May in Pictures

London in the rain (as April’s showers insist on continuing). Exploring Columbia Road. Filling my home with armfuls of Spring flowers. Pear milkshakes and strawberry poppy macarons at Laduree with my friend Charlotte. Wearing the brightest colours in my wardrobe and filling my wrist with arm candy. Choos galore arrive at my house for a fun collaboration with Jimmy Choo. After work trips to the farmers market and rides on my PashleyWarm evenings spent beside the river in Cambridge. Thatched cottages, tiny villages, antique shops and Shakespeare on a long weekend in the Cotswolds (another of my ’30 things to do before I’m 30′ goals). Walks to Grantchester in Cambridge for picnics, countryside air and tea beneath the apple trees at The Orchard. Darling English bluebell season. Watching the Clever Boyfriend collect his PhD from Cambridge University (and bubbling over with pride). Climbing to the top of the Kings College Chapel roof (a very rare Cambridge privilege) as a celebratory treat. New Mulberry shoes and other treasures that make me smile. A trip to the London Zoo. Raspberry ice cream in the blazing sunshine in Regent’s Park.A trip to Bicester Village (a mecca for discounted designer treats) with Alice Temperley. Staying in Mayfair with family and waking up to the glorious view of plush townhouses and treetops. Window shopping in the neighbourhood; Miu Miu and Chanel and Penhaligon’s, oh my! Evening walks around Piccadilly and Chinatown. Pret-a-Portea with my friend Dearne at the Berkeley. Lazing in Hyde Park on balmy evenings. Violet cocktails at the Rose Bar for a dose of old-London decadence.

I hope you all had a wonderful month!

Love, Miss B xx

May Loves

Starting this month, I’ve decided to introduce a new monthly feature of the little things that I’m adoring, buying, doing and dreaming about each month. I’d love to know what you think!

Just a few of my favourite things this month:

1. Play: Riding my Pashley through tiny cobbled laneways at sunset (and thinking about trading in my classic black Princess for this adorably fun blue Poppy).
2. Buying: Retiring all my old ballet pumps and buying the perfect new versions in the form of these blush pink Kurt Geigers and these black Miu Mius (always with a bow on the toes, of course).
3. Wearing: My perennial hunt for the perfect Breton stripes continues for Spring, most recently leading me to impeccable versions by Chinti and Parker and Boden.
4. Beauty note: Three of my favourite things in one bottle; Chanel. Pink. Sparkly. Needless to say, I had to have the new polish shade of Frisson the instant I saw it.
5. Small luxuries: Orange blossom macarons from Laduree are my gourmand weakness, and make me smile out loud (side note: I also have the matching candle, also from Laduree, on my bedside table at the moment. The smell is bliss to fall asleep to).
6. Sparkling: This adorable little white gold and diamond heart necklace from Anjolee is the latest addition to my jewellery drawer and adds a darling little touch to every outfit.
7. On my wish list: These glittery Miu Miu sunglasses have been on my wish list for months and months (I can’t decide between the silver, pink or red versions) now, so it’s probably about time I relent and make them mine.
8. Listening to: Brigitte Bardot’s Moi Je Joue is the most infectious song for sunny spring bike rides, and makes me feel as thought I’m in a 60s French film.
9. Watching: Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire in Funny Face (Paris in the late 50s, need I say more) = guaranteed smiles.
10. For my home: Buying armfuls of English bluebells at the farmer’s market to dot about my house in jam jar vases.

Which pleasures are currently making you smile this month?

Love, Miss B xx

 

 

My Favourite Things To Do In Paris, pt. 2

6. Enjoy some Parisian serenity. Stop by a patisserie, fromagerie and boulangerie, collect a few supplies for a picnic and spend a divine hour sitting in the Jardin des Tuileries, the Jardin du Luxembourg or the beautifully manicured courtyard of the Place des Vosges, whiling away the afternoon amidst the perfect people-watching.

7. Embrace your inner child. Make like Amelie and enjoy the simple, playful pleasures Paris has to offer. Stop for a peach sorbet at Berthillion (Île Saint-Louis) and skip down to the banks of the Seine to join the tango dancers at sunset, or buy a ticket to ride one of the city’s big old ferris wheels or carousels (I love the one near the Louvre for the most glorious views). Because you’re never too old to be playful and fun!

 8. Hunt for vintage treasures. The vintage in Paris is legendary, and rightly so for vintage boutiques are dotted all over the city (my favourite is Les Trois Marches de Catherine B). Or if you have half a day to spare, head to one of the incredible flea markets and go scouting for treasures; Marche aux Puces de Montreuil (best for jewellery and vintage fashion from the ’30s onwards), Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen (Europe’s largest flea market – great for everything from homewares to Art Deco prints) or Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves (eclectic treasures, antique toys and French furniture).

9. Stroll the streets at midnight. Though I might secretly fantasise about living in a Woody Allen film, there is something so enchanting about those grand streets after dark once the daily buzz has quietened and the tourist have dispersed. I love the sound of echoing footsteps on the pavement as I get lost in the teeny, warren streets of Le Marais district, or wander the grand boulevards beneath the shadow of gilded architecture from the glory days.

10. Kiss below a sparkling Eiffel Tower after dark. It’s a big fat cliche, but oh so fun! The Tower is lit up once the sun goes down, but every hour on the hour the lights twinkle and glitter and it’s hard not to feel giddy with excitement when standing beneath it. Head there with a loved one for a smooch as the clock strikes the hour. Oh la la!

Have you been to Paris? I’d love to hear your favourite things to do there!

Love, Miss B xx

My Favourite Things To Do in Paris, pt. 1

As an unfaltering Francophile/Parisian wannabe, I am often asked for my recommendations on my favourite things to do in Paris. I’ll leave it to your guidebooks to tell you all the obvious places to go, but here are a few of my favourite Parisian places and whimsies.

1. Get a sugar rush: I can still vividly remember the glee of my first visit to Laduree back in 2003 (I was travelling to Paris for the first time, all by myself, and it remains one of my fondest memories). Whether you go for breakfast, a pot of afternoon rose tea, a magnificent raspberry and lychee ispahan or a plate of jewel-like macarons, make sure you pay a visit to either Laduree or Pierre Herme for the best sugar rush you’ll ever have.

2. Stroll the Seine. I firmly believe that a long, aimless walk along the River Seine is good for the soul. Last time I went, I passed young lovers kissing, old couples dancing, tiny dogs trotting and the sounds of a French accordion floating on the air as the sky turned fairy floss pink at sundown. Magic!

3. Get a literary fix. For generations, the Left Bank has been the spiritual home for generations of French philosophers, bohemians and intellectuals. Take home your own piece of this history from the English-language Shakespeare & Co. bookshop, where there is always shelf upon shelf of new and second-hand books (they have a superb edit) and a steady stream of modern-day poets and academics.

4. Wander Montmartre. And to that other home of arty bohemians, beatniks and romantics; Montmartre. Pass the iconic red windmill of the Moulin Rouge, climb the hill to the foot of the Sacre Coeur (enter to pay your respects if you so wish) and just take a moment to enjoy the spectacular panoramic views over the rooftops of Paris. Find the big pretty pink wedge-shaped building, then walk down the gorgeous cobbled steps and stop at the bottom to take in the golden dappled light over a peppermint tea.

5. Leave a little bit more lovely. When in Paris, it seems only fitting to treat yourself to a few loveliness-enhancing luxuries. Stop by any number of boutiques or grand department stores that dot the city to buy yourself a gorgeous new French perfume, some silk lingerie, a new Chanel lipstick or some decadent truffles.

Part deux up next!

Love, Miss B xx