Love Southsea

Portsmouth #GirlBoss: Shelley Buxey, her Hackney HIITsters, and StrongLiving PT

Friends of Love Southsea, #GirlBossLouise WhitmoreComment

Today, I hopped on the Gosport Ferry from Portsmouth to meet Shelley Buxey, a personal trainer and sports therapist. Shelley has recently moved back home to Gosport from London to settle down, and has created a new style of gym workout right here in Portsmouth, at StrongLiving PT!

Shelley went to school in Gosport at Bay House, where she discovered her love of running! Bay House didn't just nurture her academically — they nurtured her specialist interest in sport, too, so she was in good hands. Shelley ran for the county from the age of 13 through to 15.

Rejuvenating LED light facials at Portsmouth's Changes Clinic

Friends of Love SouthseaLouise WhitmoreComment

Don't hold this against me, but I'm a sucker for reality telly, like TOWIE, Made in Chelsea, and the Kardashians! It was during one of my TV binges of The Real Housewives of Cheshire, I saw one of the wives (not sure which one, I don't pay that much attention!) have an LED light facial. Wow!

I needed to try this. Before the TV show, I had only seen this type of facial on Instagram, with Hollywood celebs taking selfies with the mask on — Jessica Alba looked particularly stunning in her picture.

At the age of 44, I'm up for trying out anything non-abrasive to help my ageing face! To my joy, I found that our very own Changes Clinic right here in Portsmouth offered this facial.

I booked in last week to give it a go. Changes is best-known for the amazing work they do with hair-replacement procedures, cosmetic dental work, and innovative skincare, literally changing people's lives, helping them to overcome scarring and aches. It was no surprise to me that they had a start-of-the-art LED light machine in their arsenal!

Changes Clinic is based at Lakeside North Harbour. It's very plush, and looks more like an upmarket hotel than a clinic, with stunning views out over the lakes.

Changes’ Rosie came to see me. I had to fill out a medical questionnaire. Once I was all signed up, Rosie took me into a private room and explained the process to me, then took a ‘Before’ photo.

I was having the ‘Signature Facial’, a three-part procedure. First, they cleanse the skin, take off all your makeup, and a radio frequency tightening machine heats up your skin. This triggers your brain to stimulate natural collagen, soften wrinkles, and tighten your skin.

Next up — the part I wasn't expecting! — was a chemical peel. Here, Rosie wiped chemicals over my face, and then soothed my skin by playing staccato on my cheeks!

This treatment is perfect for rejuvenating the skin, as the acid takes off the first layer of your skin, again stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, resulting in a beautiful glow — a bit like the best facial scrub you have ever had!

Next up, the moment I had been waiting for: the LED light facial. This light mask gets placed over your face, with the choice of three colours.

  • Red for fine lines and wrinkles
  • Green for discolouration like pigment problems
  • Blue for skin problems, like acne

I went for the anti-ageing red colour — this procedure lasts for 15 minutes. During this time, as I laid there in the glow of the light, Rosie gave me a hand and arm massage.

The overall experience was very relaxing — I was told to take it easy for the rest of the day, and to drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and to avoid caffeine for 24 hours — that second one was a toughie! I was also told to keep putting on a good sunscreen — broke out the Factor 50!

As this process encourages new collagen and elastin in the face, the facial’s work continues two weeks after its completion — my skin has never felt so soft before, and looks so much fresher and more youthful!

I would 100% recommend this facial — it's excellent for eradicating skin problems, like if you're suffering from acne.

#GirlBoss: Sam Worsey of Southsea Bathing Hut in Portsmouth

Friends of Love Southsea, #GirlBossLouise WhitmoreComment

Today, at the end of summer, I make my way down to Albert Road for a cheeky slice of cake and cuppa with Samantha Worsey, the founder and director of Southsea bathing Hut!

