It would be easy to think that autumn is full of oranges, reds and browns but when it comes to my welcome to autumn this year it was anything but seasonal. Think rainbow brights, pops of pastels and a brilliant summer blue sky to boot.
London is spoilt for choice with skyline high murals, pick and mix candy pop painted doors and row upon row of pretty houses. Dressed in our Boden best I joined a giggling gang of colour lovers to celebrate a colourful 25 years for a morning of colour hunting in West London.
If you are looking for a fabulous photo walk then this is the tour for you!
Start at Pedlars General Store on Talbot Road and treat yourself to a cup of tea and Instagram the bistro tables outside or ALL the pretty things inside. Then get your walking feet on and march!
There's nothing quite like twirling and whirling in front of walls that you need to wear sunglasses to admire! The thing I have always loved about Boden is their ability to make you feel more confident by wearing colour. Mixing hues, prints and pattern that make you smile on the inside as well as out.
We headed off on a tour of Notting Hill's most glorious spots and found ourselves shimmying in front of the Circles Wall Mural on the corner of Powis Gardens. We made Boomerang videos, lined up in colour order and I watched as this incredible group of women showed the world what pure happiness is. When you don't care what drivers blasting down the road think when they spy you out of their windows. You are there just in a fabulously fun moment!
St Luke's Mews
From there we headed straight to the little hidden gem of St Luke's Mews. It feels like a film set, even on bin day. Gentle pastels, perfectly placed benches and a cobbled street that makes you feel like you have just ran out of the scene in Love Actually when Keira kisses the 'carol singer'.
This street is actually a film set though, Boden have shot several of their catalogues in this very street, in rain and sunshine, under tents and with many hands keeping the heavens from soaking the models! There's a house for everyone, picture ready bicycles and every window gives you a slight peek into the worlds of the people who are lucky enough to live here.
We found greenery for those who love nature, painted brickwork for the colour hunters and might have borrowed a bench or two to pose on.
If you are looking for vivid paintwork and bay windows that make you green (as in lime green) with envy then Lancaster Road is the place to be!
We stopped and found a door to match almost every outfit and did our best to pretend like we called each and every one of them home.
Oh the wall, the wall with the hypnotic monochrome mural, the man in a boat and just around the corner another hidden gem where X marks the spot. Well unless a transit van is blocking your Insta moment. You'll have to take a trip down the cobbled street to see what we missed.
You can't help but gravitate towards the turquoise island on Westbourne Grove that is home to the most delightful florist and firm friend of Boden's Wild at Heart. There was a flurry of gasps and comedy hand claps as a gift bag bursting with the most beautiful bouquet was handed out to each of us and we quickly whipped them free and did our best bridesmaid impressions against the stunning tiled wall.
Just a stone's throw from the bright lights and render of Portobello Road is Denbigh Terrace and I finally found a burgundy doorstep that had my name written all over it. We gathered the pink ladies and posed for a few snaps laughing at how awkward we felt and yet at the same time felt absolutely no shame taking over the street!
I felt a little silly on the way home because I hadn't been sure of the colour of my new dress on the train ride up. For me I 'hide' in the boldest print possible rather than the safety of black or darker colours. Berry reds and wine hues have never seemed to suit me but among the beautiful candy floss pink girls I felt a million dollars. These women have an ability to make you feel elegant and radiant with one click of a button.
It's what everyone needs once in a while, to shower each other with compliments, cuddles and kisses as you say goodbye.
Everywhere you look you are spoilt for photo opportunities. There's independent shops, antique emporiums, painted door frames and trinket stores galore. Walk left or right and you will find endless inspiration, market day or not.
If you are a fan of brights there's a street for you and if pastel is your thing then you won't be disappointed. It's a visual treat.
Farm Girl Cafe
One of the sweetest spots and I mean that in the literal sense (have you ever seen something so splendid as a rose petal latte?!) is the Farm Girl Cafe on Portobello. You HAVE to try the ginormous salad, and every single cake your body will let you eat.
It was quite simple the nicest way to end a very happy morning. We sat, moved seats, put the social media world to rights over freshly squeezed orange juice and bottomless tea. We talked about life, loves, small people, homes, inspiration and aspirations and I ran for my train at Waterloo feeling bursting with ideas, my face aching from smiling and with a whole new set of Instagram pals.