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Birthday in Bruges and upcoming shows


What a fabulous birthday I just had, with lots of treats and love in abundance. What a lucky girl I am!


It started the evening before with a great night out with great friends… super food and super company at The Great Northern Hotel, The Plum and Spilt Milk. Every time we head into London we say the same thing “that was easy, we really should do it more often” why then oh why don’t we? Daft isn’t it that it takes a birthday or some occasion to venture out that little bit more.

Still, venture we did the very next day… after a lovely birthday “present opening ceremony” on our bed, a champagne breakfast for all (just the Bucks bit of the Bucks Fizz for the children of course!) Dan and I left them in the very good care of their Auntie and Uncle and hopped onto the Eurostar to… Bruges for the whole Easter Weekend (what bad parents! Though when I expressed my guilty feelings everyone I spoke to said “get a grip , they’ll be fine, go and enjoy yourselves!!”) Phew. Actually. straight away I regretted NOT having purchased our Today’s Special Value from the other week, the fabulous Helios 3 piece luggage set from Heys. I had major envy as my bag in particular would not stay on its pull along wheel bit, it kept toppling over and was nothing like the sleek cases I had manoeuvred across the studio. I know I missed it as a Today’s Special Value, but…

So whilst trundling bags along at King’s Cross a lovely lady said hello, her husband was smiling as he told me “there’s nothing on TV at our house EXCEPT QVC” …oops!

Then at the passport window I was wished Happy Birthday, how very observant!  It was so nice and made me decide after our train journey that because we had travelled some hours and no one knew it was my birthday I had missed out and therefore Dan was to wish me a Happy Birthday every time we clinked glasses, or cups or water bottles… yes, I am a demanding diva (still if you can’t demand on your birthday when on earth can you?!)

Bruges Collage

Bruges was stunning and Dan had chosen a truly romantic, beautiful  boutique hotel The Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce. It  had in fact featured in the film In Bruges where one of the actors had dived out of the window and into the canal below… chilly! I was rather concerned however when the taxi pulled up outside… this!!


What on earth had Dan booked us into to..!!!

Luckily our hotel was a little further down the street, but it did make for some amusing ‘people watching’ as we saw everyone’s expressions when they saw the window displays… say no more!

Dan had  mentioned it was… yup my birthday! And so we were put into the loveliest bedroom in the hotel, don’t ask don’t get in this world.

Hotel room

We loved the freedom from alarm clocks, activities, and the phone of course, though Maddie set up a family ‘Whatsapp group’ as she was struggling a little with the idea of us being away for sooooooo long, crying face emojis!!! So she created a place where we could all check in, post pictures and send lots of hearts and love to one another. Dan’s and my pictures were mostly food related and silly selfies.

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Whilst theirs showed them hard at work demolishing a garage… gotta get your priorities right Uncle Jes,  have niece and nephews to stay = help to demolish a garage!

(Of course it goes without saying they ALSO had baking, painting, Easter egg hunting, pub visit, dog walking and tonnes of love… and we couldn’t have done it without them… just in case my gorgeous sis in law is reading this!) Meanwhile we walked, talked, ate and drank in equal measures. Well maybe the drinking and eating bit happened a little more, certainly more than usual, but, when in Bruges! In fact having been to a gin bar where there was 190 different gins on the menu, I now want to do a gin tasting course… I’m sure there must be something available if I search for it.

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In an attempt to lessen the excesses, we climbed the 365 steps, 83 metres up, to the top of the tower. We had the full 360 view of the city , sampled the local brew Bruges Zot (oops more drinking) after a tour of the brewery.We took a canal boat ride and learnt about the city and its lovely architecture, we wandered through the chocolate museum. It was fascinating to realise how chocolate has been revered throughout history (that lessened my guilt as I poured chocolate sauce all over my strawberry and cream waffle, which interestingly was so light and airy. I’m not sure the scales would agree with Dan telling me it’s all air!


We visited the lake of love with all the swans where I tried to capture the swans making a heart with their entwined necks. Is that where the word necking comes from do you think? They were certainly doing a lot of that , with synchronised head dips and shimmying together! And of course had to have our picture taken on the bridge of love… just to keep the romance alive.

I absolutely loved the art gallery and was amazed by these horses heads.

Art Collage

Dan reckoned they had been crafted with a chainsaw… how on earth?  And I fell in love with this painting, if only I could afford the artist to paint Maddie.

We stood and reflected quietly in the town square at the candles and flowers marking the devastation in Brussels only days earlier… yes, I was anxious… and was thankful to be safely in Bruges and so very grateful to be safely home on the Monday.

When we are away from QVC it’s always exciting to find some new products in our dressing rooms to put through their paces so I’m straight in with Living Proof,  a hair brand which is launching their nourishing anti-frizz formulations. It  looks very interesting as it also says it repels dirt and hair will stay cleaner for longer. Now that sounds perfect, doesn’t it! I shall be on air Tuesday 5th with them. I’m really hoping it’s nourishing enough for my locks as they’re certainly changing… it’s age I think!

The benefits of having another birthday means… yup! Have also spotted a new deeper line right at the side of the eye. Aaaargh! I was armed with  Elemis Pro Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment for my trip to Bruges, it’s part of the exciting Today’s Special Value from Elemis on Sunday 10th. I shall be on with Keeley at 2pm so I am going to be prepping this week with her on how to get the best out of all the goodies in the collection and also finding out about the new launches, Biotec Skin Energising Collection being one of them. There’s so much to look forward to as It Cosmetics are launching too. I could do with cloning myself… Hang on, I have a daughter who is loving learning about make-up  who could be the perfect guinea pig. Perhaps some Maddie blogs will land here soon!

