Botanical Blooms & Cambridge Garden Parties

A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 3A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party

One of my favourite things about summer in Cambridge is the abundance of fabulous events that fill the calendar. The end of term May Balls (actually held in June) where the colleges are transformed into glittering all-night soirees that would make Gatsby proud, games of croquet on the lawns, Shakespeare plays in the college gardens and grand garden parties for the fellows.

The other evening - in the middle of our house-moving weekend – the Clever Boyfriend (a fellow at Kings) and I took the night off to attend the annual Kings College summer party. We put on our party clothes and cycled on our way (as any Cambridge worth their salt knows, this is the only real way to arrive at a college event) to be greeted by a college all decked out for an evening of celebration.

A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 4A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 5A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 6

There was champagne on the lawn, a candlelight supper in the great dining hall, games of Russian roulette in the library, a jazz band in the garden and a magnificent explosion of fireworks on the river.

There really is no affair quite like a Cambridge party.

A Girl, A Style _ The Garden Party 2

Wearing: Warehouse dress c/- (also available at ASOS + on sale at John Lewis) // Anya Hindmarch clutch bag (also on sale in gold at TheOutnet) // Miu Miu heels // Karen Walker sunglasses (also available in black) // Lulu Frost earrings (sold out, but similar style available at Net-a-PorterJ. Crew + Shopbop) // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl bracelet (sold out, but similar style available at J. Crew + Shopbop) // Mimco bracelet (old).
Beauty note: NARS ‘Angelika’ gloss (also available at Sephora + John Lewis) // Clinique ‘Curvy Candy’ Chubby Stick (also available at House of Fraser + Nordstrom) // NARS ‘Gaiety’ blush (also available at SelfridgesJohn Lewis) // Deborah Lippmann ‘Shape of my Heart’ nail polish (also available at Bloomingdale’s + Neiman Marcus). 

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Beth Morton

Home Sweet Home

20140707-091417 pm-76457270.jpg
Today marks a very major milestone for me: the Clever Boyfriend and I just bought our very first house!

Well, ‘house‘ is probably a polite exaggeration. Really, it is a teeny tiny apartment (which by Cambridge standards probably equates to a sprawling estate in other, less spatially-challenged cities), but it is right in the city, on the top floor, filled with light, minutes from the station (so I can be in central London within the hour), and even has a little balcony (roughly the size of a postage stamp) for planting herbs and having morning papers and brunch outside on weekends.

But, most importantly, it is all ours!

As a compulsive over-sharer, it has taken all my restraint to keep this quiet until now. But conscious of how drawn-out and boring these things can be, and for fear of things falling through at the last minute, I didn’t want to share the news until we’d signed that big stack of paperwork (so.much.paperwork).

We complete and collect the keys next week, and then have less than a week to move, set up, and gather an entire house worth of furniture, fittings and accessories before we leave our current place (all while holding down our day jobs). The timeline and ‘to do’ list gives a mild control freak like me palpitations (eg. I don’t even know where to start with setting up a wardrobe system to fit the space…), but I am so excited to get stuck in and to turn that blank, empty canvas into a cosy little space that feels like our very own home.

I hope you won’t all mind me adding a new interiors section to the blog (to share the stages as I go, as well as new treasures I discover and love), but please do let me know if you have any comments, questions, suggestions for wonderful places to buy treasures for the home, or first-house-buying wisdom of your own!

Love, Miss B xx

 

7 Things To Do In July

A Girl, A Style _ July

1. Have a weekend adventure. Plan a fun day or weekend trip with your best friends. Spend the day at the coast, explore another city nearby, or escape to the countryside. I’m planning a weekend in Oxford and a trip to the English seaside with girlfriends.

2. Stop to smell the roses (both literally and figuratively). This is one of the most beautiful times of the year, so don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful moments; the feel of the breeze on a hot day, the beauty of a summertime sunset, the smell of the roses that bloom in the gardens you pass on your way home.

