The Island of Burano, Venice

A Girl, A Style _ Burano, VeniceA Girl, A Style _ Burano, VeniceWearing: dress // hat // sandals // bag // bracelets // sunglasses // necklace

As those who follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat will know, last month my Fiancé and I headed to Italy for the most marvellous vacation (and some much-needed sunshine; England was in the throes of a very gloomy June). I thought I’d start with our day trip to the Venetian island of Burano; quite simply one of the lovelies places I have ever visited.

Whilst I had seen plenty of pictures and knew to look for the colourful houses, I hadn’t expected the entire island to be such a charming, brightly-hued rainbow. Traditionally, the houses were painted in bright colours so that the village fisherman could find their house in even the darkest storm when they returned each evening, and every single house really does look like that (or, as we say over on Instagram, #nofilterrequired). Nowadays the whole island is a UNESCO world heritage site so that the tradition is officially protected, and if homeowners wish to change the colour of their house, they have to apply to the government – who respond with a list of available colours to choose from so that no two neighbouring properties are the same.

As soon as you arrive at the dock, you’ll see what I mean. And it only gets prettier from there. We were lucky to have blazing sunshine and cornflower blue skies for our visit, and as we stepped off the main canal and explored the little alleyways, I couldn’t help but think how those sunbleached, cheery houses – with their laundry hanging from the windows, children playing happily in the streets, and contented cats lazing in the shade – looked exactly as they might have done a hundred years ago.

A Girl, A Style _ Burano, VeniceA Girl, A Style _ Burano, VeniceA Girl, A Style _ Burano, VeniceA Girl, A Style _ Burano, Venice

Given Burano’s small size, it hardly requires a ‘guide’ to what to do – instead the best thing is to simply walk down each canal and colourful side street, discovering your own secret corners and favourite spots yourself. But nonetheless, here are a few tips to make the most of your visit:

Good to Know // Burano is an island in the Venetian lagoon and is a leisurely half-day trip from ‘mainland’ Venice. The easiest way to get there is to either take a private water taxi or the number 12 vaporetto (water bus) which runs frequently, takes the same time as a taxi – around 40 minutes – but only costs €7.50 each way. Go early or late afternoon to avoid the largest crowds if you can (but don’t be put off either way, as the crowds quickly disperse between each vaporetto arrival).

Do // Burano is really a tiny little island; there are no roads – only footpaths and canals for the fishing boats – but you can walk the entire island and all it’s side streets in a couple of hours (add in another couple of hours for lunch and pausing to take approximately 16,000 photos along the way). There aren’t many shops on the island – which helps retain the traditional charm – but if you like lace, then be sure to stop into one of the little lace shops for the authentic lace linens the island is famous for (I’m still regretting the fact I didn’t buy a lace parasol and a stack of beautiful handmade napkins).

Eat // We had heard great things about Trattoria al Gatto Nero (my friend Julia had gone there earlier in the year), and the name – which translates to The Black Cat - had us sold, but when we arrived there wasn’t a free table to found until fully three days later (moral of the story: book ahead). My friend Alex had also recommended Trattoria da Romano, but both the restaurant and street looked a little too crowded with tourists when we passed. So instead we simply followed our noses and ended up at the charming, pastel pink Riva Rosa Enoteca, which turned out to be the very best choice of all. We had big plates of spaghetti alla vongole (a local specialty, pictured below) outside at one of the tables overlooking the colourful canal, and it was quite simply one of the most delicious, memorable meals I’ve ever had.

A Girl, A Style _ Riva Rossa Burano, VeniceA Girl, A Style _ Burano, VeniceA Girl, A Style _ Burano, VeniceWearing: H&M dress // Eugenia Kim hat // Valentino bag (mini version here) // Dune sandals // Kenneth Jay Lane bracelets (necklace version here) // Tom Ford sunglasses // J.Crew necklace // Chanel brooch.
Beauty: Chanel ‘L’Eclatante’ lipstick // MAC ‘Dollymix’ blush // James Read tan // Essie ‘Limoscene’ nail polish

There was just something so magical about Burano, and I couldn’t help falling a little in love more in love with each street we explored. I’m so glad that places like this – frozen in time and still retaining every ounce of charm and history – still exist in the world. I can’t wait to return one day.

Stay tuned for Venice, Florence and Bologna soon!

Love, Miss B xx

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Punting on the Cam

A Girl, A Style _ Punting on the Cam 3A Girl, A Style _ Punting on the Cam 7

One sunny Bank Holiday weekend last month, my friends Liv and Joe were visiting Cambridge for a spring staycation. Of course, I did what any self-respecting Cambridge-resident would do: rounded up my favourite Cambridge girl Caroline and her boyfriend, Oscar, and insisted on a picnic and an afternoon of punting on the river to kick off the summer.

I cycled across town to meet the gang at St John’s, where we all traipsed through the Bridge of Sighs towards the river to borrow a punt from Caroline’s college. We all piled in, the bottles of champagne outnumber the crew, and set off on the Cam with dashing Oscar and his master punting skills at the helm.

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The sun was shining gloriously, so the afternoon melted into dusk as we floated up and down the river more times than I could count until it was time for dinner. It is quite simply the best way to see all the grand colleges along the Backs, and the three of us recounted all the marvellous historical tales we could think of as we passed each college, and made up our own stories when we couldn’t think of anything better.

It wouldn’t be a Cambridge summer without at least a few adventures by the river, and there’s no place I’d rather be on a sunny Sunday afternoon than messing about on boats with friends.

