Notting Hill Carnival 2014

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

If you have been following me on Twitter you will have seen that this bank holiday weekend I paid my first ever visit to Notting Hill Carnival. I have previously heard a lot about the event but never attended, so I was really excited to go this year and find out what it was all about.

The first things that hit you on arrival at the carnival were the ridiculous amounts of people and the sounds of horns and whistles. As the apartment I booked was directly in the centre of Notting Hill we didn’t have to walk far to stumble across a sound system or stall selling jerk chicken!

I used the LG G3 at the event and the high quality camera meant it was the perfect accessory. It captured the colours and sights far better than my digital camera, it really is the best smartphone camera I have used to date!

This year carnival was 50 years old and it is easy to see why the tradition has continued as long as it has. It is an opportunity for people to come together on the streets of London and simply have a good time! People of all cultures and classes were dancing together as they watched the carnival pass and chatting over a rum punch – from a coconut shell no less!

Of course with any event like this, fashion is often at the forefront! I previously did a post on suggestions of things to wear on the day (here) but these ideas were nothing compared to what people wore at the carnival! Of course bright colours were everywhere, but there was also a slight festival fashion edge too with floral crowns and short-shorts making an appearance! It was probably as good a place to catch some street style shots than as outside Somerset House for LFW!

I had a really great time, it was fun to meet new people and dance in the streets – not something you can get away with in London generally!

I was also incredibly lucky to attend on the Sunday when the sun was shining all day, rather than Monday were sadly the rain didn’t stop! I am sure that did not entirely spoil the carnival vibe however – what’s a little bit of rain when you are having fun?

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

Did you go to Notting Hill Carnival?

Getting it right on your first date

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Getting it right on your first date: choosing what to wear to make a good first impression
OK, so you’ve gone and bagged yourself a hot date. Now while this is fantastic, truly wonderful; the only issue is now— what on earth to wear. Just imagine the scene; you are out of the shower, towel wrapped around your head like an impressive head piece, swathed in a dressing gown, music on and a glass of bubbly in hand. But you now need to decide what to wear for this all important first date.

Now I know, from personal experience and (ahem!) lots of first dates, that picking the perfect outfit for your upcoming date is serious business. More often than not, the whole experience quickly turns into a huge mission of trying on every item of clothing in your wardrobe, stomping across the landing to peer at yourself in the mirror and deciding, as you kind of knew right from the start, that what you have on just isn’t right.

But I promise you, it doesn’t always have to be this difficult and so, here are some little things to consider to help you on your way:

Through your choice of outfit, you need to make a statement about who you are as a person and let your personality shine through with your individual style. Girls, you know you’ve got it, you just have to make it crystal clear for the guys to see it, too and it’s as simple as that! Of course, looking bang on trend isn’t the other thing you need to consider; your clothing also needs to be appropriate to the kind of date you are going on.

You need to try (if possible!) to establish where he is likely to take you. If it is to a fast food joint then a little black dress and heels may well be a little over dressed- although there’s no denying that every man is going to love a girl who stands out from the crowd, wherever you may be!


If you are heading to the bowling alley, the ice skating rink or are off for something a little more adventurous, casual is the way forward. You don’t want to be yanking down your dress, pulling up your top or stumbling over in your heels if your wardrobe doesn’t match your date plans. So in such instances, I would opt for some sensible but sexy footwear, a nice pair of trousers or skinny jeans and a gorgeous top. Match with a funky jacket or jumper and you are ready for action.

However, if you are heading to a funky bar or club, a fun and fresh outfit is perfect, while dinner at the hottest new restaurant in town requires something a little more thought out. Enter the little black dress; the one outfit destined to make a fantastic first impression and make him yearn for more.

Of course, if you have a very individual or eclectic style, why not consider pairing a funky necklace or heels with your LBD for a formal meal to keep a sense of your personality and show off your playful side? More traditional in style; don’t shy away from it. Beautiful scarves or simple chains will reflect your sense of style and when it comes to showing off who you are and what you like, first dates shouldn’t make you want to change or shy away from your preferences.