3. Buy yourself a fabulous pair of sunglasses, in honour of the sunshine. I’ve been wearing my favourite Karen Walker pair on repeat, and they magically seem to make every outfit a little bit better.

4. Take in an outdoor show. Make the most of these precious, sunny evenings and get a cultural fix outside. On my schedule: Shakespeare in a secret college garden at sunset (one of my favourite annual Cambridge traditions), jazz in the park and watching a movie beneath the stars at an outdoor cinema. (Take a blanket, a picnic and someone to snuggle up to.)

5. Spend a sunny afternoon dreaming + making plans. As we are now half-way through the year (!), now is the perfect opportunity to step back and assess how the year is going. Find a window in your schedule one afternoon, settle in a shady spot outside, and spend a peaceful moment just watching the clouds as they lazily float by. Think about the goals you set at the start of the year, about how this year has been thus far, and about the dreams you have for the rest of the year. Make plans to set in motion the actions you need to take to make those dreams a reality (and to make the rest of this year as great as it can be).

6. Surprise someone you adore with a thoughtful letter. Instead of just emailing, take the time to write a beautifully-penned letter or put together a thoughtful package to brighten up someone’s letter box. (I stock up on gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. notecards in the Selfridges stationery hall; they make letter-writing a joy.)

7. Hunt down the best gelato in town. Work your way through all the best ice cream places in town to find your favourite (because what’s summer without ice cream?). Personally, I’m still trying to find a version in London that is as good as the orange blossom gelato from Cibo in Adelaide, Australia and the apricot sorbet from Maison Berthillon in Paris.

I’d love to hear how you plan to make the most of the month!

Love, Miss B xx

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for my daily updates + adventures!

 

Sunday Girl

A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 3A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 6 Summer weekends: surely two of the most beautiful words in the English language. For this, the first weekend of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, I had a blissfully relaxed schedule filled only with the sort of pleasing pastimes that make the weekend feel wonderful. On Saturday, the Clever Boyfriend and I went for bike rides and burritos at our favourite Mexican place, before a long stroll through a few of the grand colleges and a Saturday matinee at the charming little ADC theatre (if you’re in Cambridge and get a chance to see the Footlights perform, you simply must go; I guarantee they’ll have you in fits of giggles!). A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 2A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 7A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl Yesterday, I met my friend (and A Girl, A Style sidekick) Sophie for brunch at Afternoon Tease (one of my favourite little Cambridge cafés; anywhere that carries Frankie magazine, peonies on the tables and an abundance of homemade cake is alright in my book). I say brunch, but really it was one of those long, languid afternoon dates that ease into the early evening. We talked for hours and hours about good books, happiness and everything in between over the best eggs Florentine and iced coffees in town. Eventually, we tore ourselves away at closing time, parted ways and I cycled off home with that glorious summer sunshine on my face, Phoenix in my ears and a basket full of peonies. Summer Sundays, you are my favourite! A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 4A Girl, A Style _ Sunday Girl 5

Wearing: French Connection dress c/- (also now on sale at ASOS + John Lewis) // Chanel 2.55 bag // Karen Walker sunglasses (also available in black at Shopbop) // Kenneth Jay Lane bracelets (sold out, but similar styles at J. Crew Shopbop) // ASOS necklace (sold out, but similar style available at J. Crew + Net-a-Porter) // J. Crew pearl necklace (also available in a less-expensive faux pearl version) // Mimco bangle // Miu Miu ring (now on sale at Net-a-Porter) // Zara heels (sold out, but similar style available at ASOS). Also pictured on table (Sophie’s): pink Karen Walker sunglasses (sold out, but similar styles available at Shopbop + ASOS) // GAP palm print clutch (I loved it so much I just ordered the same one from here). Beauty details: Estee Lauder ‘bare’ nail polish (available at John Lewis + Debenhams) // NARS ‘Roman Holiday’ lipstick (available at ASOS + Sephora

I hope you all had a blissful weekend! I’d love to hear how you fill your summer weekends.

Love, Miss B xx