Sunday, 23 July 2017

Gingham crop shirt and midi skirt

The Blickling Estate is another impressive National Trust property, and the last we visited on our Norfolk trip.  It's a handsome red-brick building, set in formal gardens flanked by ancient yew hedges.  Although the current incarnation of the manor was built in 1624, the previous manor that stood in its place was the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, a whole century earlier.

The manor and grounds are certainly more formal than many National Trust properties.  I felt that the building would make a good film location as a posh boarding school.  Perhaps it was my hat that helped give me that impression - I always think it's a little bit 'St. Trinians'.  Teaming it with my gingham shirt from Heart of Haute helped my imagination along a little further because red gingham was our summer dress uniform at junior school.

The skirt was one of those described as 'midi' - which I always envisage to mean that it will fall to mid calf.  As you can see, it only just passes my knees.  I kept it as it's apparently made of 'scuba', whatever that is, which does mean that it's fantastic for travelling - you can scrunch it into a ball, ram it in your suitcase, and it will miraculously spring back to shape when you unpack it, with no ironing required.  If I find any nice scuba fabric perhaps I can make my own longer version.

Blickling Estate @porcelinasworld

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival

Every summer, the city of Cardiff hosts its annual international food and drink festival.  Located in the bay area, with its bustling bars and restaurants, there are hundreds of stalls to browse, with most allowing you to taste their fantastic produce.  Alongside, there are demonstrations and talks, and entertainment such as live music.

Our first stop was at a little tent on Mermaid Quay itself, where staff from the newly opened Veeno Italian chain were about to begin a food and wine tasting.  We had front row seats, and were soon sampling a range of delicious Sicilian wines, accompanied with a range of tasty 'spuntini' appetisers.  We tried a lovely olive spread, some parmesan cheese, and a melt-in-the-mouth parma ham.  All of their food and wine is imported from Italy, in accordance with strict criteria.  I have had parma style ham before, but... proper, crown-stamped parma ham was a revelation to me.  I can never buy the stuff from Lidl again.

Veeno CardiffA member of staff from Veeno leading the food and wine tasting.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Abandoned Orangery

This post is about the location, not the outfit.  I'd like you to imagine that in the following photographs, that rather than being dressed in polkadots and colourful wedges, with my sweaty hair plastered to my face, that I am wearing a long white gown by Gunne Sax.  My hair is swept up romantically like Helena Bonham Carter's in 'A Room With A View', and my face is full of cool composure, rather than being shiny and warm.

Such is the problem of finding an amazing photoshoot location when you least expect it.  One of our last National Trust stops on our trip to Norfolk was Felbrigg Hall.  It was another swelteringly hot day, and keen to avoid the sun we stumbled into welcoming cool shade of the orangery.  It turned out to have been rather abandoned.  The aura was one of decay, despite the stubborn plants still clinging on for their lives to the damp, flaking walls.  In the rafters, a soft rustle of wings gave away the presence of its aviarian lodgers.

Bizarrely, the room also held a large doll's house, which only added to the somewhat unsettling atmosphere.  I almost had convulsions when the silence was broken open with the deafening thud of one of the birds flying into one of the window panes.  We left hastily.

Polkadots in the Orangery @porcelinasworld

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