Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Weekend of Tweed & Picnics

Sorry for the long silence again chaps and chapettes! It's been a busy old fortnight of work, events and of looking after some lovely French journalists who spent four days following me around recording my life for a future edition of Le Figaro Magazine. It's all been rather exciting, and I can't wait to tell you all about it in more detail!

This weekend gone was a wonderful one. It started off very badly on the Friday though! On Monday to Wednesday the previous week, I was an extra on the new film Jack the Giant Killer. Whilst being enormous fun, this involved getting up before 5am and being on set for almost 15 hours. Thursday I got up early again to go and meet the aforementioned French journos in London; and by Friday I was shattered. I then managed to crash my car into a lamppost in a carpark. It's a borderline writeoff... it's so bad. The ensuing trauma and joy when my dear friends Jeni and Bethan came to collect me from my flat and drive me to London, meant I left behind a crucial part of my documentation for the following day, which was the utterly glorious Tweed Run!

After being one of the incredibly lucky 500 who registered the second it opened at 11.55am on a Saturday back in January (Jeni and I poised to register not only ourselves but some of the other Mafia...alas!), I was worried they wouldn't let me take part without my bicycle number (though I did have my armband, luckily). Thank heavens the organisers are so nice, because they gave me a 'Guest' card to display proudly on my steed. Which, thanks to the fabulous people at Pashley Cycles, was an unbelievably glamorous Pashley Britannia in lipstick red! Being lent this marvellous machine to do the Tweed Run was a dream come true. I also managed to secure Jeni a blue Britannia, and Naomi Vintage Secret used her own powers of persuasion to borrow a sleek black Princess from Tally Ho Cycle Tours. Here we are (technically at the end of the ride!) looking proud of being Team Pashley for the day! I've never sat on or ridden anything more comfortable. It literally glided, and felt like an easy chair compared to my old Raleigh. Poor Ginny. She does seem so dreadfully past-it now!


This photo from the official Pashley photographer!

It was a stunningly gorgeous day - blazing sunshine and warm temperatures meant that, had I even owned any tweed, I wouldn't have worn it! Instead I wore my pride and joy - a multi-coloured 1940s frock replete with stripes, bows and ruffles, paired with my Rocket Originals wedges, armfuls of bakelite, bamboo and celluloid bangles; and a floral arrangement on my head that was part Frida Kahlo and part Carmen Miranda. It coordinated perfectly with my bike, as did Jeni's yellow frock with red, green, white and blue embroidery, blue Keds and her blue Britannia. Naomi looked stunning in a 50s frock and sky-high wedges! We had hoped to win the Most Dashing Dame contest, but alas, it was not to be. I think people appreciated the effort we made to be bright in a sea of tweed though!



Me, the giant.


The Run took all 500 of us from St Paul's Cathedral, on a five-mile jaunt around London, taking in all the sights as we went. Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, the Mall, Buckingham Palace and up Regent Street. Everywhere we went, the tooting horns from impatient cab drivers (the ones without fares of course) were drowned out by cheers and bicycle bells, with chaps doffing their hats to appease the poor beleaguered motorists. After a stop for lunch at Lincoln's Inn Fields, we headed off once more for five further miles before ending up at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club for drinks and dancing in the sunshine. The saddest part of the day was having to part with my amazing Britannia. If my car is written off by the insurance company, I am going to have to buy one of my own!




Naomi learned to smoke a pipe, while Jeni and I just posed a bit and drank beer and gin.

The abundance of incredibly dashing chaps in tweed was enough to send us into raptures of delight! The big gossip for the day was that a certain Mr Ewan McGregor was on the Run, and since I'd said hello to him only a few days earlier on the set of Jack the Giant Killer, I had a wee chat with him about the wonder of filming and riding horses in Hampton Court Palace. Twice! He was absolutely lovely, and so handsome. Me and Ewan, we're like best friends now. ;)





Image by Nik Van Herpt!


But, oh. If only every day could be so full of style and panache. It was an utterly smashing day from start to finish, and I can't thank the talented organisers or the lovely Lee from Pashley enough for making it happen for us.

Here are a couple of snaps I pinched from ibikelondon, whom you should visit if you'd like to see more. Also check out Spitalfields Life and Flickr for hundreds more. 




Source: ibikelondon Flickr

And this one by Nik van Herpt is my favourite one of me (& my full outfit) from the day, posing for the French journos with all the Penny Farthing riders!


So that was Saturday, and Sunday, I organised a food and Pimms-filled picnic with La Maf, ostensibly for the le Figaro journalists, but actually just because it was another glorious day. You'll have to wait until the magazine is published to see more, but here is a sneaky peek!


I can only apologise for looking miserable! I can assure you I wasn't, though I was rather sunburned on my neck and chest (as was Naomi, hence the fab hat) from the previous day. Pale and interesting no more! We were all so perfectly coordinated with our outfits and hair flowers. I'm in my biggest bargain dress of the year - it cost under £20 including shipping from the US. It's lilac with a rose print and white piping, wraps at the back but goes very far down and can't be worn with a bra. Gulp! Jeni and Lisa wore Swirls, Bethan a gorgeous pinafore she bought from Adeline's Attic and Naomi was channelling '1930s French peasant chic'. The best accessory, of course, was lovely Winni.

Hope you all had splendid weekends and speak to you all again soon!