I've worked with Sam over the years on a whole load of other cultural projects, but today, it's all about her and her brilliant natural skincare business, which she started right here in Portsmouth from her kitchen table.

Dyslexia: Are you old fashioned thick?

Life StoriesLouise WhitmoreComment

All my life I have battled with dyslexia — even the word dyslexia is hard to spell! The first time I realised I was different from the other kids in my class was when I was nine years old. My teacher at the time told me to take my workbook to the teacher in the class below. To get to the classroom I had to walk across the playground, and on my walk to her I was my usual happy self, thinking I must have achieved some amazing work that my teacher wanted me to show another teacher!

Little did I know that this was not the case — the teacher laughed at my work and showed her class to make them laugh too. My walk back to my classroom changed me as a person. I was more cross than sad. I went from a happy confident child to an ‘I DON’T CARE’ child. Teachers be warned: children are in your care so what you say to them can cause repercussions over the span of their life.

Back in 1981, dyslexia was not as well-known as it is now — you were just deemed as being ‘thick’. Luckily, my parents have been incredibly caring even to this very day, and they could see I was a bright kid and that I worked very hard on my homework, but just didn’t get anywhere. My father had read about a new concept called dyslexia, researched further into the matter, and found a dyslexia specialist to get me tested.

Bingo! Dyslexia was what I had.

I did have to battle on with Holy Cross Junior School in Waterlooville until it was time to go to senior school, but I was surrounded by very good friends; I remember that even at the tender age of 10 years old, a teacher shouted at me to the point where my class retaliated! The retaliation was led by a young Caroline Dinenage, who went on to become the MP for Gosport, a position which she holds today. She, with the help of other classmates, managed to get the teacher to back down and leave me alone!

That's me!

To my joy and good fortune, my parents sent me to Mayville High School. At this Southsea-based school, they have a dedicated unit for dyslexia, and it was here that I was taught different techniques to learn to loosen the grips dyslexia had on my abilities.

I never felt pressured or lost. The ethos was more on confidence building and nurture, so by slowing down and with a little help from my Speak & Spell which my dad picked up from the States, Mayville led me back off the ‘I DON’T CARE’ path and turned me into a confident young adult.

Unfortunately, it turns out that dyslexia is hereditary! Again, when your baby is born you would not have any indication that there is anything wrong until later in life. Around the first year in Juniors, the warning signs were coming through. The state school my son attended at the time refused to test him, probably due to the way they got their funding.

I left it for a year but could see my poor son sinking deeper and deeper into the pits of dyslexia. I couldn’t stand by and watch! My husband and I got him independently tested, and the results were mortifying. At nine years old, my son had a reading age of five and a spelling age of four. Enough was enough — we had to do something about this, and quick.

Whilst the state school my son was attending was excellent, it didn’t cater well for dyslexic children, so off to Mayville he went! Mayville worked with him and within two years he was back on track with his peers, ultimately achieving B grades in both English Literature and English Grammar at GCSE level. I know that if I had left him in state school this would be a different story.

My son is now nearing the completion of a BTEC National Diploma and is looking to go on to University later on this year.

I went on to have two more children — two girls — hoping that maybe the dyslexia might have skipped a generation, until I got the dreaded phone call in. Unlike my son’s previous school, Mayville test all of their children in Infants and Juniors through their on-site dyslexia unit.

My son, who was about 14 years old at the time, noticed that I was upset, and asked what was wrong. I told him that his sister was diagnosed with dyslexia, and he could not understand why I was upset — he just told me that it was not a problem. Right there and then, I knew we had made the best decision to send our children to Mayville. We are not high earners so we have had to go without fast cars and holidays for a few years! But it’s so worth it.

Mayville is so much more than a dyslexic school, of course — the unit is just one of the strings to its bow. They specialise in top-notch teaching, smaller classes, and the utmost quality of care. Mayville is like one big family.

