I was staying at the wonderfully chic and stylish Hotel du Vin in Edinburgh last An early Christmas present to my two oldest children and myself. It’s my second favourite city, only just beaten by Paris. My husband and I spent quite a few weekends there before the children came along and we had our honeymoon there so it was lovely to be able to show the older two some of the sights. My Son loves Harry Potter and the main draw for him was a Harry Potter walking tour around the old town. Although I’ve never read the books or seen the films it was interesting for me to walk around Grayfryers Churchyard and the Haymarket and learn more about Edinburgh’s history.

But back to the Hotel. Now I’ may or may not have mentioned before that l love a bath. During the three years I was at university I only had a small windowless cupboard with a tiny shower, loo and sink; very similar to an economy aeroplane toilet; and I’ve never really gotten over the experience. Possibly because of this in every house we’ve rented or bought a big deep bath has always been a must-have for me, and on the rare occasions we do get away, I always request accommodation with a bath if possible.

well, the Hotel du Vin Edinburgh did not disappoint; underfloor heating, a walk-in shower you could park a small car in, and impressively a free-standing, claw-footed bath. The type of bath I’d choose should funds ever allow for me to redesign our family bathroom.

And the toiletries? cult French range L’occitaine. Amongst the goodies on offer was a ‘Fizzing Bath Square. Think of it as the grown-up, more stylish sister of the ubiquitous bath bomb. Now I’m not hating on these bathing lovelies. but I do think that there is a time and a place for glitter, and in the bathing ritual of grown-up women isn’t it. (with the possible exception of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, or Birthdays, or Valentines day…)

Bath cubes though, are a simple, stylish bathing addition. They,re also deliciously retro. I have fond memories of the Yardley sets I’d buy my grandmother every Christmas; they never really varied; a couple of individually wrapped soaps, a tin of talc and several bath cubes, wrapped first in foil then with a paper sleeve like some bath time sweet. Lavender, Rose or Lilly of the Valley being the only three sent choices. To a little girl these sets seemed oh-so sophisticated, and I’d still be delighted to find something similar under the Christmas tree this year, but despite some extensive online browsing I’ve failed to find anything similar. (although you can still buy Yardley talc and fragrance from larger Boots stores).

Speaking of talc, it may just be my Desert Island beauty product. I could ( and probably will) write another post about what a brilliant, under rated little retro hero the humble tin of talc is., but as this post is about retro bathing accessories, my favourite one would be using my Great Grandmother body puff and talc set. it was pink and on a ribbon-covered stick, like something you’d imagine Marlyn Monrow would have used. Now you can still buy talcs with body puff, but many of them can be a bit, shall we say on the ‘ kitch’ side. I’d recommend browsing the wonderfully eclectic T X Max for the real deal, or the wonderfully named ‘white shoulders’ is a lovely modern homage that would add a touch of retro glamour to any dressing table.

Happy bathing


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