Walking the Brooklyn Bridge in Sparkly Shoes

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There are some things that are cliches for a reason: because they’re just so utterly wonderful. For me, no matter how many ‘Top 10 Things to do in New York!’ lists the Brooklyn Bridge winds up on (and the throngs of tourists that come with the package), a visit to New York never feels complete without an homage to that spectacular Manhattan skyline.

So a couple of weekends ago in New York, Nicolette and I headed to the Williamsburg waterfront for brunch (I say ‘brunch’, but really I just mean a delicious, but not at all nutritionally-balanced combination of grilled cheese and salted caramel s’mores and hot chai) and treasure-hunting at the Brooklyn Flea Market (long-time readers may remember my post from the same spot here). Afterwards we took the ferry a few minutes up the East River to Dumbo, where we made our way around to the foot of the Bridge, stopping for hot apple cider and a ride on Jane’s Carousel (as evidenced here, this was the best use of $2, ever) on the way.

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Although I may take my tourism very seriously, you’ll never find me dressed like one (I’m allergic to the thought of very thought of the puffer jacket/sneakers/backpack look that seems to be the uniform of tourists the world-over). Instead, a chic trench coat and a smattering of sparkles is much more my default ‘playing tourist’ style.

This Coach trench coat (which I wore constantly all autumn) proved to be the perfect travel companion; it goes with everything, is at once chic and comfortable, and not so precious that I mind using it as a makeshift picnic blanket in Central Park or squashing it into my suitcase. Here, I teamed it with an old favourite embellished silk organza tee, rose-tinted sunglasses (for watching the golden sunset over the Manhattan skyscrapers from our vantage point on the Bridge), and my favourite New York souvenir: these gold spangled heels from the J. Crew Collection store on Madison Avenue that are actually comfortable enough to walk in for miles and miles.

As we crossed the Bridge, the sun sank behind the Manhattan skyline, casting all of the skyscrapers golden as Lady Liberty looked on against the pink sunset on the horizon. Afterwards, we made our way to Chinatown for dim sum at Nom Wah tea parlour, a hearty karaoke session and impromptu midnight manicures.

It was the perfect New York day.

A Girl, A Style _ Walking the Brooklyn Bridge in Sparkly Heels 8A Girl, A Style _ Walking the Brooklyn Bridge in Sparkly Heels 3Wearing: Coach trench coat (c/o), J. Crew shoes, Chanel 2.55 bag, Whistles blouse (past season), Citizens of Humanity coated jeans (also available here) (c/o), Elizabeth and James ‘Francis’ sunglasses, Mimco necklace, bracelets and flower ring (past season), Jacquie Aiche heart ring, Topshop brooch (arrow), Accessorize pin (Statue of Liberty). Beauty note: ASOS bow clip (in hair), Essie ‘Bahama Mama’ polish, MAC ‘Hue’ lipstick.

Love, Miss B xx

Photos of me by Nicolette

On the Pastel Streets of Notting Hill

Of all the neighbourhoods in London, Notting Hill is one of my favourites. I first stumbled upon Portobello Road ten years ago (on my first visit to London by myself, all wide-eyed and overly enthusiastic and probably searching for Hugh Grant), and it was love at first sight. Even though these days, Portobello Road is horribly overrun with noisy tourists every Saturday (and tacky souvenir shops have subsequently popped up between the antique shops), the neighbourhood still retains all of its bohemian charm.

I love treasure-hunting for vintage jewellery, china, antique maps and curiosities on Portobello, the cafes and boutiques along Westbourne Grove (where I always stop for Diptyque candles and lunch at Ottolenghi and, when I have a bout of homesickness, a beauty fix at Aesop and the perfect Australian brunch at Granger & Co) and strolling the leafy, mansion-lined residential backstreets (and dreaming of living in one of those glossy townhouses myself someday).

For me, this place is doubly-special for all the wonderful moments I have spent there, and whenever I have a case of the mean reds (to paraphrase Holly Golightly), a day wandering Notting Hill is always just what I need to put me back in a good mood. Dearne, my dearest friend and fellow-Australian-in-England, and I would always meet here on weekends for brunch, treasure-hunting, walks around the neighbourhood (she actually did live on those leafy streets) and endless chats about boys, shoes and the meaning of life (see previous case in point here).

So it was only fitting that for our last girl date before De moved back to Australia, we crammed in all our favourite things in Notting Hill. I put on my most ladylike skirt, pinned on a few brooches (favourites from previous Portobello Road treasure-hunts) and raced off to meet De by the curiosity shop on the corner. After scrambled eggs at Granger & Co and a stop at Diptyque (obviously), we strolled those gorgeous streets searching for the prettiest pastel townhouses in her neighbourhood and soaking in the last of the summer sunshine. After one last twirl around Portobello Road, we said a very teary farewell on that perfect, pastel street.

Yet as hard as it was to say goodbye to someone I treasure so much, I feel so grateful to have such special people in my life and to be able to make memories in places this wonderful.

