Thursday, 26 August 2010

Vintage honeymoon: part 1

I’m not sure a honeymoon can be classed as “vintage”, but the places we stayed in Spain were so full of old world charm and traditional character that they definitely deserve some space on the blog – all hand-picked by Vintage Husband, and a complete surprise to me!

Our first stop after a luxurious night in Seville was Trasierra, a rambling white-washed 16th century hacienda up in the hills of Andalucía. Run by Charlotte and her family, who has gradually restored the house over 25 years (she bought it when there was no main road and no electricity), the place oozed bohemian luxury and old school charm, and we spent a heavenly two nights there.

The hotel is surrounded by 350 acres of olive and orange groves, while the gardens are filled with grape vines, wisteria, aromatic flowers and huge urns filled with exotic plants. Each room has its own character – a mix of English country heritage the colours of Southern Spain – and there are terraces and secret gardens to lose yourself in. Charlotte has also gathered a hoard of beautiful products from her travels across Europe and India, and sells them in a little shop in the grounds.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Highlights from Vintage at Goodwood

We had a thoroughly enjoyable day at Goodwood on Sunday, even though there was a slight whiff of commercialism about the whole event and I was a little disappointed with the vintage fashion for sale (where were all the smaller niche sellers from Hammersmith Vintage Fair and the like?).

Having said that, there was plenty to love – my favourite bit was admiring all the weird and wonderful outfits worn by fellow festival goers – from 70s kitsch right through to whole families dressed head-to-toe in authentic 40s tweeds.

Vintage Husband loved all the beautiful vintage cars on show and we even found a Don Draper Cadillac in turquoise and white. Other highlights included the Puppini Sisters’1940s version of Beyonce’s Crazy in Love, tea dancing in the Tanquery Torch Club’s big top tent, and eyeing up the gorgeous vintage caravans dotted around the grounds.
The old fashioned fairground

The Vintage High Street
Vintage Caravans

The Mad Men-style Cadillac
Craft workshops
A picnic set fit for Glamping

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Vintage at Goodwood

I’m off to the newly launched Vintage at Goodwood on Sunday – an entire festival dedicated to vintage fashion, music, art, design and food – sounds like my kind of weekend! 

Covering all decades from the 40s-80s, I’m envisaging plenty of shopping opportunities at the vintage bazaar, catwalks and fashion workshops (make-your-own Dandy Cravattes, anyone?), while entertainment includes a 40s Swing band, Burlesque, tea dancing lessons and a mobile cinema.

I’m intrigued to see what the “vintage food” involves – the website has some fabulously kitsch images of trifle and 80s finger buffet food, promising such delights as Boiled Ham Terrine and Devilled Eggs at the 40s-style Tanqueray Torch Club, 50s pie-and-mash, and good old 70s chicken korma. I’ll report back next week.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Our wedding day part 2: the reception

Here are the rest of our wedding pics from our photographer James Davidson. I think my favourite is the two of us in the little “meadow”, a small area of wildflowers at the bottom of the garden that James has somehow transformed into a rural idyll!

The sun did its best to shine for drinks outside the marquee in my parent’s garden, blooming with summer flowers. My pretty veil sadly had to come off by then but it revealed the gorgeous headpiece handmade by my friend Emma Embery, made from embroidered vintage lace, diamantes and tiny pearls (thanks for the pic Sarah!).

Guests were welcomed with Rose Syrup Prosecco (an idea stolen from Petersham Nurseries) with crystallised rose petals, cups of tea and traditional pink lemonade (I think I tried all three!). We had afternoon tea-themed canapés including mini sandwiches and scones, and the more energetic guests tested their skills in croquet on the lawn, where all the old-fashioned deckchairs I had collected were put to good use too.

Read on for all the vintagey details:

- With the help of a dedicated team of friends and family, we managed to collect over 150 vintage tea cups and saucers which looked beautiful all laid out en masse.

- I had painted bits of wood as signs (“croquet”, “wedding” and “smokers and smooches” for the outdoor smoking space), and used blackboard paint to make smaller chalkboard-style signs and the table plan (tip: use white marker pens rather than real chalk!).

- The marquee was beyond all my expectations and looked incredible – the huge floor-to-ceiling windows let the light stream in and revealed the garden outside and it just looked stunning.

- Long trestle tables were laid with embroidered floral table cloths collected over the past year, jam jars filled with flowers, plants in mini terracotta pots and tea lights in glass yoghurt pots, and each guest had an individual vintage floral side plate.

- Those cheap and cheerful Ikea cushions were spruced up by my mum who had sewn on off-cuts of embroidered fabrics, vintage napkins and lace.

- The Kraft card (so hard to find but so good!) was again put to good use for menus and table names, and we used handwritten luggage tags for place names.
- The talented Jessie Chorley created a personalised guest album made from an antique book, which was passed around the tables for guests to sign.

- We wanted the meal to have a summer feast feel, with a choice of sea bass or lamb and big bowls of salad and roasted new potatoes on the table. After-dinner cheeses were laid out, along with mum’s homemade chutneys in jars for guests to take home.

- The cake looked stunning – our florist James had stuffed each layer with Amnesia Roses to match the button holes and the colour of my sash.

- And even the MC’s vuvuzela couldn’t escape the vintage theme!