Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wallis Dinner & Night on the Town

GET THE LOOK HERE:
Vest: Vera Wang for Kohls (option) // Top: Lauren Conrad for Kohls (option) // Pants: Rock & Republic (option) // Shoes: H&M (option) // Clutch: Target (option) // Necklace: Topshop (exact)

Warning long post today. I didn't want to miss a beat. I had to make sure every ounce of our trip was documented. Ten years from now I will be thankful I wrote this chapter in my life's book.

If you read yesterday's post, you know that this week's posts are dedicated to our London trip. In case you were wondering, we are still reminiscing our first day. Today is about our first night. Does that make sense? I hope so.

Monday evening we had dinner with a few of the ladies from Wallis, Kat and Sally and Amy (far left) from Big Picture PR. We had reservations a Cote and it was beyond amazing; another quaint and hidden treasure along the hectic London streets.

I was beyond nervous. I had no idea what to expect, what they would be like, what we would talk about, how they would perceive me once we met in person or wonder if they believed they made the right choice after our meeting. It's the inner insecurities that I still struggle with.

I couldn't have been more relieved the minute we exchanged hugs. All of the ladies were golden and a class act. There were zero awkward moments and I felt like we had known each other for years. They were completely laid back and the conversation just flowed. We talked about the contest, what was expected of me, the Wallis brand, it's U.S. goals, a little about blogging and then just a normal chat between friends. 

It was refreshing and intriguing at the same time. Here I am in London, having dinner with the people behind the contest. I had so many visions of what they would look like, be like, sound like; and my expectations were exceeded. They were so welcoming, genuine and cultured. I know that sounds strange, but between these three ladies, they have seen and experienced more of the world than I could ever fathom. I was drawn into their stories, their lives and of course their accents. I am sure they were laughing on the inside from all my "y'alls". 

I feel like I made lifelong friends in London. I know that I will stay in contact with these ladies after my ambassadorship is done. They are true souls.

Here is a picture after dinner. I feel like I should've taken more, but we were so involved in conversation that I completely spaced when it came to a camera.

 

After dinner it was time to see the sights and sounds on London town - late night style. 

We snapped a few pictures of the breathtaking architecture lit up before heading out for a few night caps. We needed to see the town and sip on a few of their cocktails. 


Our first stop was the Ice Bar. A few of my best friends that visited London last summer said it was a must. Total tourist spot. We were tourists after all.  It was 19 degrees inside so they had parkas for us to borrow. I must say I was digging the fur around the hood. The glasses were big blocks of ice and weren't the easiest to drink out of. We didn't stay long because well, it was FREEZING, but so worth the frozen toes. We were laughing like kids the entire time we were there...I mean, just look at our get-up. 


Okay, this is were it gets good. I wish you guys could have all been there with us for this next part because it was THAT random. 

We took a pedicab (AKA rickshaw) you know the ones; the guy is on a bike and you are riding in a little carriage in the back. See top right picture above. It sort of makes you feel like Cinderella going to the ball.

Anyway, our rickshaw "driver" was named Nelson and he was beyond rad. We exchanged digits and everything. Oh, and he already liked my Facebook page. Another London friend made. I told asked him to take us to the hippest place in London, you know because I am a hipster. Kidding. He honored my request and put the pedal to the metal; biking us to the ghetto...at least it looked like the ghetto to me. I asked in a paranoid voice, "Um, where are we? This doesn't look safe." He replied, "Little Lady, you are in Chinatown." Okay, that sounds kinda cool. Just trying to roll with it, ya know.

We pull up to this dark street in the middle of nowhere-ville and stop in front of a Chinese restaurant. You know the one...the kind of place that stays open late night for people to eat after the bar.

So, this guy pops out of the Chinese dive and Nelson, rickshaw champion asks, "Are they cool?" I am thinking, "Um, yes we are cool. The coolest. Hello?!?!" What is that supposed to mean?

