January in Pictures

Ringing in the new year with cocktails, sparkles and friends. Saying goodbye to the festive season. New beginnings and plans for a sparkly, rose-tinted year. After after-work hometime a little more glamorous with big band tunes and cocktail jewels. Pink lace and fairyfloss sunsets to brighten the dull days of January. Weekend hibernating in style with Markus Lupfer silk pyjamas, a pile of magazines and Laduree violet tea. The warm glow of Cambridge’s market square at twilight. Editing my wardrobe and re-stocking my underwear drawers with beautifully coquetteish lingerie at Fifi Chachnil, Stella McCartney and Agent Provocateur. Pink roses and dreams of Paris. A house filled with the smell of baking on weekends.

The sugary pastel houses of Notting Hill. Treasure-hunting for teacups, vintage prints and jewels on Portobello Road. Golden light over the Thames on my way to work. Never tiring of the sound of Big Ben chiming overhead when I’m in my London office. Weekend bike rides and pottering in vintage bookstores. Darling pink dresses and leopard print heels. Pink Prada pumps on grey days. Rose macarons and Laduree tea dates.

Leaving behind a snowy England and jetting off to Marrakech for a long weekend of sunshine, mint tea, exploring of souks, Arabian adventures and the colours, sounds and smells of the exotic. Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘love’ gallery in the beautiful Jardin Majorelle. Falling snowflakes and frosted trees outside my window as I work. Treating myself to massages at Neal’s Yard Remedies and weekly bunches of pink roses (small pleasures to cure a stressful month in my day job). Making January wishlists. Pavlova, episodes of Kath and Kim (to make me giggle out loud) and souvenirs from my homeland in celebration of Australia Day.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful January?

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. Those of you who follow me on Instagram (and regular readers of my ‘month in pictures’) may notice I’ve changed my signature filter. New Year = time for a fresh look! I hope you like it, and as always, I welcome any suggestions you have for things you want to see more (or less) of on the blog or elsewhere this year. 

 

Rock the kasbah, part II

One of my favourite things to do when visiting a new place is to hunt down the perfect souvenir to take home and treasure in my everyday life. I despise typical tourist souvenirs, preferring something that I can genuinely use and love. Though I now wish i’d bought more in Marrakech, I did come home with a gorgeous golden Moroccan teapot (that looks lovely and battered) and matching green and gold tea glasses in which to have mint tea, some beautiful coloured Berber bowls, kilos of spices, tea and dried fruit, and some of beautiful soaps and potions that will remind me of Marrakech with their smell of jasmine and fleur d’oranger.

In addition to bringing home the perfect set of treasures, one of the things that makes a trip truly luxurious is finding the perfect accommodation which typifies a place (in fact I obsess and spend weeks researching the best places before I go anywhere – something which frustrates the Clever Boyfriend no end). If you do manage to visit Marrakech – and I strongly recommend you do at least once in your lifetime – then I cannot rate the Riad Meriem any higher on the luscious accommodation stakes. Set in one of the oldest parts of the Medina which dates back to the 12th Century, the area around the riad is a marvellously chaotic warren of tiny, high-walled back alleyways where children play beside donkeys carting entire stalls on their backs. But entering the riad is like stepping into an Aladdin’s cave. Styled by renowned NY designer and photographer Thomas Hays, it is a beautifully artistic Moroccan oasis lit by hundreds of candles and lanterns, dripping in bouganvilleas, and attended by the friendliest staff I have ever come across. I was so enamoured by our suite’s jasmine scent and afternoon tea on our private terrace that the host sent us home with a litre of jasmine body wash and a kilo of arabian pastries (which i’ve been trying to savour, rather than scoff, with copious glasses of strong mint tea to maintain the holiday vibe).

What is your favourite thing to bring home from your travels?

Love, Miss B xx

Rock the Kasbah, part I

If there’s one thing I love as much as designer shoes, it’s travelling. And while I worship cities like London, Paris, Tokyo and New York, I also spend countless hours dreaming of intrepid adventures in more exotic lands. I’ve just returned from Marrakech, and it was just as good as all my Moroccan fantasies had led me to believe.

From the moment our driver arrived to take us from the airport to the quarter of the Medina in which we were staying, we were plunged into a completely foreign whirlwhind of fabulous chaos. From that moment, our trip was a brilliant cacophony of tiny streets bustling with stalls selling wares and food of every fathomable kind, negotiated by throngs of locals, motorbikes and donkeys alike; shopkeepers with wonderfully crinkly faces who smiled and waved enthusiastically as we passed, wide eyed;  snake charmers (the sight of cobras hypnotised sent shivers up my spine); storytellers and belly dancers in the Place Djemaa El-Fna; women carrying baskets of goods on their heads which surely weighed more than me; majestic mosaiced palaces and tombs; and air that was thick with the sound of Arabic music which echoed from roofs overhead, and the smell of oranges, grilled meat, jasmine, diesel fuel, spices and musk.

To momentarily escape the bustle, we also paid a visit to the beautiful Majorelle Gardens, which in latter years were taken over by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Berge. In fact, such was Yves’ love for the place that his ashes were scattered in the gardens after his death last year (bless). During his lifetime, he spent a great deal of his time in Marrakech – particularly in the 1970s when he would hang out with all the glamorous jetsetting hippies – and I can see how the majesty of the city, and the vivid colours everywhere (lurid magenta, sandy ochres, cobalt blue and mustard yellow) influenced so many of his signature looks.

While I consider my own style somewhat eclectic, ethnic boho is not in any way how I would describe my look. But after Morocco, suddenly I want to wear harem pants, brightly coloured scarves and lipstick, and exotic jewels while sitting on exotic floor cushions drinking mint tea, and I also seem to have developed a thing for orange blossom (both taste and fragrance) and jasmine.

I wish I had been able to take more photos of the wonderful people and streets, but it is against Islamic culture to deliberately capture the human or animal form unless the subject is obviously willing, and I didn’t want to offend or attract any bad travel karma for the sake of a good set of images. You’ll just have to go there to see for yourself!

Which place have you visited that evokes magical memories for you? Does travel influence your personal style or home decor?

Love, Miss B xx