Coco Chanel once said ‘a woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls’. Pearls have long been associated with royalty and wealth due to their rarity and difficulty to harvest. Thankfully the advent of the artificial pearl has made it possible for everyone to wear them.
Gone are the days of pearls only being used in jewellery, the Spring/Summer ’17 catwalk was filled with clothes adorned with pearls. The association with pearls and twinsets is a distant memory with pearls often being added to grungy items such as boots and leather to give a softer, feminine edge.
I couldn’t resist these pearl embellished flip flops from Zara and what better time to wear them than a trip to Buckingham Palace, followed by tea in a Cinderella carriage!
Buckingham Palace was first opened to the public in summer 1993, as a way to raise funds to repair Windsor Castle following the fire the previous year. Since then, the palace, which is one of the few remaining, working palaces in the world, has welcomed over six million visitors.
The changing of the guard was in progress when we arrived, with the Old Guard leaving Buckingham Palace for Wellington Barracks accompanied by the band. I immediately felt very proud of our country’s heritage. We had chosen the State Rooms ticket, which includes the 19 rooms used for official engagements. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Throne room and the Ballroom. We entered through the porte-cochere or covered carriage entrance and admired one of the royal carriages. The Grand Hall leads to the magnificent staircase that is a masterpiece in gold. Displayed on the staircase are various portraits of Queen Victoria’s family. Each of the State rooms has various items from the Royal Collection, given to the Queen from countries around the world. There was a special display for Princess Diana, curated by her sons, as a tribute, being that 2017 is 20 years since her death. Princess Diana was a great lover of pearls, mainly due to their versatility. She made pearls appealing to a younger generation during the eighties.
I was a little disappointed that the view of the gardens was literally a quick glimpse on the way out and you have to buy an additional ticket to see more.
After the palace we made our way to Hyde Park and enjoyed lunch overlooking the Serpentine followed by a walk around Diana’s memorial fountain.
The last activity of the day was by far the best and that was afternoon tea at the Tea Terrace at House of Fraser Victoria. A friend had shared with me on Facebook the fact that they had a golden Cinderella carriage there that you could book to have tea in. This was right up my street given the carriage I chose for our wedding and my love of all things princess – fairy-tales do come true after all!
There is a usage fee and you can only occupy the carriage for one and a quarter hours, or it turns into a pumpkin, but what an amazing experience for all us girly girls. The Tea Terrace is designed to give a traditional afternoon tea experience, painted in baby pink and blue with inspirational quotes on the walls. There is a self playing piano to provide atmospheric music and the crockery is all Royal Albert fine bone china. We indulged in the Celebration Afternoon tea that was served with prosecco. There was a choice on sandwich fillings, which is often not the case with afternoon tea packages and beautiful warm fruit and plain scones served with the traditional jam and clotted cream. A selection of cakes was also included although these were a little disappointing given that they were banana cake and lemon cake which are two cakes I am not keen on. It felt amazing to sit in the carriage while enjoying this lovely British classic. As Henry James said ‘there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea’.
The pearl trend is going nowhere, with autumn/winter catwalks again filled with them. These pearl embellished jeans from Zara were a fabulous purchase.
Why not share with me how you are rocking the pearl trend? I’d love to hear from you!