Beverley Turner hosts her own talk show on LBC Radio; writes for the national press and has monthly columns in Smallish magazine and City Kids. A self-confessed 'birth junkie', she established The Happy Birth Club ante-natal course in West London in 2014. Bev is married to Olympian James Cracknell and has three children. Here she writes and shares some honest and invaluable advice on what to pack in your hospital bag.
"It's very easy to get anxious about the contents of your overnight Birth Bag, but like much of the whole event, staying relaxed, trusting your instincts and keeping it simple is a good idea. Some women, of course, arrive at hospital in labour without very much warning and without their huge suitcase of stuff. And guess what, they still have their babies and manage to send other people out to buy the nappies! However, in an ideal world, you'd arrive at your place of birth equipped with everything that makes you feel safe, prepared and ready for the biggest day of your life. If you’re choosing to give birth in a hospital or birth centre, you’ll probably want to have a bag packed and ready to go from about 37 weeks (or sooner if you are keen and organised). It's a good idea to pack one bag with a view to being in for no more than 24 hours. But maybe put aside another bag or pile of things in case you have a longer stay. This will avoid any conversations that begin, "I didn't mean THAT cardigan!" when your partner collects the extras. Don't take anything into hospital that can't be hot washed. So leave your beautiful cashmere goodies at home! If you’re having a home birth, you may still want to pack a bag in case of transfer to a hospital during labour.
There are some items which are obligatory, including your Maternity notes – if you forget these your partner will be sent home for them and take at least two copies of your Birth Preference Sheet so that you can hand a fresh set to your midwife if a shift changes. If you intend to Breastfeed (and you may not know how you’ll feel until your baby arrives), pack a feeding bra. Your wash bag (containing perfume-free shower gel) and a couple of packs of maternity pads should also go on the necessary list along with a change of clothes for you (forget skinny jeans, you’ll still look 7 months pregnant for a while) and a few pairs of cheap, huge, stretchy knickers that you won’t mind throwing away. Another top tip is to pack a pair of flip-flops. Sadly these aren’t for the beach, but for the shower – these aren’t cleaned after every use - and can be slippy which poses a fall risk when you’re feeling shaky on your legs after birth.
Another addition which women on The Happy Birth Club course rave about is a sports drinks bottle filled with ice. Hospitals are very hot and a very cold drink can feel heavenly especially if you use a birthing pool. You may find you get yourself into some bizarre positions during labour and it’s easier to drink from a sports bottle than a cup – your partner can lift it to your mouth without you even having to open your eyes!
I’d also recommend putting some anti-bacterial wipes / spray in your bag. If you have a private midwife or doula they will often whizz round the room with these when nobody is looking. Feel free to do the same. Hospital cleaners are busy. They may not have time to match your high standards.
Don’t forget any tools for pain-relief: TENS machine are fabulous; aromatherapy massage oils and Hypnobirthing downloads may be all you need to manage your own anaesthesia.
You can wear whatever you like to birth in. You do NOT have to put on a hospital gown unless you are heading for an epidural and need your back exposed. So choose a loose cotton / button down shirt and two pairs of cheap pyjama pants (you may leak on them!) A comfy dressing gown will also be a godsend, especially if you don’t have your own bathroom and must totter down the corridor.
Take two pillows in distinctive pillow-cases. White ones will go missing! There is a bizarre shortage of pillows on maternity wards. You will love having them to get comfortable before, during and after birth (and your birth partner may use them for a snooze in the chair!)
Snacks for both of you should go in the bag– anything you might fancy to keep your energy up. Birth is a marathon, not a sprint.
And of course, the fun bit is packing your baby clothes. You will need vests, babygros, cardigans and a hat. Take 3 or 4 complete changes. And enjoy picking out the ones that you love! 10 Newborn nappies should suffice and a packet of cotton wool (you may want to use wipes but cotton wool and water is a tad kinder to brand new skin).
I always recommend our mums take in two large, soft muslins such as those made by Marloe . They can act as a stylish shawl for mum as she sits in bed; they can offer some privacy if that’s important to you when learning to breastfeed and they are perfect for wrapping up new babies in a comforting swaddle. Oh, and I also suggest you pack a small bottle of champagne. You’re not off to war; you’re going to meet the love of your life. You may as well celebrate in style!
The Happy Birth Book is also available now to purchase on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/
A maternity nurse is someone who comes into your home and helps care for you and your newborn baby in the first few months after birth. They usually work twenty four hours a day covering the nightshift, and can help guide you in caring for your baby, or they can take sole charge in the care of your newborn, depending on your preference.
