Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for Travel

Stereophonics – Maybe Tomorrow

This is my favourite song of all time, the lyrics and Kelly’s voice reminds me of home. I don’t normally fancy anyone famous and my taste in men is somewhat different to most women’s, but I’ve always had a secret crush for Kelly Jones (lead singer), he’s just cool. I also briefly met him at an album signing when I was 18, I spelt my first name and he’s the only person I’ve come across that has pronounced my name correctly, he even added that it was nice – extra brownie points! He came across as lovely (as us Welsh would say) which I wasn’t expecting. His voice is sexy.

Being spontaneous (makes a change), a neighbour said that I can use their holiday home in Portugal anytime I liked, so I’ve bought tickets for me and my best friend to see them live at Optimus Alive Festival – can’t wait, haven’t had a holiday in such a long time.


the cowdray in Sussex

Made the most of the warm weather, and ended up in Sussex for a roast Sunday lunch at the cowdray. Pleasantly surprised, lots of space to park, outside seating area as well as indoor, went for the roast lamb, didn’t have to wait long for my order. Very generously sized portion and struggled to finish it, but enjoyed trying. I was too full to consider dessert. The service was good. Unfortunately, I don’t live in the area, and it was a random spare of the moment trip, so probably won’t visit that often, but I’d recommend it to someone who was in the area.

Sunday Roast lunch at the cowdray

Sunday Roast lunch at the cowdray

the cowdray

the cowdray

Lavender Fields Hampshire

Lavender Fields Hampshire, originally uploaded by kensingtonabida.

Vintage Gunne Sax dress that I bought off ebay. Such a beautiful field matched my dress perfectly. Shame my hair got in a mess 🙂

Gower Peninsula

Like you were a bird - Explored

After studying hard these last couple of months, I’m planning to devote more time to activities that I enjoy in 2011, starting with photography. Firstly I’ll be investing in a better SLR camera + lenses (hopefully the January sales will prove fruitful), and then will book a short break to a place where I’ve always wanted to visit – The Gower. A few people have mentioned The Gower is absolutely beautiful and perfect for a short break; combining two things I love – walking & nature photography.

The lull before the storm 2

After browsing Gower photos on Flickr (these two stunning photos were taken by Geoff Mock, click on photos for a larger view), I can see why it appeals to a photographer. The Gower (Penrhyn Gwyr) is a peninsula on the south west coast of Wales, and in 1956 was designated an area of outstanding natural beauty – it’s not hard to see why! 

J Brand’s Love Story

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I bought these Love Story jeans from J Brand two years ago when I saw Kate Moss wearing them, and it’s still a favourite amongst fashionista’s everywhere.

They cost me about £180 from Selfridges, yes, I know, ridiculously expensive but I’ve worn these soo many times, the fit and quality of the denim is superb. My photographer friend bought a new very expensive SLR recently, and we drove down some random field in Banbury where these photos were taken.

The dark indigo colour of the jeans means that you can wear it casually during the day with wedges (in the photo I’m wearing Born Rosie sandals that I previously blogged about, a gypsy top from Miss Selfridge & a hippy headband from Urban Outfitters), or with heels and a blouse for a dressier evening look. Unless you’re 6ft, almost everyone who buys these will have to wear heels and have them taken up, as their inseam is 35in. I just took mine to the tailor and it cost me about £8 to alter the length.

They might be pricey but these 70’s style bell bottom flares make your legs look endless, and flatters my slim figure better than skinny jeans do. J Brand also did a high waisted version of these named ‘The Doll’ but they no-longer sell them on their website, but I luckily bought them off ebay at a fraction of the price.

You can buy these from J Brand’s website, they also offer international shipping:


The Tithe Barn in Hampshire

Set in the beautiful countryside, I had pleasure in visiting this stone barn last September for my close friends wedding.

I took the train from Waterloo to Petersfield and then got a taxi from the station to the Barn. I had to get up very early on a Sunday to make sure that I got there on time, but it was definitely worth the commute, not just because my friend was the first in our group to get married, but also the location itself was very picturesque. The wedding was made more enjoyable by the fact that the weather was superb, an unexpected surprise considering it was in September.

The couple hired out the barn for a Hindu wedding ceremony. The interior was grand and modern, and they had a great big bathroom which provided lots of space for me to change into my sari 🙂 There was also an adjacent meadow, and car parking available for over 80 cars.

I’d definitely recommend this as a wedding venue, absolutely gorgeous…

Check out my review of The Tithe Barn – I am kensingtonabida – on Qype

Castell Coch in Cardiff

CardiffArts & EntertainmentLandmarks

Castell Coch is a beautiful 19th-century ‘fairy tale’ castle in the north of Cardiff. I last visited the castle in July last year for a family wedding. The room where the ceremony took place was full of charm – ceilings and walls intricately hand-painted. The small castle is surrounded by woodlands, where people often take walks or cycle (I can’t imagine cycling up the steep hill towards the castle – far too exhausting!).

Lets face it, every girl wants to feel like a princess on her wedding day, and the quaintness of the castle provides a magical venue for a wedding – I was jealous!

A word of advice! – if you’re wearing sky-high heels, be careful walking up the drawbridge – I’m surprised I didn’t trip up 🙂

Check out my review of Castell Coch – I am kensingtonabida – on Qype