fashionmommy's Blog fashion/shopping /beauty/lifestyle from a full time mom Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:17:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 27790490 The top 3 things To Do In Cornwall Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:17:13 +0000 When traveling for a holiday vacation with family or friends, one of the most difficult things to do is finding a place that would offer enough activities and attractions that would be enjoyed by everyone in the group. For those who are looking for a holiday destination that is diverse enough to satisfy people with different interests and hobbies, Cornwall is the perfect place to go to.


Whether you are a lover of art, history or even surfing, there is something for you to enjoy at Cornwall. There are so many things to do that even if you stay there for a week, you will still not be able to go to all the tourist attractions that the place has to offer.


For those who are not sure what they can do or where they can go in Cornwall, here are three things that tourist should never miss out on when on a holiday there.


  1. Visit the Eden Project – the beautiful Biomes seem like they came straight out of a science fiction film. But these domes contain the largest rainforest in captivity in the whole world. The place is so big that there is even a waterfall inside! This eco-attraction lets tourists see thousands of plant species, from places like Europe, South America, and West Africa. If you happen to visit during summer, there are rock concerts staged at times while in winter they offer ice-skating aside from the usual attractions.


  1. Enjoy the beach and do water activities – for the more adventurous souls, check out Newquay which boasts of impressive swells that attract the serious surfers. They even hold surfing competitions, so maybe surfing enthusiasts from your group can enjoy watching that. Aside from surfing, tourists can also go stand up paddle boarding, body boarding and sailing.  If relaxing at the beach is more your thing, Cornwall has some of the most relaxing beaches that have the best view. To make it a little more unique, at Perranporth beach, you can ride a horse for a different way to go around the beach.


  1. Visit the gardens of Cornwall – if you have a green thumb, Cornwall is the perfect place as it is often described as the garden capital of the world. The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a beautiful place to visit, but if you will come as a large group, make sure that your prior to ensure that you will have a slot as the gardens are popular with tourists. Going through the Victorian Productive Garden will feel like you have stepped back in time while in another part it will feel like you have been transported to an outdoor jungle.


There are so many more places to visit in Cornwall aside from those that are listed above. Aside from the attractions, there’s also the delicious cuisine that one must not miss when going there. Check out this site if you need help in planning a Cornwall holiday. They not only have a detailed list of the things to do but even suggested places where guests can stay to have a more enjoyable vacation.

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3 Tips on how to finance your upcoming wedding Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:09:12 +0000 There are many words that can be used to describe a wedding. Classic, elegant, whimsical, glamorous are just some of the adjectives that are thrown about when talking about a momentous event. But another word that can describe it? Expensive.

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There’s no denying that a wedding is one of the most important events in a couple’s life, and aside from probably purchasing a home, will be the most they will spend money on. In fact, frugal does not seem to be the word that is ever used to describe a wedding.


Some get a break as their parents help them, but if you and your future spouse are financing your own wedding and you are not sure how to do that, here are some tips you can follow so that you can have the best wedding in the future.


  1. Start saving for your wedding months or even years in advance – the earlier you start saving, the better. If you have a specific vision for your wedding, and you know that it will cost, talk it over with your future spouse. The average cost of a wedding may be at least 20,000 pounds. You need to check at the money that comes into you monthly and find out just how much you need to save in order to finance your wedding. Some sacrifices may be needed in order, a good tip would be to have a list of non-negotiables. If you want a specific venue but do not have enough money for that wedding cake, you may opt for a cheaper alternative. Find ways to cut costs for other aspects of the wedding that you deem not important. Develop a savings plan with your partner and set a target amount each month that you need to subtract from your paychecks in order to have enough money for your wedding.


  1. Use your credit card – sometimes couples will not have the cash yet, but they need to make deposits for example on the venue or the photographer and videographer, then you can use your credit card. You don’t need to avoid using them, but you also need to use them realistically. But you need to make sure that you pay them off in full before the big day. You do not want to spend lavishly on your wedding, but start off your marriage with an outstanding debt.


