On Sunday I met up with Jian Wei’s sister, Maisy, for a meander around Forest Hill. We pottered around some charity shops before heading to the Horniman Museum and Gardens, a slightly dilapidated Natural History museum at the top of the hill and one of my favourite spots in South East London. Not only is entry free, the museum also boasts a café in a fairy tale conservatory, a medicinal garden and some of the best views of London.
I wore my new leather Chelsea boots, gifted to me by Clarks, which were remarkably comfortable for a first wear and required absolutely no ‘breaking in’. The leather is wonderfully soft, with a fine grain and I love the contrasting sole. I also took the opportunity to photograph my new(ish) Harris Tweed A.P.C coat that I bought with my staff uniform allowance in September last year and which I have been wearing almost every day since I made it mine. The checked lambswool scarf is made in Britain and is from Marks and Spencers, the vintage silver initial brooch was a gift from my mum, the grey cashmere sweater was borrowed from Jian Wei and is from Uniqlo and the black wool skirt is from & Other Stories. The bag is a £1 charity shop find that I have owned for years.
After spending a couple of hours peering into the eerily-illuminated glass cabinets and ogling some of the more grisly specimens, Maisy and I enjoyed a hearty vegetarian Sunday roast at Canvas and Cream. This restaurant and gallery has a wonderful ambience, with a vintage aesthetic that avoids being too twee with a heavy dosage of solid wooden furniture and re-purposed cut glass lighting
How did you spend your weekend?
If you have enjoyed reading about the Horniman Museum and Gardens, you may be interested in another blog post I wrote last February, which contains lots more images of the unique architecture and Natural History specimens.
Pärlans caramels are handmade with organic fresh cream, real butter and sugar and evoke the heyday of this particular confectionery in 1930s Sweden. The staff, with their authentically coiffed hair and handknit cardigans, are every bit as stylish as the pastel sweet wrappers and boxes the caramels are meticulously hand-wrapped and presented in.
I was surprised to discover that Pärlans Konfektyr was, in fact, opened recently in 2010 which is testament to the incredible lengths the founders have gone to in sourcing authentic machinery for the production of the caramels and luxurious decor for the wood-panelled, cosy shop next door.
This understated eatery serves the most incredible Swedish grub in the form of reindeer or moose meatballs accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes, a veal-based white sauce and traditional pickled cauliflower, lingonberries and cucumber. For vegetarians, there is a melt in the mouth chickpea alternative and the set menu meal is served with a husk of crisp bread and butter, followed by complimentary coffee and heart-shaped pepparkakor biscuits.
Meatballs for the People may be a small chain, but the price and quality of the food makes it difficult to beat as a satisfying pit stop when trawling SoFo’s bounty of thrift stores and boutiques.
Grandpa is a large Scandi-cool boutique selling a tightly-edited selection of ‘normcore’ classics, utilitarian homewares and a smattering of vintage curiosities. The store epitomises understated Swedish style and is packed full of covetable garments, all made from high-quality materials and robust enough to endure the colder Nordic months.
Jian Wei and I splurged on a brass pineapple ice bucket which looks rather striking nestled amongst our bottles of spirits. See below.
Have you ever visited Södermalm? What are your favourite spots in Stockholm?
The year began with a very belated outfit post from Treviso, a town in Italy I’d visited in September whilst en route to Venice. This image saddens me a little as it features my beloved trench coat which was unfortunately stolen from the staff locker rooms at my workplace this summer. It had been my ‘go to’ mild weather coat choice for several years and so I feel a little lost without it! A perfect trench coat is now on my alarmingly long list of ‘items lost and stolen in 2014 to be replaced’ list.
In February I discovered the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill. I really must return in the spring to witness the gardens in full bloom and take this ridiculous pink vintage coat for another spin.
Read the full post here. Expect lots of images of natural history displays.
Another belated post from Venice, wearing a skirt I am kicking myself for not keeping (it was on loan as staff uniform from a previous employer), my beloved Ferragamos and my dearly departed trench coat.
In July, Jian Wei and I enjoyed a blissful week in Lisbon. This 1950s cotton stripe dress was found for free on a trip to Brighton and, following some repairs, transpired to be a perfect holiday dress.
Another outfit from Lisbon featuring an all-time favourite novelty hieroglyph print vintage skirt. I also bought some basic cotton t-shirts from American Apparel this year in a bid to develop the ‘quality basics’ portion of my wardrobe, a goal I intend to pursue further in 2015.
