Award Winning Boutique
Award Winning Boutique
267-269 Coombe Lane SW20 0RH

Older tales from the shop floor…

Welcome to the older blog section of the Bakou website - you will find blogs covering January - June 2020. For the very latest stories visit our new blog section.

Dont Bite the Trolley Handles!

Published 12th June 2020
Woman with supermarket trolley

Hello Ladies

Just a quickie from me this week (phew I hear you cry!). Busy preparing for more of you to start visiting next week. Thank you for booking your appointments. A gradual return to normality is good to see, even if our appearances might be slightly different from the norm (and that’s nothing to do with the lack of hairdressing for the last 3 months!).

Talking of strange appearances, I was standing in the supermarket queue the other day and was fully gloved and masked as I always am for this weekly excursion. There was a young mum and small child (probably around 6 years old) ahead of me and the little girl kept looking at me as though I was insane (ok, I was wearing my favourite dalmatian mask so maybe I did look a little more peculiar than most mask wearers.

She turned round and proceeded to start biting and licking the trolley handle!

As she dangled from the trolley handle (the thing that fills me with more germ phobia than anything else at the moment), I tried smiling at her but realised that was fairly pointless under the mask. She turned round and proceeded to start biting and licking the trolley handle! I had to restrain myself from yelling at her to stop, but it did make me think about whether I’m being a little OTT with my approach to this whole thing?

My lovely neighbours plying me with delicious cakes is something that I will miss…but my waistline will not! If you, like me, have been indulging way too much inplentiful treats and goodies (and alcohol!), you may be in need of some bits andpieces to see you through the back to normal/work stage of this. Don’t forget to callor email me to book an appointment to come and try things on safely and in total privacy.

Hurray - we are open again!

Well, with regards to the shop, I am happy to be a lot OTT. I am doing everything I can think of to keep us all safe so hopefully everyone will feel confident about visiting. In addition to all the measures I laid out the other week (gloves, masks, sanitisers etc), I have decided to get visors (thank you Elizabeth for that suggestion) and the Perspex till screen. With the appointment system in place I believe this will keep everyone as safe as possible.

One final reminder/request…please send me your pics of you and your friends and family in your masks. I really want to do the collage as I think it will look brilliant but I’ve only got about a dozen so far. More needed… please!

Ants are Covid-19 free

Mid-season sale

I’ve added some more pieces to the mid-season sale so keep an eye on the website for some bargains!

Masai Galene oversized kaftan
Masai Galene oversized Kaftan
Mona Lisa Leaf Tunic
Mona Lisa - Leaf Tunic

Please keep sending me your masks pics. Lots more needed to get a good collage working, thank you! And let your friends know about the masks as I will continue to stock them for the foreseeable future.

Call on 020 8947 97 97 or email me to book an appointment and I’ll see you soon!

Stay safe and sane ladies

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

I’ve become a geek! Finally!

Published 4th June 2020
Sky at night - lots of stars

Hello Lockdown Ladies

As the country continues to open up again and we are allowed to do more things andsee more people, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve actually enjoyed about this bizarretime in our lives and what I’m going to miss.

Watching all that Big Bang Theory has finally rubbed off on me it seems

I think there are a lot of people like me who have found their local communities tobe a bit of a life saver at this extraordinary time. I knew a lot of my neighbours already but I have got to know more of them and it’s been brilliant. Our favourite ‘social’ activity has been night sky watching. One of my neighbours is a keen satellitespotter and has one of those apps that tells you what’s going on in the night sky. This has led to a group of us heading out every night to watch the sky and try to spot theInternational Space Station and other satellites that have been floating past regularly over the last few weeks. We are all socially distanced, obviously, but it’sbeen a really lovely, relaxing and entertaining activity which has become the bizarre highlight of my day! I’ve become a space geek! Something I definitely never thought I’d say… ever! Watching all that Big Bang Theory has finally rubbed off on me it seems.

I’m already missing the quiet and peacefulness that became the norm for so manyweeks. That was a time we are unlikely to ever see again and it was pretty special. Seeing nature in a whole new way and seeing things flourish without interference from humans has been amazing. And the roads… oh my, the roads! I’ve been outand about, going to work every day and delivering parcels to those of you who aremore local and it’s been bliss. No traffic at all… heaven!