  1. Consider a personal or short-term loan – if, despite your best efforts, you find yourself still lacking money for your dream wedding, then it is time for you to consider taking out a personal loan. Especially for those with no collateral, this is a perfect choice. One thing you will need to have is a good credit history. Interest rates are lower when you opt for a personal loan instead of charging everything to your credit card. While there are banks that offer short term and personal loans, online credit brokers can also tell you right away if you are eligible for one. Clink on this link and you only need five minutes to answer the application for a short-term or personal loan.


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7 Tips for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun Damage Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:30:13 +0000 Did you know that an estimated 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year?


And, unfortunately, the vast majority of these cases will be caused by the sun…


Why would you allow your skin to be damaged when there are easy ways to protect it?


Sun damage continues to build over time…


It can weaken the skins natural barrier, cause it to lose moisture and become dry, and even make breakouts worse – making it almost impossible to eradicate acne due to damaged skin.


You are probably thinking, “I don’t live by the beach, so I am not in the sun that much.”

But, you’re wrong. Sun damage can occur anywhere, at almost any time. Even though it might be a cloudy day, those harmful UV rays are still beating down and slowly damaging your skin.

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So, if you are looking to hang on to that young, smooth and soft skin for as long as possible, protect your skin from sun damage by:


  1. Wearing sunscreen…every day.

    The key is to apply, and reapply, regularly. Since about 80 percent of the average person’s lifetime involves sun exposure, sun exposure is incidental – meaning it occurs during daily activities, not just sunbathing. Try an SPF 30 or higher if you plan to be in the sun for longer than 15 minutes.

  2. Moisturizing regularly – even your lips, they age too!

    Lip-protection balm should be applied prior to sun exposure and reapplied at least every hour during sun exposure. Your lips are thin-skinned and are particularly vulnerable to painful sunburns and wrinkles that come with aging.

    Aside from your lips, repeated sun exposure can also dry out the rest of your skin as it sucks the water and moisture right out of it. Always apply a moisturizer to keep your skin smooth and soft!

    Pro Tip: Invest in an SPF that already includes a moisturizer in the ingredients – it will save you a step later, leaving you to only moisturize your lips.

  3. Watching the clock if you plan to be outside.

    The UV rays from the sun are the strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Keep the time in mind when planning to be outside, extra sun exposure calls for extra precautions.

    Pro Tip: If you aren’t sure if the UV rays are strong, check your shadow. If it is very short, it is a sign that it is a bad time to be outside.

  4. Wearing a hat for added protection.

    Wearing a hat not only provides you added shade for your eyes – which works great in collaboration with sunglasses. But, if also helps protect the skin on your ears, face, and neck from any additional sun.

  5. Taking note of areas with reflected light.

    Light is easily reflected off of snow, sand, concrete and several other common surfaces found outside. Always be sure to protect surfaces such as the under part of your chin with sunscreen, as an umbrella or shade tree won’t protect the underneath areas of your skin that are affected by reflected light.

  6. Knowing the side effects of your prescriptions.

    Some prescribed medication can make your skin extra sensitive to sun exposure and can increase your risk of a sunburn – even some herbal medicines have this same effect. Make yourself aware of any threats from the sun posed by your medication.

  7. Investing in UFP protectant clothing.

    There are special garments which contain a special coating designed to absorb both UVB and UVA rays. Similar to SPF, the higher the UPF the more protection the item provides. However, regular clothes can also provide a shield from the sun.

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Your beauty regime should always include proper care for all your skin – not just your face. After all, you only get the skin you’re in…forever. Take care of it now to avoid irreversible issues with it later.


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How To Make Your Party Go With A Bang Tue, 27 Jun 2017 07:15:50 +0000 There’s a rather famous song that says ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to’, but if you plan everything properly, there really is no reason to be crying. You need to source a great venue, create a guest list, make sure your food selection is tasty and memorable, and to decide on your entertainment, then everything else should be fine. Your party should be one that is talked about for years, whether it be for your birthday, engagement, wedding, anniversary, hell, people are even holding divorce parties these days.

