The Christmas 2016 Hometown Diaries: What I Wore (& Ate)

Yes, it’s March 2017 and this post is about my Christmas break – but sometimes I can’t help taking a trip down memory lane! Reminiscing about my most recent trip to my hometown isn’t just an excuse for me to feel warm and fuzzy on the inside – it’s also a great way to do a recap of what have been my fashion favourites this winter, which is finally drawing to a close here in London.

My hometown is just outside of the Basque city of Bilbao, in the north of Spain. This trip was extra special for me as I hadn’t been back since the end of 2015 – crazy, I know. So I did as much fun and relaxing stuff as I could fit in, with a focus on one of the things I miss the most when I’m not there – the food, specifically pintxos (tapas for non Spaniards). Good food is one of the greatest things in life and these little dishes make my life… So. Much. Better. I’ve been lucky enough to have great tapas in London but nothing compares to what my hometown has on offer, so I shamelessly indulge when I go back. Hence why I thought I’d share not just a few ootd pics, but also some other little bites that I take great pleasure in. So, as different as fashion and food are, they somehow go hand in hand for me – here is what I wore and ate last Christmas in Bilbao.

Look 1: A pink lady if there ever was one hanging out in the heart of Bilbao! It comes as no surprise that I broke my impossible rule of buying no coats this winter – but how could I resist this beautiful piece by Ted Baker? The British brand hosted a sample sale sometime in September/October/November (I so can’t remember the date, oops) and I found it there for a crazy cheap price. It was missing one of its beautiful buttons so the Ted team generously lowered the price even more – I can’t remember the exact amount but it was around £30. And what have I done in regards to the button issue? My amazingly talented friend found me two pretty buttons, making it what I think is a quirky but chic coat.

The pink trousers were another find at the glorious sample sale and have been an absolute obsession of mine, which will continue throughout spring and probably even summer. I also completely fell for the silver, vintage-looking pumps trend and got this pair from Primark – I have worn them none stop for months, and they’re still going strong. The shirt, matched here with my mum’s Ted baker scarf, was an impromptu find at my workplace from Italian brand Relish, as was the pink bag by Spanish brand Lavand.

If this picture had been taken in London it would be in an ultra hip and high-brow place in east – but this is what can be found in a multitude of bars that are just up the road from where my parents live. Maybe I’m easily impressed, but aren’t these pintxos mouth-wateringly beautiful?

Don’t quote me on this but these two little pintxos are probably a mix of prawn, crab, onion and mayonnaise.

One of my favourites! Just a super tiny baguette that has a mix of tuna (or bonito) and onion with a strip of red pepper.

Look 2: 90% of the time Sometimes I’m terrible at dressing down… but this pretty blouse by River Island is too pretty to be dressed down. I bought it not far from a year ago and still haven’t managed to get a proper picture of it, but here’s a preview. I am obsessed with it. It’s just such an unusual piece that has a sort of 70’s retro touch, and yet looks very chic and timeless. I love the pleated trim, V-neck and pussy bow, and as for the arms… they too are a talking piece, so I’ll do my best to give this blouse the picture it deserves.

I wore it with my classic Next pink coat and super cosy, pink-perfect, blanket-ish scarf, bought from a boutique in Notting Hill in December – which I have worn constantly over the last three months.

I have the feeling this might have been the one pintxo I didn’t like (Side note: if you ever visit Bilbao’s hanging bridge don’t go to the bar that’s right by the bridge on Portugalete’s side)? But this little tomato mix is delicious when done properly!

Wine (not mine, I don’t like wine) and pintxos – this is what Basque life is all about! The dish on the right has two ‘croquetas’ pintxos – croquetas, which usually have ham or other kinds of meat but can be vegetarian too, are popular all over Spain and one of the most delicious little dishes ever.

But if I had to pick one of the things I love and miss the most about home, it’s ‘tortilla’ or Spanish omelette – there’s nothing better than a well made slice of tortilla and bread at midday.

More delicious little meaty and fishy mesh ups…

Look 3: 2016 was the year I truly fell in love with turtleneck jumpers all over again, especially black ones. I didn’t think I’d get so into black but I now have about four and they are the best thing ever for when you’re having one of those ‘I don’t know what to wear for work today‘ days. In my case a black turtleneck equals a more colourful separate and on this occasion I chose my Desigual trousers. I feel obliged to say that I don’t actually like Desigual at all, but when I saw these trousers at my workplace I was immediately drawn to them. I now love them to bits – Desigual should make pieces like this more often!