The Chinese food guy says, "Yes, they're cool." and we hop out of our chariot, walk toward a big, unlit, black door hidden in a cove with no sign or bright lights. It wasn't the most welcoming place, so it seemed. 

We looked at Nelson and he said, "You are good. Enjoy. It's a really cool place."

Okay, why not? What do we have to lose accept our lives.

So, the big black door opens, we walk up what seemed like a never ending stairwell and enter into the most swanky little cocktail club I have ever witnessed. It was called the Experimental Cocktail Club. Click on that link and you will see the black door I am speaking of. It seems to be a pretty exclusive place because even their website doesn't give out too much public info.

While we were there, our server reminded me so much of Whitney Port. I did a double take thinking it was really her, so of course I had to get a picture with her. She was so much fun and said she gets that "Hey, you look like Whitney" all of the time. She was a great sport.

Lesson: listen to your cabbies/rickshaw cyclists. Use them as resources. They know what's up.

In between the Ice Bar and Experimental, we did hit up an amazing hotel bar at the Soho Hotel. I didn't get any pictures. Shame on me. 

It reminded me so much of the Austin scene and we felt right at home. The service was stellar and the drink menu had my head spinning. The atmosphere was dim lit, amazingly designed with modern and sleek decor. I definitely recommend popping in if you ever make your way to London. It's a great place to kick back and have a couple of exotic mixed cocktails.

Phew, that was a long post. Hope you were taking notes if you have a trip planned to London anytime soon. All of the places we were lucky enough to see are well worth putting on your to do list. 

So, day one is done. Come back tomorrow for my morning/afternoon with Wallis. It entails a shopping spree, press day, a lunch full of stories and a tour of their headquarters. Plus, a giveaway from none other than Wallis themselves!
 

Shanna

68 comments:

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

WHAT?! The cocktail place sounds AMAZING! You are totally my kinda girl. I am all about seeing as much as I possibly can while on a trip. It's the only way to travel. Smart lady :)

And great job with the outfit. The pop of pink really added to the look.

Makaila said...

My favoooorite way to find the hot spots is making friends with the locals, love your and Ross's spirit! How flipping fun!

And girl, looking even more gorg than ever!!

FierceandFashionable said...

Oh my gosh, your outfit is absolutely adorable! I love that it's from Kohl's, my fav!! :)

London looks like SO MUCH FUN!

Michelle

Fierce & Fashionable

Tany Fashionista said...

omg I can totally picture everything you are telling, you are such a great storyteller, and I can't wait to read more about your trip. It looks like the weather was pretty nice too~ You look amazing!

www.fashiondelights.net

Rebekah Bradford said...

I love your pants! and it sounds like you're having so much fun!
http://findingmyinspiration.blogspot.com/

Kat@shop.school.sleep. said...

You had some amazing photo shoots in London!! Love the outfit!! and both bars sound like a blast.. I want to visit again so badly!!

Imogen said...

I adore the pink accessorizing. What a well put together outfit.

prettyanddelectable.com said...

The secret bar sounds like so much fun! Love the pops of pink in your outfit!

Louise McDonagh said...

I've been to London many times as it's only 1 hour on the train for me, but I've never crammed in as much as you did.

Ashley said...

I'm so glad the dinner went well and that you had a great time with them. It's so refreshing when you're met with a hug, isn't it?

Danavee said...

I love that the Wallis ladies were great!!!!!! And what a fun night on the town!!!!!!!

sergio castaño peña said...

amazing look! so stylish necklace!!!!!

www.malesclutch.blogspot.com
Sergio, xx

Courtney said...

You look beautiful!!!

roxanneblogs said...

So cool!! I love your moment-by-moment recaps!

Ashleigh said...

That Chinatown bar jaunt sounds straight out of a movie! I am so jealous! It is so cool your driver already liked your facebook page. You seem to fit in well in London!
-ash
www.thestylizedwannabe.com

Katie said...

love that outfit! you look beautiful! and so wonderful that those girls were so nice and you will stay in touch with them too! what a blessing!