Marloe London talk to Louenna, a Norland Nanny and Maternity Nurse who has fourteen years of practical experience caring for children and babies all over the UK and Worldwide.
"As a qualified Maternity Nurse I take bookings of just a couple of days or up to six months for a longer post. I hope to make bringing your baby home a nice and relaxed experience where you can enjoy your baby and get to know him or her, whilst gaining confidence yourself in looking after them and taking away any angst you might have. I give tips on how to stimulate your baby and promote their development by using age and stage appropriate aids and activities, and I offer a Newborn Baby List to all my clients with the products that I recommend to make your life easier with a newborn."
There are many benefits to hiring a maternity nurse, but every family has different needs. For example, first time parents will often want to learn about physically caring for their baby from bathing, to top and tailing, getting them dressed and swaddling them at sleep times. Whereas parents who have older children and who are confident in caring for their baby will often want to spend time with the older siblings and have help in settling the new baby into the family without causing too much disruption or any jealousy issues.
It can be very daunting bringing home a newborn, they have lots of funny little traits - from grunting noises to bright yellow poos! A Maternity Nurse can tell you what is normal and offer you reassurance and a calming approach.
In the first few weeks when everyone is adjusting to a new addition it’s nice to have an extra pair of hands.
You can ask any questions, or discuss different childcare methods to best suit your family’s needs. Having a maternity nurse allows you peace of mind to rest and recover after birth and build up strength so that you feel able to cope when they leave - even just being able to have a bath in peace knowing that your baby is being looked after is a luxury!
A maternity nurse is someone you can talk to if you’re feeling overwhelmed by motherhood - it’s always good to talk. Just having someone to talk to during the night feeds can make the time go quicker and the mood a little brighter.
Not only does a maternity nurse bring a wealth of knowledge and experience on caring for your baby, and the best and most useful products available to buy, but they can often spot if something isn’t quite right as they know how a happy baby should be reacting. They might be able to spot the early signs of reflux or a lactose intolerance and can offer the best advice on how to deal with these problems and make your baby as comfortable and happy as possible.
If you are hiring a maternity nurse, Louenna's advice is that you make sure you discuss your expectations are so that you’re both on the same page and the maternity nurse is as helpful to your needs as possible. Do you want your baby to follow a routine, do you hope to breast or bottle feed, would you like the maternity nurse to help with older siblings? These are all important things that should be discussed before you make a booking as every maternity nurse works in different ways - some love to cook and help with general housework, others only want to focus on the baby for example. Being a maternity nurse and living in someone else’s house is a very personal job and so it’s important that you like being in each others company, so have a chat and make sure you feel at ease talking to each other.
Lulu Adams is a pre and post natal specialist personal trainer based on the Isle of Wight. She is mummy to one-year-old Willa, and is expecting baby number two in February.
“My journey into pre and postnatal fitness began way before I was actually pregnant – but having gone through the experience of pregnancy itself (not such an easy one), labour (a lengthy, and ‘not the one I planned’ one) and the recovery period (a lot longer than I thought...) has simply strengthened my passion for helping mummies stay strong, healthy and happy during this stage of their lives – whilst also appreciating the massive changes that their bodies have, are still are going through. It’s not about rushing back into your skinny jeans by throwing yourself straight back into sit ups and planks; it’s about rebuilding your strength from within”.
Generally speaking, I tend to advise pregnant clients to combine endurance, strength and flexibility elements into their prenatal exercise ‘programme’. As soon as I say that though I get asked to provide a generic, go-to pregnancy workout for people to do themselves at home or at the gym…
As wonderful as it would be to be able to provide this, each and every pregnancy is so very different, so it is incredibly difficult to come up with ‘one size fits all’ pregnancy workout, because there are so many factors – such as core strength, pelvic floor health and the stability of your pelvis – to be considered when working out what exercises are suitable, and will be beneficial to you. I advise all my clients to get in touch with a women’s health physio and a good chiropractor as early as they can in their pregnancy, to get an idea of what is going on ‘down there’ and with your abdominal wall (especially if this is not your first pregnancy...)
Having said that though, below are my favourite exercises and a couple of my favourite stretches that are generally considered safe and beneficial for all stages of pregnancy, that you can easily do as stand alone exercises, or altogether as a circuit. For a great, full body circuit, do each exercise for 12-15 reps (or 8-10 reps on each side if a single-sided exercise) before moving onto the next, and repeat the whole circuit two to three times.