Yum - doughnuts in the fridge

My lovely neighbours plying me with delicious cakes is something that I will miss…but my waistline will not! If you, like me, have been indulging way too much inplentiful treats and goodies (and alcohol!), you may be in need of some bits andpieces to see you through the back to normal/work stage of this. Don’t forget to callor email me to book an appointment to come and try things on safely and in total privacy.

Don’t beat yourself up about being a bit over-indulgent during lockdown

Don’t beat yourself up about being a bit over-indulgent during lockdown. I’ve beenberating myself but then a pal sent me this and I felt so much better

a picture of not Jennifer Aniston

For some light relief, here is this week’s video, focussing on black and white this time– always a classic and always classy! Remember, if you’re not ready to come out andabout yet, I can still send out mail orders and delivery is still free (returns are not however).

Watch Ali's  classy, classic black and white - Episode 5

One final reminder/request…please send me your pics of you and your friends and family in your masks. I really want to do the collage as I think it will look brilliant but I’ve only got about a dozen so far. More needed… please!

Take care ladies. Stay safe and sane and I’ll see you all soon.

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

Emerging from Lockdown!

Published 27th May 2020
Butterfly emerging from chrysalis

Hello Lockdown Ladies

I had a rather unpleasant experience last week. I arrived at the shop on Saturday morning to be ‘greeted’ by a homeless gentleman who seemed to take exception at my arrival. He ran at me, brandishing a stick, calling me all sorts of colourful names and telling me that I was going to kill everyone, including my dog.

A stern ‘back off’ seemed to deal with him…

A stern ‘back off’ seemed to deal with him but it did make me think about how many people are feeling about this whole situation. I would say the majority are fairly pragmatic and taking things in their stride, but there are also a lot of people who are extremely worried and anxious about everything, the future and how we will go forward from here.

This is therefore what I want to talk about this week as it’s getting to that time where we will be trying to start emerging from this lockdown, without trying to kill anyone, because that really isn’t something I want to do, trust me!

Welcome sign - we are open again

As we start to think about reopening, I think the initial way to do things will be on an appointment only basis

As we start to think about reopening, I think the initial way to do things will be on an appointment only basis. The shop will be kept well sanitised. If I do appointments from around 10-12 then around 2-4, it will mean that we can have a maximum of 3 customers in at any one time, preferably 2 but I know there are some groups of 3 who like to shop together. There will then be time to clear up and wipe everything down in between appointments, thereby keeping everything clean and safe for all. I will have latex gloves in the shop as well as hand sanitiser. I won’t be able to offer refreshments, other than water in disposable (eco friendly) cups, for the time being and would ask that the lavatories are only used if absolutely necessary, with paper towel being available to use for hands.

Any clothes that are tried on but not bought will be hung on a rail and kept aside for at least 24hrs. I can put through any sales as a ‘mail order’ sale so that no one needs to touch the pin pad if preferred. I’m not keen on getting the Perspex screens that you see in many shops these days. I don’t feel that will be necessary as I believe we can all keep the required 2m distance without too much difficulty. However, if the government guidelines mean that I have to, then of course I will. I’m fortunate enough to have a large enough space to be able to do this.

If anyone has any other suggestions as to how to make things safer for all of us, please let me know. I am open to ideas!

So, if you’re feeling in need of some retail therapy, please do get in touch and we can work something out. 020 8947 9797 – it will still divert to my mobile so you can reach me pretty much any time and I will always call back if I can’t answer immediately so do please leave me a message.

Ali wearing mask and shades

The other exciting thing that happened this week was being able to hand over £1000 to The Dons Local Action Group. They were delighted with the donation and will put it to very good use, I’m sure. So thank you to everyone who has bought masks. I hope you’re finding them comfortable to wear. If you fancy sending me a photo of you wearing your mask for me to use for a collage for social media, please email me. I think it would be fabulous to see them all and a bit of fun! Above is one of me in my favourite Dalmatian print.

Watch Ali's 'Top Gear episode 2' video.

Here’s a short video I’ve done for this week as I think the last one was a tad too long, sorry!

Kasbah top - on sale
Lastly, I must apologise for being so remiss in my last message to you. Many of you have been in touch to say that I should have attached the Sardine Bolognese recipe. I really should have, so here it is!
Bon appetite lovely ladies!

Stay safe, stay sane and stay happy. I’ll see you all very soon.