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Kate Moss knows how to throw a party


Your venue is important, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Many people are holding parties in their own gardens these days, using a marquee that can be hired just for the event. If you would rather that the noise and mess (let’s be honest here) was away from your own home, there are places like community centres and village halls that can be hired at a reasonable cost. If you have more budget for the venue, you could look at local hotels which often have function rooms to hire. A hotel can often also organise your entertainment and your catering too, which could take away some of the planning for you.


Even if you decide to host your party at home, it does not mean that you have to spend the day leading up to it making sandwiches. An outside catering firm like can address a whole host of catering needs or themes, and can even bring staff if you decide to have your food served as well as catered for.  You can set the budget for your food, being as frugal or as lavish as you decide, and you can ensure that the food will be up to a fabulous level, leaving you just to enjoy your party.


Your choice of entertainment should be a reflection of your taste. Want to dance the night away? Then a DJ would be a good choice. Like something a little bit more refined? How about a swing band. Totally fun-loving and love a bit of a sing along? Then you can’t really go wrong with karaoke. The choice really is all yours, it’s your party after all. I know a couple who held their own rave for their engagement party and totally loved it, and another couple who had a mini festival for their joint 40th birthdays.

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Your party should reflect you, and should leave everyone having had the best of times, and that includes you. After all, who wants tears on their special day?

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Headz Up Business Fashion Catwalk Mon, 26 Jun 2017 14:32:32 +0000 Last Friday I was a guest at the Headz Up Business Women in Business Expo, held in Birmingham’s beautiful Council House. Part of the Expo was taken up with the Fashion Business Catwalk, which meant I got to sit front row and enjoy some fabulous fashion. The event was organised by Pushpa Alexander, the inspirational whirlwind behind Headz Up Business, who organise networking events, conferences and Expo’s for women in business, focusing on digital and social media technology, and allowing women to network with similar professionals in a host of different settings.

With Dave aka Mr Brum Hour.

The Women in Business Expo was a great success, with the centrepiece being the Fashion Catwalk.  This runway show was managed by former Mr Birmingham Joshua Williams, who is also the brains behind the Elite Fashion Show. The show showcased some local designers, from Jewellery Quarter based Dolls of Decadence, new Birmingham label Vaughan, Elvira Lee Couture, heavily influenced by 1970s glamour, El Monet, which is both designed and manufactured in the second city, and Kiss Me Kate, the destination for beautiful evening wear in Birmingham.

In addition to the designers and their stunning collections, the catwalk stage also hosted talks from Ruth May, an up and coming jewellery designer, Sally Klein, an inspirational lifestyle coach, and West Midlands Police, who were there to talk about Cyber safety in the modern age. All the guest speakers also hosted their own stalls so you could talk to them in more detail if you wished.

The Women in Business Expo was the most enjoyable of events, a way to make some valuable contacts whilst having a coffee, browsing the exhibitors and taking in some fabulous new fashion. It also raised funds for a brilliant local charity ‘Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer’ and it was wonderful to hear Veronica Kumeta from the charity speaking so passionately about her vision for helping cancer sufferers and survivors in Birmingham.

Fashion Catwalk at the Women in Business Expo

Dolls of Decadence


Elvira Lee Couture

El Monet

Kiss Me Kate

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FFX – Your Destination For Workwear Sun, 25 Jun 2017 22:25:39 +0000 FFX, or Folkestone Fixings, is a one stop destination for power tools, handtools and work wear. Founded in Folkestone in 2003, the company has stores in the South East as well as an online store. The online business is one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of power tools and power tool accessories, hand tools, fixings and fasteners, and general construction consumables. It is also a brilliant place to go for work wear, stocking brands like DeWalt, Makita, Dickies, Silverline and Snickers, all at very competitive prices.

