Hannah Marshall dress

Attending the Cannes Film Festival 2016

The Cannes Film Festival always proves to be the most gloriously glamorous whirlwind of a break! My 5th time attending, every festival, honestly- and somewhat miraculously (as every year is sooo flipping good)- seems to beat the rest.

Jumping aboard our private jet (OK It was Jet2!)-one day though #jetgoals-my partner in crime for another year running, was my great friend, the casting director Nicci Topping.

view from the plane

Staying in the same chic apartment as we did last year, a 15 minute walk from the Croisette, we spent five fabulous, non-stop, laugh out loud days together having an absolute ball by the riviera!

The Cannes Film Festival

….An area I know well as most of our family holidays were luckily spent in the South of France from childhood, I could move to Cannes in a heartbeat!

The South of France

I could totes blog from the sea front couldn’t I?! I’m going to put it out there and ask the universe and see what happens so watch this space!

I just can’t with Cannes! Everything is so perfectly instagrammable and it even looks pretty when it’s overcast.


But less of the dreams and back to reality and the festival.

There really is never enough time to do and see everyone I’d planned to, during Cannes as time flashes by in a complete blur as I rushed to make meetings, screenings, lunch dates and then get (even more) glammed up in the evenings.

Perhaps that should be re-glammed up as Cannes is one big glam-fest morning until night! Think smoky eyes and red lips by day all day, baby! I love it!

The Cannes Film Festival 2016

…Sadly, I only managed to catch one film (ridiculous I know) because in between the busy-ness I was determined to seize the holiday vibe.

That one film-‘Nice Guys’ was worth it though- set in 1970s Los Angeles, hard done by private eye Holland March, Ryan Gosling (swoon) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy, Russell Crowe (double swoon) work together to solve the case of a missing girl and seemingly unrelated death of a porn star… During their investigation, they uncover a conspiracy and things get heavy. With superb direction and a razor sharp script, this clever buddy movie offers a fresh take on the bromance films before it and the easy on the eye leads’ chemistry will keep you enthralled throughout.

Here we are below at the premiere. Can we just take a minute to appreciate how hot Ryan Gosling actually is-he reminds me of the young Brad Pitt I had plastered on my walls as a tween. I even framed a postcard of him from his Thelma and Louise days. Argh, sweet, sweet memories.

Now don’t hate me but it’s actually the second year in a row we got to see RG on the red carpet, and I’ve promptly bought Peter a white jacket since returning home but he’s yet to wear it (come on, Pete)!

Sorry for the fuzziness, sadly we didn’t get ‘up close and personal’ enough to the main man so this will have to do. There’s always next year right?!

Ryan Gosling

Now, before you switch off from Ryan Gosling-induced jealousy, let me just point out, it’s not often I get a break from parental responsibilities to just chill out and swoon over film stars, but this is an annual thing and I really do feel grateful for the time off to just be me while stuffing my face with French food and immersing myself in fashion and parties because it sure doesn’t happen often. FYI, I’m writing this post at 4pm in PJs!

Unsurprisingly, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and a booty shake because this girl loves to party! And Cannes sure knows how to party, from yacht soirées to private club shindings with some of the biggest DJ’s in the world plus live bands playing for your pleasure, the vibe there is always, ‘go big or go home’ and we were going big. By the way, big means two drinks in my case because I’m a total lightweight since kids!

This is my yacht by the way. Do you like it? I wish, it’s probably Beyonce’s!


Lush huh?

I just love the pomp and circumstance of it all.

It’s also the only festival in the world where the paparazzi wear black tie-heck I even caught a dog suited and (kinda) booted one year ago, too!

a dog in a tux

Seriously though, the Festival de Cannes demands a respect seldom found elsewhere in the world and deservedly so, too.  Founded in 1946, along with Berlin and Venice, Cannes is one of the oldest and most famous film festivals in the world.

Attending the fest is experiencing a little piece of history in real time and it’s never short of magical from the bright lights and paparazzi in black tie to parties overlooking the crashing waves on the beach to talking movies until the sun rises, some of my fondest memories were made there.

What’s also truly wonderful about my window of time there, is the chance to hang out and have fun with great friends-and be able to make new ones too. Bringing together the greatest of talents both in front and behind of the camera, the energy there is utterly magnetic.