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

Watch Out Nigella!

Published 20th May 2020

Hello Ladies

Something that’s come out of this current situation seems to be that everyone is cooking (and eating!) more. I’ve never been a great cook, but what I produce usually tastes pretty good although presentation is definitely not my strong point! However, for the first few weeks of lockdown, before every minute of my life became consumed by masks (!), I thought I’d try to widen my portfolio a wee bit.

Among other delights, I made my first toad in the hole, my first cauliflower cheese, my first sweetcorn fritters and my first Pad Thai! I know, not exactly Michelin star material and I’m sure everyone’s gobsmacked that I’ve never made these things before but I have weird dietary requirements so I tend to stick to ‘safe’ things.

… my finest culinary discovery was what has become my new signature dish… Sardine Bolognese!

However, my finest culinary discovery was what has become my new signature dish… Sardine Bolognese! Yep, it really is absolutely delicious…trust me. I saw it being made on Saturday Kitchen and, being a fish lover and non meat lover, I thought I’d try it. It is sooooo good! I think a lot of us have been trying out new things and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. Some are following the likes of Joe Wicks … I’ve gone with sardine Bolognese

Baked beans on toast - super lovely

it’s nice to be able to chill out in the outdoors after a full on day

It’s a funny old time for everyone and I think we are all having good days and bad days and doing whatever we need to do to see us through each day. We have been so lucky with the weather though, making it all a lot easier to deal with, and now the evenings have become a lot warmer and lighter, it’s nice to be able to chill out in the outdoors after a full on day. I have therefore put together some bits and pieces that could be of use for those ‘G&T’ evenings that I’ve been enjoying over the last few days. Take a peek at my latest ‘QVC’ attempt!

Watch Ali's 'Top Gear' video.

Mid-Season Sale

By the way, I have put a number of pieces into the mid-season sale so check out the website for some bargains!

Kasbah top - on sale
Shirt example - on sale

Finally, I must offer my sincere apologies to anyone who has been waiting for masks. I am hoping to be up to date by the end of this week, assuming my new delivery makes it on time. I have made a few mistakes so I am very sorry.

The good news is that we have now made it to over 1000 masks sold so I have £1000+ to give to a local charity. The ladies with the visors didn’t need any more funds so I have chosen a group called The Dons Local Action Group who are providing all sorts of support for local people; from meals for elderly, isolated people, to computers for low income kids who need access to tech to help with their studies. They have been doing extraordinary things, so I think they are worthy recipients of this money and will put it to very good use.

Dons action group - graphic

Once again, I would like to say a huge thank you to you all for your support and kind words over the last few weeks. I know so many of you are struggling in various ways so I’m glad if I’ve been able to help any of you, even if it’s just by having a little chat on the phone…and trying to make you smile! Your lovely messages have definitely been helping me.

Stay strong everyone. The end is in sight (hopefully! 😊)

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

Hot Picks for Your Quarantine Collection

Published 13th May 2020

Hi Lockdown Ladies

Coming to you from ‘Mask Central’!

Blimey it’s been a bit busy… but I’m just about on top of it all now (thanks to help from my very lovely sister Jo) and hopefully you will all soon be sporting your ultra stylish masks and be the envy of all those still faffing around with those paper ones which are just sooooo last March!

The latest ‘easing’ of restrictions to allow us all to exercise for as much as we want… I didn’t even want a whole hour before

Boris has announced the latest ‘easing’ of restrictions to basically allow us all to exercise for as much as we want (and sunbathe!). Personally I didn’t even want a whole hour before, so the news wasn’t that exciting for me.

I can see that when we are allowed to open, it is going to need to be on an appointment basis. Thankfully, I have enough space in the shop to enable this quite easily while still keeping all social distancing requirements in place, so there is a way forward, hopefully in the not too distant future.

In the meantime I thought I’d put together a few outfit ideas for the continued situation we all find ourselves in, trying to cover all the major Spring 2020 activities.

Stay well everyone. Keep your spirits up. Just looking at that amazing blue sky fills my heart with joy I have to confess, I’m gutted not to be able to get to the Isabella Plantation in beautiful Richmond Park at the moment. I think it’s the first time in my entire life I’ve missed out on the Spring joys of that magical place.

