I wrote a guest post for Laura Ashley, take a look!
I wrote a guest post for Laura Ashley, take a look!
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are, without a shadow of a doubt, one of my all-time favourite places in London. Combining Grade I-listed buildings with acres of carefully-cultivated parkland, ornate glasshouses and even a Japanese pagoda, it’s no wonder the grounds were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2003.
I remember being taken to Kew as a child by my uncle, who lived in London, and being enchanted by the wrought-iron spiral staircases in the Palm House that led to a concealed underground aquarium. Our trip also coincided with the rare flowering of the three-metre tall ‘corpse flower’ – a headline-grabbing occasion which drew large crowds, undeterred by the distinctive odour of the plant.
I rediscovered Kew as a ‘grown up’ when visiting Jian Wei at university and fell in love with the place all over again: the vivid reflections in the inky depths of the waterlily pool, the peeling white paint and myriad of exotic blooms providing endless photo opportunities. Surely there are few places more magical than a slightly dilapidated, palm-filled glasshouse?
We paid a visit at the end of the summer and snapped these shots. I wore my new white denim button-down skirt from M&S [similar here] – a dead-ringer for the Rachel Comey version I love but can’t afford – a classic Breton and a vintage wicker basket bag I found in a charity shop a couple of years ago for £5. The sandals are ancient Topshop and had fallen apart by the end of the day – quite literally worn to death!
I am now looking forward to visiting Kew in the autumn to see it transform with the changing season.
What I Wore:
Breton: Vintage via charity shop [similar here], Denim skirt: Marks and Spencer, Watch: Larsson and Jennings via Liberty of London, Sandals: Topshop (so old they ended the day in the bin), Basket Bag: Vintage via charity shop [browse Etsy for similar styles].
For AW15, Topshop UNIQUE presents a covetable collection of sixties-inspired separates composed of tactile fabrics such as plush velvet, luxurious shearling and patent leather. Creative director, Kate Phelan, visualised ‘an aristocratic UNIQUE girl leaving her country pile for a weekend under the dazzling lights of London’ – an image I aspire to.
In homage to the English countryside, dandelion print adorned high-necked blouses and prim dresses, whilst appearing in an intricately-embellished form on A-line mini skirts and dresses. Cable-knits were re-imagined in sky blue and mustard yellow and tucked in to corduroy skinny flares, or layered beneath lustrous pea coats. The block-heeled pumps tick all the need-it-now boxes, with their squared-off toes, metal eyelet detailing and velvet finish.
My favourite pieces from the collection:
Find them here!
Lewisham Street Feast is housed in the formerly-derelict Model Market, a partially-covered 1950s construction in which abandoned shops have been converted into stylish, yet unpretentious, micro-diners.
With such an array of treats of offer from the likes of YumBun, Meringue Girls and Up in My Grill, one is truly spoilt for choice, and so it’s recommended that time is best spent hopping in and out of the various shop fronts to experience the different vibes and flavours.
The Model Market also guarantees impressive views of St. Saviours church tower from Lewisham Highline: a rooftop bar with vinyl-only DJ, astroturf flooring and parasol seating – making it the perfect place in Lewisham to spend long, summer evenings with friends.
I was lucky enough to be gifted these sleek, black sandals by Teva which feature an ultra-lightweight sole, triangular grommets and velcro straps. The Originals range cleverly merges nostalgia with contemporary street-appeal – yes, you’ve probably encountered this style before – giving a new lease of life to this nineties’ staple.
As part of Teva’s #originalsummer campaign, you could win an American road trip for two by sharing your most original summer moment. Click here for further information.
What I Wore:
Sunglasses: Karen Walker, T-shirt: American Apparel, Jumper: Muji, Jeans: Topshop, Sandals: c/o Teva
Jian Wei and I recently escaped the city for a sunny Saturday in the Victorian seaside town of Margate. We were keen to visit Dreamland, a traditional pleasure park that celebrates the Golden Age of the British seaside holiday.
The site of the park was first developed as pleasure gardens in the 1880s, complete with Gothic walls and a a menagerie, however the Dreamland name was not used until 1920 when the park’s Grade II listed Scenic Railway was opened. At the height of its popularity in the 1960s, Dreamland attracted more than two million thrill-seekers a year. Sadly, with the ascent of cheap package holidays to warmer destinations, Dreamland fell into a state of disrepair and was subject to a series of devastating arson attacks. The park closed its doors to the public in 2005 and many rides, including the creepy ‘haunted snail’, were sold.
The Dreamland Trust grew out of the campaign to resurrect Dreamland, receiving backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Thanet District Council and the Sea Change Fund. The HemingwayDesign team was appointed to re-imagine and re-brand the park as a nostalgic, family-friendly destination with plenty of retro appeal.
The Scenic Railway will re-open later this year and the handsome Art Deco cinema is set to be renovated in the second stage of the park’s re-imagining. I can’t wait to return and witness Dreamland fully restored to its former glory.
Vintage photographs via The Guardian.
Dreamland, Marine Terrace, Margate, Kent, CT9 1XJ | www.dreamland.co.uk | +44 1843 295887
I took a gamble on these off-white denim dungarees and ordered them from Topshop in the midst of a late-night, online-browsing session.
As the price had been reduced to £25, I was willing to take a chance even though I have a traumatic record of failing to find dungarees that flatter my long torso. This style, however, proved to be a surprisingly good fit: the bib-front sitting high enough on the chest to give the illusion of an almost-proportional body. Furthermore, the off-white shade is just the ticket for pairing with my numerous stripy tops.
I fell so deeply in love with this particular design that I bought it again in indigo and black, much to the disbelief and dismay of my younger sister, who was shopping with me at the time. For me, however, it only seems wise to buy in multiples when I find something that I know I will wear on high-rotation.
What I Wore…