When fashion girls hit the Cotswolds with Ted Baker for Giffords Circus, nine bottles of wine and gossip

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Unless you temporarily removed me from social media to avoid my horrendously smug string of posts, you’ll have seen I spent a couple of days this week cosied up in the Cotswolds.

Like the worst journalist in the world (albeit one that drank a LOT of wine through the entire 24 hours I was there) I kept spelling it Cotswalds. Which is awfully embarrassing and I apologise profusely. I’m ashamed. I really am.

Firstly, is anyone else confused as to where the Cotswolds actually are? Because I used to read a hell of a lot of Jill Mansell’s chick flicks before I realised how much better dirty, dark, disgusting crime thrillers are, and they were ALWAYS based there.

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Had no idea. Nope. Apaz they start at Bath and go 100 miles upwards. According to my cab driver at least.

Secondly, why was I in the Cotswolds? Ted Baker shot their SS14 campaign there and based the entire thing at Giffords Circus, so invited a select few of us for a dreamy couple of days away from London bedlam.

We boarded the 9.20am train from London Paddington to Kingham armed with cappuccinos and cinnamon swirls. Turns out about 4% of London also fancied heading out at the same time so look, oh there’s me, chomping down on breakfast from inside the luggage rack. HI.

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What then happened was that the 7 of us became so engrossed in wedding discussions (seriously, could we be more stereotypically women in our twenties if we’d have tried?) that we maybe, kinda, sorta missed our stop.

Eeks.

Fast forward another 15 minutes on the train, two taxis and lots of oh, what ARE we like, eh? And I was being ushered into the treatment room of The Wheatsheaf Inn.

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Kate Moss got married really nearby and hired out all 12 rooms of the hotel for her guests, naturally. In honour of that they have a creepy, Alien-looking painting up on the wall in the dining room. It’s grand.

I was booked in for a back, neck and shoulder massage and genuinely had to stop myself making sex noises. My back got pummelled into oblivion AND I had confirmation that the muscles on the right side of my neck are in fact ridiculously tight. IM BASICALLY A DOCTOR BECAUSE I DIAGNOSED THAT.
I had a rather zingy orange and geranium massage oil and emerged from the garden-based room basically drifting along like a sleepy, happy ghost. Like how Mother Theresa would probably be. Sort of.

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After an afternoon spent gossiping on the sofa, drinking tea, learning how to use a tea strainer and admiring the hotel’s gardens, I skulked off for a bath.

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I bathe every single day. Give me an evening soak accompanied by my cat, Classic FM and candles over a morning shower every time. But this bath made mine seem like a dirty puddle in a beer garden with a crumpled crisp packet in the centre.

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So somebody maaaaay have got a bit excited over the bubble bath and THIS happened.

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Best 5pm EVER.

I had mixed emotions about the circus. I don’t like animals aside from cats, I DON’T find program’s where people are stupid funny (looking at you Kenan and Kel) and I hate being made fun of when I don’t know people. But, turns out the circus was actually so hilarious I dribbled prosecco on myself and let out more than one little snort. I mean, yes, the part where the horse pooed next to me was a tad much, but what’s a night out without an unsavoury smell or two?

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The part that most people would leave out of their glossy re-telling of a story would be the tears. But I think it’s important to tell a full story. To let the world know that YES, I was the moron who wore heels to the circus and kept falling over, and YES I was the one who ordered fish and chips whilst everyone went for salmon and chicken salad and YES I did burst into manic tears during the interval.

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Why? Because I missed my boyfriend. That’s the trouble with long distance relationships, you’ll think you’re fine about it and then you’ll watch a clown pretend to trip over a dog and you’ll be sobbing into a piece of lipstick blotting paper someone’s pulled out of their bag.

I drank some more prosecco and are some toffee popcorn to take the edge off.

Dinner was held in a marquee next to the circus tent. Amazing home cooked courses including nettle soup, risotto balls and ox stew were whipped up in a concerted lorry and served in mismatched Emma Bridgewater crockery. The circus actors ate with us, as did locals, tourists and fellow journalists from an unidentified foodie mag.

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Some of us played with puppets, others flirted with circus men by pretending to learn to juggle (no names mentioned) and others had to walk around barefoot trying not to step in thistles. Might have been me. Might have.

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We ended the evening with pyjamas, three bottles of red and ridiculous gossips on the sofa.

There is no better Thursday night in the world.

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Friday morning brought breakfast cheese, fresh orange juice and poached eggs, mackerel and toast before a sleepy train journey back to London.

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I’m off to Greece in three days. Bet you can’t wait for how long and smug that post will be, right?


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