Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wedding Venue Visit : 29 Portland Place

This week I am sharing a completely different wedding venue with you then last week's English Country venue. We have had the idea of the English countryside wedding in our mind for awhile, but we have also liked the idea of a London city wedding. When I discovered the gorgeous 29 Portland Place I knew I had to see it! 
 29 Portland Place is a beautifully restored Georgian building designed by Robert Adam. Located in the posh area of Marylebone, this venue has an amazing grand staircase and black and white checkered floor at the entrance {I have a bit of an obsession with the black and white check thing!}. The building is full of beautiful plasterwork and glamouros chandeliers, I was in LOVE! I dream of having these walls in our house some day, for our wedding that would be amazing! 
 The venue is split into two separate ballrooms, over two floors. Ideally we would like enough room to have cocktails in one, dinner in another and dancing close by, but being that I loved the space, we could always turn the beautiful downstairs room into a hip lounge for dancing after dinner. 
 With chandeliers like this, you do not need a lot of decor! Or how about below, the fireplaces, gasp, gorg! I was LOVING this image from an event they hosted where the flowers were cascading over the mantle. 
The building also houses a luxury wedding planning company, Quintessentially Weddings. What a perfect combination! As much we love the venue, I think it might be over our budget a bit. We still need a ceremony space and lot of other details and I worry it might be just a bit too small. I am dreaming of hosting a birthday party or a lavish dinner party here in the future. Some day. Or maybe planning someone else's wedding here? Anyone? 

Looking for that chic venue in London, highly recommend it! Its stunning! 


London Wedding Vendors: Cakes by Krishanthi

In the past few months I have attended quite a few wedding fairs and have been doing a lot of research for our wedding next year. I thought I would start sharing some of my favorite London vendors I have discovered since I never know if maybe another London bride to be is reading and is also digging through blogs and magazines to find a creative and interesting vendor. I knew the wedding vendors that I would use if we got married in Florida or DC but being new to this country and to this city, every time I find a vendor that makes me excited....I know that I need to share! First up... 

I discovered Cakes by Krishanthi at the Wedding Magazine event I attended at One Marylebone {I'll post about this wedding venue soon!}. I was able to snap a few images of the cakes on display that evening. I found her cakes to be creative and beautiful. Some of the cakes had a bit of new trends tied in, but not too much that it still made it a perfect wedding cake, perfect for the modern couple. A sleek fondant cake with a hand painted picture, a ruffled tiered cake with gold flowers.  I was loving the ruffle cake below, turn the green into a light pink and I would love it displayed on our dessert table next year. 
How about this amazing hand painted peony cake! Are you surprised that the minute I saw it from across the room I had to snap a picture immediately! Bridal shower cake????
The image above was captured by Catherine Mead  and shows the variety of simple to intricate cakes she designs. 

You can find Cakes by Krishani on Facebook | Website | Blog | Twitter | Pinterest 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Filling Up My Easter Basket

I truly can not believe that this weekend is Easter! The weather here feels like Christmas is around the corner instead of the Easter Bunny arriving! To put me in the Spring and Easter holiday mood I have decorated our flat with bunches of daffodils and have filled bowls full of Cadbury chocolates. When I think back to Easter when I was a little girl and the surprises I received in my Easter basket, like when  when my parents actually got us bunnies, it makes me so happy! I know that I will not be receiving a bunny this year, but if I could have a surprise Easter basket full of some sweet UK treats and a little bit of sunshine I would be happy.  Maybe I will get myself a little basket and fill it with these treats: 

2. Not on the High Street Live Love Dance Sing Bangles

Instead of a wicker basket I would love my Easter basket to be switched to a little Easter Egg colored leather Gap bag:) ! 

Happy Easter everyone. I hope you indulge in some sweets on Sunday as well! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Sir Oliver!

{image by Doggy Studio

Yesterday Oliver turned two! Yes, he is a big boy now, in his terrible two's;) OK, I know I sound like a crazy dog mom and guess what....I truly don't care. It is funny because I truly never thought I would end up with a larger dog. I always thought I would get a pug, french bull dog, a Pomeranian {maybe some day} but then when Oliver kind of fell into our life....well the rest if history. Beau and I couldn't imagine our life without this furry bundle of fun. Long walks in Hampstead Heath, bike rides by the beach in Florida, hours of entertainment in our pool in the States, I am completely convinced that there is a little man trapped inside him! Every morning when he runs from his room and jumps on our bed, while I might be angry for the fur on our blanket, how can you resist his cute little loving face. He is the best companion for us to have living over seas, it completes our little family for now. 

Thanks for being the bestest dog Oliver! To my buddy, my pumpkin, my little furry guy, my crazy dog, Oliver....Happy BIRTHDAY! 