DISCLAIMER: Please make sure you consult your doctor or midwife before starting or continuing with any sort of exercise programme, including the exercises listed above. If you experience ANY unusual symptoms (especially dizziness, pain or bleeding) during your workout, stop and make sure you consult your healthcare professional as soon as you’re able to. Some of these exercises are also not suitable for those suffering from pelvic girdle pain. If you are having regular treatment from a chiropractor please ask their advice on the exercises below, as generally speaking, standing or bearing a load on one leg is not advised for those suffering from lower back/pelvis pain.
1. Monster Walk
The Monster Walk is a great glute activator, because by resisting the ‘pull’ of a resistance band whilst moving, it encourages the gluteus medius to fire up (the muscles on the side of your bottom), and by strengthening these muscles, you are instantly providing greater support for the hips, knees and even the lower back.
- Place resistance band (available on Amazon) around your knees. In the images below I have a band placed above my knees; to make this more difficult, you can move the band lower, with around the ankles being the hardest.
- Bend forward at your waist (this will help to make sure you’re working the glutes) but keep your spine in a neutral position – you will naturally want to round your back and ‘tuck’ your bottom under, but try to resist this by keeping your tailbone pointed up towards the sky as you bend forward.
- Keep shoulders back and down, and your chest open.
- Knees should be bent at about 45’, and keep them pushed out, in line with your ankles and don’t let them buckle in from the pressure of the resistance band.
- Slowly walk forwards for five steps (and then five steps backwards, which is the killer!) while keeping this alignment of the knees over the ankles.
2. Glute Bridge
The glute bridge is good ‘bang for your buck’ exercise to do during pregnancy – not only for activating and strengthening the glutes, which tend to become weakened due to the postural changes that take place as the bump grows, but it also helps to improve core stabilization, which in turn helps to protect, or at least reduce strain to the lower back.
With minimal equipment needed, the glute bridge can be done anywhere, and can also be made more challenging by adding a resistance band or weights, elevating the feet, elevating the hips OR making it a single leg exercise.
- Lie on your back on a mat, with your knees bent and your feet flat and in line with your hips*
- Make sure your back and pelvis are in ‘neutral’ – so there should be a little gap (one finger width) between your lower back and the mat
- Inhale, relaxing your pelvic floor and allowing your tummy to gently rise
- Exhale, lifting your pelvic floor, activating your deep core by imagining you have a magnet on each hip bone that are gently drawing towards one another and drive your hips up towards the sky, pushing through your heels.
*yes, you can still lie on your back after 16 weeks contrary to some pregnancy fitness myths AS LONG AS YOU FEEL OK! If you feel at all nauseous or dizzy in this position, carefully roll onto your side and push yourself up to seated and give this exercise a miss (for alternative for later stages of pregnancy, feel free to get in touch: @luluadamsfitness or email@example.com.
I see squats featured in almost every pregnancy training programme – and that’s because they are a great all-round exercise that works lots of muscle groups, including the glutes, lower back and and importantly the pelvic floor.
- Start by spreading your feet hip width apart. In the photo I am using dumbbells as I am used to training with weights, but you can also do these with resistance bands around the knees or even without any bands or weights.
- Inhale, relax your pelvic floor and send your hips back as if you were going to sit in a chair; if you can get your thighs parallel with the floor great, but stick to a range of movement that feels comfortable
- At the bottom of the movement, exhale, lift your pelvic floor, activate your deep core by imagining you have a magnet on each hip bone that are gently drawing towards one another and come back up to standing by driving your weight through your heels
However, do make sure you can FEEL your pelvic floor connection on the exhale breath as you rise up out of the squat. If you can’t, stop and think about regressing the exercise (so removing the weight)
I also suggest using a Swiss ball against a wall as a prop for squatting once you hit the third trimester, and leaning against this as you lower yourself down into a ‘squat’ position to avoid excessive strain to the lower back and knees. You can still have weights to challenge yourself (and the glutes especially!) but it just takes the pressure off joints that will already be feeling quite unstable.
4. Bent Over Row
A great exercise for strengthening the muscles in the upper back, which can also become weakened during pregnancy due to our growing breasts, and the natural adaptations our body makes to the S-shaped curve of the spine to help us carry the growing bump without toppling over…!
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms down by your sides and palms facing each other, and bend forward slightly from your hips, keeping your back long and neutral – so a little curve in the lower back – and your neck in line with your spine, so keep your gaze focused on a spot on the floor about a metre in front of your feet.