Helene said...

first you look AMAZING. second i love this! and i am so glad you made friends and seemed like you loved every second. I love that you let the rickshaw driver take you to a random place! this is a fantastic trip!

Amy Shaughnessy said...

This is my favorite outfit of yours EVER!!! Love it! What an incredible trip!

Amy


Fashion and Beauty Finds

Sarah said...

What a fun night and I am dying over your outfit!

How fun are accents?! I could listen to the Australian one all day long. Our friends would make fun of ours all the time. I think they think we all sound like Bart Simpson ahhaha

Always Maylee said...

The cocktail bar sounds amazing! I love that you guys just went with the flow, that's the best way to enjoy a new city! You look so pretty in that outfit too, great choice. Haha, yay for chinatown! :)

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

pretty little things said...

love the vest lady! xo

http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

Ashley Barnhill said...

I am loving all of these updates!! So far it looks like an incredible trip!! I would be terrified to show up at that big black door, ha!

Ashley Barnhill said...

I am loving all of these updates!! So far it looks like an incredible trip!! I would be terrified to show up at that big black door, ha!

Kayla Peveler said...

That is so amazing...that ECC place looks so awesome! I want to go to London, ASAP. So happy you made so many friends :) yay! What an experience!

Allison said...

You look beautiful! And you are so smart to listen to the locals! How fun!!

Amanda* said...

Looks like SO MUCH fun!!! I'm loving your necklace, so cool!!

Gwen said...

It all sounds so fabulous! So great that you got adventurous. Loving the pops of pink in your outfit (and I don't even like pink!).

larissa said...

That sounds so amazing! I now want to go to London really bad!!

Annie said...

Wow - looks and sounds like such an amazing time! You were so silly to be nervous (but I get it)...of course they loved you :) And you looked totally fabulous Shanna!

Annie
The Other Side of Gray

Alex[andra] said...

That sounds like such an amazing trip! I'd be a little creeped out by that door too.

Oh and I love the pink accents in your outfit!

Michael said...

Shanna this is such an amazing opportunity! Can't wait for the next update!

JP Lord said...

I am loving all of these pictures! You look gorgeous as usual my friend! I am so glad you had a fabulous trip - can't wait to hear more!
xxx

Alyssa said...

I'm so glad you remember so much from your trip–you're going to love reading this years from now! And your outfit was perfect...love the pops of pink!

Ladies in Navy said...

looking gorgeous lady!
kw Ladies in Navy
Target giveaway!

Sarah Tucker said...

You're too adorable! And way nicer than I would be if someone told me they were taking me to a secret place! Oh heck no. You turn this little buggie thangg right back around and take my Texas butt back to a well lit tourist trap!
But I sure am glad people like you take the risk for scardy cats like me :)

Rachel said...

Love that vest- you are rocking it!

Susan Liberatore said...

My kind of night! Loved reading this. Sounds like a blast.

Rachel Lynne said...

This is probably my favorite outfit of yours EVER! The vest is perfect and so is the necklace! You are so chic! AND I LOVE THE ICE BAR! Wasn't it fun?!

Chelsea Oliver said...

HOW EXCITING!!! I've always wanted to go to Ice Bar so I'm jealous of your trip already haha &&& love your pops of pink in your outfit!

-Chelsea
chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

Darcy said...

This sounds like SUCH a fun trip!! I want to to London sooo badly, but currently my BF is not on the "London train" yet. He wants to save it for when we have more money.. so stupid. Maybe I should send him to your blog to see how cool it is!? haha ;)

www.corporategirlstyle.blogspot.com

Kayla Gilbert said...

You look gorgeous!! That vest is to die for!! Glad you had a good time!! : )

Kayla
www.lovelucygirl.com

TheTinyHeart said...

