Playing Princess in Vienna

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As those who follow me on Instagram will know, I’ve just spent a lovely two weeks in Paris, Bratislava and Vienna with the Clever Boyfriend (with a brief pause at home between the two trips to unpack and repack my bags). This was my very first time to Austria, and I fell head over heels with the city; it’s grand architecture, spectacular culture and beautiful streets.*

As luck would (not) have it, it started to pour – that kind of inescapable torrential spring rain that blows sideways and upwards, melodiously pounding against the pavement for hours on end – from the minute we arrived until the moment we left. Undeterred, I donned my trench coat, a giant umbrella and a few extra baubles for good measure, and we spent the weekend skipping over puddles and dashing from galleries to cosy coffee shops and discovering all the wonderful indoor pursuits the city has to offer.

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On Saturday, we ventured to the breathtaking Schönbrunn Palace (the former summer home to the Hapsburg monarchs and the childhood home to Marie Antoinette before she became Queen of France), for what could be better on a rainy day than playing princess inside a real-life palace?

After a tour through the gorgeous state rooms – each larger and more extravagant than the last – we made the most of an interlude of sunshine and took a long stroll through the sweeping grounds; happily getting lost in the maze of hedges, making a wish at the Neptune fountain, and stopping to smell the sweet blooms in the rose garden for a lovely few hours.

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 Wearing: Coach trench coat (similar style at Shopbop) // Mulberry ‘Lily’ bag (also available at Matches + Selfridges) // Salvatore Ferragamo ‘Varina’ shoes // Carven skirt (similar styles available here + here) // ASOS shirt // Karen Walker sunglasses // Kenneth Jay Lane bracelets (sold out, but similar styles at J. Crew Shopbop) // Topshop necklace (similar stye available at BaubleBar) // Topshop brooch // Chanel ring (past season, but similar style available at Net-a-Porter) // J. Crew pearl necklace (similar faux pearl versions available at J. CrewTopshop).
Beauty note: NARS ‘Istria’ lip gloss (available at Sephora + John Lewis) // Chanel ‘May’ nail polish.

Even in the midst of all that rain, it was the perfect moment of escapism. Oh, how wonderful it must be to be a princess with a palace to call your own!

Love, Miss B xx

* Stay tuned for my mini-guide to Vienna shortly

 

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge in Sparkly Shoes

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There are some things that are cliches for a reason: because they’re just so utterly wonderful. For me, no matter how many ‘Top 10 Things to do in New York!’ lists the Brooklyn Bridge winds up on (and the throngs of tourists that come with the package), a visit to New York never feels complete without an homage to that spectacular Manhattan skyline.

So a couple of weekends ago in New York, Nicolette and I headed to the Williamsburg waterfront for brunch (I say ‘brunch’, but really I just mean a delicious, but not at all nutritionally-balanced combination of grilled cheese and salted caramel s’mores and hot chai) and treasure-hunting at the Brooklyn Flea Market (long-time readers may remember my post from the same spot here). Afterwards we took the ferry a few minutes up the East River to Dumbo, where we made our way around to the foot of the Bridge, stopping for hot apple cider and a ride on Jane’s Carousel (as evidenced here, this was the best use of $2, ever) on the way.

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Although I may take my tourism very seriously, you’ll never find me dressed like one (I’m allergic to the thought of very thought of the puffer jacket/sneakers/backpack look that seems to be the uniform of tourists the world-over). Instead, a chic trench coat and a smattering of sparkles is much more my default ‘playing tourist’ style.

This Coach trench coat (which I wore constantly all autumn) proved to be the perfect travel companion; it goes with everything, is at once chic and comfortable, and not so precious that I mind using it as a makeshift picnic blanket in Central Park or squashing it into my suitcase. Here, I teamed it with an old favourite embellished silk organza tee, rose-tinted sunglasses (for watching the golden sunset over the Manhattan skyscrapers from our vantage point on the Bridge), and my favourite New York souvenir: these gold spangled heels from the J. Crew Collection store on Madison Avenue that are actually comfortable enough to walk in for miles and miles.

As we crossed the Bridge, the sun sank behind the Manhattan skyline, casting all of the skyscrapers golden as Lady Liberty looked on against the pink sunset on the horizon. Afterwards, we made our way to Chinatown for dim sum at Nom Wah tea parlour, a hearty karaoke session and impromptu midnight manicures.

It was the perfect New York day.

