sense of home and comfort. I could have gladly sat on the sofa all day with a good book, but alas I didn't have much time so after two pots of tea (the hot water was replenished twice at no extra cost) and a slice of gorgeous Victoria sponge I was approached by the owner who told me all about the venture and plans for next year. All I can say is, make sure you visit during the summer!


A pot of tea
Ham and Cheese sandwiches (served with garnish)
A slice of Victoria Sponge (big slice)

Came to a grand total of £6!

Afternoon Tea at its Finest!
Not only does Lindy Lou's offer great service and delicious treats it is also great value for money!

I would recommend anyone to visit this lovely place, its worth bringing a few friends along to get the full "tea party" experience. They also offer Birthday Parties, Children's Parties and other events can be booked upon request.

It's worth the trek, and definitely worth every penny!

Holly x

You can find Lindy Lou's at the following:

The Willows, Waterside Gardens, Crayford Way, DA1 4JJ Kent, United Kingdom

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