Baking/cooking
Top suitable for baking in
Obviously you need to be wearing something that will cover up any splashes/kitchen mishaps, so a nice dark patterned top that can be easily washed is most definitely the way forward.

This Kasbah ‘Tamao’ t-shirt is perfect for the job at £55 teamed here with Robell Bella ¾ black stretch jeans at £80.
Contact Bakou
Daily Walk
Atire suitable for the daily walk
When you’re out for your daily walk you don’t want to be carrying a bag, but you might need your phone, key and, if you’re like me, you will need somewhere to put those essential poo bags! So, something with pockets is very important.

The Kasbah ‘Tadeo’ tunic, £65, is light and comfortable and has those all important pockets. Looks great with the Robell Marie pedal pushers, £55, or the Bella ¾ trousers, £50, in silver. The Bellas have back pockets too for extra carrying capacity!
Contact Bakou
Doing a jigsaw or taking the bins out
Suitable for doing a jigsaw or taking the bins outs!
I think you could probably go for a similar look for both of these activities. While remaining comfortable and feeling free is key for jigsaw work, it’s also nice to be elegant for the weekly outing to the end of the drive, with minimal effort. A kaftan is the answer…The Kasbah ‘Kesi’ is divine and only £70!
Contact Bakou
G&T in the Garden
suitable for the Gin & Tonic in the garden
We have been very spoiled with lots of lovely warm evenings which really lend themselves to a bit of a ‘gin o’clock’ scenario in the garden. Relax with a touch of glamour in this Q’neel ‘square t-shirt’, £55, and the fabulously funky That’s Me jungle print jersey crops, £75!
Contact Bakou
Zoom meetings/quiz nights
Wear this for Zoom meetings
Nice to look smart and fresh (at least on the top half) for these events. This gorgeous, crisp, cotton shirt from Via Appia, £80, does the trick and comes in this striking cornflower or pistachio. Lovely with white trousers or crops.
Contact Bakou
Supermarket
Wear for the supermarket trip
Now here’s an exciting event in anyone’s diary in the current climate! But if you’re like me, you won’t want to take a handbag. So I make sure everything I need can be very close to hand. This Q’neel ‘square’ t-shirt, £55 teamed here with the Robell Bella spot crops, £55, are perfect as they both have pockets! Room for my credit card, shopping list, mask, glove, hand sanitiser and keys! All the essentials for a shopping trip in 2020!
Contact Bakou
Gardening/clearing out the shed
Wear for gardening or working in the shed!
Not something I’ve got round to yet, but I know that most people are tending to their gardens like never before and clearing out their houses, sheds and garages, power washing anything that doesn’t move and generally making their homes immaculate. Not me, sadly. I haven’t had a moment, but if you’re doing anything along these lines, comfort and flexibility are key! It doesn’t get much better than a pair of K J Brand Wash & Go crops, £90, and this one size fits all AKH t-shirt, £70.
Contact Bakou
Date Night
Look great on date-night!
And finally, dinner with your beloved. I haven’t seen mine for nearly 9 weeks, but even if you are having a virtual dinner, it’s nice to make a bit of an effort whilst being very comfortable at the same time. This stunning lightweight Que tie dye top (very sheer so you will need a vest top underneath – I always opt for a Yoek Secrets vest), £110, looks fabulously elegant with a pair of Kasbah wide legged jersey crops, £30.
Contact Bakou

So, I will leave you for another week with this week’s instructions from the government…

“Go out. But stay in. Go to work. But don’t. Play sport. But don’t. Got to school. But don’t. Sunbathe. But don’t. But all of this is conditional. Or not. Stay safe. Stay home. But don’t stay home. Go out. But don’t. Stay alert. Stay alert on public transport. But only in Phase 3”

Good luck with it all ladies. Just stay safe and sane!

Much love

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

Enjoy the Bank Holiday

Published 7th May 2020

Hi Lockdown Ladies

I had to rally the troops – my sister Jo – to help me with this as it was all a bit overwhelming!

I hope you’re all still keeping well. Lovely speaking with so many of you as you’ve put in your mask orders over the last few days. I had to rally the troops – my sister Jo – to help me with this as it was all a bit overwhelming! (And she told me off for being too chatty so she felt I’d never get the job done if left unattended! – she was right…) I wasn’t really expecting such a huge response but worry not, I have more masks arriving imminently so, if you haven’t received your order yet, it will be with you in the not too distant future. I believe the next delivery is due on Monday 11th May so we will get them out as quickly as we can.

