After cycling for the first time in ten years and 12 miles later, I completed the Rugby Ralph Lauren Tweed Run on Saturday which started outside the Rugby store in London's Covent Garden. I arrived 10am, with my fold-up Brompton from Velorution (an emporium of bikes and cycling equipment on Great Portland Street), and got my registration plate and arm band which was a wonderful shade of vintage olive printed with my number and the name of the event. We bumped into Alex of Alex Loves as well as Rugby Ralph Lauren guest bloggers Steve of Style Salvage and Susie Bubble. Rugby had provided pre-run refreshments of coffee and pastries which was a welcome sight and a much needed fuel injection. Considering my lack of exercise and bike skills, this was going to be an interesting ride and one that could have proved fatal - to my pride and my bones.
If you get a chance to get to the store, then go. It is wonderfully dressed for Christmas and does seem like a full on RL advert. And the staff are VERY attractive too.
Alex of Alex Loves looking great in a masculine tie and jacket juxtaposed her flowing pleated dress.
Fellow rider Simran who is a medical student wearing some incredible crafted boots that he recived for his 21st birthday.
Steve Salter from Style Salvage wearing a pair of Clarks Originals in Tweed - there is a great simplicity about these boots.
After a group photograph in front of the store, we were off on the first part of the Tweed Run which took us around Covent Garden and through to Charing Cross Road, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Parliament Square, Birdcage Walk, in front of Buckingham Place - where more tourists were more taken with the Tweed Runners than one of the most famous residences in the world - Hyde Park Corner, Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, Sloane Street and Square and a pit stop adjacent to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.
Here we stopped for quintessential tea and cakes, plus a catch up with other runners, as well as taking part in a supporting video for the run - so watch out for that coming soon. The atmosphere at the square was immensely fun with everyone talking to everyone else, a raffle by sponsors Murdoch London with grooming prizes and a cake stand full of miniature cupcakes which went down very nicely.
The tea stop in Chelsea after about seven miles, entertained by the band. I thought the couple of the Union Flag were the epitome of vintage Brit style and the shot of the tea cups was a dramatic image that was both charming and captured the moment.
My outfit -
Orange Slim Fit Chino's
Grey Tweed Waistcoat
Cream Scarf with Orange Tipping
kindly provided by Rugby Ralph Lauren
Shirt - Debenham's Made to Measure
Shoes - Clarks SS12 Mead Ride Saddle Derby's
The wonderful Erin O'Connor who I have now met three times - and thank you Ms O'Connor for the offer of a Jaffa Cake during the nightmare of Knightsbridge traffic lights!
It was very British and after a quick sit down we headed off around the back of the hospital, through Vauxhall and through Pimlico to Belgravia for a final surprise closing event at the very exclusive Caledonia Club - complete with chandeliers, wood panelling and a portrait of The Queen over hanging the stair way. After 12 miles, a cup of tea didn't cut it so I headed for the Jonnie Walker Blue Label (another sponsor of the Ralph Lauren Rugby Tweed Run) whisky table which was an explosion of warmth and love that I really needed.
Brad, of the FYI Blog at the Caledonia Club post Tweed Run...
We took a cheeky car back to Great Portland Street to return our bikes and from there, Brad dived under the golden arches for a cheese burger and I for a caffeine injection. It was such an incredible day despite my aching body and bottom and the inability to construct a good sentence over dinner later that evening.