Two Cities of Love

Two beautiful cities, both beginning with V, and only 75 miles apart, 1 hour and 20 minutes by train. Two cities synonymous with romance and epic love stories, each filled with magical and mysterious tales. If you are staying at the nearby Lake Garda and you are interested in culture and city sightseeing they are the perfect addition to your visit whilst holidaying in the region.

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I first fell in love with Venice when I visited on a school trip. I love the water, so to be able to explore a beautiful city literally floating on water was a dream in itself. With countless bridges, the lapping of water against stone walls and the beautiful balconies, there’s a vibe about this city that is so mysterious and magical. There is also a peacefulness that lingers over the city. Masks loom from independent shop windows and little pathways between tall houses break open into courtyards home to beautiful, pristine churches.

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“Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water.” – Frida Giannini

The main difference between my first trip and my second, almost ten years later, was the full on tourist trap that is has become. I would say it’s a shame, but not for the people of Venice who of course would welcome tourism as a vital source for the economy. Whilst there is the odd tourist with a shiny new selfie stick looming on bridges and in gondolas on the canals, there is also a calmness and to even take one turning off the tourist track leads you to the serenity of residential Venice. For those who want the unique Italian experience, even just for a weekend, this would be the place to go.

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“What about damp? What about flooding? Wouldn’t it make sense to have a little lawn or garden as a sort of buffer zone between the house and the water? But then it wouldn’t be Venice, said Connie’s voice in my head. Then it would be Staines.”- David Nicholls, Us

More recently I visited the gorgeous city of Verona. This ancient walled city was one that I had only briefly thought about visiting and now I am so glad that I had the opportunity. I am a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet, so to be able to visit Juliet’s balcony was a dream come true. It was truly incredible to see just how many names and padlocks were there, as well as the number of people that can fit in one courtyard! There’s so much love in the world but it seemed like it had all accumulated in this one place!

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“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

I was amazed at the stunning architecture of the city. Walking through the walls of the city it was amazing to see the cobbled streets and the huge Roman amphitheatre, Arena di Verona, towering over the city and its citizens and visitors, famous for its opera which fills with over 15,000 spectators per performance.

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I was pleasently surprised by Verona and plan to return to this beautiful, intriguing city soon to explore it further. Would love to hear about any particular places you have explored in Verona! I’m looking for some more places to adventure to which are off the beaten track. Feel free to tweet me @prettyandpetit

Have you visited the cities? Did you have a preferred city? Let me know in the comments below!

Becky

Pretty & Petit

 

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Pretty & Petit visits London Fashion Weekend!

On February 28th 2015, I paid my first ever visit to London Fashion Weekend! I’ve always wanted to attend the event to see what it was like and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to this time round.

20150228_144345_resizedI met my friend at the entrance to Somerset House, home of the British Fashion Council, on the Strand and we ventured over the cobbles to the large marquee in the centre of the courtyard. This is one of the fabulous venues used over the course of London Fashion Week and is kept in place for London Fashion Weekend which is held for the general public to get a taster.

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First off we collected our limited edition tote bags with a beautiful print from Pringle of Scotland who are celebrating 200 years this year. The bags were filled with products such as Maybelline mascara, a sample of Lavazza coffee, some Garnier facial wipes, Hello Fashion Monthly magazine and much more! 20150228_162114_resized

There seemed to be a lot going on around the event including talks from industry professionals, the opportunity to shop designer labels and emerging talent and various catwalks to attend. There was also a fabulous prosecco bar and a Lavazza coffee shop to relax sore feet from too much retail therapy too!

We attended the Trend catwalk show which comprised of several collections focusing on key trends from The Outnet.com. The trends included Make it Monochrome, Shimmer & Shine, Hyper Florals and That Seventies Show.

I must admit, I haven’t been truly overwhelmed by any of these trends this season. I’m particularly not sure about the 70s trend – for me I just can’t deal with the suede aspect but I absolutely love the flares and I would wear these with a chunky heel. I’ve felt a bit as though retailers are trying to force us into embracing the trend this season and whilst I have seen a few flares and fringing around – no one has taken the plunge and full on embraced it just yet – perhaps everyone is waiting for the Summer? I’m not sure – either way, I’m not quite there yet! As for the other trends I’m a fan of anything floral so this is absolutely perfect. I’m looking forward to getting the florals out in pretty dresses and skirts once Spring has finally sprung! I love the idea of grown up metallics in the Shimmer & Shine collection and have already fallen in love with some chunky heeled sandals in metallic silver from Primark which I will be featuring on my blog very soon! Overall, it was a great insight into the trends of SS15 and it was great to see a spotlight on an online retailer sponsoring the show.

After the show we took a look round the “Shop the catwalk” section of the event which included a range of pieces taken from the catwalk. Some of my absolute favourite pieces are below, all are very unique and particularly stood out to me as one’s to watch!

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Did you attend London Fashion Weekend? I’d love to hear what you thought – would you attend next year?

See you on Thursday for a new featured business!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

XxX

Pretty & Petit at Pure London – Feb 2015!

On Sunday 8th February 2015 I travelled the (short!) distance down to Kensington Olympia in West London to visit one of the most renowned trade shows on the fashion calendar. Pure London, made up of just over 800 exhibitors – 300 of which are new to the event this February, is a 3 day event which invites buyers and other fashion professionals to see next A/W 2015 trends from brands based all over the world.

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I started off the afternoon watching the womenswear catwalk show which had six different scenes. Encrypted, My Street My Way, New Heritage, Streamline, Curated Eccentric and Folk Tales. Each of these demonstrated key trends for Autumn/Winter 2015.

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My absolute favourite collection was the My Street My Way collection which incorporated brights and bold accessories into street style. Here are some clips!

Next, I moved on to listen to the presentation “Utilising the power of the blog” hosted by Steve Spear, Pure Talk Editor joined by Jo Stefanicki from The Fashion Parade and Francis Bacon from School Run Style who were both discussing their blogs. Some interesting questions were asked and their stories were truly inspiring!

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I then continued the afternoon by heading upstairs to the Accessories and Shoes. I found lots of fabulous brands including some of my all time favourites including Vendula London, Estella Bartlett and Tatty Devine, and some new favourites Little Moose, Talented and My Flash Trash.

Next it was back to the Spirit catwalk show which included brands such as Goddiva and Neon Rose plus my one of my personal favourites Glamorous. I thoroughly enjoyed The Pretty Dress collection too!

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I finished off my day by strolling through the Spirit zone. Originally, the priority of my visit had been the accessories and footwear collections but I had felt so inspired by the catwalk show that I wanted to spend some time looking through the Spirit collections. I did not feel let down and found lots of fabulous brands which I cannot wait to share with you all!

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Becky at Pretty & Petit