Recently, my amazing husband surprised me with a fancy spa weekend. It was one of the best 5* castle hotel in Ireland with portions and prices to match.
Now normally, finding a wardrobe for a weekend away is never hard for me. However, when you are headed to a 5-star castle hotel, you are in an entirely different wardrobe demographic.
It all started on a Sunday evening as we were watching telly in our living room. Hubby suddenly looked up at me and said to me “don’t plan anything for the weekend of the 5th”.
Of course, curiosity kicked in and I started to ask questions. Where are we going? What are we doing? With who? Etc. My husband is a terrible secret keeper so I am usually good at getting these things out of him. This time, he was extremely tight-lipped about this particular one and that ignited my curiosity even more.
After loads of begging, I finally got him to show me just one photo of the place where we were going. All I wanted was an idea of what clothes to pack. It is my first time in a 5* castle hotel and I refuse to be the sloppy black guest. I mean it was already highly likely that I was going to be the only black person there. No way I was gonna be the sloppy black person.
The picture I saw was of a magnificent dining room with everyone dressed so formally. It was definitely not a wedding setting and I could make out that it was a dinner setting for hotel guests. I decided that we must be going somewhere fancy.
My fancy wardrobe ended the day I crossed the Atlantic and it has suffered severely since. What used to be little black dresses and heels back home had now turned into comfortable converse shoes and mustard knitwear in my wardrobe. My friends back home wouldn’t recognize me anymore.
So I now had about 10 days to get something inexpensive to wear for our weekend playing king and queen in a luxurious castle hotel.
I was going blind here guys. I had no idea where we were going or what the itinerary was going to be. Honestly, it was like taking a blind sheep out on the road and asking it to find its way home.
There is only one simple solution to wardrobe choice when flying blind- pack several different options for all scenarios. That basically means that I was packing about 10 different outfits for 2 days and one night away. Who does that? Apparently, me!
Scenario #1: cold and rainy day- I got this gorgeous red coat which I planned on wearing with a smart-casual top along with jeans and flat knee-high boots.
Scenario #2: for a warm dry and sunny day, I got this cute striped off shoulder skater dressin case it was sunny. I was hoping it wouldn’t be windy as these skater dresses like to fly up with the wind and I had no interest in having a Marylin Monroe moment. I matched the dress with a pair of flip-flops and slipped into the suitcase.
Scenario 3# Horse Riding. A quick google search educated me on the fact that there would probably be horse riding activities at a castle hotel. This was a bit concerning because I had no idea what to wear for horse riding. Fortunately, Google also suggested that most horse riding places provide boots and a helmet so all I had to do was bring a pair of jeans and a top to match. That was easy. I got this blush cotton jacket and matched it with a pair of jeans, a simple white top, and converse. Into the suitcase, they went.
Scenario #4: Afternoon tea- Just in case we went for Afternoon tea, I bought this gorgeous midi skater dress. It is simple and yet very elegant and ladylike- definitely has an ‘afternoon tea at the castle’ vibe.
Scenario #5: Dinner- my friend Google told me that castle hotels tend to suggest smart attire for their dinner guests. I welcome any chance to dress fancy- especially since they are so few and far between these days. I decided to pull out this little black number. It is elegant, romantic and definitely smart.
Fast forward to the day. We spent the weekend at Dromoland Castle Hotel which was such an exquisite and luxury experience. It’s official guys, I was born to be a princess and live in a castle. (COUGH) When you spend a weekend in a real 5* castle hotel, you start to rethink your entire existance. Suddenly, my three bedroomed terraced house was not quite sufficient.
Anyway, back to the point. What did I end up wearing? Well…… *DRUM ROLL*
I ended up wearing this cute peach button front dress for dinner. It was decent, smart and quite summer. O matched it up with a pair of sparkly pink Aldo shoes that I wore once to Hello Haileys’ wedding in Cape Town last December gone.(Read about their tips on wedding planning HERE)
Bag was from Primark.
WALK AFTER DINNER
When you are taking a walk around a 200 acre garden, you need to make sure you have a comfortable pair of shoes on. After dinner, I did the sensible thing and changed into these flat sandals I got from Debenhams. As it was getting colder, I slipped on this red coat that I ordered off Boohoo.com. (Its a maternity coat but I promise I am NOT pregnant)
There was a gown and slippers in the closet so I slipped those on for breakfast which we had in our suite. The plan was to head to the hot tub after breakfast so I had my leopard print swim suit from Primark underneath.
FALCONING & HORSE RIDING
First of all, horse riding and falconing for an hour around the gardens was such a fantastic experience. I am actually thinking of starting private horse riding sessions.
Anyway, we spent the day engaged in outdoor activities so I decided to wear the pink jacket, a white top (old from Primark), black stretchy pants (old) and these cute pink trainers I got from Debenhams (now on sale)
One week later, I am slowly relearning to appreciate my 3 bedrooms terraced house. It gist doesn’t seem fair that I can’t live at the castle forever.
Ps. The black and white dress was lovely but too short for me in the back. The black dress is very cute but the slit was a bit too high and left my thighs a bit too exposed for my liking. I will get that remedied by a seamstress and give it a go on my anniversary.
Hope you enjoyed my very first fashion episode guys.
See you next week.