Nicci and I met up with mates out there-actress Angela Dixon and new pals, Christopher, Jordan and Max below…


with actress friend Angela Dixon

Here with brilliantly talented and charismatic actor/producer Christopher Cole.

actor and producer Christopher Cole

…I loved hanging out with these cool dudes below-actors and producers Jordan Pitt, Max Ryan and Christopher Cole. We literally didn’t stop laughing, eating or inspiring one another (mostly while laughing and eating). It’s so contagiously-inspiring spending time with other passionate and ambitious creatives, and I left brimming with ideas for my projects on the site and my YouTube Channel.

lunch in Cannes

fun with friends in Cannes

I even made some fabulous French mates in a group of gorgeous girls I met on the Croisette as I took a walk by the port whiles Nicci had a dinner meeting.

the sea-South of France

So sweet, they ended up asking me for a drink and came and partied with us when I met back up with Nic!

Despite all being fluent in English with two doctors and another lady who worked in finance, I made them speak to me in French so I could practise- and apparently I’m a natural, mais oui! Whoop whoop! I actually managed an ‘A’ at GCSE and despite a part French husband, rarely ever speak Francais! Tut tut!

I got my year’s quota that night even if it mostly went like this, ‘J’habite a Leeds du Nord d’Angleterre’ (cringe)!

French friends

Fun though!

…Agh, Cannes is such a flurry of excitement with paparazzi and news crews on every corner, bustling streets heaving with festival goers, locals and tourists clambering to make the screenings or catch a glimpse of A listers high octane glamour (think women in cocktail dresses and gowns all day) and the most opulent of parties (more akin to weddings).

At a party at the Majestic Hotel , the DJ stopped his set and made way for a 5 piece band with cellist- who got everyone on the floor with dance anthems and classic hits!

The A listers make the fest too of course with everyone from the Kardashians to Katy Perry finding themselves in Cannes and over the years, I’ve met Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorcese and Sophia Loren, and this year, our friends luckily found themselves at lunch beside Leonardo di Caprio and Tobey Maguire while we bumped into Liam Gallagher at the airport!.

Another star of the show, as always, is the food-my fave A Lister of all! From 30 day aged steaks to tuna tartare and salad nicoise in the sun, how we scoffed…and scoffed!

pretty French restaurant

lunch in Cannes

Salad Nicoise

Tuna tartare


We devoured soft scoop ice cream on the beach too- and dark chocolates, somewhat melted- with hot lattes at the Armani Cafe most days.

Armani Caffe-Cannes

Oh and when I wasn’t eating, I was squeezing myself into the prettiest of dresses including a sheer sleeved pink and black frock gifted by Phase Eight, and a coral lattice dress c/o of Jacques Vert.

I also brought along designer Hannah Marshall’s black LBD, a dress I was gifted when I directed a fashion film for her for London Fashion Week pre-kids. I was pretty shocked it still fit to be honest!

Phase Eight-

Phase Eight

Jacques Vert-

Jacques Vert

Hannah Marshall-

Hannah Marshall dress

Daytime was glam-casual so bold dresses with print kaftans from my friend’s company Beachhart Swimwear and mostly wedges (I literally walked 10 miles a day in heels and my feet are still crying from it)!

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H&M dress

I popped into a salon to have my hair blow dried before our last night out too and went from ‘Hollywood waves’ to straight locks for the finale.

hair blow dried

The above pic is quite possibly the coolest or geekiest photo I’ve ever taken. Can’t work out which. I’m  snapping a picture of me vlogging taking a picture. My head hurts!

It’s a funny one as I had poker straight hair until puberty, then it went curly around 11 so I don’t categorically know which style is actually my ‘natural one’. I do like to flit between the two though and love how long, my hair looks straight!

Hannah Marshall dress

Despite all the fun, I missed my boys throughout and by Sunday, felt in desperate need of cuddles, excited to return with sparkling stones and shells I’d bought in a shop there which the kids are still happily playing with a week later.

They also loved this photo below of an Angry Birds sand sculpture and have asked me to print it for their bedrooms!

The detail is immense huh!

Angry Birds sand sculpture

I also picked up gifts for myself (it would be rude not to, right?!) with this handcrafted Boho style bag and bracelet, sparkling grey heels by Repetto and the new Marc Jacobs decadence perfume.

bracelet and clutch

Repetto, the brand came into being when Brigitte Bardot asked Rose Repetto to make her a ballet-inspired heel that was as comfortable as her dancing shoes and it’s a shop Nicci and I could have spent all day (and all our ££££ in).

I mean look at the all the pretty shoes!



There’s nowhere quite like Cannes for shopping with LA coming a close second in my opinion.

I think I tried every pair on before option for the silver centre ones.



Argh, film, fashion, food and parties makes this mama happy.

Roll on Cannes 2017, we’re ready for you!

Cannes Film Festival style


Ab fab!

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