Unfortunately, these new techniques came in a bit too late for me and my spelling is still so bad that even the QuickType predictive text on my iPhone has no clue what I’m trying to say! Luckily, I can talk for England and my confidence is sky-high, and I know this is down to Mayville and the way they taught me and supported me. So thank you, Mayville High School, for making me who I am today and for the knowledge that my children are in safe hands.

Portsmouth #GirlBoss: Jewelery designer Charlotte Cornelius

Friends of Love Southsea, #GirlBossLouise Whitmore1 Comment

Recently, I've been meeting up with ladies in Portsmouth — #GirlBoss entrepreneurs — who are doing great things in their fields of expertise. Today, I met with Charlotte Cornelius in her beautiful boutique shop in the bohemian Castle Road high street.

It's always a joy to pop into Charlotte's shop — it's like stepping into a luxurious room of calm, the sort of shop you can find in Old Bond Street, but without the big bodyguard at the door or the ‘you're not good enough for my shop’-faced assistant behind the counter!

Huge debut Love Southsea Market for 2016!

Lulu WhitmoreComment

As always, we were very impressed with how our traders braved the chilly conditions today to make the Love Southsea Market the spectacular celebration of local creativity that it is, and with the thousands of Portsmouth shoppers who poured into the Palmerston Road high street precinct to support local independent artists through to street foodies and everything in between

Surfing the Sea of Life with Reiki practitioner Jenni at Solent Medi Spa Southsea

Friends of Love SouthseaLouise WhitmoreComment

Over the past few years, my life has got significantly busier, balancing work — the day-to-day running of my events company Love Southsea — and home life — raising three children and caring for a dog and a cat with my husband Charley. A lifestyle that, while fun, comes with sides of stress and tiredness!

For the past year, I have given up refined sugar, regularly worked out with personal trainers and through classes at SWEAT Southsea, and paid more attention to what I eat and drink. But whilst this has helped big-time in physical fitness, I couldn’t give an answer when someone asked me what I do to maintain my mental health. So when a woman by the name of Jenni approached me to invite me to a Reiki session, I was keen to find out more!

Jenni operates from Solent Medi Spa on Castle Road, Southsea. She named her practice ‘Surfing the Sea of Life’. Jenni tells me she chose the name because she believes we have a lot to learn from surfers about the energy around us and within us which creates waves in our lives. We can then start to recognise its frequency and vibration, and learn how to harness this energy to ride the waves towards our goals and dreams.

We can learn how to predict obstacles and dangers — how to go under or over them — and how to keep ourselves and others safe at the same time. We can learn how to be our healthiest so we can enjoy life to the max, and how to look after our environment in a sustainable way to safeguard the playground of life for future generations.

Jenni, literally surfing the sea of life!

Jenni, literally surfing the sea of life!

Solent Medi Spa on Castle Road, Southsea

Solent Medi Spa on Castle Road, Southsea

Some people want to surf big waves and some are happy with smaller ones. Things are messy and unpredictable in the sea of life, but as long as we give surfing its waves a go and get back up when we fall off, we’re going to learn a little bit more each day and have an amazing time. We were born to surf the sea of life — we do it naturally when we don’t think too much. It’s a skill that we’re all born with; we just tend to pick up some balance-throwing habits along the way. Others learn to surf the waves, and it’s important for us to learn from each other to raise our expectations of what is actually possible, before going out there and smashing through our goals!

Jenni is also a very keen surfer out on the water! In fact, she was an extra in the surfing-centric film ‘Blue Juice’, which starred Sean Pertwee, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Ewan McGregor.

One of my main problems is that, at the end of each day, I found it hard to switch off and relax. I also suffer from anxiety on a daily basis — another issue I needed some help with. While talking to Jenni about the kinds of benefits I’d like to reap from Reiki, she told me about some of the other clients she had due that week, from a lady who was due to do a talk in public and needed her nerves calmed to a chap looking to relax following the nightmare of daily panic attacks.

