A 24 Hour Countryside Retreat With Philips

Ella Gregory Coco's Tea Party

As you will have seen from Instagram, a few weeks ago Monica and I hosted an overnight retreat in the English countryside for some of our favourite blogging ladies. We were working in partnership with Philips, who generously decided to bring everyone together to discover the wonders of the Philips Steam&Go Plus handheld steamer. (And, let me tell you, it really is wonderful!)

On a sunny Tuesday morning we all made our way to the exquisitely beautiful Lime Wood Hotel, in the New Forest. Wendy travelled the furthest, flying in from Glasgow that morning. But Jess scored extra points for arriving less than 24 hours after her honeymoon. And, as she joked, you really couldn’t ask for a better return to work!

We managed to squeeze a lot of fun and relaxation into our stay at the Lime Wood Hotel. And here I’ve recapped some of the highlights from the Philips Steam Sanctuary…

Steam Sanctuary Philips

Garment Care Tips from Celebrity Stylist, Alex Longmore

After a delicious welcome lunch (and a mass catch-up), we headed into a garment care workshop with celebrity stylist Alex Longmore. Alex was on hand to educate us on the Philips Steam&Go Plus, and share her tips for steaming difficult and delicate garments.

We all found Alex’s workshop so insightful, as she really knows her stuff and was able to answer all of our questions. Below are some of the key tips I picked up:

Pockets: When steaming a skirt, dress, jumpsuit, coat or pair of trousers that has pockets, Alex recommends steaming the area around the pockets first, and then making your way over the rest of the garment. This way you’ll get a more pristine result.

Cashmere: It’s perfectly safe to use the Philips Steam&Go Plus on cashmere – and on any fabric. However, Alex instructed us to always place cashmere on a flat surface (a bed or table) ahead of steaming. If you steam cashmere on a clothing hanger you run the risk of misshaping it, as the moisture from the steam will momentarily add extra weight to your knit, and gravity will naturally pull everything downwards.

Leather: To steam leather turn the garment inside-out and steam on a flat surface, as with you would with cashmere. My leather leggings always get so wrinkled, and I never knew what to do about it, so this tip blew my mind.

Jeans: You know how your jeans always feel super-tight after a machine wash and iron? Well you can actually refresh your jeans between washes with the Steam&Go Plus. It kills 99.9% of bacteria, and won’t leave your jeans feeling stiff and uncomfortable.

Philips Steam&Go Plus
Steam Sanctuary Limewood

Monica and I have both gone completely bonkers for the Philips Steam&Go Plus, and use it multiple times a week – if not daily. So it was really fun to see all of our girlfriends geeking out over the steamers (as we knew they would).

L.K. Bennett kindly loaned us some pieces from their glorious SS18 collection, so the girls were able to practise all of the techniques that Alex demonstrated. And afterwards they all snuck up to their rooms to steam every item in their suitcases. Amanda was having so much fun with it that she even considered steaming the bedding in her room, which had us in fits of laughter!


Wrinkle Workshop Philips Steam & Go

The Gorgeous Steam Sanctuary Gang: Rhiannon, Sam from Philips, Phoebe, Roma from Philips, Jess, Shloka, Alex, Wendy, Monica, Amanda and Claire (not pictured) who was behind the camera

Limewood Retreat
Mindfulness Workshop Limewood

Monica and I wanted the Philips retreat to feel like a restorative break for everyone, so in the afternoon we changed into comfy gym clothes and headed down to Lime Wood Hotel’s greenhouse for a mindfulness session. We focused not only on meditation, but also enjoyed fun activities centred around mindful conversation, mindful eating and mindful movement.

With the summer sun streaming in through the windows, and the scent of herbs surrounding us, it was such a peaceful experience. And we all headed into the evening feeling very zen.

Limewood Hotel Cocktails

It’s always lovely to have an excuse to dress up, but I think everyone was even more excited by the prospect on this occasion, because it gave them a chance to use their new steamers. (I’m honestly not exaggerating – everyone was obsessed).

Once everyone was dressed in their finest, we met downstairs at Lime Wood Hotel for cocktails and a delicious, seasonal, three-course dinner. We managed to squeeze in a few photos during the “golden hour” too, and here’s a little taster of what everyone wore. These ladies have seriously enviable style…

Phoebe Greenacre Claire Menary

On Phoebe: Dress by Zara (past season) | Shoes by Castañer

Monica Welburn Philips
Jessica Harris Twenty6Style

On Monica: Dress by Sosandar | Jacket by Wallis (past season)
On Jess: Dress by Shein

Maje Ella Cocos Tea Party

I Wore: Dress by Maje at Bicester Village (gifted) | Bag by Aspinal of London | Shoes by Aquazzura (past season)

The next day we all enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, followed by time at the spa, before reluctantly saying goodbye to the paradise that is Lime Wood Hotel, and heading home to our little corners of the UK.

As you can see from these snapshots, the Steam Sanctuary was an absolute dream! So I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Roma, Sam, Emily and Chante from Philips for all of their hard work – you made this event so special. Also, a big thank you to Alex Longmore, Lottie at Lime Wood and Alexandra from L.K. Bennett. And – of course – huge hugs to all of the girls that joined Monica and I. We’re so happy you could make it!

Are you keen to give the Philips Steam&Go Plus a go after reading this? Don’t forget to use the code STEAM4 when shopping at philips.co.uk. As it will get you 30% off the steamer until July 31st.

~ This post was sponsored by Philips Steam&Go Plus. Thank you for continuing to support the sponsors that make Coco’s Tea Party possible. ~

Photos by Claire Menary


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