This month’s guest blog has been written by Chrissi Knights of Explorer Travel.

I am not sure what thoughts Christmas and New Year conjure up for you, but I bet amongst other things parties and get togethers feature high on the agenda, closely followed by a panic, “What am I going to wear?” With that in mind I thought I would share with you my experience during the run up to Christmas 2017.

We all have a wish list of places we want to visit and things we want to do, don’t we? As a travel agent, my list grows longer every time I arrange travel for another client and I get that longing explorer feeling. Since 2000 we have spent every New Year somewhere new, gradually working through that ever increasing list. So last year it was time to tick off a New Year in Vienna at the Silvester Hofburg Ball. A proper ball with a requirement for men to be in tails and ladies to wear a ball gown! Panic set in at the thought of shopping; I hate shopping with a passion, but I was fortunate to know Fiona, just a phone call away.

“Help! Should I hire through the internet?”

“No,” was the reply. “How do you know that the colour will be right for you and what about the fit?” Panic! We arrange to meet at Tiffany’s in Southampton but I arrive early. More panic!

“Can I help you?” asked a member of staff, as my eyes take in the host of colours and styles on offer.

“No thanks, I am waiting for my personal shopper,” I replied. Relief! Fiona walks through the door with a big smile and we soon get to work.

The American’s use a derisory saying, “Getting more bang for your buck,” but sadly I can’t think of a better phrase to use at the moment. Fiona’s expertise quickly focused on colours and styles that suited me and at no time did I feel rushed or panicky. I must have tried on ten ball gowns, all from my colours and all paraded on the catwalk before choosing a little red number. Of course the process was helped because I had already had a wonderful colour analysis and wardrobe review by Fiona.

If you are someone that hates Christmas crowds or like me panic sets in at the very thought of clothes shopping, or maybe you are stuck for something to wear at your New Year celebrations; give Fiona a call. She will be your fairy godmother just waiting to wave her magic wand and all will be well. Trust me!

The dress needed a little altering (the hem needed to be taken up), so Fiona suggested a tailor for this.  It was a busy time of year for Five Past Seven Tailoring and Alterations (in Chandler’s Ford), but they turned it around in time and I was very happy with the result.

Sadly Tiffany’s is no longer in Southampton but you will still find them in Stubbington at 8 Stubbington Green, PO14 2JG.

In addition to the most amazing New Year ’s Eve we booked Viennese Waltz lessons on the morning of 31st December so we didn’t look complete idiots on the night.
Chrissi Knights of Explorer Travel can be contacted on 02380 733 073 or via her website