As the session began, Jenni asked me if I’d endured any major trauma in my life, or any big accidents or health problems. Talking to Jenni about these matters helped her understand where her focus should be while leading the Reiki. I laid down, closed my eyes, and let Jenni start working.

As a Reiki practitioner, Jenni understands that we all have energy surging through us, and that energy can be transformed. As a life coach, she believes that we all have the answers to our problems right inside of us waiting for the right environment to manifest themselves and help us take action to achieve the life of our dreams.

The Reiki and the life coaching form a winning combination to help people understand their energy and the energy around them, and to inspire people to harness it, to make little tweaks and changes to bring themselves back in alignment with their aspirations, and to ultimately feel happy and fulfilled.

During the session, I felt myself switching off, calming down, and clearing my mind, and by the end of the Reiki, I was very chilled out! That night, I slept the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.

As Ferris Bueller wisely said, “life moves pretty fast — if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss.”

As the founder of Surfing the Sea of Life, Jenni shares her philosophies across all of her social media streams, with themes of hope, inspiration, science, history, and fun through which she introduces concepts and ideas from other people, businesses, countries, and centuries. It’s an all-inclusive philosophy with love, understanding, acceptance, and fun at its core.

Love Southsea and Portsmouth Guildhall launch Street Food Fridays market

EventsLulu WhitmoreComment

Love Southsea have teamed up with entertainment venue Portsmouth Guildhall for a brand new event set to take place in Guildhall Courtyard every Friday: Street Food Fridays, a small weekly market exclusively for local food traders.

The weekly event will give Portsmouth's food traders, from cake-bakers and pizza-makers to masters of international cuisines, the opportunity to showcase and sell their culinary creations to the thousands of people who pass through Guildhall Courtyard every day.

Street Food Fridays will also give University of Portsmouth students and council employees from the Civic Offices something new, unique, and different to eat each Friday — ideal for lunch breaks.

Food traders who come along to the weekly food market will benefit from joint promotion across Love Southsea and Portsmouth Guildhall's social media — two of the largest online audiences in the city.


Each Street Food Friday will run from 11:30am to 5:30pm/6:30pm, and the first market takes place on Friday 13th November.

“Our monthly street markets in Palmerston Road already have such a strong selection of local food traders,” said Love Southsea founder Lulu Whitmore. “We're very excited to be creating this new event in the centre of the city, in collaboration with and right next to the brilliant Portsmouth Guildhall.

“As always, our focus is on keeping the pound in Pompey by giving independent traders the chance to reach a broad audience with no need for a permanent brick-and-mortar shop!”

Food traders looking to take up a space can apply through the Love Southsea website »

Love Southsea featured on tenth anniversary edition of Destination Portsmouth

Friends of Love SouthseaLulu WhitmoreComment

Board game brand Destination Games have unveiled a tenth anniversary edition of Destination Portsmouth, celebrating a decade since founder Rachel Lowe released the city-themed tabletop game.

At Love Southsea we're very proud to be a sponsor of this brilliant project, and are pleased to have our street markets in Palmerston Road featured on the refreshed board as a destination

We're partnering with Snows BMW Portsmouth

Louise WhitmoreComment

We're proud to announce a partnership with Snows BMW Portsmouth, a car dealership in Portsmouth located on the Eastern Road. The deal will give us a financial boost to continue investing in the local economy through the streets markets we're known for, which take place on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month in Palmerston Road.

Review: Calamity Jane at The Kings Theatre (★★★★★)

Life StoriesLulu WhitmoreComment

My mum, my two girls, and I went along to The Kings Theatre on Southsea’s Albert Road this week to see Calamity Jane, an ongoing production of the legendary Wild West musical hitting the Edwardian playhouse’s stage until April 4th.

My mum and I grew up on the Doris Day telling of the tale, so we knew the songs really well, but this was the first time my two girls experienced the rapturous melodies. And they loved it!