As I’m not allowed to be chatty on the phone, I most definitely can’t be chatty here or I’ll get another ticking off!

However, I managed to do another little "QVC" vid before the arrival of the masks so I will just leave you with that this week as I’m still somewhat swamped with mask orders. If you need more, just let me know. They’re not rationed like eggs, flour or loo roll so don’t worry about that. They make great gifts too (that’s my birthday prezzies sorted for the foreseeable future). I think they are definitely going to be THE fashion accessory of the season!

If you are bored, here’s an idea of something to keep you busy…

Mixed herbs - now un-mixed
Lockdown week 5. The herbs are no longer mixed!

Stay well everyone. Keep your spirits up. Just looking at that amazing blue sky fills my heart with joy I have to confess, I’m gutted not to be able to get to the Isabella Plantation in beautiful Richmond Park at the moment. I think it’s the first time in my entire life I’ve missed out on the Spring joys of that magical place.

Isabella Plantation - Richmond Park

Last but not least our April winner of our prize draw is Jackie M from Cobham. Congratulations! I will send your vouchers as soon as I can. 😊

Take good care.

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

The Masked Shopkeeper

Published 1st May 2020

Hello lovely Bakou Belles!

Confused woman wearing face mask looking at ice cream cone!

I’ve been watching, learning and getting confused as the news and information seems to change every day

This weird situation we find ourselves in seems to be constantly changing. Like everyone, I’ve been watching, learning and getting confused as the news and information seems to change every day. I have hummed and hawed about the whole mask question but, as it looks like when we do come out of lockdown, we will probably all be advised to wear them or indeed we will feel more comfortable wearing them.

One of my favourite suppliers, Grizas, has started producing their own masks which are a wee bit more stylish then the ones you see around generally. They consist of 4 layers of natural 100% linen, can be washed up to 100 degrees and are very comfortable with an adjustable strap.

I’ve placed an order to see how they go but can order more if they fly out. There are lots of available colours so take your pick and let me know.

Face mask selection in various colours from Grizas

There are lots of available colours so take your pick and let me know. I will not be stocking colours 155 or 157.

Black – 17, White – 151, Light Grey – 154, Dark Grey – 150, Light Khaki – 189, Fuchsia – 144, Navy – 184, Teal – 156

I have spoken to Grizas and they say that the white masks could be dyed so you could customise your own mask to whatever colour you desire. They did however point out that there could be a small amount of shrinkage so be warned…

Pink and grey face mask
Pink splat print – P200
Blue and yellow splat mask
Blue and yellow splat print – P123
Floral design face mask
Floral multi coloured print – P113
Dalmatian face mask
Dalmatian black & white print – P62

Email or call 020 8947 9797

They are £8 including p&p and I will be giving £1 per mask to a local charity.  A group of ladies have set up a group called The Visor Project and have been making protective visors for the NHS.

“This group was set up in March 2020 to make full face PPE visors for any front-line individuals who need them. We are a team of over 30 working collaboratively to provide visors for as many people as we can. As of 21st April, we have produced over 2500 visors which have been given to over 40 health care teams. We provide visors for NHS hospital ICU, neonatal, anaesthetic and maternity teams. We also provide for local GP surgeries, care homes and retirement homes.”

I will be donating any money raised to their efforts and if they no longer need anything, it will go to other local projects or to local foodbanks. I will of course keep you updated with any funds raised.

I will largely just be covering costs with this so, on this occasion, points cannot be used to make purchases, sorry.

If these prove to be very popular I will be able to order more but a little patience may be required as it is just me doing everything. I will do my best to get them out as quickly as possible and will hope to accommodate everyone’s choice of colour too but, at the moment, there are limited quantities on all colours and prints.

Meanwhile, I don’t know about you but this seems to be me on a daily basis at the moment. Keeping it together relatively well during the day and then all hell breaks loose after 7pm! Thankfully I’m not seeing too many people right now

Daily calorie intake graphic - joke

I’m glad to hear so many of you enjoyed my little Youtube video last week and of course other pieces on the website are also available so do give me a call if I can help you with anything. The shop number will divert to my mobile so you can get hold of me easily or send an email and I’ll get back to you ASAP. In order to manage things as best as possible I will probably dedicate the mornings to the phone and emails and the afternoons to picking and packing but I will always get back to you, I promise.

