Festive Sparkle

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The past two weeks have been a hectic whirlwind at work, leaving me so busy there was (almost) no time left for festive celebration. But even when I’m working the longest days, it’s important to me to make a little time to enjoy this wonderful season; the Christmas lights making all of London twinkle on my way home, watching the skaters twirl around the ice rink on the weekend, the sound of carollers at Parliament as I work, homemade mince pies and eggnog after supper, house parties with friends, wrapping presents with the Clever Boyfriend at home while watching our favourite holiday movies and a magical evening at the Nutcracker with my family (it wouldn’t be Christmas to me without a night at the ballet).

Here, a few of my favourite things that feel perfectly appropriate for the holiday season: a pair of fabulous Christian Louboutin red silk bow heels (treasure-hunted at the Louboutin sample sale) for cocktail hour with a Kate Spade purse to match, glittery manicures and twinkly jewels, a few sparkly accessories that make me feel like I’m unwrapping presents every time I put them on, and holiday candles that make my house smell like a festive cocktail of Christmas trees and wood fires and cranberries and loveliness.

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Pictured (top-bottom): Christian Louboutin bow heels (sold out but similar style available at Saks) // Paperchase tree and decorations // Kate Spade bow wallet c/o Selfridges (also available here) // Estée Lauder ‘zodiac’ compact c/o (also available at Debenhams) // Deborah Lippmann glitter nail polish // Estée Lauder lip lacquer in // vintage earrings (similar styles available here and here) // Jo Malone rose water and vanilla perfume c/o // vintage champagne coupes (similar style available at BHLDN) // Kate Spade crystal ring // gold horseshoe necklace c/o Katie Mullally // ASOS earrings (similar style here) // Jimmy Choo clutch (also available on MyTheresa and Farfetch) // vintage necklace (similar style available here) // Anya Hindmarch lucky sixpence coin purse (now on sale at TheOutnet) // Anthropologie owl candle // J. Crew sequinned ‘Etta’ heels (now on sale and in other colours and also available on Net-a-Porter) // Diptyque candle // Lulu Frost earrings // J. Crew necklace.

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I hope you’re having a wonderfully festive season so far!

Love, Miss B xx

 

July in Pictures

Filling my home with sweet peas and pastel hydrangeas from the market. Making the most of sunny evenings with nightly picnics on the banks of the River Cam as ducklings and punters drift on by and the bells of Kings College chapel chime in the background. Lazing in the grass with entire hours spent doing nothing more vigorous than reading a book and watching the clouds float by. New twinkly baubles. Stopping to smell the roses, always. Multiple trips to Diptyque to make my house (and myself) smell delicious. Souvenirs from my darling friend Nicolette.

My (already serious) love for London stepping into overdrive with the anticipation for the 2012 Olympics. Having the privilege to see the opening ceremony in person (wow). London looking resplendent in celebratory flags from every nation. New Prada heels (why did I not own lipstick pink shoes before this?). Crossing the Thames to watch the golden sun set over the Houses of Parliament (my glorious London office). Always time for tea at Laduree and dinner at Polpo with dear friends. Jimmy Choos and bike rides. Lunch breaks in beautifully manicured London squares.

Strolling the leafy, mansion-lined streets of Notting Hill (and dreaming of living in a pastel house with climbing roses and a glossy front door). Lazy saturday afternoon trips to Portobello Road with friends who make me smile. Merrily in my element vintage treasure-hunting. Getting my fix of proper Australian brunch at Granger and Co on Westbourne Grove. Exploring East London. Bagels and antiques on Brick Lane. Musings about Paris. Balmy summer evenings at last. Rediscovering old favourite Marc Jacobs treasures.

I hope you all had a wonderful July, and here’s to a marvellous August!

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

London Fashion Week: Orla Kiely AW12

Hello lovelies! I’m currently in the throes of London Fashion Week (one of my favourite times of the year), so forgive me if I seem a little aloof for the next few days. I promise it’s not you, it’s me! This is my fifth Fashion Week season, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of shows (I attend nearly every on-schedule show on the calendar). So for a show to really stand out, it must have something very special about it indeed.

Orla Kiely’s charming Autumn/Winter ’12 show yesterday evening was precisely that. Upholding her tradition of eschewing the predictable runway format, she instead entirely transformed a room within Somerset House and invited us to step inside her vision so thoroughly articulated, it was as though we were occupying an entirely different world for that brief period.

As I arrived with Charlotte, my date for the evening, we were instantly whisked back to a high school afternoon tea dance set in a golden era of years past. Gone were the ordinary audience benches, and in their place were little wooden tables laid with lace cloths, candles, champagne, tea and scones.

As a band played big band tunes, the sweetly girlish models were twirled around the room beneath a glittering mirror ball by their dapper dance partners. I’m not sure what was more darling; the darling setting or the adorable clothes. As we sat there and watched the whole scenario unfold before our eyes (we had only intended to pop in for an hour, but were so enchanted we stayed a whole hour), I fell in love with those bow-print dresses and little red shorts and golden beaded peter-pan collars (not to mention the ankle socks worn with their dancing shoes).

It must be a beautiful place inside Orla’s mind, and I love nothing more than being transported into her world each Fashion Week.

I wish I could have invited you all along, but I hope this helps to, in a way, transport you there too.

Love, Miss B xx