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.
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.
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.
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.
Every time the sales roll around I wish I’d had the foresight, and self-discipline, to set aside some pennies to indulge in cut-price goodies. Needless to say, this summer is no different and so, instead of shopping, I shall entertain myself by building extensive, imaginary wishlists… until payday at least.
Here’s my pick of this season’s offerings:
1.Topshop Unique black and white striped top. Find it here.
2.Topshop Unique off-the-shoulder top. Find it here.
3. Equipment silk star-print camisole. Find it here.
Down House, the home of Charles Darwin, has been on my ‘to visit list’ for a long time and so I couldn’t believe my luck when our trip coincided with one of the warmest days we have experienced so far this spring. I still can’t get over how intensely blue the sky appears in these pictures – certainly not something we are accustomed to in the UK.
Downe is a picturesque village in Kent, a twenty minute bus ride from Orpington train station. It’s possible to use your Oyster card on the bus as it falls within London’s zoning system, however it does feel rather strange to ‘tap in’ on public transport in such a remote, rural location, especially as the bus required only runs once every two hours(!). My advice is to plan your arrival to coincide with the next bus departure to avoid a lengthy wait at Orpington station or alternatively, as we discovered, you may be able to share a taxi with other day trippers, similarly stranded at the station. (As a rough guide, a taxi costs around £10-15 each way.)
Charles Darwin lived at Down House for forty years, from 1842 until his death, with his wife, Emma, and their ten children along with a modest number of domestic staff and an assortment of pets and livestock. It was here that Darwin developed his theory of evolution by natural selection and wrote his groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859).
The extensive grounds were remodelled to create a sheltered garden which Darwin used as his open-air laboratory. He cultivated plant specimens in his greenhouse and devised botanical experiments to study plant adaptations, often encouraging his children to assist in collecting evidence to support his theories.
I found the greenhouse particularly charming, photogenic and intriguing to explore: the shelves crammed with exotic specimens imported from Kew Gardens, rows of carnivorous fly-trapping plants and, overhead, makeshift hanging baskets housing vivid orchids and trailing succulents.
Today, the ground-floor rooms of the house have been recreated to look as they did in Darwin’s time, complete with Arts and Crafts wallpaper and furniture. It was unfortunately not possible to take pictures inside and so you must visit in person to experience Darwin’s study, painstakingly recreated with the aid of photographs taken in the 1870s and artefacts returned to the house when it became a museum in 1929.
Visitors can now experience the house and grounds that Darwin so loved, and follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest scientists and thinkers of modern times. And remember, entry is free for members of English Heritage.
Wearing a navy suede skirt by & Other Stories that I recently won on eBay (similar here), a vintage cream knit sweater, A.P.C tweed coat (similar here), vintage bag and navy Ferragamo pumps via Etsy.
Down House | Luxted Road, Downe, Kent BR6 7JT | 01689 859119
Hi, my name is Dulcie and I am a recent MA English Literature graduate living in South-East London. In addition to working at Liberty of London, I also sell vintage clothing in my Etsy shop and spend most of my spare time rummaging through charity shops and car boot sales.
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