My husband Pete is the perfect person to talk about work wear. In his job as a loft conversion specialist he needs protective, hard wearing clothing that will stand the rigours of a job that involves heavy lifting, climbing and working from heights. As well as these requirements, Pete still has to look smart and presentable as he is working in someone’s home, and is a public face for the company he represents. I asked him to test drive some pieces from FFX, and he was impressed with the cost and quality of the brands they are able to supply.

Pete chose three pieces of clothing from the work wear section. The Roughneck 95-155 Wind Blocker Fleece comes in sizes that go up to XXL, and is great for wearing when working on a roof as it is wind proof and water resistant. Unlike some fleeces that are baggy in cut, this has a more fitted look, and also has a another great safety feature in that it has reflective piping, this not only makes it look more attractive, but is good if you are working at night. It looks smart, but, as it comes in black, it is also a practical choice if you are working in a dirty environment.

Pete also chose a classic black t-shirt from the Snickers range. You may think you could literally wear any t-shirt for work, but the Snickers t-shirts cost less than £8 and have features that make them perfect for wearing everyday in a physically challenging environment. In short, they offer:-

  • For a long service life, reinforced at the shoulder seam and back of neck
  • Lycra in the neck rib helps maintain shape – wash after wash
  • Printed neck label to avoid itching

These are t-shirts that look smart and are hardwearing, very important when the work you do is physical, day in day out. You need your clothes to work with you, not against you, and that is exactly what the Snickers t-shirts do.

The final items Pete chose are probably the most important. A good pair of work boots has to be able to withstand the rigours of a building site/workplace, protecting the feet from scaffolding, falling masonry and power tools. But they also need to be comfortable enough to wear all day, and to be long lasting, you don’t want to be replacing them every few weeks.  Pete will only wear DeWalt boots, as he says they are the only brand that are instantly comfortable, you never have to wear them in first. The DEWALT Extreme 3 Safety Boot have a lightweight construction whilst also offering high levels of safety for the workplace, they are also, at under £40, brilliant value for a boot that are heat resistant and oil and slip resistant.


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The FlyingKids Activity Book Reviewed. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 22:50:37 +0000 Traveling with kids can be very stressful, even when you are taking a trip by aeroplane. Kids get bored very quickly, even when you are just taking a short haul flight, so it is important that you are prepared for this, and take a bag of goodies that will keep them busy and occupied for the journey. If you are traveling to Europe this Summer, the FlyingKids Activity Book Europe could be the perfect way to pass the time away as you travel to your destination.

The FlyingKids Travel Guide series is aimed at children aged 6-12, and offers information about the major countries of the world. It now has a sister companion piece, a colouring activity book full of pictures and quizzes based around some of the most important Countries and Cities in the World. The activities are educational, you learn about flags, culture, food and historical buildings, but also a lot of fun, especially for those who enjoy colouring it.

We have the FlyingKids activity book that is based all around Europe and are going to be taking it on our holiday next week as something for Joe to do on the plane, but I think you could use this book in lots of different scenario’s. This could range from teaching your child a little bit about a new place they are about to visit, building the excitement in the run up to a trip, or using it when you are actually on holiday when you are taking a break from the sun.

The books are lovely quality and are totally child friendly, with Leonardo, your tour guide, taking you from Italy to Germany, France to Spain, and then onto London. You see the Coliseum, the London Eye, the Brandenburg Gate and the Sagrada Familia, and hopefully your child will leave a little bit about the new places you are visiting through their book.

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All or Nothing – The Small Faces Musical is a BIG Success Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:16:18 +0000 All or Nothing, the smash hit mod musical that tells the life and times of the wonderfully talented Steve Marriot and the Small Faces, arrived in Wolverhampton last night for a three night run. The story of The Small Faces, a bunch of Cockney teenagers who became one of the most biggest and most iconic bands of the 1960s, is a taundry tale of talented and youth exploited and ultimately wasted, but it also has laugh out loud moments, amazing music and a cast who are totally at the top of their game.