Take care ladies and I’ll see you again soon.

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

New Tricks!

Published 24th Apri 2020

Hello lovely ladies…long time no see!

I did something new this week…

I did something new this week. No, it wasn’t Zumba, Tai Chi or crochet (still procrastinating on ALL my quarantine projects!). And no, I didn’t raise £28m for the NHS! (Sir) Captain Tom has been an inspiration to us all. The nation’s new sweetheart!

What I did was a Facetime shopping session with one of my fabulous customers, Chris in Andover. It was good fun and worked really well so I decided that maybe this is what I could do to show some of the things that might be of interest to you. If anyone else fancies this, then just give me a call or send me an email and we can set up a time that suits both of us. The shop phone number is now diverted to my mobile so you can get hold of me any time (I do switch it off when I’m sleeping though…)

I also thought I would do a little video in the shop to enable you to see some bits and pieces that might be of use/interest to you at the moment. Just me and my phone, so not a professional endeavour in any way, shape or form, but I hope you enjoy! I won’t be passing the QVC audition any time soon that’s for sure and I apologise for the ‘ums’!

I don’t know about you, but this really rang true for me! I am gobsmacked at just how much I can spend in the supermarket…and it’s just me and the dog! Quite extraordinary!

The new monthly budget allocation

… if you need anything, do give me a call

Remember, if you need anything, do give me a call. UK Mainland postage will be free and, if you live close enough, I’ll pop the parcel round to you myself and take some of the burden off the delivery services.

Meanwhile, having ordered the social distancing dresses last week, I’m contemplating stocking these in the Summer… Any takers?!  😊

The Trikini 2020 - the new beach wear no to be seen in!

Keep an eye out next week for very stylish linen face masks from Grizas. Due to arrive by the end of next week so I’ll be in touch to see if anyone wants one.

Stay safe and happy at home everyone!

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

The Heat is Rising

Published 14th Apri 2020
Happy Easter from Bakou

Hello lovely ladies. I hope you’re all doing well in this, the strangest of times.

With the temperatures rising, I found myself over the weekend, getting out my Summer wardrobe and realising, as usual, that I don’t fit in to half of it!

… by the time I’d finished I felt that I had a new rapport with Melissa the Mannequin

Made me think that perhaps some of you might be in need of some new bits to see you through the next few weeks so I popped to the shop to take some pics on the mannequins. It was a bit different from our usual shoots with Andy, our fabulous photographer, who keeps us entertained with his brilliant one liners, and Natasa, our gorgeous model whose energy is boundless and enviable! I missed the banter and the fun, but by the time I’d finished I felt that I had a new rapport with Melissa the Mannequin and we had found a mutual understanding and respect for each other and the important roles we both have to play in this current nightmare. I really have no idea why they keep talking about keeping your mind happy and healthy because Melissa and I agreed that we have no issues there at all…

Mellisa modelling Angel Circle Kaftan - Turq/Floral
Mellisa modelling That’s Me Jungle T-shirt

The Wash & Go shirts have also arrived now

So, I’ve tried to pick out some things I thought you might find useful in the current climate. All lightweight, comfortable and easy. Of course all the K J Brand Wash & Go trousers come into their own as soon as the temperatures start to rise and all you want is comfort (with no ironing!). The Wash & Go shirts have also arrived now. I’ve picked some Angel Circle as the viscose is so light and lovely and bright and who doesn’t love a ‘wafter’ (as I like to call the long kaftans) in the heat? The Robell ¾ trousers are great at this time of year, the Grizas silk and linens are breathable and beautiful, the Masai tops are colourful and stylish and the Pont Neuf, with its hugely eco friendly/sustainability message, is both classy and chic!

Mellisa modelling Doris Streich Camo Shirt
Mellisa modelling Grizas One Pocket Tunic

I know they’re not the greatest of pictures; just me and my phone in the shop. Not really ideal, but that’s all I can do for now and hope that the next shoot we do will be back to ‘business as usual’.

Call me if you need anything. I’ve actually had the shop phone diverted to my mobile which will make things easier.

Stay safe and well everyone.

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

Staying in is the new going out

Published 1st Apri 2020

Hello to all the lovely Bakou Belles out there in the bizarre world we’re now living in. I hope you are all staying happy, well (and sane!).

