It's taken me a few years but I think I'm finally there. Finally at the stage where I can say 'I know exactly what I'm going to need' when packing for a festival and more importantly, how to carry it all.

Whether you're lucky enough to be getting there in your car - door-to-tent - or having to lug your belongings around the country on public transport, this list should cover everything you may need at a festival.

Festival packing list | The Dress Diaries

The Essentials

(trust me. don't even contemplate any other method and do not spend a good five years
lugging it all around in a holdall like I did)

Your ticket
(probably the only absolute essential)


Sleeping bag

Ground mat
(optional - if you struggle to sleep on rough surfaces or have a bad back,
this may be useful or go one better and bring an air bed)

Money/a debit/credit card
(festivals often have cash machines but bear in mind, they are likely to charge you for a withdrawal and the queues will be LONG)

(usually you will need this to either enter the festival, or to purchase alcoholic drinks in an arena - it's useful to have just in case)


Toothbrush and mini toothpaste

Toilet roll 
(some festivals give this away for free, others charge you a fortune. do your research!)

Dry shampoo
(can't go wrong with Batiste - usually on offer at Boots around festival season)

Baby wipes

Hairbrush (and accessories if needed)

Travel minis
(shampoo, conditioner, shower gel if you have the luxury of a shower)





Wellies or decent walking boots
(invest in a decent pair if you have a lot of festivals lined up - although a cheap pair have done me well in the past!)

Welly socks

A hooded jacket/coat

A light jacket/hoodies
(lots of layers is key!)




(if it's abroad you can bask in the sun in it, if not, use it to shower in or as a bra replacement)

Converse/cheap plimsolls

Rain Poncho

Sunglasses or a hat
(there's no harm in being optimistic for the weather)


(cereal bars, unripened bananas and packets of biscuits are ideal - don't overpack here; it's likely you've got some money prepped for an actual meal or two whilst you're there. sometimes only greasy chips or a bacon sandwich will do after a heavy day of drinking)


(where you can I would recommend leaving this till last. get to the festival first and set up your tent THEN head back out to a shop for the alcohol. lots of festivals offer a bus service to your local supermarket. alcohol is by far the most difficult thing you'll be carrying, so if you have to take it in advance, remember to empty out any glass containers into plastic bottles. don't forget to buy some bottles of water to keep hydrated)

Crockery and Cutlery
(if you plan on cooking your own food, grab various cheap cooking bits from somewhere cheap like Poundworld or Wilkinsons. re-usable mugs are ideal too and you can do your bit for the environment by avoiding using paper plates and polystyrene cups)


Bin bags
(useful for everything: collecting rubbish, makeshift rain ponchos or waterproofing your boots if you fail to bring anything suitable)

Phone charger

Power Pack

First aid kit or medication

(useful for finding your tent in the dark and avoiding the guy rope maze)

(it's a festival! great biodegradable glitter is available online, so protect the environment too)

Are you heading off to a festival this Summer? Let me know if there are any other essentials you'd recommend.




Come Sundown

Nora Roberts

I've not read any of Nora's previous novels ('but how?' I hear you bookworms cry) but have heard fantastic things, so jumped at the chance to read her latest novel 'Come Sundown'.

From the off, the tone of the book battles between idyllic life on a family ranch and resort in Montana and a dark, twisted situation of a young girl accepting help from the wrong stranger. Flitting between the 90s and the present day, we understand how these two worlds finally collide.

This review contains some minor spoilers of plot points hereon!

Although initially taken aback by the brutality of the plot in parts, I became hooked on the story. I've got to be honest though, there are a lot of characters to take into account and their family relations to one another, which I struggled to get to grips with at first. Not until near the end was I finally able to figure out who's child belonged to whom but that being said, it didn't diminish the storyline.

Alice's character in particular is resounding, particularly throughout and following her terrible ordeals. I love the fierceness of all the female characters in this book too and the relationships they each have within their family. In a world of cowboys, it's great to see the women shine through.

There's a huge plot twist in this that I definitely didn't see coming and it resolved to be the kind of thrilling story that's just my cup of tea. Overall, I found the story gripping and will definitely be looking up Nora Roberts' archive of novels for future reading.

Follow the blog tour at #ComeSundown @PiatkusBooks

Are you a fan of Nora Roberts, or could recommend another author you enjoy?

Follow me on Goodreads.



Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for a review as part of the book blog tour. All thoughts are unbiased and my own.


It's no surprise that Leeds has been announced as Lonely Planet's fifth top place to visit in Europe, with far from a shortage of restaurants, pubs and superb bars across the city.

Coming back for it's fifth year, Leeds Loves Cocktails is a huge event spanning across many of the  bars we know (or often, haven't had the chance to visit yet) and love. Although I've previously heard of the festival, I've not ventured to any of the organised events... until this year.

Leeds Loves Cocktails - cocktail festival | The Dress Diaries

After a fab introduction to the festival a couple of weeks ago at the hub (Headrow House) I'm excited to get involved with some of the events happening around my home town.

One aim of the event is to encourage the people of Leeds (and Manchester and Nottingham in their own Loves Cocktails events) to:

 'drink better not more'

With many well-loved involved such as Grey Goose, Jack Daniels, Absolut and Bathtub Gin, it's easy to create some smashing cocktail experiences using quality spirits.

Here's a few of the notable events you should check out this week...

Wednesday 7th June 1.45 - 3.15pm

Creativity and Innovation

Portobello Road Gin & The American Bar at The Savoy present Creativity vs. Innovation at Manahatta Greek Street. Join Jake Burger & Joe Lewis-White for an in-depth discussion on how inimitable brands withstand the test of time and stay true to their values, whilst simultaneously & consistently pushing the envelope. Digest their thoughts & pick their brains, whilst you sip a gin cocktail or two, of course.

Wednesday 7th June - 7 - 10pm

Nordes Gin Supper

Drinks Development manager Matt Coates & Executive Chef Greg Lewis bring you a 3 course tasting/ pairing menu with dishes and Nordes signature serves carefully created to compliment the botanicals and flavours of this incredible aromatic Galician gin. Pre booking essential.
(contact Pintura for further information and booking details)

Thursday 8th June - 6pm/7.30pm/9pm

 Hendricks Bar Takeover - The Society of Poetical Musings

Poets, artists, creatures of the underworld - The Society of Poetical Musings will take place at The Maven in Leeds on the 8th & 9th June. Join us and sup curious cocktails between each salacious stanza, then return to your humdrum house conversing in couplets.  Booking only.
(for all booking information please contact The Maven)

Saturday 10th June - 2-4pm

Kennedy Meadows takeover by Sir Robin of Locksley

Join us at Headrow House to explore the unique taste of Sir Robin of Locksley Gin. Spend the afternoon enjoy samples and cocktails, special designed for Leeds Loves Cocktails 2017.

Find out more of the scheduled events on the website and let me know if you fancy visiting any of them. The wristbands for the entire festival cost £10 (plus booking fee) or £5 if you're a lucky student - and this gets you access to all events as well as selected £5 cocktails throughout the week, so well worth the investment!

Will you be heading to any of the events?



Disclaimer: I was kindly invited to the press event for LLC and had a bloody great time.
All opinions are my own and I'll be heading there anyway because GIN.