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

 

Candy

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It has been quite the hectic week around here, with extra levels of busyness and not a moment to spare. So by Friday afternoon, I was completely worn out and in need of a little playfulness. While the sensible thing to do would have been to go straight home after work to tend to my bulging ‘to do’ list, my equally over-busy best friend and I decided that a speed date was just what was needed.

So I swapped my tuxedo jacket and Chanel bag for this darling little clutch that looks like a box of humbugs (please tell me I’m not the only one who keeps a mini accessories wardrobe in my desk drawer for desk-date transformations?) and raced straight from the office to our favourite tiny Italian place in town (where you can always count on the strong coffee and a steady stream of compliments from the charming Italian staff). One quick pit stop at the old-fashioned sweet shop around the corner (to satisfy our sudden cravings for nostalgic sweets my Lulu clutch had brought on) later, and it was home again to tackle that ‘to do’ list (including packing for the weekend in Paris!) with fresh enthusiasm.

Sometimes, there is much to be said for adding a little dose of playfulness (whether in the form of sweet shop dates, or just accessories that look like sweets) in the midst of the most hectic moments.

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Wearing: Diane von Furstenberg top (now on sale on The Outnet + in a dress version here) // Current/Elliott jeans (also available at ASOS + Shopbop) // Lulu Guinness ‘Chloe’ clutch c/- (also available at ASOS + House of Fraser + Luisa via Roma) // Prada heels (past season, but similar styles available at ShopbopASOSVestiaire Collective) // Mimco ring // vintage sunglasses.
Beauty note: Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick // Nars ‘Angelika’ lip gloss c/- (available at Selfridges + John Lewis) // Chanel ‘May’ nail polish.

How do you add a little fun to your week when things are getting hectic?

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. To celebrate their sweetie-inspired SS’14 collection, Lulu Guinness is giving fans the chance to win a £1000 shopping spree! Until Wednesday 7th May there will be humbugs hidden across the website, in the brand’s London stores, and on Instagram. Once you’ve found a humbug, enter the competition here. Hint: don’t forget to follow me on Instagram

Sponsored post in partnership with Lulu Guinness

Jewels at Claridges

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I’m not sure about you, but when I look my best I feel I can conquer anything. I know so many people who buy fabulous things (be it a party dress, gorgeous jewellery, beautiful perfume or even the finest china), only to “save them for a special occasion” and instead spend the day in things which make them feel lacklustre. In my view, life is just too short to feel anything but your best.

Personally, I’m never one to wait for an excuse to dress up or to be too concerned by dressing ‘sensibly’; you won’t ever find me in a pair of sweat pants, for example. But putting on lipstick and jewels to run errands around town, teaming a pair of jeans with some fabulous heels or creating a reason to get dressed up and have an adventure? Absolutely!

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This was just an ordinary weekday in London, but by adding a swipe of red lipstick and a few extra jewels to counteract the grey skies, and swapping an office-appropriate blazer and black pumps for glittery Miu Miu heels for coffee at Claridges after work, it felt a little more fabulous.

Because, really, life is the special occasion, so why let your treasured possessions sit in a cupboard gathering dust when should enjoy them every day?

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Wearing: Camilla & Marc top (sold out, but similar styles available at ASOS + The Outnet) // J.Brand coated jeans (available at Shopbop + Net-a-Porter) // Miu Miu heels // Jimmy Choo ‘Candy’ clutch (sold out, but available in gold glitter at Net-a-Porter or champagne at Jimmy Choo) // Miu Miu sunglasses (available at Sunglass Hut + Sunglasses ShopJohn Lewis) // Kenneth Jay Lane necklace // Kenneth Jay Lane bracelets (sold out, but similar style available at J.Crew) // Chanel ring (past season, but similar styles available here + here).
Beauty note: Estee Lauder ‘Pure Colour Vivid Shine’ lipstick (available at Selfridges + Sephora) // Estee Lauder ‘Modern Muse’ perfume (available at Selfridges + Nordstrom + Neiman Marcus) // MAC ‘Dollymix’ blush.

Sometimes, you just have to put on your lipstick and make your own adventures; you’ve got everywhere to go!

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Michelle Bobb-Parris

At The Flower Market

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There are few simple pleasures I love more than a trip to the florist to pick up a big bunch of fragrant blooms (as anyone who follows me on Instagram will know). Since moving to Cambridge, a weekly trip to the flower stall at the market has become one of my favourite rituals at the end of the work week.

To me, those flowers are so intrinsically linked with happy memories and moments throughout my life, that it is a luxury I’m happy to indulge (I’d take a bunch of roses over a coffee, any day). Growing up in Australia, we had a beautiful English garden which exploded with perfumed blossoms each season, and some of my happiest days were spent hosting tea parties under the peach trees for my (usually imaginary) friends, helping my father tend to the flower beds, and collecting armfuls of fragrant roses, hydrangeas bluebells and ranunculus with my mother to bring inside.

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Although I don’t have a garden here in Cambridge, it is a tradition I try to maintain to this day. Each week, I’ll pop to the flower stall before a massage and date night with the Clever Boyfriend on Friday evenings, or cycle to the market early on a Saturday morning for coffee, flowers and long chats about life with my best friend (we’ve been friends for 16 years, and by some wonderful stroke of fate, we have always seemed to end up in the same places in the world at the same time ever since and now both currently call Cambridge home).

A Girl, A Style _ At The Flower Market 3Wearing: Alice by Temperley dress (sold out, but similar styles available via Shopbop, Net-a-Porter and TheOutnet) // Whistles leather jacket (past season, but similar styles available here) // Marc Jacobs Stam bag (available at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus) // Chloe sunglasses (similar style available at here) // J. Crew pearl necklace (also available in cheaper faux pearl version) // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl bracelets (sold out, but similar style available at J. Crew and necklace version available at Net-a-Porter) // Chanel brooch + ring (past season, but very similar styles available here and here). Beauty note: MAC ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick // Essie ‘Bachelorette Bash’ nail polish (available at Nordstrom and Debenhams and Liberty).

Regardless of how hectic my week has been, life always just feels wonderful again after these weekends filled with love, friendship and those beautiful flowers.

Do you have any small pleasures you adore which always seem bring about happy moments? I would love to hear!

Love, Miss B xx

Sponsored post in partnership with Flowers of Holland