Summertime in Cambridge, you’re alright.

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Wearing: Saint James for J.Crew top // ASOS jeans // Salvatore Ferragamo pumps via Monnier Freres // Ralph Lauren blazer // Chanel bag // Tom Ford sunglasses // Chanel brooches // Michael Kors watch // J.Crew necklace.
Beauty: Chanel ‘L’Eclatante’ lipstick // NARS ‘Gaiety’ blush // Deborah Lippmann ‘Naked’ nailpolish

What are your very favourite adventures to kick off summer? I’d love to hear your traditions, old and new!

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Joe Galvin

Winter Floral

A Girl, A Style _ Chanel 2.55 Classic Flap Bag A Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral 5

Let it never be said that I don’t know what I like. Trends come and go – and whilst I’ll sometimes experiment with a new style – it’s those classic, gorgeously feminine pieces I always reach for. Or put more simply, red lipstick and Louboutins always trump #normcore (unless you’re my friend Alex of The Frugality, who wears boyfriend shirts and Birkenstocks like no one else and makes me wish I were half as cool as her). 

A Girl, A Style _ Erin Featherston Floral DressA Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral 4A Girl, A Style _ Kate Spade Bow CoatA Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral

I’m pretty powerless against a dark floral dress, but I always prefer a dark, winter version (as seen here and here) vs a lighter spring iteration, which can feel a little too twee or predictable. I bought this neoprene version in Anthropologie before Christmas, and it it looks instantly glamorous, but is actually completely effortless (exactly what I like in a dress). I teamed it with my sky-high red Louboutins for date night, but it looks just as good with a mid-heel (this Kate Spade pair are a perfect substitute because, let’s be honest, those Louboutins are strictly taxi shoes only) for dinner, or teamed with black boots or a ballet flat for day. Just add red lipstick and a jaunty beret and voila: the perfect coquettish winter look that will work for just about every occasion.

A Girl, A Style _ Winter Floral 2A Girl, A Style _ Chanel Classic 2.55 Flap BagWearing: Erin Fetherston at Anthropologie dress // Kate Spade coat // ASOS beret // J. Crew necklace // vintage bracelet (similar style at J.Crew) // Lulu Frost crystal ring // Alex Monroe ‘love’ ring // ASOS pearl ring // Jacquie Aiche heart ring // Christian Louboutin heels // Chanel bag. 
Beauty: NARS ‘Greta’ Audacious lipstick // Chanel ‘Provocation’ nail polish // NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush.

What’s your instant style formula for winter?

Love, Miss B xx

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Photos by Amber-Rose

Beauty: My Favourite Winter Fragrances

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Though I’m never one to dive head-first into the latest trends, I do like to give a nod to the changing seasons; a new silhouette here, and added dose of sparkle there. For me, like my favourite jewels or a stroke of red lipstick, fragrance is a year-round style staple; a spritz of scent in the air as I dash out the door each morning lends the final finishing flourish to every look.

Once the clocks go back and winter descends, the scents I associate with summer – my beloved Petite Cherie by Annick Goutal which smells of pears and cut grass and a Parisian park in the springtime, or Jo Malone’s crisp Orange Blossom, which always accompanies me on any far-flung summer adventure – make way for gourmands and heady white florals that so beautifully complement winter’s richer palette and moody skies.

Much like my sartorial style, I’m always drawn to pretty, classic feminine scents rather than anything cloying or overpowering. Marc Jacobs‘ original scent – a gorgeous combination of gardenia, jasmine and bergamot – has been a favourite for a decade, and Diptyque’s DoSon is a similarly lovely white floral that works anytime. I adore Jo Malone’s Rose Water and Vanilla cologne (pretty-sexy rather than saccharine, it smells of Turkish delight and candlelit dates and will linger softly all day), and was so upset when I discovered it was being discontinued that I panic-bought two more bottles from the Cambridge store (if you also love it, you won’t find it anywhere online but the standalone Jo Malone stores should all still have a bottle or two hidden in the back). My Burberry has become my everyday scent – it works just as well with a cashmere sweater and jeans as it does with lace and jewels for evening - and Chanel’s Gardenia is a perennial favourite when I want to feel my most ladylike. 

And if they look well-loved, that’s just because they are. With the exception of Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir which I’ve just added to my collection (I’m giving this a whirl in lieu of my other autumn/winter favourite, Blackberry & Bay), and Tom Ford’s Fleur de Portofino (which I added this year and wore all summer long, but is luxe enough to work just as well for winter too), these are all firm favourites from last year* which will take me through another winter season until spring’s call for an olfactory clean sweep next year.

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Fragrance: Burberry ‘My Burberry EDP’ // Tom Ford ‘Fleur de Portofino’ // Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir // Chanel ‘Gardenia’ // Diptyque ‘Doson’ // Jo Malone ‘Rose Water & Vanilla Intense’ (now discontinued, but this is the closest version).
Details: F. Scott Fitzgerald hardback books // brass pineapple // Diptyque candle // glass  cloche // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl earrings // J.Crew gold earrings (similar here) // Garance Dore for Rifle Paper Co ‘XO’ print // mirrored console table.

I’d love to know your favourite fragrances and any new scent you think I should try. Do you have a signature perfume which you wear each day, or do you, like me, rotate a collection based on your mood and the seasons?

*Tip: always keep your perfumes out of direct sunlight and store them in the top shelf of your fridge when out of season and they’ll last for at least a couple of years.

Love, Miss B xx