All or Nothing is written by Carol Harrison, perhaps best known for her role as Louise Raymond in Eastenders. She has produced an extraordinary piece of theatre, it probably is ‘the coolest musical ever’. Carol also plays the role of Kay Marriot, the mother of Steve Marriot, and a real heart of the story, a vibrant East End mother with a posh telephone voice and aspirations that her boy might one day work with Sir Laurence Olivier. Young Steve (Samuel Pope – all cheeky sass and attitude) has other ideas, his heart and soul lie in making music, and a chance meeting with Kenney Jones (Stefan Edwards) and Ronnie Lane (Stanton Wright) sets the wheels in motion for the band that will become the Small Faces. A change of personnel sees the tall Jimmy Winston(Joseph Peters) replaced by the pint sized Ian McLagan (Josh Maddison) and the classic Small Faces line up is complete and set for stardom. But fame does not bring fortune, as the band are exploited by a string of managers, and the charismatic but self destructive Marriot ruins their chances of world wide success with obnoxious behaviour that sees them banned from the likes of Top of the Pops. All or Nothing tells this story in blistering fashion, complete with a string of classic hits that are played live by a talented cast of actors who can also sing like a dream.



One of the things that makes All or Nothing such a spell binding, and ultimately tragic experience, is the narration from an older, and by now dead, Steve Marriot. Played by the brilliant Chris Simmons, it is like Marriot is looking back at his experiences, enjoying the good times, and wishing he could turn back time as he realises the mistakes he made (his band become the Faces with Rod Stewart after he left abrubtly in 1968.) Chris is exceptional in the role, he noticeably deteriorates as the play continues, mirroring what happened to Marriot, who was killed in a house fire in the early 1990s. It is heartbreaking to watch, and his final scene with mom Kay (Carol Harrison at her most poignant) is almost eerie in its sadness, particularly a final rendition of All or Nothing.

Another thing that I loved about ‘All or Nothing’ is that it superbly recreates the era of the 1960s, from a very funny episode of Top of the Pops with Daniel Beares just hilarious as Tony Blackburn, to scenes including Sonny and Cher and an incredible Dusty Springfield (Sophia Benn – just wow!). Juke Box Jury, Ready Steady Go, Andrew Loog Oldham and Rod Stewart, they are all there, and it gives the musical real resonance, not just looking at the band in splendid isolation, but placing them at the centre of Swinging London.

All or Nothing is one of the best musicals around, one with a real sad story to tell, and brilliant music that has stood the test of time.


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Grab Yourself A Selfie Bag This Summer Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:14:51 +0000 The selfie, it is a modern phenomenon. In the age of the smart phone and instagram, it seems that everyone, from Joe Blogs on the street to the world’s biggest megastars, are all obsessed with selfies. We take selfies of ourselves (natch), posing with our mates, and if we bump into someone famous, the obvious thing to do is grab a selfie with them. Yesterday (21st June) was even deigned to be ‘National Selfie Day’. So, if ever a time was ripe for a Selfie Bag to be produced, it is now, and that is exactly what the CottonBagCo have done.

The CottonBagCo have designed their very first selfie bag, and in comes in two gorgeous designs. The bag is a hardwearing oversized canvas tote, with strong handles that make it ideal to use as a beach bag, or as a strong shopper. It comes in a white printed version, but I am more drawn to the Art Deco style print of the black version, which has been giving me strong Biba vibes.

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The Selfie Bag – Black £9.99 Click to visit The Cotton Bag Co

So, what makes a Selfie bag into a selfie bag? Well, first it has a safe, security zip pocket that is the perfect place to store your phone – no more searching around the bottom of your bag frantically trying to find it. So far, so what. But it also has a much longer, deeper pocket where you can also store your selfie stick safely, definitely the first time I have ever seen a bag containing this sort of pocket. There is also a reflective sheet which is great to use as a backdrop if you are trying to create the perfect selfie.

The Selfie bag is a wonderful idea with a really gorgeous design. This will be a great buy for multiple usage this Summer.