If you haven’t already gathered, men are visual creatures and what they see in front of them, really can get their minds ticking over. So making the right first impression on the first date is a must and funnily enough, this begins with how you look. (No real surprises there?!)

So, in all, my advice to you would be, think about your date ‘blueprint’, pull open your wardrobe doors, have a delve inside and think logically. Trust me, when you see the ideal outfit, you will know it, so keep calm and your sense of style will see you through this decision making stage!

At the end of the day, every woman is conscious about making a good first impression on a first date but trust me when I say the sexiest thing a girl can wear is confidence, and a smile. Look stylish, fresh and all round fabulous, and you’ll be sure to knock him dead!

Good luck ladies,





Hannah Chesterfield is a blogger and PR Specialist for London Speed Dating hosts, Dateinadash. A creative and bubbly soul, Hannah loves writing about all things related to the world of dating, relationships, and of course, speed dating.

Keep in touch with Dateinadash on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website for more details.


Weekend Break in Essex

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Sometimes it is nice to escape normality and get a little bit of peace and quiet. It was for that reason that the weekend just gone I decided to escape in to the country and get some well needed r&r!

What I love about Essex is that you have the contrast of built up towns with lots to do, and quiet country areas with nothing but a few fields and the local pub!

We stayed in a lovely two bedroom log cabin (here) and I spent my evenings in the hot tub looking up at the stars, with a glass or two (or three) of chilled Champagne in my hand – it really was perfect.

Herbage County Park

On Saturday we visited West Mersea, somewhere I had not been before. It is about an hour from me in Leigh-on-Sea but you have to time your drive over there well or else you might risk the car being flooded on the road over when the tide comes in!

We parked up and visited one of the local restaurants for some seafood. It really doesn’t get much fresher than here – the lobsters were being cooked right outside, having been caught from the water just a few feet away! We shared some especially tasty dressed crab, lobster and king prawns cooked in salt and garlic that were to die for.

West Mersea

West Mersea

After all that food we retired for a few drinks at a nearby pub, looking out over the water.

It was a great way to start my last week at work, before I change jobs and start heading in to the City each day. The only problem is, now I want to go back again!

Where do you escape for some rest and relaxation?

Notting Hill Carnival Fashion

Friday, August 15th, 2014

You may have seen me mention on Twitter than next week I will be heading down to Notting Hill Carnival in London. It is my first time at the event so I am really excited to get involved and see what it is all about!

Of course, with anything like this one of the first issues I have is what to wear! I’ve not been to an event like this before so I am a little out of my depth. So to get some sort of inspiration I have been looking up pictures of previous years and seeing just what others have been wearing.

It looks like a great opportunity for some street style snaps, with people from many cultures and communities coming together in their own personal style. From denim shorts to vintage dresses, it really does seem that anything goes – with a focus particularly on bright colours. Well, it is carnival after all!

I thought I would put together a few inspiration boards of things I am thinking of wearing over the weekend. Now I have seen what others wear it is hard to make a choice on what to buy and bring!

I am also excited to be using the new LG smart phone to photograph the event. I tried out the camera the other day and I am honestly so impressed at how clear the photos are and how well the laser auto focus works. Hopefully I will get some fabulous shots to share with you all!


I am in total love with 304 clothing recently, they have some really unique designs and the fit is fantastic too. The jumper I bought from there a few months ago gets worn ALL the time and I can’t wait to add a few more pieces to my collection.

No doubt this top (here) will be suitably apt for the weather, you can never plan for it to be sunny all day in this country! It works perfectly well with these casual, ripped denim shorts from SheInside (here) which are a bargain at only £9.34!


As I mentioned before, loud colours seem to be a very common occurrence at the event and this dress would be absolutely perfectly! Reflecting the hippy times of the 70′s, this tie dye beauty (here) can be dressed up or down and take you from carnival to after party.


For a slightly more fashionable choice, I really love this fringe kimono coordinate set (here). It looks perfectly with a black crop top underneath and the kimono will help keep the chill off a little later in the day. It’s really unique and would definitely get you snapped by the street style photographers!

Have you been to Notting Hill Carnival before? What did you opt to wear?

Carousel Diary is written by Katrina, a 23 year old from Essex. Find out more →

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