A Girly City Break in Bath

Chilling next to the Roman BathsDespite only being a short drive or train ride away, I don’t make it to Bath as often as I’d like. For various reasons I’ve been trying to visit more recently and I did make it there and back on two wheels last weekend, ticking off a bucket list dream.

Although I’ve visited the city for vintage fairs at Green Park, new exhibitions at the Fashion Museum and taken part in the Bath Half Marathon a few years ago, I’d never contemplated staying overnight.

With Mr Ship-Shape being away on a two week business trip in the States, it seemed like perfect timing when the lovely folks at the Francis Hotel offered me the chance to stay in one of their beautiful rooms, taking a girlfriend along with me for the weekend.

Enjoying the Roman BathsHidden streets in BathTaking photos of the wallpaperbreakfast at the FrancisS of Beautiful Plumage and I trundled off to Bath on a couple of Fridays ago and as we approached Queen Square we spotted the Francis. After a long week of work, seeing this grand building was exactly the ticket and we couldn’t wait to get inside. The interior was very colourful and contemporary and S and I both loved the cameo wallpaper, no doubt a nod to the Jane Austin Museum that sits just a few hundred meters up the road.

After a night of dinner and cocktails followed by sitting in our pyjamas reading magazines and watching Sex & The City (is it possible to get more stereotypical girly weekend? I think not…) we hit the hay, eager to get up for a day of exploring Bath.

Regular readers will know that breakfast is a big deal for me – it’s arguably my favourite meal of the day and I especially have a thing for hotel breakfasts (continental and full english? Don’t mind if I do). The breakfast the next morning was delicious and I made sure I had a couple of several mini danishes along with a short stack of scotch pancakes, bacon and maple syrup.

After stuffing ourselves silly and taking a few snaps of our outfits, S and I played tourist for the day and went to see the GEORGIANS: Dress for polite society exhibition at the Fashion Museum, and the Roman Baths, which despite being ridiculously central, I’d never visited before. As well as taking in the history of the venue, we also made sure we had a few tourist photos with the roman actors and actresses!

One of my favourite things about this city is just is it is to get around on foot – everything is relatively close by and although I did get a little confused wandering through all the tiny adjoining streets in a bid to show S The Makery and find Ben’s Cookies. By the time we’d done a spot of window shopping and had a wander around Milsom Place, it was time to head back to Bristol. I’ll definitely be heading back to Bath before long – do you have any recommendations for my next trip?

A big thank you to the staff at the Francis – ever member we encountered was extremely helpful and polite, even parking S’s car so she didn’t have to navigate the car park. Although our stay was arranged for us, all opinions are genuine – we had a lovely weekend and I’d definitely stay at the Francis again!

Enjoying the Roman BathsRoman Baths, BathRoman Baths, BathDressing up at the Fashion MuseumFire juggler in BathBreakfast at the Francis HotelGeorgian cameo wallpaperGeorgian exhibition at Fashion Museum

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A Belated Blog Birthday & Dr Martens Giveaway

Ship-Shape turns fiveFive years. That’s how long this little blog has been running for. It seems baffling to me that I’ve kept writing, photographing and editing the posts you’ve been reading for half a decade, and how Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion has been there through career changes, house moves and serving as documentation of my ever evolving style choices.

I’ve met some wonderful people through blogging, had some exciting experiences and been lucky enough to enjoy the occasional perk that comes my way. Blogging has changed so much since I started, hidden away in my bedroom and not even interacting with the blogging community for the first year of Ship-Shape’s existence. Now it seems like every other person I meet has a blog about one topic or another. That in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing (I’ve encouraged many of my friends to start their own), but sometimes it can be hard to feel heard in the throng of Twitter chats, Bloglovin feeds and other internet noises.

It’s also hard to fit in blogging around a full time job, and I want to high five everyone else like me who finds themselves writing posts on their commute to work or working till the wee hours of the morning editing photos. It takes hard work and commitment to blog, and I know that that’s poured into the blogs I love reading by the bucketload.

Dr Martens birthday giveawayShip-Shape actually turned five back in August, but I was in Africa so this is a bit of a belated celebration. Nevertheless, a birthday wouldn’t be the same without some gifts, and fortunately Dr Martens have stepped up to the plate to offer you lovely lot a chance to win a pair of shoes (or boots) from their Rugged and Casual collections, worth £150!

Regular readers might know that I collaborated with DM on their #STANDFORSOMETHING campaign this summer, and when it comes to blogging, I definitely stand for passion and determination – without these qualities it would be impossible to have kept Ship-Shape going for all these years.

Now the tables are turning and I want to know what you stand for. Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to visit the Dr Martens website and tell me which pair of shoes from the Rugged and Casual collections is your favourite! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form to be in with a chance of winning, you know the drill!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. For all you Bristol-based readers, your nearest Dr Martens store is 16 Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3HH.