A Girl, A Style _ Walking the Brooklyn Bridge in Sparkly Heels 8A Girl, A Style _ Walking the Brooklyn Bridge in Sparkly Heels 3Wearing: Coach trench coat (c/o), J. Crew shoes, Chanel 2.55 bag, Whistles blouse (past season), Citizens of Humanity coated jeans (also available here) (c/o), Elizabeth and James ‘Francis’ sunglasses, Mimco necklace, bracelets and flower ring (past season), Jacquie Aiche heart ring, Topshop brooch (arrow), Accessorize pin (Statue of Liberty). Beauty note: ASOS bow clip (in hair), Essie ‘Bahama Mama’ polish, MAC ‘Hue’ lipstick.

Love, Miss B xx

Photos of me by Nicolette

Pearls & Pastels in New Orleans

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New Orleans is a hard place to encapsulate in mere words. At once beautiful and dishevelled, it is steeped in layers and layers of history which make it so compelling. This was my very first trip to the city, and I was enthralled from the first moment.

My friend Nicolette and I flew down to Louisiana the day after I arrived in New York from London. On our first evening there, we headed straight from the airport to the historic French Quarter for dinner and a ghost tour around the old town (in this city, tales of spirits and pirates and strange happenings abound, and mystery seems to seep from every aged building) and I was wide-eyed at the atmosphere that surrounded me. Blues bands played on street corners out the front of smoky little jazz clubs, gas lamps flickered in the warm air, tiny bistros and antique shops glowed invitingly and the intoxicating smell of Cajun food filled the warm air.

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Even though it was the beginning of November, it was still as warm as summer in New Orleans and so anything more than a little dress would have been wholly unnecessary. I had packed this silk Band of Outsiders dress (which I like so much I just bought the top version as well) which I had worn on repeat towards the end of the English summer, but which also works with a coat and ankle boots for autumn and winter when not playing tourist in balmy New Orleans-climates.

It was so lovely to be able to make the most of the glorious sunshine, and we spent a happy few days just walking around the gorgeous streets of the French Quarter and Garden District, listening to live jazz, eating southern shrimp and beignets and all the Cajun food we could manage, making new friends and hunting for treasure in the most wonderful little antique shops and boutiques all over town. I won’t pretend that the whole city is perfect (in parts it is heartbreakingly impoverished and segregated), but on the beautiful, pastel streets of the French Quarter I felt as though I had been transported to another era.

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Wearing: Band of Outsiders dress (also available here), Mulberry ‘Lily’ bag, Zara heels (sold out but similar style available here), Chloe sunglasses, Kenneth Jay Lane necklace and bracelets (sold out but similar style available here), J. Crew necklace (similar style available here), Jacquie Aiche ring. Beauty note: Essie ‘Bahama Mama’ polish, MAC ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick.

New Orleans, you’re really rather wonderful!

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. Stay tuned for my mini-guide to city in an upcoming post

Photos of me by Nicolette Mason

Weekends at the Countryside Estate

I should probably clarify that title; this is not actually my countryside estate; well, not outside my daydreams anyway. But though I may not have a sprawling mansion of my own, having sunny weekend adventures in the English countryside is one of my favourite summertime pursuits.

We really couldn’t have asked for a better summer here in England; the days long and golden and the weekends just made for languid, outdoor pursuits. On one of these golden weekends last month, my family and I piled in the car and made for the country; winding over the rolling hills and around curving country lanes lined with brambles (pausing only to allow the horses and their riders to cross our path) towards Polesden Lacey in the Surrey countryside.

We walked through the spectacular house, peering into display cabinets and imagining what Mrs Greville’s famous high society parties for the British royals, Prime Ministers and Edwardian ‘It girls’ must have been like; all lavish excess and glittering chandeliers and flowing champagne. Afterwards, we walked through the rose gardens (me sticking my nose in every bloom I passed), loitered too long on the croquet lawn and then spent the entire afternoon lazing on the sprawling lawns – the house behind us and the rolling hills stretched out in front as far as the eye could see – for a picnic (my beloved Uncle had packed one of his gourmand feasts) as a jazz band played until the sun sank low upon the hills.

Oh, how wonderful these summer weekends are! In my book, there is always room for summertime picnics and games of croquet and adventures in the countryside.

Wearing: ASOS scalloped collar shirt and floral pants (sold out, but similar styles here), Mulberry ‘Lily’ bag, Salvatore Ferragamo ‘Varina’ patent bow flats, Kenneth Jay Lane pearl bracelet (worn on each wrist), Chloe ‘Myrte’ sunglasses (similar styles available here), Jersey Pearl necklace, Alex Monroe lucky clover charm necklace, vintage brooches (similar style here). Beauty note: Chanel ‘Chance’ Rouge Coco Shine ‘Chance’ lipstick, Chanel ‘Emprise’ Le Vernies nail polish, Annick Goutal ‘Petite Cherie’ perfume. 

Do you have any favourite countryside escapes where you live? I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful summer filled with happy adventures and glorious new memories.

Love, Miss B xx