My husband, Mirek, was nominated by Nottingham County Council to attend Buckingham Palace in May for the Queen’s Garden Party, on account of his long service in local government.

My husband rang me one day in February while I was out shopping and told me I needed to look for a new outfit as we had been invited to have tea with the Queen.

Of course I thought he was joking. I would never have believed it could happen to us – it took him a long time to convince me it was true!

Once we accepted the nomination we received the official invitation from the Palace. We were so excited and didn’t know what to expect. The Queen holds Garden Parties several times a year and around 8000 people are invited to each one. This one felt particularly special as it was held in the middle of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday celebrations and there was a lot of celebrating going on all around the country.

On the Day

As we made our way to The Mall it felt as though we were at the centre of all the action. It felt so unreal to be walking through the Palace gates and having the tourists watching us and wondering what made us special enough to be on the inside!!! Although we weren’t lucky enough to meet them personally we saw the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal. I had been a little worried about etiquette but the Garden Party was attended by people from all walks of life and they all seemed just as excited as us to be there so, although we felt special, it was not at all intimidating.

Finding the right outfit was very important to me.

Finding the right outfit was very important to me.

The Outfit

I normally dress very casually however I had several friends who gave me advice and came shopping with me. My shoes were particularly important because I needed to look elegant but also to be comfortable all day.

I had seen Hotter’s Donna shoes earlier in the year and this seemed the perfect excuse to try them on. I chose the shoes first of all and had fallen in love with the pink suede ones. The ladies in my local Nottingham Hotter shop were lovely and shared my excitement about the big day.

The half sizes and wide and standard fitting meant it was easy to find the perfect fit but I didn’t dare buy the pink shoes before I had chosen my outfit.

In the end it took me a couple of months to decide on my dress and jacket and I loved the green colour but obviously my dream pink shoes were out. Luckily, Donna in off white turned out to be the perfect solution and I’m glad I chose those because they are proving more versatile.



Donna shoe review….

I have a problem with shoes because of a painful toe but the shape of Donna with its rounded toe looked just right. As we left the Palace we saw other guests slipping off their shoes at the gate to be more comfortable but my Hotter shoes were still going strong and still looking and feeling great. I think they would make great bridal shoes too. They definitely feel special.

Happy Hotter customer….

The Donna shoes were my first from Hotter but I have bought two more pairs of casual shoes since and have also got my eye on the Corrine boots for the winter. As I have trouble finding comfortable shoes it was important to me to be able to try them on in store but the sizing seems to be very reliable and I am confident now about buying shoes from Hotter online. The Donna are probably still my favourites and I think I may buy a pair in suede one day.

If you would like to share your Hotter footwear experiences with the team we would love to hear from you, please email [email protected] or contact us via Facebook


About the Author


It’s A Shoe Thing is the Hotter blog. Discover our full collection of feel good style footwear at or visit one of our stores nationwide.

View All Articles