You’ll be delighted to know I am not sending out my “Covid-19 policy”! I don’t really have one… we’re closed! That’s the only policy I have.

This is simply a hello message because it was lovely to hear back from so many of you after my last email…

This is simply a hello message because it was lovely to hear back from so many of you after my last email and I’m really missing all the interaction in the shop every day and hearing everyone’s news. So sad to think of all those Spring/Summer events that have been cancelled but we’ll hopefully get back to some sort of normality in the not too distant future and everyone will be able to have their celebrations.

While missing everyone’s news at the shop, what I am finding lovely is having time to catch up with friends I haven’t spoken to for a long time. We all live life at such a fast pace, that taking some time out is really quite refreshing. And I’m loving having some extra time with the hound, especially as she’s an old lady now so I don’t know how much longer I’ll have with her.

Keep calm and carry on shopping graphic

I’m also really revelling in the new regime at the supermarket! Is it just me?! Does that make me weird?! Probably… but I like the orderly nature of queuing and shopping peacefully, just a few at a time! I know, I am a little peculiar, but a little oddness is what makes the world go round… doesn’t it?!

Unfortunately, I’m separated from my partner (how I hate that word!) as he’s still working ‘up north’ but that’s given me more time to really appreciate the amazing community I live in. I think a lot of people are getting to know their neighbours, even healing old neighbourly gripes and grievances, so that’s got to be a good thing, no? I’ve realised just how very lucky I am to live where I do. Everyone is really looking out for each other which is seriously heart-warming.

I’ve now come to realise that there is no point stressing about things over which I have absolutely no control

It took me a good few weeks to come to terms with the ‘new order’ when this nightmare started to spread, but I’ve now come to realise that there is no point stressing about things over which I have absolutely no control. So, I’m taking each day as it comes with whatever challenge it presents. Being the Queen of Procrastination I have, of course, not got round to any of my quarantine projects as yet. My ‘study’ remains full of boxes and junk that needs clearing but I’m definitely not going to stress about that. I’ll get to it… probably. It seems that time is one thing a lot of us have now. Enjoy it while you can! My Karcher is staring at me in the garage too… but that will wait until it’s warmer!

Stay safe and well and I’m really looking forward to seeing you all again soon, hopefully! British Summer Time has begun, in earnest! Hopefully this cold snap (it really is bitter out there) will be over soon and we will all be able to enjoy some sunshine. Nature is ready and waiting…so fabulous seeing the new shoots and flowers emerging everywhere (when I’m on my one walk a day…).

I’m also really revelling in the new regime at the supermarket!

Villa Dinari - frontage
My new social distancing outfit has arrived in the mail! (Bookroom.com)

Meanwhile, what do you think… a new range for the shop perhaps? I’m getting out my sewing machine and starting production pronto. Oh no wait, I can’t sew! 😊

Look after yourselves. Let me know if you need me to send anything out to you. I think I’m allowed to go to the shop on my tod and I have a DPD drop off opposite so very little interaction with anyone.

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

PS The March winner of our prize draw is Sally L from Wandsworth. Congratulations! I will send your vouchers as soon as I can 😊

Challenging Times

Published 14 Mar 2020

Hello lovely ladies. Oh boy, life doesn’t get any easier does it? I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are staying well and safe.

It goes without saying that we would dearly love to see you in the shop although I also realise it might not be top of your ‘to do’ list. We can always send things out to you if you’d prefer. Just give us a call or email, although of course we have much more in the shop than is currently online.

I just want to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are not taking this situation lightly and we are taking every precaution to keep the shop clean and safe.

I just want to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are not taking this situation lightly and we are taking every precaution to keep the shop clean and safe. We are not a high-volume retailer so there aren’t hundreds of people around (unlike the supermarkets) and we are cleaning everything down all the time; surfaces, door handles, phones, credit card machine etc etc. We’ve been taking these measures for the last few weeks. Just to reassure you, none of us has been to any of the ‘hot spots’ or near any known carriers.

Keep calm and carry on shopping graphic

As an added incentive to come to see us, we’re offering a fabulous 20% off everything this week, just in time for Mother’s Day! Do come in, we’d really love to see you.

Stay safe everyone.

Much love.

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

Weather it is, or weather it’s not!

