What a way to kick-start the summer! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen that Ella and I recently hosted an incredible retreat with Philips, at the beautiful Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest.
The purpose of our retreat was to bring together a group of our favourite blogging girls, to get to know the new Philips Steam&Go Plus handheld garment steamer. Which as you know, I’m already a huge fan of.
(I’ve literally used nothing else to prep or refresh my clothes since getting it!)
What ensued, over our 24 hours together, was a truly magical retreat. It was filled with LOTS of chat about clothes (what else?!), how to care for them, and a dialogue around mindfulness and how we can all look after ourselves better.
It was a trip I’ll never forget, and I’m so excited to relive it with you on the blog today . . .
Before I delve into my mini diary, a quick reminder that you still have time to order your own Philips Steam&Go Plus handheld garment steamer with 30% off until July 31st 2018! Simply add code: STEAM3 at checkout. CLICK HERE to purchase.
A GIRL’S GETAWAY AT LIME WOOD HOTEL WITH PHILIPS
The stunning Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest.
The Philips Steam Sanctuary, in honour of the new Philips Steam&Go Plus handheld garment steamer. A special educational retreat for some of our favourite blogger ladies.
THE GUEST LIST
We were joined by the most joyful group of blogging girls! Explore their beautiful sites if you don’t already follow!
Wendy Gilmore of Thank Fifi
Amanda Start of Online Stylist
Jessica Harris of Twenty 6 Style
Rhiannon Duffin of New Life ‘n Style
Phoebe Greenacre of Wood and Luxe
Shloka Narang of The Silk Sneaker
Claire Menary of ISWAS London
And of course, we worked alongside the incredible Philips team who genuinely made this one of the most enjoyable projects Ella and I have ever worked on. And after 18 years of blogging between us, that’s saying something!
WHAT WE GOT UP TO . . .
On the Tuesday morning we all eagerly made our way to Lime Wood Hotel. It was a literal case of trains, planes and automobiles as we invited bloggers from all over the UK.
There was a lot of DM’ing and texting in anticipation of the retreat – we were all so excited!
Once we arrived we enjoyed a light lunch, spent some time ooh-ingand ahh-ing over Lime Wood’s stunning interiors, before heading into our garment care workshop with celebrity stylist Alex Longmore.
Alex’s vast experience styling celebrities and editorial shoots meant that she was the perfect person to talk us through our new steamers and how to use them properly. Alex also shared her top tips on caring for our clothes and how to pack properly when travelling.
Spoiler: it’s all about rolling!
I could have listened to Alex forever – she knows SO much!
Here are a few of my favourite tips from Alex:
Add scented water into your steamer, like lavender or rosemary, to make your clothes smell amazing after steaming. Just google ‘ironing water’ – it’s a thing!
To steam a fabric belt, lay it flat on a bed or table, then pop a book at either end to weigh it down, and steam away!
To achieve that incredible ‘skirt swoosh’ look, use a thread and safety pin (and a willing friend/assistant) to pull the skirt to the side whilst your photographer captures your ‘candid’ swoosh! The thread won’t show up in your photos and you’ll have an incredible shot!
After Alex shared all of her tips – and answered our many questions! – we all had a go with our steamers.
L.K. Bennett very kindly provided an array of gorgeous pieces for us to practice our steaming on, and everyone fell in love with the Philips Steam&Go Plus immediately.
Following our wrinkle workshop, we all checked out our rooms (which were amazing!) and got changed for our afternoon mindfulness session.
In the beautiful greenhouse space at Lime Wood, our very own mindfulness expert chatted to us about how to incorporate more meditation, calm and consciousness into our everyday lives.
We all took part in a ‘mindful eating’ session, which required us to eat strawberries (YUM), and a quiet period of stretching outside.
It was incredible how heightened our senses were when we were being mindful. I really felt the breeze on my skin when we were outside, and the scents of the summer flowers and grass around us were really strong.
The mindfulness session reminded me how important it is to slow down, and take stock of every single moment. Our experiences are all the more powerful when we use all of our senses.
Dress: Sosandar c/o | Jacket: Wallis (Old)
Clutch: L.K Bennett
As I spend most of my time working from home in my jeans or workout gear, the opportunity to dress up excites me greatly!
I couldn’t wait to put on a pretty dress for our elegant evening meal with Philips.
My emerald green dress is a new piece from Sosandar, and I teamed it with aqua tassel earrings from Accessorize. I added my favourite sequinned jacket from Wallis last year, and slipped on some new heels from L.K. Bennett. Oh and let’s not forget the raffia clutch– again from L.K Bennett! Allllllways up for a raffia accessory.
Prior to dinner I used my steamer to prep all my clothes. As they’d been in my suitcase they were a little crumpled, even after hanging them up, but the steamer made it a breeze to refresh them and ease out any wrinkles.
One of my favourite things about the Philips Steam&GoPlus steamer is how travel-friendly it is – a big plus during our trip.
After a short walk around the grounds of Lime Wood, and a play on the swing (because it was way too tempting!) we all headed into dinner.
What ensued was a gorgeous evening, brimming with conversation, laughter and amazing food.
The women who attended our retreat made it SO memorable and special, and I was so so happy to catch up with some of my oldest blogging friends like Wendy and Amanda, as well as making new ones.
THE NEXT DAY
Luckily for us, the next day we had full access to Lime Wood’s spa. The. Dream.
I took the opportunity to head to the pool area for an early swim and sauna before breakfast.
And WHAT a breakfast it was!
Once again we gathered our gorgeous group of retreat girls for a big hearty brekkie together. There was avocado toast abound (I mean, did you expect anything less?!), coffee aplenty and lots more time to natter away.
It was so bitter sweet when we eventually had to say goodbye to one another, but we were all so grateful for the time we’d shared together and we knew that the retreat would hold a special place in our memories forever.
As I progress through my twenties, the people I spend time with mean more and more to me, and getting the opportunity to spend 24hrs with this incredible group of women meant so much.
Moreover, to share a product which I’m genuinely passionate about, and which has helped me so much already – both with my blog preparation and my daily clothes-care – was such a joy.
I’ll forever look back on our Philips Steam Sanctuary with the best memories!
For Ella and I this retreat was the culmination of months of work alongside the brilliant Philips team, and it couldn’t have come together in a more perfect way.
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
Did you love virtually coming on the retreat with us? And will you be snapping up your own Philips Steam&Go Plus handheld steamer?
I’ve had so many messages on Instagram already from people buying it! I’m so excited for you to welcome it into your home too.
Remember, you still have time to order your own Philips Steam&Go Plus handheld garment steamer with 30% off until July 31st 2018! Simply add code: STEAM3 at checkout. CLICK HERE to purchase.
Love, Monica x
This post was created in collaboration with Philips
Photography by Claire Menary