- Keeping your elbows close to your body, bend the elbows and lift the weights towards your lower ribs and pause at the top of the movement.
- To make this more challenging, do one arm at a time, concentrating on keeping your body level and not twisting with each lift.
If you haven’t got dumbbells, or you suffer from very low blood pressure and staying in this bent over position makes you feel a bit dizzy, you can also tie a theraband (available on Amazon) around a doorhandle and perform a ‘rowing’ motion in an upright standing position.
5. Single Arm Standing Cable Press
This is a fab exercise that not only works the arms and upper body but also works to help improve our core strength and stability because the focus should be on keeping the body stable and not twisting with each push.
- Take a split stance, so have one leg out in front on which you have your bodyweight, and the other foot a step behind, just resting on the ball of that foot. The foot out in front should be the opposite side to whichever you are going to ‘press’ the cable with.
- If using a cable machine (you can also use dumbbells), make sure the pulley is chest height and face away from the equipment. I like to put my ‘non-working’ arm out in front to help me balance – and I pull my shoulders back and down, trying to get my shoulder blades to meet just above my bra strap and stay there
- Inhale, and relax your pelvic floor and allow your tummy to gently expand outwards (don’t force it!)
- Exhale, lifting your pelvic floor and activating your deep core by imagining you have a magnet on each hip bone that are gently drawing towards one another and push the cable away from you, being careful the rest of your body doesn’t twist with the pushing movement. Pause at the end of the movement, and then inhale as you return the handle to the start position.
6. One Arm Carry
If you haven’t already, ditch the crunches and sit ups NOW! Although probably fine to continue with in early pregnancy, it’s good to familiarize yourself with safer, pregnancy-friendly core exercises as soon as you can.
This is great ‘crunchless’ core exercise that can help with those stabilizing muscles that support your spine. Basically the main focus of this exercise is to resist the body’s urge to lean sideways to ‘bear’ the weight of the load you’re carrying, and you do this by using your deep core muscles to keep your body in optimal alignment as you slowly walk whilst carrying the weight.
In the images below I’ve highlighted the correct alignment, along with what to avoid.
- Make sure your shoulders are back and down – bring your shoulder blades together at your bra straps.
- Have a slight bend in the elbow if you need it, and keep your elbow as close to your ear as your body will allow (this will depend on your shoulder flexibility!)
- Make sure your ribs are down and not thrusting out, so line them up directly above your hips.
- Slowly walk ahead, keeping your body in this alignment as you move.
As your pregnancy progresses, you can adapt this by making it a ‘suitcase’ carry, so still keeping it one-sided and resisting the urge to lean over as you move, but this time carrying the dumbbell down by your side rather than overhead which adds more pressure to the core. And again, if you don’t have dumbbells, just find a big bottle of water, or a can of beans!
What to do...
What not to do...
7. Cable Straight Arm Pulldown with Leg Lift
Another great core stabilizing exercise. The focus here should be on keeping your lower back in a neutral alignment throughout the exercise – and trying not to ‘tuck’ your bottom as you lift your leg. You also want to try and keep the pelvis as level as possible, so if you imagine your pelvis as a bowl of soup, you want to avoid ‘spilling’ any of the soup – so no leaning into the supporting leg.
- Have the cable pulley set as high as possible, and use the rope handle attachment.
- Start by gripping the rope handles in both hands, have your arms straight out in front of you, and check your spine is in neutral, so a slightly curve in the lower back, your ribs stacked over your hips, shoulders back and down.
- Inhale, releasing your pelvic floor and gently letting your tummy expand outwards – but don’t force it!
- As you exhale, lift your pelvic floor and engage your deep core by imagining you have a magnet on each hip bone that are gently drawing towards one another and lift one leg up so the thigh is parallel with the floor. Pause at the top of the movement, taking care to keep your body straight and in neutral alignment, and then inhale as you lower the foot back down to the floor.
And again, if you haven’t got dumbbells, you can also tie a theraband (available on Amazon) around a doorhandle do the same movement by ‘pulling down’ with straight arms and lifting one leg up so your thigh is parallel to the floor.
8. Upright Pigeon Pose
This might look familiar to any yogi mummies out there! I love the Pigeon pose as a way of rounding off a session in the studio to open up the hips, but I tend to keep it upright rather than leaning forward and down onto my forearms – mainly because bump won’t allow it, but I find I’m more able to get into my hip flexors this way.