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Three Short Ballets from the Birmingham Royal Ballet Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:51:41 +0000 Last night saw the opening of the second show of the Birmingham Royal Ballet summer season for 2017. This time audiences were in for a treat, as a triple header of three short ballets charmed, thrilled, amused and shocked in equal measure. The ballets performed were Arcadia, a new ballet from BRB alumni Ruth Brill, the classic haunting Le Baiser de la Fee’ and the Gilbert and Sullivan inspired ‘Pineapple Poll’. Each ballet was wonderful in its own way – three very different ballets in very different styles.

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Arcadia is the story of Pan, the god of Arcadia, and has a wonderfully earthy central performance from Brandon Lawrence. Visually striking, scenes like the nymphs dancing and ignoring Pan, where the dancers Brooke Ray, Yijing Zhang and Delia Matthews are silhouetted against a stunning Arcadian backdrop, are vivid and linger in the memory.  The stunning costumes in colours that echo the forest of Arcadia are also pivotal to the ballet.  The ballet is further enhanced by the soaring saxophone solo by John Harle which creates a score that is almost Gershwin in tone. Ruth Brill has really done a great job with creating a stunning tableau that has passion and emotion.

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Le Baiser De La Fee

Where Arcadia is a ballet filled with hope, the classic Le Baiser De La Fee is a haunting experience. A woman is lost in a  snow storm, trying to protect her baby, when she is ambushed by a fairy and her attendants. The woman tries to protect her baby, but the sprites take the child from her and the woman dies in the snow. The fairy kisses the child on his forehead but is then disturbed by villagers who find the child and his dead mother. Many years pass, and the child grows into a young man, in love with his soon to be bride. However, happiness is not to be there’s as the fairy returns to claim the young man. She tricks him into believing she is the bride by wearing the veil and he is horrified to find that he has been tricked, but is powerless to resist her charm and beauty.

This is a beautiful haunting ballet which truly transfers you to a world of snow and ice. There are lighter, exquisite moments, like when the lovely bride (Momoko Hirata who dances so prettily, an utterly charming performance) dances with her attendants in her wedding veil. This is a scene that is enchanting and lovely, such a contrast to the passionate, almost tortured scenes with the young man (Joseph Caley) and the Fairy (Jenna Roberts). Joseph Caley once again shows himself as a dancer who can express so many emotions from happiness to fear, passion and delight, a real leading man. Jenna Roberts is exquisite as the rather dangerous fairy, a glittering and glamorous presence.

This is a ballet that is filled with powerful moments, and the denouement, when the fairy has finally ensnared the young man, and his heartbroken fiancée is disconsolately searching for him, is as disconcerting a moment as you will find in a modern ballet.

Just beautiful in every way.

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Pineapple Poll

Pineapple Poll is a delight, a superbly funny piece of ballet in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan.  The Birmingham Hippodrome stage was transformed into Portsmouth in the Victorian Era as the handsome Captain Belaye charms every woman he meets, including Poll, who sells her trinkets by the quayside. Captain Belaye has the same effect on other woman too, as Poll discovers when she stows away on his boat disguised as a sailor. All the other wives and girlfriends of the sailors have had the same idea and have also stowed away, leaving the Captain with a ship crewed entirely by women. Much hilarity ensures as the woman try to keep up their disguise whilst swooning over the dashing captain.

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Poll was danced wonderfully by Nao Sakuma, who showed a wonderful sense of comic timing, especially in the scene on board ship where she faints twice, first from the sound of the cannon, and then in a swoon for Captain Belaye. The captain is also wonderfully danced by Mathias Dingman, who plays the role with his tongue firmly in cheek, but dances a dream, particularly in the hornpipe inspired dance. Balaye’s fiancee Blanche (Laura Day) is also hilarious, playing the pretty, pampered princess like a wind up doll to brilliant effect, whilst Kit Holder as Jasper, the pot man in love with Poll, gives the ballet emotion in the scene where he believes Poll is drowned.

Pineapple Poll is such a lovely, funny experience, it leaves you with a wonderfully warm glow.

Le Baiser de la fée, Pineapple Poll & Arcadia.

Thu 22 – Sat 24 June

Click here for ticket information


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