Saturday, 24 June 2017

A Floral Dress at Paycocke's Tudor House

Our first National Trust stop on our recent road trip in the East of England was at Paycocke's Tudor house and gardens.  It had been a long drive from Wales, about 5 hours including driving through London (my first time), and making a stop to drop off a load of stock of CDs ready for my husband's upcoming album launch.  Once we were out the other side of London (slow traffic and 31 degree heat wasn't pleasant!), we were desperately in need of fresh air and refreshment.  I longed for a pretty garden with a shady spot to enjoy a beverage, and we happened to be near Paycocke's on our road through Essex, so we made a beeline for it. Set in a pretty and quintessentially English little village, the house is mainly Tudor and backs on to the most lovely gardens.

What a beautiful place to spend an hour it turned out to be.  I was delighted to find out that it had originally been a merchant's house - selling cloth, nonetheless!  There was a reason we were drawn to it...  Inside there are a number of rooms to explore, each reflecting a certain aspect or era of the property's history.  I particularly enjoyed a bedroom that drew on a period in the 1920s when the composer Holst visited.  After our tour of the house, we ordered some coffees and found a quiet spot in the gardens to enjoy the surroundings more fully.  The gardeners obviously work incredibly hard, are knowledgeable, and friendly towards visitors (that seems to be a feature of National Trust staff - I've never yet met one who was grumpy or seemed unhappy in their job).

You've seen everything in the outfit before.  I re-wear my favourites a lot, but this is a sundress that usually only comes out on holiday somewhere hot rather than here in the UK.  I also wore my colourful wedge sandals, a tiny dragonfly brooch, and carted around a huge red 'Mary Poppins' bag of 'just in case' items.

Floral dress at Paycocke's @porcelinasworld

Monday, 19 June 2017

The Big Road Trip East

724 miles, one puncture, several counties, four National Trust properties, a country barn conversion, a seaside guesthouse, and one wedding.  Phew!  We certainly packed a lot in on our recent roadtrip to the East of England. Today is a pictorial roundup of some of our adventure - I will then be sharing lots of outfit posts from this trip over the coming weeks.  I should mention that the weather was glorious, an all-out heatwave, unlike our last holiday.  When the sun shines, the UK is a truly wonderful place to be a tourist.

Road trip east @porcelinasworld
Lavender at National Trust property #1, Paycocke's

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Pretty Retro Tea Dress & A Vintage Parure

Sometimes vintage finds can feel a little serendipitous.  A few years ago, I bought a lovely goldtone bracelet from a car boot sale in Cardiff.  It's mid-century, in a sort of palm design, and I bought it off the nephew of the lady who previously owned it, for a mere £4.  There were no other pieces of jewellery for sale.  Fast forward a few years, and I was at a vintage fair in Cardiff's City Hall.  One of the traders (not from Cardiff), had a necklace to match my bracelet!  I snapped it up, I think it was £12.  That would seem outrageous in a charity shop but in a vintage fair that's reasonable, and I couldn't leave it there knowing I had the bracelet.

The next part of the story happened a few weeks ago, when I was in Hampshire for a wedding.  The day after the celebrations we were a bit too delicate to hit the M4 and drive straight home (that's what happens when the Taittinger is flowing), so we went to the nearest large town, which happened to be Andover.  There we whiled away an hour or so looking in the charity shops.  And lo and behold, I found a pair of clip-on earrings, £2, to match my bracelet and necklace!  Ta da, I now have a "parure".  That's just a fancy way of saying a set of three or more matching pieces of jewellery intended to be worn together.

This is the only time you will probably ever see me wear earrings.  I had to take them off immediately after these photos, I just don't like the feel of them.  I don't have pierced ears.  I was thinking I could use the earrings as dress or shoe clips instead!

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld

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