As I write this, the sun is out, Maddie and a friend are laughing in the garden, and I’m surrounded by lovely cards that I received for my birthday…they are gorgeous so  I thought I’d share some of my favourites… as they are too fab not too!


I hope you’re having a lovely embrace of spring, I shall see you on air Monday 4th @9am for the Morning Show and 10am with Kim Mendelson.

Tuesday  fun on the lunchtime show @1pm and mmmmm @3pm Eat Taste Love, yes, really looking forward to that one.

Saturday 9th @10am with Orla Kiely’s luxuriously designed accessories and fashion at 12pm with Marla Wynne And Sunday 10th Elemis @2pm and @4pm Coco Bianco. A super week at QVC for me, and I hope for you too!

Much Love,

Birthday Girl… Still milking it!!!!!! Xx


  1. lorraine April 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi WHAT A LOVELY BLOG! So pleased you had a nice time-sometimes you need to get awat and re-kindle the marriage…oh and ask MARV about gin tasting-what with her links to beer etc -love lorraine x

  2. Susan April 4, 2016 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

    Brilliant blg caire and happy birthday! What an amazing trip you had! You fitted in so much! Can’t believe it!! Lovely photos of you both x

  3. Denise April 4, 2016 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire, a belated Happy Birthday from me. Ah Bruges what a fabulous place to spend a Birthday it sounds like you had a most wonderful time. I love Bruges. Funnily enough we had been there for a short break just the week before the atrocities in Brussels. Where I live in East Yorkshire we are fortunate enough to have an overnight ferry service to Zeebrugge so we go a couple of times a year. It is a beautiful city and ideal for a few days away. On our latest trip we took our daughter in law who hadn’t been before and she loved it it too. We’re both chocoholics and had a lovely time oohing and aahing and sampling ha ha. We also like you sampled some beer and we always take an extra bag so that my hubby can bring some home!
    I love that Birthday card and so apt.
    Take care and much love
    Denise x

  4. Claire Sutton April 5, 2016 at 10:32 am -  Reply

    Hi Lorraine, good idea to ask Marv, think will Gowing is a tad partial too! Xx

  5. Claire Sutton April 5, 2016 at 10:33 am -  Reply

    Morning Susan, I know – amazing what you can do when all other responsibilities are removed!!! No time restraints- heaven xx

  6. Claire Sutton April 5, 2016 at 10:35 am -  Reply

    Denise, it’s a perfect place isn’t it, Maddie had her hot chocolate last night we brought back – just delicious tastes sooooo good- needed a trailer for all we wanted to bring home!! We definitely want to visit again and think children would enjoy it! Maybe we will bump into you ! Xx

  7. Marverine Cole April 5, 2016 at 11:10 am -  Reply

    Did I spy beer you were drinking there, Lady??? Good on you! I’m proud of you! What an amazing time you had? Happy BIrthday, Gorgeous and see you soon!
    Mwah xxx

  8. Heather Blaber April 5, 2016 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    What memories you bring back to me of Bruges. We went to Bruges for the New Year, with one of my Brother in Law’s, quite a few years ago. It was very cold, so when my other half and his brother saw a café with a roaring fire, they were in the doorway like a flash. But it couldn’t just stop at coffee. Oh no, they had to sample the apple strudel, which was to die for, but how they managed to eat it after such a hearty breakfast, I don’t know. Luckily there was plenty of places to visit to walk it off.
    Anyway looks like you both had fun. So a belated happy birthday.
    Its my 60th Birthday next month. I know, a bit daunting, and I’m finding it hard to get my head around it. My Dad would have said “not my baby girl”, if he was still alive today. I can’t come to terms with it, because I certainly don’t feel it, and everybody says I certainly don’t look my age. Must be all the lovely skin products you sell on QVC. So we are going to Antwerp (home of Kipling) for a short break on the Eurostar. Just hope there are no rail disruptions as we travel on my birthday, which is May Day Bank holiday.
    See you on air soon.
    Take care
    Heather xx

  9. Claire sutton April 6, 2016 at 12:15 pm -  Reply

    Here hee miss Marv, ohh yes we surely did , beer blonde and the local beer …delish and lots of it!!

  10. Claire sutton April 6, 2016 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    Oh Heather, it’s strange this big number birthday isn’t it…it’s weird to think this time next year I’ll be celebrating a big one…I certainly feel young having been the youngest of 3 and my Mummys baby girl too , tho I am actually a real grown up!! Ha supposedly …! I and that’s how you feel too. I really hope you have a smashing trip and yes, no disruptions, we usually all have super weather that bank holiday as Tom has his birthday on the 4 th and the sun always comes out so fingers crossed .
    Happy Birthday ahead of time !
    Lots of love,
    Claire x

  11. Monique Gold April 7, 2016 at 11:58 pm -  Reply

    Glad you enjoyed Bruges. We went last year and absolutely loved it. We stayed in the main square so could walk everywhere. We brought home a small case full of chocolate – not ALL for us I hasten to add! Happy birthday. It’s my fiftieth in two weeks. Scary! xx

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