Dorothy Perkins- We Can Be Style Heroes

Do you ever have one of those days when choosing an outfit is literally the hardest decision you've ever had to make and nothing is inspiring? When you stand in front of your wardrobe for what seem like an eternity and you're  left with a complete feeling of lacklustre for every piece of clothing in there? We all get those dreaded days right? And I don't know about you but I find I have certain items of clothing I always turn to in my time of need. The kind of items which you know will always work, are effortless and able to turn any middle of the road, "I don't know what the hell I'm doing right now" outfit around. I like to refer to these items as hero pieces because believe me, when you've only got 10 minutes to run for the train, your hairs still not been tamed, you're running around frankly with one shoe in hand whilst the others gone AWOL and all you want is for some to make an outfit decision for you, this hero pieces will in fact save your life.

Ground Control To Major Trend

I don't know if anyone else does this or if it's just me being a little pedantic with clothes but I have this shopping list in my head, kind of like an "elite" wish list of all the items of clothing I feel my life is missing. They don't necessarily exist or more likely, I've just never been able to actually find the perfect replica to whats in my head yet, but I'm forever looking out for them. The kind of item of clothing which if you were lucky enough to stumble upon one day, you do a little dance inside, grab it, make a B-line for the till and reluctantly hand it over because; A) its the love of your life and you're not willing to let go just yet and B) you're worried in some horrible twist of fate the sales assistant will tell you, you can't have it or even worse steal it from under your nose. Trust no one with you're wish list items! It doesn't matter how much money it costs or more to the point, how much money you don't have, if you find that dream piece you've GOT to buy it, or a kitten dies, you die, the world will end (reasons for buying may be dramatised for your entertainment purposes and are not based on reality)!

Earth, Wind And... Festival No 6?

As sad as the conitations that the term "last festival of the year" bring such as; it officially feels like the end of summer and t's time to head back to reality. I've got to be honest and say I'm a little relieved. It's been a funny old year with pretty unpredictable weather, not that we should ever expect anything less from British summertime . I'd like to think a spot of bad weather wouldn't rain on my festival pride (pun intended) but the truth is after a while it kinda does. There's only so many soggy socks and mud splatted clothes I can take. Give it a few months and I look back on these things with nothing but fond memories and the urge to do it all over again but for right now, I'm happy to resign back to my winter wardrobe and cosy coats... Sometimes I feel like we know more where we stand with Autumn/Winter at least (yesterday's northern weather not included, Manchester saw a months worth of rain in one hour. Trams were stopped and Market Street was a river, it was the end of the world as we knew it).

If there's one thing you quickly learn at British festivals it's: Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Weather proof every possible outfit choice, something I still find hard to get the hang of but I'm definitely getting better. Festival No 6 was no exception to the rules, gale force winds meant several of the stages had to be shut down and if you were unlucky enough to have been there on the Sunday (I wasn't, I tend to take the "day tripper" approach to festivals these days and opted for just the Saturday thank you very much) my sympathies go out to you and I completely understand if you're off festivals for life. Negativity aside (I think I might be a little hangry right now), you couldn't ask for a more beautiful "last" festival then No 6. Set on the coast of North Wales in the "kinda make believe" village of Portmeirion. There's no real way to describe just how aesthetically pleasing Portmeirion really is and I feel like for how ever many photos I took, I still didn't quite fully capture it. You just have to see it to believe it. It's pretty enough to go on a chocolate box. The festival itself has such an amazing vibe full of Portmeirion's charm with secret sets dotted around the village itself, as well as your more conventional "festival in a field" set up further down the road. I guess this is the British festival which has it all and it needs to go on your bucket list.

What I wore- I kinda feel like my outfit was the first signs of my acceptance that summer was over as I opted for a knitted turtle neck albeit teamed with a floral A-line mini and of course... My Converse.... which wear quickly changed to Hunters (again, of course).

What I drank/ate- Again I totally jumped on the Autumn/Winter theme and drank Hot Chocolate! My partying days are over and my dancing shoes hung up until next year.

What I did/Who I saw- You'll never be stuck for things to do or see at Festival No 6, you could wonder round all day and never get bored. Which is exactly what I did! Unfortunately I got there much later than expected so didn't get to do half things I'd planned, so decided to prioritise exploring the village. I did however manage to catch one of the most amazing acoustic sets from Blossoms to date (think about it, I've seen a few) at the village town hall consisting of just Tom and Charlie and... oh you know, just a full orchestra. Magic!

So I guess that leads me to the end of my festival blog post frenzy which DEFINITELY means summer is O-V-E-R. I honestly hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them and hopefully we can do it aaaaall over again next year... Even better, maybe you'll actually catch me at one and we can have a real life boogie!

For now I'll leave you with the last batch of a million and one festival photos to nosey at. Have fun.

Sophia x 

Shop My Outfit
Turtle Neck- H&M
Skirt- New Look
Converse- All Sole
Earrings- Wolf&Moon

Mai (Kind Of) Thai- Chaophraya

When it comes to eating I'm always open to trying new food and visiting new restaurants but truth be told, more often then not I'm a stickler for routine and I definitely have some long standing favourites I prefer to visit over and over again. Thai food is one of my favourite cuisines and for me the best place to find it within Manchester is without a doubt Chaophraya. It's a no brainer and so when the lovely people at Chaophraya invited me down to sample the new menu, I was over the moon and RSVPed quicker then you can say "Pad Thai please"

Located in the centre of town, just off Market Street on Chapel Walk, the building itself is beautiful! It's pretty huge place but with each area of the restaurant split into separate rooms, there's a cosy intimate kind of feel going on. The decor is rich with warm, vibrant colours and the attention to detail is very apparent. From an outsiders perspective, yes it looks a little fancy but the staff couldn't be more welcoming, you can't possibly feel intimidated and the prices are so responsible once you've sampled a few of their plates, you'll be tempted to order one of everything on the menu! Point proven by the fact I headed down with Joe who hates anything fancy pants and he couldn't of loved it more.

