Every year Sarah and I don our glad rags and head to talks by fashions elite in the South Kensington area, with a host of other like minded people.
This, they said, was to be the chicest, biggest and best year due to it being British Vogues centenary year, pulling out ALLLL the stops, they said – we were excited!
Honesty is always paramount in my book, so I must admit that we were, unfortunately, left wanting. Sarah and I have been at four of the last five Vogue Festivals, including it’s inception year. The festival, true to their word was indeed, bigger than ever before, but it was certainly not better.
We went to the Grace Coddington x Lucinda Chambers talk, sure to be a vibrant and intellectual conversation between two fantastic women who are icons in the fashion industry. Instead of being strict with their start time, those of us who were on time were forced to wait 25mins due to late comers who were consistently being let in.
Outside of extenuating circumstances, I have always found lateness rude, especially in a professional capacity and the fact that our time was being eaten up without comment or apology from anyone at Vogue – well lets just say we weren’t off to a great start.
The two women did their best, but both were out of their comfort zones and the talk was uneventful. While Sarah and I were quiet about our disappointment, the throng that headed towards the exit afterwards were loudly tutting and questioning if any rehearsal had even been held at all…
Shrugging off our disappointment, we went to the tent which housed various areas for style talks, Bobbie Brown and Kérastase counters as well as the Harrods Café and the main attraction, the Vogue Shop, where guests were sure to bag a limited edition item not to be found anywhere else.
Once passed security, you walked a catwalk, with old Vogue covers to your left and the sponsors wall to your right
We took a couple of obligatory snaps, but as the queue to take a photo was getting intense, we got out of the way pretty sharpish!
We knew with the bait of limited edition products for sale, the shop would be crazy…we just didn’t realise how crazy
You immediately started queuing and then got to actually peruse the items whilst snaking your way to the till
Some things we just couldn’t believe people were purchasing….they may have a designers name on them, but lads – THEY’RE CABLETIES!!
I did however have my sights on the Smythson notebook, with only 100 of these bad boys created especially for Vogue, I definitely wanted one
Love a good notebook so I do!
After an agonising 90mins wait to pay for items, Sarah and myself finally made it to the top…to discover that out of the 5 pay points, only 4 were staffed and between the lot, only 2 card machines were working….what they were thinking I just don’t know!
We had made a reservation for 1:15pm in Bob Bob Ricard, it being a year since my Hen, we decided a revisit was in order, so off we trotted to Upper James Street, grateful to be away from the melee for lunch.
We were seated upstairs, the gold and blue decor as beautiful as the red and gold that can be found in their clubroom
After all our walking we got stuck into the menus
quenching our thirst with much needed water
And some other beverages too…
Just as we were becoming aware of the roar of our bellies, our starters dutifully turned up, Sarah had the Crab Salad with Chili Avocado Mayonaise made with cucumber, tomato, coriander, jalapeno pepper and lime – scrumptious!
and I returned to the Wafer-Thin Beetroot & Goat’s Chees Salad with broadbeans and mint. I know you should try new things…but when it was SO good last time, I just couldn’t resist!
We branched out to new plates for our mains though, I went with Crispy Pork Belly on red cabbage and apple puree, served with truffle gravy
and melt in your mouth good!
While Sarah tried the Champagne & Truffle Humble Pie made with mushrooms, pecorino, leek, black truffle, pearl barley and champagne
and we shared a side of Crushed Peppered Sweet Corn, which, as with our last visit, was devine!
To wash it all down, we did what only two very sensible creatures would do, we pushed that all important button
et voila! Champagne for everyone!!
The Chocolate Fondant served with milk ice cream, chocolate almond brandy snap and mint creme anglaise is a definitely must, but only if you’ve tried these first
Sarah enjoyed the Trio of Sorbets & Platinum Vodka, lime, lemon and pink grapefruit sorbets, served with platinum vodka – but she still had food envy over my fondant – which, I mean, can you blame her?!
After settling the bill, we grabbed our coats and headed back to Vogue Festival
Thankfully things had calmed down at the festival, so we treated ourselves to hair, make up, t-shirt and photoshoot makeovers…none of which were great and the photoshoot and t-shirt makovers were particularly poor
We stopped to pick up a coffee and then saw out our remaining time with Vogue
We enjoyed the afternoon much more, but overall there was nothing that really stood out, nothing that would make me say “oh wow, you must go next year!”, which is a real shame
I’m sure there are others who went to Vogue Festival this year and will give vastly different accounts of their experience, but personally I hope that next year the organisers won’t try so hard to be “bigger and better” but will return to what we enjoyed in the early years “smaller with astounding quality”