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Wednesday 5 June 2024

A visit to the Kettlewell Colour Studio and a Garden Centre Treat

 And Wow on Wednesday

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in new lilac leopard dress

Dear friends.  I visited the Kettlewell Colour Studio in Somerset at the weekend,  and today I'm showing my new purchase, their Tilly dress.

I don't know what's come over me because it's my fourth dress purchase this year, although the other three were retro styles.  All this from a person who said she hardly ever wore dresses! 

Let me tell you about the Colour Studio. It's nestled away in the countryside near Cricket St Thomas. The four friendly stylists now offer Colour analysis for £150, which is the lowest price I've seen, particularly when you consider that their swatches are fabric and it's a 3 hour draping session. 

I went with a friend to the studio's Tropical Tea Party. Tickets, from the Kettlewell website, were just five pounds. There are other bookable sessions coming up including make-up with Look Fabulous Forever and bra fitting.

Twenty women attended and it was a colourful gathering.  We had the opportunity to try on anything in the shop, and stylists were running around getting us whatever we wanted. Plus a lovely lunch. 

My friend Margery, the writer Maddie Grigg, hasn't had her colours done but is now going to book a session.  

Writer Maddie Griggs left with Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon as they visit the Kettlewell Colour Studio in Somerset

I went to the studio wearing a Chloe jacket from the summer palette, lavender,  and the stylist must have thought as I was a summer as she brought the dress in the summer lilac grey leopard colourway. 

I didn't realise it wasn't the spring version but I love it anyway. Light spring is close to summer and occasionally I buy from the summer collection. Plus as regular readers will know, I love lilac (and indeed purple in all its variations). 

I don't often wear pattern  (except in the occasional blouse) but it's good to break out of your comfort zone. 

I wore my new Tilly on Monday, with Kettlewell's Lara waist belt in Iris, when I had afternoon tea at Dobbies Garden Centre, Woodcote Green in Surrey.  

My friend Clare Smythson and I were gifted with Dobbies' luxury afternoon tea.  It's extremely good value at £20 and would make a lovely treat for any woman.  They also offer a standard afternoon tea for £16. Visiting a garden centre is one of my #1 activities, and this one has a Waitrose! Add the afternoon tea  (they have a restaurant and two coffee shops) and you have a few hours of heaven. 

As you can see, there's a selection of sandwiches, two scones each with jam and clotted cream, a sausage roll, and various sweet treats on the top layer.  I had two pots of tea. We didn't think we would eat it all but, ahem, somehow we did!  

The delicious luxury cream tea offered by Dobbies garden centres

I adore scones with clotted cream.  Jam on first for me, which is wrong for a Devonian, but there you go!  In my view the cream looks messy if you put jam on top. That's enough controversy for today :-)

Here's Clare, who's seasonally coded as a winter, and me in my Tilly dress. Clare's wearing the new Kettlewell Camille top. It's in the spring colourway but she has cleverly cooled it down with her winter yellow handbag and purple jacket. 

Clare Smythson from Zero Waste Wardrobe with Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton before their luxury afternoon tea at Dobbies garden centre in Surrey

If the weather had turned colder I was prepared with my Kettlewell Lisa sleeveless cardigan in Pink Rose.  This was one of my best buys last year, it's been very versatile.

Do you enjoy an afternoon tea?  And, inevitably, I must ask if you put the jam on before the cream....(international visitors, this is a very topical UK issue!). Scroll down below the link-up for the comments box. 

I was gifted with a luxury afternoon tea by Dobbie's Garden Centre in return for an honest review. 

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Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday. Readers can find new blogs to enjoy and bloggers can find new readers. It's a win-win all round. Please, if you enjoy reading a post, share the love by leaving a comment. It makes a blogger's day.


My Week being an Active Participant in Life by Sue from Women Living Well After 50. 

Back on HRT in my Sixties by Alison from Midlife and Beyond   (I'm also wondering about doing the same thing....) 

Life Lately by Jill at Grownup Glamour. Jill's in Tasmania, where it's heading towards winter, and she has a pretty camellia out in the garden. 


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  1. It's cream first for me...... but I'm not really British right, lol. That's a very pretty dress and the sleeveless cardigan looks great on it. What a lovely day that must have been!

  2. Hi Gail, yes, absolutely love an afternoon tea and I'm a cream first person 😜. I love the dress and the jacket with your arrival outfit.

    Always enjoy your reviews and adventures.

    1. I've never actually tried cream first. Next time I'll give it a go. Thanks for all your support with the blog over the years

  3. Fabulous blog!! Tilly dress is super in the Summer colourway!! And what a yummy tea at Dobbies! I'm like you, jam first then cream! Xx

    1. Thank you! And glad to find another jam first fan x

  4. That’s really wonderful. I just love your purple bag. It’s a stunning colour and the garden party is fabulous.


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