Published 26 Feb 2020

“In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” Mark Twain

Ain’t that the truth?! Blimey it’s chilly out there right now! But, with the arrival of our Spring collections, my mind is turning to holidays and sunnier climes! Especially as so many of you are coming in for your Spring wardrobes with tales of your upcoming travels. Jealous? Moi? Maybe just a wee bit!

The recent delivery of the gorgeous Kasbah collection made me take a peek at Heather’s divine boutique hotel, Villa Dinari, just outside Marrakesh. It’s where she photographs her lovely collection and it really is a little slice of heaven! I know some of you have been and loved it and I had a wonderful time when I visited. Have a look and see what you think. No wonder she’s so creative living there!

Villa Dinari - view of the gardens
Villa Dinari - frontage

… don’t miss out on the new arrivals

We’ve had so many deliveries since the last photoshoot and the new bits will be on the website as soon as possible but don’t miss out on the new arrivals. Some gorgeous Pont Neuf has just landed too which never fails to fly out!

Spring and Summer are just around the corner…

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

Spring and Summer are just around the corner… that’s what my daffodils are telling me anyway! The days are definitely getting longer and soon we’ll all be moaning that we’re too hot. But that’s because we’re British and that’s what we do and no-one can stop us! 

See you soon

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…and I’m (almost) feeling good

Published 1 Feb 2020
New Dawn sunrise image

The Winter sale is ending, the new Spring collections are arriving, it’s stocktake time of year and I’m into buying season for Autumn/Winter 2020. Naturally that means my back decides to go into a massive spasm the day before I was heading off to Germany for a big trade show which made for an ‘interesting’ few days and a first-hand experience of airport assistance and German doctors (both of which I thoroughly recommend!).

I had to find some innovative ways to manage while I was out there, especially as the hotel wheelchair had flat tyres, so I was forced to walk everywhere…very, very slowly! But where there’s a will…and I couldn’t miss out on seeing all the Autumn/Winter collections, which I’m already getting excited about as there is so much gorgeous stuff around making it very difficult to choose. 

Ali in her make-shift wheelchair

A HUGE thank you to my amazing staff 

Since my return I’ve been pretty much bed-bound but feeling like I will be back on my feet very soon, thankfully. I want to take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to my amazing staff for working even harder than usual and covering for me while I’ve been incapacitated. They are exceptional and I’m very lucky to have them!

Before my ‘demise’ we managed a photoshoot of some of the sensational new goodies that have already arrived and the website is now up to date with some of the gorgeous new pieces that are now in store. However, more boxes are arriving daily, so you’ll need to visit us to see everything we have. I’m really really pleased with this collection and I hope you will be too. You’ll see we’ve got loads of the ever-popular K J Brand Wash & Go crops and trousers in lots of great colours. Hopefully something for everyone as I know what an indispensable part of everyone’s Summer wardrobe these have become. There are also some matching vest tops this year and some shirts on the way too, but these haven’t arrived just yet. Arrival is imminent!

Robell Bella ¾ turn up crops…  in six great colours

I also listened to everyone asking for the Robell Bella ¾ turn up crops to return so that key piece of the Summer wardrobe is back too in six great colours, as well as in the stretch denim in black, white and navy.

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

I hope you’ll find that you’re spoilt for choice with this collection and we look forward to seeing you very soon!

Happy New Decade!

Published 2 Jan 2020

Happy new year lovely ladies!

I sincerely hope your new decade has started somewhat better than mine. I am currently lying in bed with a fever feeling very sorry for myself! But I had a lovely Christmas with family and friends so I mustn’t grumble.

Being on my ‘death bed’ hasn’t stopped me from making sure we’ve added more items to the sale and reduced many pieces to 50% off their original price so there are lots of bargains to be had before we fill the rails with new goodies. I’m trying to keep the website updated but there are more pieces in the shop too so make sure you come and see us when you can.

Happy New Year Graphic - with sad (not well) face

New Year’s resolution!

The new year always brings up the whole ‘resolution’ thing but as I’ve failed with every new year’s resolution I’ve ever made (usually to lose weight and get fit), I decided not to bother this year and to just stick to the idea of a year of positivity.

Ali all wrapped warm even though she's inside!

In the words of Roald Dahl, “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”.

Have a lovely, shiny day/week/month/year ladies!