The new menu was an absolute treat and completely diverse! Ok so you still have your classic dishes on there you'd expect to see on any Thai restaurant menu such as; Satay Chicken, Thai Green Curry and of course everyones favourite, Pad Thai but just as with the decor you can tell a lot of thoughts gone into their food. They've tried to think outside the box and hey, it works!! For starters we tried their new pork tacos, which sound maybe too out there, but were an absolute dream to not only taste but to look at, daintily presented on a slate board with edible Pansies (I'm not going to lie I actually gave these a miss, they were just too pretty to eat). Along with our tacos, I had one of my old favourites on their menu; steamed dumplings. If you like classic Thai plates you won't be disappointed by these. They are done to perfection and accompanied by a delicious Teriyaki sauce, I could quite happily have on the side of every meal. 

For mains we tried another newbie to the menu, sirloin steak which you cook yourself on hot rock salt! Ok so, word of warning with this one; if you like your steak rare to medium (which I do) then this dish is perfect for you. The rock salt will cook your meat perfectly and I promise you it will taste like heaven. BUT if like my boyfriend Joe, you like to cremate your meat and arguably ruin it, then this is NOT the dish for you. It takes sometime and when it's finally ready, its been lay on salt for so long, you're going to need about 3 pints of water... Punishment for sabotaging good meat, in my personal opinion (joke, joke).

Finally for dessert we shared a White Chocolate Box and my only compliment would be I wish we'd ordered our own! I could have easily demolition one to myself. It consisted of a white chocolate mousse on a shortbread base accompanied with a passionfruit sorbet aaaand a macaron... I'm addicted to macarons so this was an added treat. Normally in the long standing debate of; " if you have to have a starter and a main or, a main and a dessert, which one?", I'm more of a starter kind of girl. Don't get me wrong, I have the biggest sweet tooth but I often just find desserts to be a little sickly after a tasty meal. However this mousse was so light, you didn't feel like you'd just eaten three courses and it rounded the meal of just nicely.

As mentioned before I'm a huge sucker for old habits and hearing one of my top pick restaurants had changed its menu was a tad worrying ,but I can whole heartedly say it was all for the better and my list of favourites dishes has now doubled! You can check it out in the link below or even better, go pay a visit and see for yourself!

Sophia x

Leeds Festival- Mud I Stay Or Mud I Go...

Number 3 on my festival blog post adventures, is none other than Leeds Festival. It holds a special places in my hearts for few a nostalgic reasons. It was the first festival I went to as a teenager, Kings Of Leon played but low down on the bill, Razorlight and Klaxons headlined and The Shins were my highlight... just to give you an idea of both my age and an era were indie bands reigned supreme on the music scene (Arctic Monkeys had just entered our lives and would play Leeds the year after. On the main stage, yes. As a headliner, no). Last year I headed down to watch my boyfriends band Blossoms play in one of the smaller tents, the Festival Republic Stage. It was midday Sunday, the tent was half full and I was in absolute ore when the crowd sang back the song Blow. A the time it completely blow my mind. Fast ward to this year and I'm watching them play the huge NME stage to a packed out audience and every single person singing along to every single word. I can't explain how proud I am of these boys and how far they've come. I've never felt more privileged to have been able to see them grow from strength to strength every step of the way. It's crazy to look back on their 2015 set now and realise you were watching a band on the cusp of something pretty amazing...

Anyway sentimentality aside, lets get to the details. Leeds Festival is exactly what you'd want and expect from a British music festival, there's nothing pretencious about it what so ever. It's beer, bands and muds, lots and lots of mud. Don't expect to go and have your mind culturally blown. Expect to go and by the end of the weekend have lost a welly, some of your mates and a little bit of your dignity.

What I Wore- I played it safe and comfy, I wore a denim playsuit with a peasant blouse underneath and when it got a little chilly (which it does, it's up north) I opted for my favourite star pattern jumper. I took white high top Converse as a "just in case the weather gets nice" precautionary, but they never saw the light of day and instead my Hunters were put to seriously good use. The mud was INSANE, I can't stress this enough. To top my outfit off, I wore a duffle bag from my new favourite bag brand Mi-Pac. It's roomie and lightweight, so you can fit all your festival essentials in there without it feeling like you're carrying around your kitchen sink. Full outfit details below.

What I Drank/Ate- Cider and a greasy burger, I left the festival feeling completely gross, not going to lie and questioning whether I needed some sort of detox in my life.

Who I Watched/What I Did- I watched The Courteeners on the main stage/The Courteeners crowd which was basically a multicoloured rainbow smoke cloud for the duration of their set. Flare companies must make a killing when Courteeners tour. I also watched The Fronteers on the BBC Introducing stage and was seriously impressed and lastly, I may possibly have accidentally napped on the tour bus through Two Door Cinema Club but managed to catch the last few songs on their set from the comfort of my (Joe's) bunk.

Shop My Festival Outfit
Blouse- Topshop
Dungarees- Topshop

Head over to the All Sole webpage below now to see my festival picks including my wellies and Joe's desert boots (pictures below)! You can also nab yourself 20% off using the discount code "SOPHIA20". Don't say I don't treat you.