Heel we go: Girls’ Day Out gives football the boot

Lauren McLean and Claire Barrie get into the spirit of things. Picture: Esme Allen
Lauren McLean and Claire Barrie get into the spirit of things. Picture: Esme Allen
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SOMETIMES, or so the song would have us believe, it’s hard to be a woman.

For ladies in the Capital, next weekend will almost certainly be among the hard times, as a rare-as-hen’s-teeth cup final – and the small matter of the Champions League final – means that it will be nothing but football, football and more football.

But while the quality time will be all about the men in a week’s time, Edinburgh’s women can take some comfort in the fact that surrounding the mammoth sport fest are a couple of major events designed just for them.

This weekend, the incredibly popular Girls’ Day Out hits the Capital – perhaps you heard the faint screams yesterday as Peter Andre popped along to the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston to officially open the weekend of fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle events.

After the cup final is over and the parade routes have been cleared up, the Capital will once again belong to the ladies, with the return of Spa in the City – an opportunity to sign up for fantastic treatments and makeovers for free.

Girls’ Day Out has become something of a phenomenon since it started seven years ago, and its popularity has seen it expand from Glasgow into the Capital.

This weekend, organisers expect more than 12,000 women to walk the “hot pink” carpet into the venue, where they will be thrilled by products from more than 100 top brands covering everything from aspirational luxury to high-street quality.

The event certainly provoked some crazed scenes yesterday as the crowd tried to get up close with Mr Andre. That kind of frenzy is likely to be replicated in one half of the city for the cup final victory parade, so it seems only fair that the following weekend sees the city centre transformed into a giant open-air spa.

Spa in the City was originally set up to help offset the difficulties businesses were facing as a result of the tram development, and proved so popular that it was taken on by Essential Edinburgh and has continued to grow. This year, the glamorous weekend of urban pampering and preening stretches from St Andrew Square along Rose Street, where visitors will be able to enjoy extra activities and entertainment at a series of marquees.

Free makeovers, treatments and treats will be delivered by the Balmoral Hotel, Boots, Clarins, Harvey Nichols, Jenners and John Lewis, among others.

The vintage theme of this year’s event has been inspired by the 1930s and 40s trends currently flooding the market in fashion and cinema. Highlights include a debut appearance from the UK national make-up artist Viktor from Harvey Nichols’ specialist Cover FX brand, who will be offering several lucky ladies a free expert makeover.

Adding to the fun will be entertainment including a swing-bop band, burlesque- inspired performers, a cocktail masterclass courtesy of the Hard Rock Cafe, cupcake tasters from glamorous baker Bibi’s and a chance to sample some of the delicious treats from the Filling Station.

Andy Neal, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh, said: “This year’s Spa in the City is shaping up to be a real treat for anyone who feels like a fun day of vintage-themed glamour and pampering – all free of charge.”

• Girls’ Day Out is on at the Royal Highland Centre until Sunday. Tickets cost £10. More information can be found online at www.girlsdayoutshow.co.uk

• Spa In The City takes place on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27. Registration for the free treatments opens at 9.30am in St Andrew Square on both days and treatments will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Exclusive goody bags and free prize draws will also be available, while stocks last. For more information, visit www.essentialedinburgh.co.uk or www.facebook.com/edsitc