9. Plantar Fascia Release (Toes Pose)
The image below makes this ‘stretch’ look ridiculously easy, right? Well you’d be surprised! I picked this up in a yin yoga class I did a few years back, when I too scoffed at the idea of being asked if I could ‘hold’ this position for five minutes, but what this is great for is releasing and relieving the plantar fascia on the bottom of the feet, which can become inflamed as we gain weight throughout our pregnancies and have a knock on effect on the rest of our muscular systems and lead to our alignment and posture going awry.
If you can give this a go a few times a week you’ll be amazed at what sort of aches and pains you’ll be preventing. As I said, this is incredibly deceptive – you’ll find yourself experiencing a wave of sensations as those five minutes tick on, some serious burning and even slightly painful sensations might arise, so if you need to, put your hands on the floor in front of you to take the weight off the fascia but try and keep as still as possible throughout the five minutes and just take note of how the sensations change!
10. Elevated Child’s Pose
And finally, this is my ultimate when it comes to relaxing after a full body workout! You can use a bed, a sofa, or a Swiss ball as I am below. Gently sway from side to side as you take nice, deep, relaxing breaths in this position, stretching out your ribs and waist by pushing your upper body down towards the floor.
"At Ladybird and Puffin we publish books for every kind of story-time. Here are a few of my top picks from our recent publishing, along with a few of my favourite classics to help with those back-to-school blues and inspire you to fire-up your imaginations and enjoy the magic of reading with children."
Alice Moss, Director of PR at Penguin Random House Children's.
Dinosaurs meet diggers in a debut picture book with rollicking rhyme and bold, beautiful illustrations
What's bigger than a digger? Bigger than a dinosaur? DIGGERSAURS are
bigger - see them build and hear them ROAR!
The DIGGERSAURS are busy building something - what could it be?
Children will fall in love with these huge, colourful, lovable beasts as this wonderfully read-aloud rhyming story unfolds. And there are lots of funny details to spot along the way...
A celebration of childhood ‘helpfulness’ by acclaimed author and illustrator Sophy Henn
Hello! My name is Edie. I am EVER so helpful.
In fact I think helping is one of the things I am best at.
Edie certainly is a very good helper, whether it's helping Mummy wake up bright and early, helping Daddy to get everything at the shops or helping her little brother with sharing and knowing what's what.
Sophy Henn's Edie is a stunning and stylish picture book that will be instantly familiar to parents and small children.
Inspired by ESA astronaut Tim Peake and his sons, and featuring an introduction from Tim, this is the perfect bedtime book!
Two space-mad little boys get ready for bed and say goodnight to their toy rockets, launch pads and planet mobiles, before being whisked away into space on an adventure beyond their wildest dreams . . .
A brand new hilarious picture-book from the incredibly mind of author and illustrator Ed Vere.
Grumpy Frog is not grumpy. He loves green, and he loves to hop, and he loves winning. But what happens when Grumpy Frog doesn't win, or encounters - horror of horrors - a Pink Rabbit?
Join Grumpy Frog as he learns about compromise and tolerance, friendship and the power of saying sorry.
A hilarious book with a twist in the tail about getting - and getting rid of – the grumps from New York Times best-selling author, Ed Vere.
PEPPA GOES TO LONDON
Perfect for Peppa fans visiting London, Peppa and George are going on a very special day out to London!
Miss Rabbit's friend, the Queen, borrows a double decker bus and takes Peppa and all her friends on a fun tour of the city's sights in this picture book story based on the exciting new episode.
THE GIANT JUMPEREE
A new read-aloud classic from internationally bestselling author Julia Donaldson, beautifully brought to life by award-winning illustrator Helen Oxenbury.
Rabbit was hopping home one day when he heard a loud voice coming from inside his burrow.
When Rabbit's friends Cat, Bear and Elephant come to help they are each scared away in turn by the mysterious voice.
He can squash you like a flea
He will sting you like a bee
And he's taller than a tree!
But who is the Giant Jumperee?
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR
The classic edition of the bestselling story written for the very young, where a newly hatched caterpillar eats his way through all kinds of food. A family favourite with parents and children alike.
In Spot's first adventure children can join in the search for the mischievous puppy by lifting the flaps on every page to see where he is hiding. Spot is the world’s most loveable puppy, and a No.1 bestseller since it was first published in 1980. This interactive favourite has stayed in the charts ever since.
For your chance to win all of these books and a Marloe scarf blanket, follow us on instagram @marloe_london, like the giveaway image and tag a friend.