You can see more Oliver adventures HERE


Friday, March 22, 2013

I Fancy Friday v.6

Happy Friday! This week has been busy in a fun type of way! I have had a great friend visiting from the States, it is the first week of Spring and my good friend I have met here in London have visitors in from the States as well. I have spent the week wandering around our new city exploring and drinking wine talking wedding stuff, like good ole times in DC. Throughout the week a few things caught my fancy, you?I fancy friday

I fancy friday by rldamato

1. Daffodils - I can not get enough of these springy flowers! The cost £1 per bunch in the store. Cheap and Pretty = Love.

2. Our Queen - I loved watching this new documentary about the Queen's jubilee. I have to say, she is one heck of a woman! Not only has she been queen for 60 years, wow, but for being 86 years old, this lady is with it!

3. Cute Cocktails Napkins - This sounds simple I know, however, there isn't a Target here! I can't find simple quick cute cocktail napkins here whenever I want. I snatched up a few cute pairs at Selfridges from Meri Meri and Talking Tables and can't wait for our next cocktail party.

4. Good as Gold Bracelet - Elizabeth brought me this sweet Kate Spade bracelet and I am so in love with it. The idiom bracelets that Kate makes are such perfect gifts!

5. Laduree at Harrods - le SIGH. We stopped in at Harrods and in all honesty, nothing makes this girl happier then a Laduree box with a pink ribbon and caramel salted macarons inside.

6. Gap 1969 Western Shirt - I bought this shirt on sale recently and quickly it has become my go to shirt. Casual or with a big necklace for the evening, it is a staple instantly in your closet.

7. Lola Rose Zebra Scarf - I bought this at Fashion Week and it is perfect to jazz up my black winter coat! Yes, it is still very much WINTER here when it comes to our wardrobe.

Happy Friday! xoxo~Becca

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dior at Harrods

I had such a lovely past few days because one of of my dearest friends from DC, Elizabeth, has been visiting. I absolutely LOVE having visitors from the States come over, first off I miss them and secondly, it is always fun to discover new things in our new city and share them with friends. There is always something new to do in London, the list never gets short! Once you think you have seen every palace, you discover a new one, or all of the good tea and cake shops, you find a better one! I was excited to discover that Harrods had partnered with Dior and had taken over the British department store with a cafe, pop up shop, amazing window displays and a really well curated mini exhibit on the history of Dior. Plus, when I read about a cafe serving Christian Dior themed cupcakes, I knew that I had to bring a girlfriend here! Perfect timing! 
The window displays at Harrods are wonderful! There are red buses with stilettos, British soldiers with Dior attire, The London Wheel full of Miss Dior perfume and my favorite was the Tower Bridge with purses set up to look like ships bobbing back and forth in the water. 
The yellow number below with a pink underlay, hhhmmm, how can I get my hands on this one? Dior's new designer Raf Simons has his new line featured around the window, and boy, it is pretty. 
 This window display is so fun! Purses displayed like ships on the sea. 
 Head to the 4th floor for a free guided tour, our guide Tom was fantastic! Not only are the guides looking spiffy in their tailored suits, they had a lot of little fun facts about the history of the fashion house that was really fun to find out. 
I remember heading to the Dior boutique in Paris when I was studying abroad. OK all I could afford was a tube of lip gloss, but purchasing it in the beautiful Paris headquarters  made you feel a little more fancy, it is such a beautiful building. They have replicated the head office of 30 Avenue Montaigne and wow, what a fun display, Elizabeth and I started chatting about what a fun backdrop it would be for a wedding or event! Peering into the windows had amazing details and set ups of the rooms with their signature perfume collections.
There is a display of the haute couture pieces first design made with muslin mock ups. You could see the difference of Galliano's rough edges and Simons refined mock ups that I almost felt I could wear as is. Dior please. Muslin mock up wedding dress?
They created a miniature display of many of their classic signature pieces. How about that wedding dress in the front, ummmm gorgeous! Or the polka dot dress on the left, I can envision some red heels and polka dots for a night out with Beau! hee hee:)

The Lady Dior, le sigh. The Lady Dior handbag was named after Princess Diana and is created out of 43 different pieces that are hand sewn together. I am always amazed at watching the creation of an intricate handbag that we carry every day and seeing the stitching and time it takes to put together, pretty amazing how much work goes into one handbag. 
The exhibit has a few famous Dior dresses that celebrities have worn over the years. Recognize the dress on the left, Charlize Theron rocks it in the J'Adore perfume ad. The dress on the right with the mini waist was once worn by Elizabeth Taylor at the Oscars!
Head on over to Harrods for a free afternoon out {OK, minus the cupcakes or new Dior limited edition nail polish}. I do think it is quite a fun exhibit to swing by with your girlfriends for a day out at Harrods! The exhibit is running until April 14th, have fun!


