Breton Stripes & Boyfriend Jeans

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Summer is on its way out in England, and I’m trying to make the most of these last balmy evenings before they disappear for the year. Of all my beloved Cambridge pastimes, there is little I adore more than lazy summer evenings spent idling on the River Cam. At Kings (the grandest of all the colleges), the river bank is not accessible to the general public, so we usually have the entire stretch of bank to ourselves.

Often, I’ll meet the Clever Boyfriend there after work, and we will have a picnic for supper, stretched out on the grass with cheese and strawberries from the market and some bread to feed to the resident swans (who always come to say hello).

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As we sit there together in the shade of the willow trees – the Kings chapel swooping into the sunset in front of us, the college cows grazing in the grass behind, and the punts floating up the river at our feet – it always feels more like a perfect literary moment from an entirely different era than real life.

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Wearing: Petit Bateau top c/- (also available at Urban Outfitters) // Current Elliott boyfriend jeans (also available at ASOS + Net-a-Porter) // Chanel bag // Mulberry heels (past season but similar style here + here) // Miu Miu sunglasses (also available at Bloomingdale’s + John Lewis) // J. Crew pearls (also available in a less-expensive faux pearl version) // J. Crew crystal necklace // Bauble Bar necklace c/- // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl bracelet (sold out, but similar style available at J. Crew + Shopbop) // Mimco bracelet (past season).
Beauty note: Chanel ‘Extatique’ lipstick // NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush (also available at John Lewis) // Essie ‘Muchi Muchi’ nail polish (also available at Target + Liberty). 

Love, Miss B xx

Photos by Beth Morton

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

 

Birthday Cake Dates

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Last weekend, I had decided to skip the Fashion Week festivities* in favour of cake and festivities with friends in London and Cambridge instead. After what felt like weeks of endless English rain, the sun was shining with all its might, the temperature was warm enough to go without a coat for a few hours, and it suddenly felt as though spring was on the way. Joy!

So I did whatever I do when I have a sunny day to myself in Cambridge and put on my favourite new dress, dusted off my Pashley for a bike ride around town and met my friend for a walk around town and belated birthday cake (I like to stretch my celebrations out as long as my friends will tolerate) at one of our favourite Cambridge cafes.

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I don’t know about all of you, but I am, by this point, so bored of winter that I simply cannot take another week of dark, heavy layers so I’m injecting a little spring into my wardrobe in the form of girly dresses (teamed with a coat and tights instead of bare legs and a tan), bright lipstick and fun accessories.

I bought this RED Valentino dress (a birthday present to myself and the latest addition to my growing collection from the label) a couple of weeks ago in the Net-a-Porter sale and already I’ve been wearing it repeatedly with a sharp jacket, tights, a beret and this darling glittery Lulu Guinness clutch which has been on permanent rotation this month. 

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Wearing: RED Valentino dress (sold out, but black version on sale at Urban Outfitters + My Wardrobe or similar styles available at Shopbop + Net-a-Porter) // Lulu Guinness glitter Fifi clutch c/- (also available at House of Fraser) // Mulberry bow heels (past season, but similar styles available at Net-a-PorterJ. Crew) // Zara blazer // Karen Walker sunglasses (also available at Saks 5th Ave) // Wolford tights // Michael Kors watch (also available at ASOS + Net-a-Porter) // Mimco bracelet + necklace (past season, but similar styles available at Kate Spade). Beauty note: Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick // Essie ‘Muchi Muchi’ nail polish (also available at Nordstrom).

Love, Miss B xx

*is anyone else as bored of blurry runway photos and ‘what I wore to Fashion Week’ posts as I am?

 

Pearls & Pastels in New Orleans

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New Orleans is a hard place to encapsulate in mere words. At once beautiful and dishevelled, it is steeped in layers and layers of history which make it so compelling. This was my very first trip to the city, and I was enthralled from the first moment.

My friend Nicolette and I flew down to Louisiana the day after I arrived in New York from London. On our first evening there, we headed straight from the airport to the historic French Quarter for dinner and a ghost tour around the old town (in this city, tales of spirits and pirates and strange happenings abound, and mystery seems to seep from every aged building) and I was wide-eyed at the atmosphere that surrounded me. Blues bands played on street corners out the front of smoky little jazz clubs, gas lamps flickered in the warm air, tiny bistros and antique shops glowed invitingly and the intoxicating smell of Cajun food filled the warm air.

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Even though it was the beginning of November, it was still as warm as summer in New Orleans and so anything more than a little dress would have been wholly unnecessary. I had packed this silk Band of Outsiders dress (which I like so much I just bought the top version as well) which I had worn on repeat towards the end of the English summer, but which also works with a coat and ankle boots for autumn and winter when not playing tourist in balmy New Orleans-climates.

It was so lovely to be able to make the most of the glorious sunshine, and we spent a happy few days just walking around the gorgeous streets of the French Quarter and Garden District, listening to live jazz, eating southern shrimp and beignets and all the Cajun food we could manage, making new friends and hunting for treasure in the most wonderful little antique shops and boutiques all over town. I won’t pretend that the whole city is perfect (in parts it is heartbreakingly impoverished and segregated), but on the beautiful, pastel streets of the French Quarter I felt as though I had been transported to another era.

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Wearing: Band of Outsiders dress (also available here), Mulberry ‘Lily’ bag, Zara heels (sold out but similar style available here), Chloe sunglasses, Kenneth Jay Lane necklace and bracelets (sold out but similar style available here), J. Crew necklace (similar style available here), Jacquie Aiche ring. Beauty note: Essie ‘Bahama Mama’ polish, MAC ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick.

New Orleans, you’re really rather wonderful!

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. Stay tuned for my mini-guide to city in an upcoming post

Photos of me by Nicolette Mason