Zita West is the founder of the Zita West fertility clinic, known for its unique holistic approach to natural fertility and IVF.
Here are Zita West's top 7 tips for boosting fertility:
Eat well - Nutrition plays such an important role when it comes to fertility. It’s really important to consume nutritious, nutrient-dense food prior to getting pregnant, because what you need to do is to be able to build healthy eggs and healthy sperm. You should eat a whole range of foods such as green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, good fats, yoghurt and beta carotene rich foods such as tomatoes, carrots and red peppers.
Get fit - Doing some form of exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Whether it’s walking, running or something totally different, exercise releases the endorphins needed to maintain a positive state of mind during your fertility journey. However, men do not over-exercise... too much exercise – especially cycling – can divert testosterone away from your testicles and your sperm count will drop.
Have more sex - The truth is many couples do not have sex frequently enough, and when you’re trying to conceive, sex is obviously key. Although sex tends to become more stressful than enjoyable for many couples who are trying to conceive, it is absolutely essential that you are having sex at least three times weekly during your fertile period because sperm can live up to a week inside you so regular sex helps you ensure a constant flow of sperm for ovulation.
Cut out cigarettes - If you’re trying to get pregnant smoking is a big no-no. Smoking is hugely detrimental to fertility – to eggs and to sperm – not to mention the future health of the unborn child.
Reduce alcohol - The fact of the matter is that research shows us that on average, the more alcohol you drink, the longer it will take you to get pregnant and the less likely you are to be successful. For women alcohol may contribute to irregular periods, irregular ovulation and luteal phase defects, reducing chances of conception and for men, alcohol can affect sperm morphology and motility, and cause free-radical damage to the DNA sperm carries.I recommend you cut out or at least cut down on alcohol to boost your chances of successful fertility.
Stress less - Trying for a baby, especially when you’ve been trying for a while can be a stressful time - that’s why it is important to actively take steps to reduce stress in your life and find the stress-management techniques that work for you such as; yoga, meditation, swimming, running or just taking a long bath. I recommend acupuncture to my patients as it can help with help with blood flow to the uterus and the ovaries, and beta-endorphin release, which means a greater sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
Take supplements - I always advise couples, especially those with busy lives, to consider a multi-vitamin and mineral that contains folic acid, zinc and selenium. Many women we see are depleted in vitamin D to, so make sure you take that as a supplement as well. It’s also important to build omega 3 into the body prior to getting pregnant.
Visit Zitawest.com for more information
Vogue Editor Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey recently returned from Crete staying at The Domes of Elounda - her first holiday with two young children.
Here is a list of her holiday essentials...
Sunhat, £345 at Penmayne.com
Cotton muslin baby romper, £22.99 at Adenandanais.co.uk
Supremya Baume La Nuit, £345 at Sisley-paris.com
Scrunch bucket, £8 at Trotters.co.uk
Canvas Pump, £50 at Superga.co.uk
Organic cotton sweatshirt, £26 at Babymori.com
Childrens canvas plimsole, £25 at Hamptoncanvas.com
Tote bag, £395 at Libertylondon.com
Girls swimming costume, £7 at Mothercare.com
Read Ginnie's full article here
The brainchild of Central Saint Martin’s and Camberwell College of Art textiles graduate, Samantha Robinson, The Cross is one of the very first London lifestyle boutiques, selling an eclectic mix of fashion, homeware and gifts.
Tucked away in the idyllic, tree-lined streets of Holland Park, London the Cross opened its doors in 1996 and, contrary to the norm, Sam set out to support upcoming labels, knowing how hard it was to be stocked by the stores you love. Today, the Cross continues to search for designers under the radar as well as stocking well-known and established brands, their ethos being great style over fleeting trends.
1. Forte Forte ikat Maxi dress
2. Marloe blanket scarf, Bolam Style print shirt, Lena Skadegard necklace.
3. Matta top, Star Mela bag
4. Susannah Hunter leather initial tote, Hod top.
5. Necklaces by Pippa Small.
6. Lemlem dress, Star Mela bag, Liwan Lifestyle flip flops.
7. Tassel basket
8. Queene & Belle silk & lace camisole, Star Mela clutch, Pippa Small amulet necklace
9. Necklaces by Cressida Luxton, Rails shirt.
10. Henrietta Bevan floral dress, Lisa Taylor vintage silk clutch.
All items are available in store. Stay up to date and follow their instagram feed @thecrossshop
Open Monday to Saturday 10 - 6pm
141 Portland Road, London, W11 4LR
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