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Give us a Whistle

Autumn leavesCheesiest post title ever? Probably, but how could I not make a pun when wearing this beautiful Whistles skirt?

At the weekend one of my favourite ladies and I went on a city break to Bath. Despite the weather forecast predicting rainclouds, we spent a gloriously sunny afternoon pottering around the city. I packed several outfits for our girly weekend away, this floral skirt and casual grey t-shirt combo being one of them.

I’m currently going through a serious wardrobe edit and this Whistles number is one I’m stilling ‘umming and ahhing’ over, as Mama Ship-Shape would say. I bought it in the sale a few years ago because it was pretty, made of silk and covered in flowers, but once I found a home for it in my wardrobe, it never really saw the light of day again.

Too pretty for everyday wear, a little too tight around the middle to wear on a date night (becuase any date with me involves eating a lot of food), it’s a skirt I’m on the fence about. Do you think it’s a keeper?

Floral skirt – Whistles / Grey marl t-shirt – Zara / Black bag and pearl necklace – clothes swap / Shoes – Topshop

Thanks to the lovely Beautiful Plumage for taking these photos.

An OOTD in BathNeedle in Queens Square BathFrom where I standWhistles skirt and grey tshirtTrees in Queens SquareWhistles skirt and Topshop shoes

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A Relaxed Western Shirt OOTD

Western shirt outfitThe weather has well and truly turned here in Bristol so I thought it was time for a little sunshine and daisies on the blog. This is the relaxed outfit I wore on last month’s Bristol Doors Open Day – the one day of the year when some of Bristol’s most interesting buildings are open to the public and available to wander around for free.

Every year Mr Ship-Shape and I make the most of this opportunity and this year we went to libraries, chapels and art galleries. These photos were taken in Clifton’s Victoria Square after we’d been to see Clifton Rocks Railway, part of a fascinating train line that used to exist between Clifton and Hotwells before being turned into air raid shelters during WWII.

For the day I picked a pretty casual ensemble of flat white brogues, tan trousers and a denim shirt I found on a recent charity shopping trip. It’s got a Western/cowboy vibe to it and I like to think it brings me one step closer to a look that’s part Yosemite Sam, part Steel Magnolias.

I know most people love autumn and all the pumpkin spiced lattes and cosy knitwear it brings, but I’m already pinning for the sunshine and long days of summer – how about you?

Western style shirt – charity shop / 7/8th trousers – H&M / Satchel – c/o Dr Martens / White brogues – Matalan

Casual denim shirt outfitDaisiesWestern charity shop shirtCharity shop shirt and DM satchel

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The Little Things #5

The Little Things 5How is October already!? This year is going by so quickly and I still don’t feel ready for autumn, let alone winter. the last few weeks have been a brilliant blur of Bristol Fashion Week, tapas with friends, visiting family and weekly GBBO dinners. Here are some of the little things that have made me happy recently…

Blogging about: Brilliant books for modern feminists, bike rides with vintage blouses and my first ever beauty ‘empties’ post.
Listening to: The Pretty Reckless, specifically this song. Yep, it turns out I have a thing for Jenny Humphrey’s’ band. What would Blair Waldorf think?
Watching: The Great British Bake Off (I’m Team Richard all the way) and Anna Wintour’s answers to 73 questions – who knew we’d share the same favourite food?
Buying: Very little as I’m on a self-enforced spending ban.
Making: Chocolate and beetroot cake, which I like to pretend is super healthy.
Reading: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, which is so kick-ass and motivational that I wrote a blog post about it. I’ve also been binging on a stack of Sunday supplements which have been sat by my bed for months, and have just started The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which is easy to read and delightfully fantastical.
Wearing: My first set of co-ords for this style challenge.
Doing: My first ever spot of selling on eBay – it’s strangely addictive checking to see who has been bidding on the vintage dresses I’ve put up for sale and although I’ll be sad to see them go, I hope they’ll be well-loved by their new owners. I’m contemplating using Depop for selling non-vintage clothes – have you tried using it?
Eating: Homemade pizzas, and burgers at 3 Bros with some of my favourite Blog Club girls
Shooting: Bristol Doors Open Day on my phone – last month Mr Ship-Shape and I had great fun wandering around the city visiting libraries, chapels, art galleries and an abandoned railway.
Enjoying: Spending time with several friends who have recently moved to Bristol. Having them nearby is really rather lovely. Last month’s Blog Club was also a treat. It took place at Trunki HQ with talks from the lovely Fritha of Tigerlily Quinn and Charlotte of Black Heart Creatives.
Looking forward to: Some big changes that are on the horizon – more to be revealed soon!

What little things have you been enjoying recently?

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