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

 

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

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

October in Pictures

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Welcoming the crisp days of autumn. Brightening grey mornings with an abundance of vintage jewels + a favourite new perfume that smells like turkish delight. Buying myself Miu Miu cocktail rings (just because). Fuelling my Baublebar obsession with sparkly crystal necklaces and earrings. Good weekends that start with bunches of fresh flowers and good coffee. A few of my favourite things for October. These adorable little woodland animal jewels (that are also hold tiny pots of lip balm). Wonderful friends who send handwritten cards and boxes of macarons for no particular reason at all. Tiny golden alphabet necklaces from Anna Lou. Packing away my summer wardrobe and making my home fresh and cosy for autumn.

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Never tiring of the thrill of working in Westminster (nor the sound of Big Ben chiming from my desk). Afternoon tea dates with friends to cure hectic weeks. Cosy evenings in tiny neighbourhood restaurants. Pear cocktail and old-fashioned London glamour at the Gilbert Scott at St Pancras. Mastering the office-evening transition and a collaboration with Michael Kors. Pumpkin pie and all the colours of autumn. Cambridge looking lovelier than ever as the leaves turn golden. Punting on the River Cam before the seasons change. Watching the students file past in their gowns as the bells chime on graduation day. Jumping in big piles of autumn leaves.

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Flying to New York and straight down to New Orleans with my BFF Nicolette. The thrill of visiting a new city just waiting to be explored. Arriving in the French Quarter at nightfall (and feeling like I’ve stepped into the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland). After-dark ghost walking tours and tales of pirates and haunted taverns. Pastel buildings and faded grandeur. The smell of cajun spices filling the warm air and doing my best job of eating my way around town (seafood at Gautreau’s, jambalaya at Jacques Imo’s, Cajun Shrimp at Cafe Amelie, coctails at Cure, biegnets at Cafe du Monde, eclairs and coconut + basil gelato at Sucre). Dressing up for Halloween on Frenchmen Street. Horse-drawn carriages clip-clopping down the roads. Exploring the leafy Garden District. The sound of jazz and blues bands floating on the breeze. Treasure-hunting in charming little antique shops all over town. Hopping on another plane back to New York for my next adventure.

I hope you all had a wonderful October!

Love, Miss B xx