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

30 comments:

  1. The Tweed Run in the sun looks marvellous! And Ewan McGregor eh? Lucky you!
    And you look fabulous of course!

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  2. eeee, wheee, squeeeee!!! what a glorious day! you ladies looked just picture perfect! I can't believe you chatted with Ewan!! I would melt! I squealed again when I saw Bethan in the pansy pinnie dress! That whole picnic scene was like a moment from Austen's Emma (well, if it could be set in the 40s). So so fabulous!

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  3. I'm not even sure I can remember how to ride a bike, it must be about 15 or 20 years since I rode one last!

    You all look fabulous!

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  4. Looking fab as always :)
    Pashley blagging = joy!

    No idea you were an extra on "Jack the Giant Killer". In fact, I didn't know of the movies exsistance until I visited HCP a couple of weekends ago to be greated with a full on market place! :)

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  5. Wow! The Tweed Run looks amazing. Will have to get involved next year. Just got myself a vintage bike and even has the original bike bag on the back. Just needs to be given a little bit of love and it will be all set to go! So glad Ewan was there. Big fan of his... and love him even more knowing we share a love :)
    Ooo... will you be at the Haselmere Car show this year? Plan to have a stall on the Sunday again.
    Big love!
    Jennie
    http://www.vintageowlboutique.com

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  6. You do all look fabulous! The glorious day certainly helped didn't it, though I bet those chaps in tweed were struggling pheweee!

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  7. My spies tell me your Figaro chappies were in the Seven Stars on Saturday eating. I certainly wouldn't have matched the standards of sheer prettiness at the picnic, pleased you had a great day. xxx

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  8. What a fabulous occasion! I'm super jealous of how gorgeous you all look, how much fun you all had and the fact that you got to chat with Ewan!

    Hope your insurance company doesn't give you any drama about the car.

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  9. Awww, I want a bike now! I never thought I'd say that, but I do!!

    Kudos for cycling in such fantastic shoes, looking so elegant throughout. I fear that the old adage 'just like riding a bike' would be all too accurate for me, were I to attempt to mount a cycle, and I would immediately become clumsy and scuff-kneed as I was when I was 10!!

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  10. Oh, how marvellous!! And to chat TWICE with Ewan?! *faints in delight* Such a dashing gentleman!

    You ladies all look so lovely!! The bikes are fabulous!

    How I wish we had a Tweed Run in Canada...*sigh*

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  11. You have been busy! The Pashley Cycles are excellent, I’d love one. You all look fab, as usual. And Ewan McGregor – woo woo, how lucky to spend time with him, great actor and he’s just lovely!
    Sorry to hear about your car though :o(
    Kaye x

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  12. How have I never heard of this Tweed Run? I'm going to have to go down and see it next time - looks bloomin' marvelous!

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  13. You all look marvelous; all those bright frocks and bicycles and flowers... I'm so so in love with it all!! That picnic photo is spectacular; I can't wait to see the rest!

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  14. Can't help but to feel alittle jealousy towards you and Ewan! My, my, he's so lovely, handsome, great actor .. (etcetera, etcetera).

    The Tweed run looks marvellous. Wish I could've participate! Or wish that something like this is being held in my ever so dull country, someday.

    And as always; you gals look lovely!

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  15. Ah, I must dust my Princess down now the weather is much improved. I have to say though, I was surprised that you say it was so comfortable... I found my Brooks saddle a nightmare to break in. Nonetheless, I do love cruising down the road on her in the summer.

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  16. What a positively smashing event and post! x

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  17. Looks like you had an absolutely smashing time. Love the photos and envy your opportunity to enjoy what was obviously a stellar event.

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  18. Looks like a lot of fun, and you all look gorgeous! :)

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  19. Oh my, this blog post was certainly worth the wait. I am terribly sorry to hear about your accident, but quite relieved that you didn't get hurt!
    It seems like you and all the other tweeders had a wonderful time and I hope they will do it again next year!

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  20. What a glorious couple of days!
    I almost fainted (well, not really ;) when I saw that bicycle...what a beauty! And it went so well with your outfit...all of the ladies looked lovely. I only wish they had something like a Tweed Run in the States!
    I hope your car problems turn out all right, though :(

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  21. love it!!! wishing they would do one here!

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  22. I wish I could be there with You ! What a amazing photos and atmosphere ! You look stunning on all those photos ! I'm first time on your blog but be sure I'll be back :) greetings, Katerina

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  23. adorable blog...love it!!! ♥

    http://somethingaboutmycloset.blogspot.com/

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  24. Very good post. The looks are perfect ¡Fantastic!

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  25. It looks a delightful weekend! I especially love the updo that you're sporting these days. Would you consider doing a tutorial on how you do it?

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  26. Amazing post! really beautiful and inspirational!

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  27. It looks like so much fun! In the rainy gloom of unpredictable Autumn in the Antipodes, it's lovely to see bright sunlight and smiling faces.

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  28. Hey hey, iam new here, but i think it will be eazy to came everyday! Delicious! Your style is really lovely! A huge hi from Brussels!

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  29. Looks like all of you had a fun day! It's a shame we don't have anything alike here.

    And to me it's rather strange to read you had to borrow a bike. In the Netherlands virtually everyone has a bike, as it is often our main mode of transportation if something is in a 5 kilometer radius.

    xx,
    Kim

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  30. I'm so sad I missed this, it looks great. This might explain why I saw a man riding a penny farthing down the King's Road a while ago. Perhaps he was practising?

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