I found this delicate 1950s silk blouse for £1 and it was probably one of my luckiest finds of the year. This 1960s wicker basket bag was also a charity shop steal and fits in all my picnic essentials on days out, such as Keat’s House in Hampstead as pictured here.
And finally a festive outfit for Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day, wearing a beaded cardigan gifted to me by Beyond Retro. I am also wearing a 1950s wool skirt I bought for next-to-nothing on Etsy and a pretty ecru silk 1950s blouse from Pop Boutique.
So it would appear that all I wore in 2014 was calf-length full skirts and blouses, with Ferragamo pumps or my stolen trench coat. Perhaps my style goal for 2015 should be to push the boat out a little?
Do you have any style resolutions for 2015? What was your most frequently worn item of 2014? I would love to hear in the comments section below and I wish you all a very happy and peaceful new year.
As someone who works in the retail industry, I can quite honestly say that all I would like for Christmas is a good rest and some time with my family. But, if I had to pick something material, well – the following items may have caught my eye whilst doing the rounds at work…
1. Mermaid Hair conditioner. Whipping the lid off and sniffing at every opportunity has led me to discover that this smells mouth-wateringly like a piña colada.
2. Olivia Von Halle silk pyjamas. The ultimate luxury, evoking the decadent heights of the golden age of travel. My colleagues and I are constantly plotting how we might financially justify silk pyjamas so that we might feel like ageing aristocrats.
3. Le Galion, Tuberose. This collection of perfumes has barely changed since launched in the 1930s: the bottles are pure Art Deco elegance and the scent of Tuberose is just divine.
4. Larsson & Jennings watches are fairly ubiquitous among the staff at Liberty and it’s easy to see why: the Anglo-Swedish timepieces tick all of the boxes for design and quality, yet at a highly seductive price point.
5. Charbonnel Et Walker truffles. So indulgent plus they come nestled in the most beautiful pastel boxes that can be reused for storing jewellery and trinkets.
6. I am a bauble fanatic. I spent most of last November glued to eBay, frantically placing increasingly absurd bids on job-lots of vintage baubles. This box of hand-painted, glass concave decorations would be a shrewd way of bolstering my collection.
Beyond Retro very kindly sent me this adorable vintage cardigan as part of their ‘Xmas Jumper Style Challenge’ in partnership with Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. It’s not the quintessential garish Christmas jumper, but with its gold beading, super-soft lambswool and luxurious lining, I knew with one look that this was the Christmas cardigan for me!
This year Beyond Retro have pledged to sell 10,000 Christmas jumpers, donating £1 from every jumper sold to Save the Children. They are also hosting a ‘Xmas Jumper Style Challenge’ in which one lucky winner will be rewarded with a £250 shopping spree at Beyond Retro. All you have to do to enter is follow @beyondretro on Twitter and Instagram and tag a photograph of yourself wearing your Christmas jumper with the tag #xmasjumperstylechallenge. But hurry – the competition closes on December 14th!
I’m wearing: vintage Christmas cardigan from Beyond Retro, vintage silk 1950s blouse from Pop Boutique and a vintage 1950s wool skirt from Etsy.
Gamla Stan is the heart of Stockholm’s tourist centre and is often snubbed by those headed straight for the hipster bars and boutiques of the trendy SoFo neighbourhood. Still, I found the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan perfectly charming, illuminated by lamp-light and crammed full of tiny shops.
The Swedes have a typically understated approach to seasonal decoration which couldn’t be further from the garish, and overtly commercialised, festooning to be found along London’s Regent Street at this time of year. In Gamla Stan, bare fir trees are often simply tied to lamp posts or are adorned with a single string of golden fairy lights. When the sun sets at around 3pm, the omnipresent oil burners outside shops and restaurants cast a welcome glow into the navy blue sky.
Not to be missed is the Christmas Market in Stortorget Square. The wooden stalls sell traditional Swedish Christmas sweets, reindeer and elkmeat, glögg (mulled wine) and a range of Swedish handicrafts and festive decorations. The late November air was already bitingly cold when I visited but I can imagine it must be infinitely more magical to visit the market in the snow – a true winter wonderland!
Will you be visiting any Christmas markets this winter?
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.
I love to hear from you, so get in touch! Click here to email me.