 Wearing: Topshop skirt (sold out, but similar styles here), ASOS shirt, Zara sandals (sold out, but gold version here and similar style here), Kenneth Jay Lane bracelets, vintage brooches (from Portobello Road, but similar styles here and here), Chanel ring (sold out, but similar style here), Jersey Pearl necklace, Grand Bazaar necklace, Chloe sunglasses.  

Oh Notting Hill, I love you!

Do you have any favourite places that are so special to you? And I’d love to hear your Notting Hill suggestions!

Love, Miss B xx

Thank you De for the photos (I miss you already!)

 

November Loves

1. Play: Twirling around outdoor ice rinks beneath the glittering London sky (in my head this is with an elegant ease; in reality, I suspect, far less so…)

2. On my wishlist: I think it’s about time I finally give in and buy myself this beautiful Miu Miu necklace (that has been on my wishlist for months and months)

3. For my home: Burning scented candles each evening to make coming in from the cold feel like a luxurious affair. And just because I have a thing for woodland creatures, this squirrel match holder/strike must come and live with me.

4. Buying: Come wintertime and the festive season, I do love a snuggly, fun knit. I’ve already added three fluffy sweaters to my wardrobe this season (which I have been wearing with everything from dresses and skirts to tailored shorts and sharp trousers; always accompanied by a smattering of jewels and the collar of a blouse peeking out at the neckline), and have just added this perfect navy jewel-adorned number from Topshop to the mix.

5. Watching: There are few mythical men I adore more than James Bond, and a Skyfall movie date with the Clever Boyfriend (who I have virtually bullied into becoming a Bond fan too…) has sparked a month-long James Bond marathon in our household.

6. Small pleasures: Chilly evenings spent luxuriously hibernating indoors with a cup of tea and a stack of books (I’m currently re-reading this beautiful edition of The Great Gatsby, amongst others). I am so rock ‘n’ roll…

7. Sparkling: Glittering cocktail rings with rich burgundy manicures. This star ring by Kenneth Jay Lane is pretty much perfect!

8. Wearing: I’m currently wearing embellished collars with everything (blouses with a crystal-studded collar, dresses with a sparkly peter pan collar, jumpers with a bejwelled neckline). I love this adorable (and budget-friendly) detachable version that can be popped over everything this winter.

9. Beauty note: A deep red pout (I’m currently favouring Chanel Rouge Allure no. 71 in Fatale and MAC lipstick in Ruby Woo) paired with rich burgundy nails (Chanel’s classic Rouge Noir or the sparkling limited-edition Malice or Orly On The List are current favourites) add a hint of glamour on cold days.

10. Listening to: Evenings in are turned suddenly more luxurious with a steady stream of moody jazz and big band standards. It’s all about Ella (Fitzgerald), Frank (Sinatra) and Nina (Simone) at cocktail hour…

I would love to hear some of your current favourite things!

Love, Miss B xx

 

London Fashion Week: Day 3

Sunshine yellow on the runway for Mulberry’s seaside carnival; Charlotte Olympia’s adorable retro poolside glamour.

Day 3 could not have been more fun. We began the day with Margaret Howell’s unshowy loveliness (her shows are always held in her boutique, and are all about breton stripes and chic relaxed tailoring) before racing off to Claridges for Mulberry. There is never any doubt that I will love Mulberry’s shows, but when I saw an ice cream van parked outside the venue (serving Mulberry flavoured ice cream, naturally) and a thousand inflatable animal balloons greeting us upon entry, I knew instantly I would adore the retro seaside funfair theme they had going on this year (sitting opposite Kate Moss didn’t hurt my excitement levels either).

After that, it was on to Richard Nicholl, whose show was a fun view of 60s futurism in shades of blue and blush pvc and silk chiffon. Nicole Farhi’s floral extravaganza (showing, appropriately enough, at the Royal Horticultural Society) was lovely, but if I were honest, I’d tell you I spent the whole show time blushing over the fact that my stockings had decided to spontaneously ladder as I walked past Anna Wintour (those who know fashion know the fear this would incite, even with new season Miu Miu-clad feet).

Charlotte Olympia’s salon show was as much of a treat as last season – the models draping themselves across deck chairs as though sunning themselves poolside in Miami, circa 1960. Then it was on to Topshop Unique in the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo, to Marios Schwab, and to Matthew Williamson in the most jaw-dropping locale of the week thus far – the turbine hall at the Tate Modern. And it being Fashion Week, the day wouldn’t be complete without a soiree or three, so it was off to the Saville Club to kick up our heels with Glenda Bailey and Harpers Bazaar before carnival games, cocktails, and some dancing to the Hurts at the Mulberry party.

Backstage at Topshop Unique before the show; feathered coral party dresses at Matthew Williamson; 60s futurism in shades of blue at Richard Nicholl.

What have been your highlights from Fashion Week so far?

Love, Miss B xx