*all my pics were taken on my iPhone. You may have seen me on Instagram, follow along here. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wedding Venue Visit : The Olde Bell Inn

Hello again! I know I have been a little slow on posting lately, things have gotten a bit crazy recently and I when I get home late at night, I haven't been able to get myself on the computer. My to-do list is exploding with posts to write and on top of the list has been sharing our wedding venue search with you. As I had mentioned before, Beau and I are looking at getting married in England. Everyone has their opinion and we know we only moved here in September, however, we live here now and will still be here next Summer during our wedding. We feel like, why not share our new life with all of our friends and family in our new country, an English Wedding! We wrote down lists of things that were important to each of us, we thought it would be really fun to have a London city welcome reception and then bring guests out to the country for the wedding day. After I saw this sweet wedding that Mary Lee Herrington planned, I knew I wanted to take a look at The Olde Bell Inn.
On a rainy Saturday we borrowed Beau's boss' car for our first trip outside of London. I won't lie, I was a bit nervous to watch Frans drive on the other side of the road {eeekk!} but he did great and we made it safe and sound! The Olde Bell Inn is located 45 minutes outside of London in the adorable village of Hurley, near the River Thames. The Inn is a mix of multiple small inns that contain a pub, restaurant, hotel rooms, gardens, libraries and event spaces, it is pretty great. Some of the Inn dates back to 1135, you just don't find these places in the States! When we drove up, even though it was a rainy gloomy day, I was pretty in love with the adorable little inn. I kept thinking, "wow! what would our US guests think!". You can walk the entire village area in maybe 10 minutes, its pretty darn cute! 
In regards to wedding spaces there are two options: The Malthouse and the Tithe Barn. The Malthouse is a Victorian Style building that also contains 14 bedrooms. It is a great location to host a rehearsal dinner, wedding brunch or after wedding late night drinks! I loved the library and could certainly envision a large kings table placed in the room with a fun family style dinner for our rehearsal. 
The Malthouse also has an adorable garden area attached that you could set up lawn games or even host a cocktail reception hour on. Isn't the bright green grass pretty! Yes, England gets plenty of rain to keep our lawns fresh. 
The decor around the house was like walking into a photo shoot, however, it is the real deal. Antlers on the wall, old maps, large candelabras, old books, the Malthouse is a really cool little place, I loved it. 
The largest area to host a wedding is in the Tithe Barn. You can host your civil ceremony and your reception in the barn. The old wooden beamed barn has large barrel chandeliers that add a nice character to the space. I never envisioned Beau and I having a barn wedding, I have always thought we are much more of the city couple. My mind changed a bit when I kept envisioning a mix of city and country with fairy lights, a black and white checkered dance floor in the barn, and it grew on me! The Tithe Barn can seat 180 guests for a sit down dinner, not a bad size space. 
These are the old streets that the Inn is located on. Fingers crossed with a little sunshine, I bet the wedding pictures would be so adorable, however, I think I may need to wear my wellies under my dress! 
We took a walk around the village and I kept commenting on the small petite doors to the houses and shops. I think I might be to tall for some of these houses, wow! 
Ideally we are looking for a small church near our wedding venue to have a blessing or church ceremony. St Virgin the Mary Church is located only a five minute walk from the Inn, doesn't this look like an old church in a movie! 
We wandered around for a bit and I couldn't help but snap a picture of this AMAZING manor home located near the church. I almost wanted to knock on the gate and see if they would hire out their lawn for a welcome party, it was pretty fantastic! 
 The River Thames is just down the street from The Olde Bell Inn, guests would love a little walk and an ice cream cone from the cafe near the water on a pretty June day. 

The Olde Bell Inn is certainly a pretty amazing wedding venue! I really loved it! You can have all your guests around you, there are plenty of rooms, the food was delicious and the service during our short day trip was really great. I think this is a wonderful option for a couple looking to get away from the city, however, we decided not to move forward with it because of the size of our group and we think we may keep it in London. If we did decide to leave the city for our wedding, it would be fantastic.  I really loved it! I hope we can head back soon for a weekend get away! 

I'll be back next week with a few more venue adventures! 


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Days Like This I Want To Get Away

No, these are not the lyrics to a Katy Perry song;) She wants to drive away right? Having been use to a lot of travel AND a lot of Florida sunshine, Beau and I have started to feel the need to have sun on our face. It has been a cold winter here and England! I have been itching recently to get away, to a little sunshine, out of England and have a bit of a holiday. Even though this may not be happening for a few months, a girl can dream right? 

Living in the UK, it is so easy to hop on a plane for a great deal and be in Italy or France for less then the cost of a flight from DC to Florida, it is amazing! I am awaiting my passport back from the UK Border Agency, and when it arrives back in my hands, ALL of these locations are on my dream weekend getaway list! With work, wedding plans, meeting new people, keeping up with friends and the day to day things in life {laundry, cleaning, blah blah blah}, I would just like to take a book and run away to one of these locations! Any European get away suggestions, let me know! 

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