That is so neat that he got you into the exclusive cocktail bar! I'm pretty sure the pedicab drivers in NYC don't make recommendations to the tourists :) I'm cracking up at the photo at the ice bar, so funny!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart
$50 Target Giveaway!

Treasure Tromp said...

oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I love visiting ice bars!

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

That is so awesome. We did the same thing while in Charleston with a rickshaw. Totally not as cool as London though.

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

So much fun! I can't wait to read more!!

Carly said...

That outfit turned out perfectly!!!! Love it, and I love hearing about your trip!

Carly
www.lipglossandcrayons.com

Alissa Kelly said...

I love your stories! And pictures. And outfit!! So amazing!

Alissa
FeelingGoodStyle.com

Katie Did What said...

I'm loving your recaps! What an absolute dream!! :) Looks like you had a marvelous time. And that ECC story? HILARIOUS!! And I am def taking notes. Make friends with your rickshaw/cab driver!! haha

xo

Misty said...

That's so cool that you got to go to a place that maybe not even many Londoners have been to. VIP!

Niki Caron said...

That is scary yet so freaking cool about the experimental cocktail club! And that's great that you've made so many friends there. I could never imagine that the Wallis and PR girls would think you were anything but the most amazing person, so I'm not surprised there were no awkward moments! That was a really long sentence.

Jessica @ Here(and)Now said...

secret cocktail bar!? That can't be real life! What a dream lady! You had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, loving these recaps!
xx
Here&Now

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

So glad you felt a kinship with your Wallis people.

You got your rickshaw driver to like your FB page. That is freaking AWESOME.

Lala H said...

very lovely look!

Delightful Ideas

$25 Sephora Gift Card Giveaway

Ashley said...

Oh my gosh I love this outfit!! You look adorable..

xo,
Sincerely Miss Ash

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Oh my goodness, and that was all in ONE night?! Sounds amazing!

Sami said...

Oh girl how fun! I love that he took you to such an awesome place! You look great as always! Just loving all of this and can't wait to hear what's in store for you with Wallis :)

Heather said...

Aww what an amazing experience - you are truly blessed! Love getting to live vicariously through your London adventure... your pictures are stunning and I swear you just get more and more beautiful!

XO
Pearls & Paws

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

A SECRET BAR?!?! London, I need to be in you. There are secret bars in San Diego but they are too secret for me. I'm scared.

Also, that fur vest just completely shut it down. And by it I mean London. You looked gorgeous.

Danielle Smiley said...

Woman you look amazing!! And it sounds like you had an amazing time also! But I mean c'mon, how could you not in London?! looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!

<3 Danielle
Goodwillista.blogspot.com

Danielle Doerr said...

A secret bar and ice bar all in ONE night...that sounds so cool! Looks like you had a fabulous time!

Danielle at Framed Frosting

tara said...

i'm still trying to figure out why you didn't invite me to join you on this trip..

FitTravelerAJ said...

Busy busy! How cool that your new friend hooked you guys up and took you to one of the London hot spots!

-AJ
FitTravelerAJ.com

Rachel said...

That vest is gorgeous!

Your ice bar photos brought back fun memories. The hubby and I went to one in Sweden and we wore the exact same coats. The hoods are great, right?

still being [molly] said...

bahahahaha Nelson TOTALLY knew what was up. That is hilarious!!

Seeking Style said...

You are beautiful!

xo Jennifer

http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

Renae at simple sequins said...

huh? I totally missed this post. Hmm..
Love the pink pumps and pink clutch (camo post repeat?) I loved the Camo post!!! (i pinned it)

Anyway, fabulous ensemble and experiences!!! I am so o o o o glad you are the Wallis Ambassador!

Just Another Shopaholic said...

Your outfit is so amazing and omg that necklace is FAB!!

Andrea {blonde ambitions} said...

I love this day!! How fun to meet the Wallis team and even better to be taken by carriage to exclusive clubs! I would have been shaking in my heels too with the dark street and black door. I felt like I was reading a book and can't wait to read what happens next! :)

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