Cotswold collection

What better way to spend the weekend than wandering the Cotswolds with a bunch of great gals for a night or two, ostensibly to discuss high literature (it's the book club on tour after all), but also to have a Good Time while they do it? This is precisely what Jane is doing this week. And while they are about it, they will inevitably find some time for a bit of shopping. So, is it possible to buy something original and well-priced to wear on a weekend away? Apparently, it is. In fact, there are some great finds to be had tucked away in picture perfect villages, better known for their stunning honey-coloured cottages than their high fashion emporia.

Lovely lodgings at Landgate House courtesy of Sandra (sleeps 15 available from

Their meanderings first take them to Stow on the Wold, where they happen upon Jacana, a one-off boutique in which the wooly pully is making something of a statement. This delights our girls, who all love a nice bit of jumperage for the winter, and they can't wait to get the stock on their backs. They all go for this stellar embellished version - stars being very now, well done, gang - and try it on in different colours.

And what a difference a colour can make! Sharon (above) looks fabulous in red with her blonde colouring, whereas the griege drains all the colour out of her bonny cheeks. 

Caroline favours dusty pink, but it is Lou in grey who seals the deal and picks up this number from Carry Me for £49.95.

She can't resist one of those ubiquitous bobble hat either, which is a bit of a bargain at £15.95, and does rather suit her (Jane is just jealous as she looks truly dreadful in such items). 

Jenny decides not to purchase...

Caroline in jumper by Good Luck £49.95

Next is Law and Co, a rather cavernous place it must be admitted, but nevertheless, stuffed full of goodies even if you need specs and torch to actually see them. As the sign says, they have nick-knacks and menswear as well as stuff for the girls.

Jenny was much taken with the khaki cardi, and although initially was unsure about the fur collar (too hot and/or itchy) gave it the thumbs up eventually. A good price too at £74.95.

Fur Zip Bomber, Moewy £89.95

How/when NOT to buy - Jane is looking exhausted (too much late-night chatting) and the beige of this cardi is too close to the colour of her hair. Ugh! Need nice dark colouring needed for this one...

Jane considers that Grey Gardens is her find of the week-end. It sells an eclectic mix of items, mostly vintage, actual antiques or vintage-style, and not really clothes, more accessories, which is where she came across this hat box. 

She is, of course, a sucker for luggage, especially items in which to store and carry hats. This still has its labels on from its last voyage on the Union Castle line from Durban to Southampton, so the whisper of the past is still very much with it - all for £15. Thank you Mrs P Sturgis! (She also snapped up two linen sheets for £12 each, but this is not the place to gloat about that).

Shirt by Cream £65

On to the loveliness that is Woodstock, home to Blenheim Palace. The girls are attracted to Loft at 19 the High Street, whose window is a palace to good taste, all greys, beaten metallics and navies. It bills itself as Life, Style, Living and sure enough, lives up to expectations. Jane nabs this shirt at £65 and is delighted with its winter pastels colour scheme; and glory be, it has no collar (something she finds doesn't suit her neck and these days is far too hot).

View from the breakfast room

Bye, bye Blockley! We'll be back soon...

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