Leopard Print and High Heels at The Bookshop

Here in England, the weather has been positively balmy considering we’re in the depths of winter. Although a snowstorm is forecast for tomorrow (I have my fingers crossed for a snow day!), it’s been so mild I could just about get away without tights (a winter miracle in this country) for those days when I’m cycling around town.

Although my default mode come winter is to hibernate indoors as luxuriously as I can, I do occasionally peel myself away for various dates with friends, walks or trips to the cosiest cafes and bookshops I can find. This little gem called The Haunted Bookshop (it is really this tiny) is one of my favourite Cambridge spots and is just made for wintery afternoons spend rummaging through dusty shelves for a vintage literary treasure.

Of course, it is entirely unnecessary to dress up for lazy weekend pursuits, but in my book that’s what makes it even more special. I always get a slightly smug satisfaction out of shopping for groceries, doing my laundry, having weekend brunch (or other such ordinary activities) in lipstick and high heels and jewels when everyone else is in their casual weekend uniform (not that there is anything wrong with that!).

And if you ask me, trips to tiny booshops should always me made in 60s-style dresses and leopard print heels.

Wearing: Vivetta dress (from Audrey Grace Boutique), Lulu Guinness book clutch, Kurt Geiger leopard ponyskin heels (from last season, but similar style here), Michael Kors watch, Jersey Pearl bracelet, Topshop leopard print coat (not seen, but similar style here). 

Do you like to dress up for your favourite lazy weekend activities?

Love, Miss B xx

Thank you Sarah for helping with these photos!

The Best of London Shopping: The Assouline Lounge at Liberty

I know I’ve already listed Liberty of London as one of my favourite places to shop (if not my very favourite) in all of London, but I feel the store’s new Assouline lounge deserves a post all of it’s own as it’s essentially a little shop within the shop.

Being geeks in disguise, the Clever Boyfriend and I are both ferocious book collectors, though his collection is a study in highbrow intellect while I have a shallow tendency to buy anything that has a beautiful cover. This isn’t to say I won’t also be found with my nose buried in a political biography or classic novel, but there are moments when one simply wants the literary equivalent of a Laduree macaron; pretty, fun, and delicious. For those similarly powerless against the lure of a beautiful book, Assouline’s are just longing to sit on your bookshelves, to be read on lazy weekends at home. Think books on Parisian apartments, Italian riviera chic, the history of all the great fashion design houses, vintage cocktails, Hitchock’s heroines, and the kind of travel destinations dreams are made of, as well as rare and first edition collector’s books.

For those not familiar, Assouline is a brilliant publishing house that specialises in luxury books on fashion, art, design, travel, lifestyle and culture. They first appeared on my radar when almost every design book I picked up seemed to be published by the label. So when I heard that a whole lounge was to open in Liberty to house their books (surely the most perfect placement for both parties), I was very interested indeed. My initial annoyance that the new lounge had replaced the former Liberty tea room (it had always been one of my favourite places in London to stop for a quick cup of tea) was soothed when I saw just how delightful the Assouline room is. Picture the best kind of tiny bookstore (dimly lit, frequented by intellectuals in suits, charming staff), but nestle it right next to the treasure box that is the Liberty jewellery room, and you get the idea of how great this is. I should also mention that though the charming Alice in Wonderland meets William Morris decor of the former tea room is gone, tea is still being served in the space. There are only a few little tables, so it doesn’t feel inauthentic to the surroundings), but now you can browse a book on Hitchock style and Chanel’s jewels while taking tea. Wonderful, if you ask me!

I’d love to know if any of you are bibliophiles too? If so, what’s your idea of a great book store?

Love, Miss B xx

The Assouline Lounge can be found on the ground floor of Liberty (in the former tea room, through the jewellery room), Great Marlborough St, W1F

Mulmerry, pt. 3: Mulberry, the Book

In celebration of their 40th birthday (can you believe the label, which feels like such an English icon, is so young?) Mulberry have released the most spectacular coffee table book. Largely shot by Venetia Dearden (who followed the Mulberry team around for the past two years), it is a beautiful, candid peek behind the scenes of the wonderful Mulberry world.

After the book opens with the history of Mulberry, it goes on a visual journey through Mulberry’s runway shows, the factory in Somerset (the last luxury accessories factory in the UK), scenes from the brand’s legendary parties (the golden ticket of Fashion Week), to glimpses of Emma Hill and the design team at work.

Emma Hill very kindly sent me my own personal copy, and I sat down and read the entire thing the other night (two hours of uninterrupted downtime to read being a luxury to me in itself). Between the carousel horses and oversized roses and parties and buttery soft bags within its pages, when I closed the back cover I had that same lovely feeling I used to get after reading Enid Blyton’s Enchanted Forest (and escaping into a magical land far away) as a child. A grown up fairytale book indeed!

If you know your Alexa from your Batswater, then this book is just wanting to land on your coffee table (not literally – it weighs about 5kg…)

I’d love to know what your favourite books were as children? And what us your favourite grown-up coffee table book to escape into the world of?

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. I was lucky enough to sit down with Creative Director, Emma Hill, for a cup of tea and a chat at the book’s launch. To see my interview with her, visit my post over at LibertyLondonGirl