I was lucky to get my hands on them a good six months ago but I think they’re from their Spring/Summer’17 collection so hopefully available right now!

And I had to share this picture of my not so evil eye earring!

Look 4: Wrap dresses had a bit of a moment this winter, am I right? I personally think wrap dresses are the perfect lazy girl outfit as they help give the impression that the wearer made an effort. I also think they’re kinda sexy too, as they’re so easy to slip in and out of! My dream is to one day own a Diane Von Furstenberg dress, but until that time comes it’s all about budget pieces. I’d actually never managed to find a wrap dress on the high-street that suited me until I got my hands on this piece by New Look. I originally wanted the black version of it but for some reason chose the burgundy one (I think it was down to £12), and oh my god it’s been my favourite dress this season. Well, one look at my Instagram and you’ll see that I actually haven’t worn that many dresses lately as I’ve struggled to make my super girlie dresses work for the colder months, but this one looks fab with black tights, ankle boots, a chunky cardi or faux leather jacket and coat thrown on top. What’s even better, it’ll be great for spring and summer too.

Look 5: This so not hill-friendly look was one of my favourite outfits from my break. You can’t see it here but I was wearing one of my favourite turtleneck jumpers, a Jamaican pink, fitted piece from ASOS that makes me feel cosy and stylish. My mum’s beige beanie and Burberry-esque scarf were the finishing touches to this almost all tonally pink look.

Me sharing this picture of this pork loin meal is probably a subconscious way to show that I didn’t just eat pintxos while back at home!

Look 6: To hell with what I’m wearing, it’s all about that big yellow bundle of joy. I could have been wearing a sack of potatoes in front of this beauty and still felt like a million bucks. Some family friends happen to have a gigantic mimosa tree in their garden. I’d actually never seen it before, and naturally flipped when I got to. Getting up close and personal with it and forcing my mum to take some pictures of me with it was inevitable (she knew it was coming).

I would have loved to be wearing a really dramatic outfit with it, but I was attempting to do casual cool that day. I wore this shirt by Italian brand Silvian Heach’s diffusion line, SH – I am obsessed with it because it has a wonderful graphic pattern that reminds me of one of London’s best street artists, Camille Walala. But it screams for jeans, doesn’t it? So I teamed it with one of my favourite buys from 2016, these Zara cactus jeans.

Tortilla and croquetas = heaven.

This egg, mushroom and ham mix is one of my mum’s favourite pintxos.

Look 7: I wore this on the last day of 2016! I almost managed to get a good pic of my blouse – see what I mean by the arms – but damn you, long hair.

Look 8: This was actually my first look of 2017! The baby blue jumper is from Miss Selfridge, a shop that I fell all over in love with again last year. They killed it last season and ruined me ever so slightly, but luckily I survived as they constantly have offers. I don’t get why Miss Selfridge doesn’t get more attention from bloggers and fashionistas, they make such lovely pieces that appeal to my girlie needs.

And the bag. Oh my, this bag. My father gave me a bit of money for Christmas and I decided to spoil myself to this statement accessory. There were actually a lot of things I didn’t like about it – brown isn’t really my colour, I prefer gold over silver hardware and ‘No’ can be such a negative little word. But I’d had it on my radar for months and just couldn’t get over it, so I finally took the plunge with a little help from my dad. I’m so glad I got it! It’s so fun and gets attention every time I wear it… I gotta say Zara just know what they’re doing when it comes to bags!

So that’s it for my Spanish diary… as I’m no longer insane enough to pack with ‘an outfit per day’ state of mind and unexpectedly stayed there for an extra four days as my return flight got cancelled, FYI I naturally ‘recycled’ a lot of these looks. So unglamorous, I know.

I’m planning to go back home this summer – maybe I’ll do a more ‘official’ post with proper suggestions as to where to eat, drink, get cultural and dance in Bilbao. And, of course, an ootd post will be in order, expect even more sunshine, beach moments and fewer layers!

Pictures taken between December 23rd, 2016 and January 1st, 2017.

xxx

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