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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Get The Look For Less!

Today I am looking at how to get a fabulous outfit for Spring 2016 for under £100!

Taking inspiration from Danish brand, Designers Remix from Charlotte Eskildsen, off the shoulder looks are going to be a key trend for Spring 2016, providing a feminine, laid back look to any outfit. Charlotte uses beautiful, plain designs with gorgeous ruffles and frills to add a subtle extra to the outfit.  The off the shoulder leather dress from the ready to wear collection shown below is an excellent example of this perfect combination.

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Using this inspiration of the off the shoulder look I focused the outfit around a cute berry coloured dress from Boohoo.com. I love plain, simple dresses from Boohoo as they’re so versatile and so easy to accessorise for different occasions. They are always made of quality fabric and seem to last for ages. This dress was an absolute bargain at £15.

As this outfit is for Spring 2016 I thought I would pop a black hat at £13.99 from ASOS with this outfit to add some chic and to shade my eyes from the sun which is still quite low at this time of the year. Some cute ankle boots only £39.99 from New Look give a great look for Spring walks in the country, or strolling round Spitalfields market on the weekend.

To add a bit of glitz and glam to the outfit I included some gorgeous earrings only £5.99 from New Look and a studded bag, £22.99, enabling this outfit to go from daytime to evening, for a date to the cinema or dinner with friends.

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This post has been submitted into the Get The Look Competition in association with Travelex. Every vote counts so make sure you pop over to the website by clicking here to view all the entries – including this one! Voting closes on 4th November 2015.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Inked Shop Review

Usually I only tend to review businesses from here in the UK but as this is a fashion related post, I’ve decided to go international as I absolutely love this brand!

Inked Shop, based in the United States, provides women’s and men’s clothing, merchandise and homeware from many alternative designers. They offer reasonable International Shipping although be aware you may need to pay a customs charge on delivery.

I absolutely love the different designers on Inked Shop and I especially enjoy anything Disney related. So imagine my delight when I came across this Frozen inspired T-shirt by Black Market Art! I absolutely love it. The design is so cute and whilst I normally don’t wear T-shirts because of the neckline, I really loved the scoop neck on this.

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Below is my wishlist from the website! Do you have any favourite items? Let me know in the comments!

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Click here to view the full range available.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

All images from Inkedshop.com

Pretty & Petit visits The Ideal Home Show

My first time at the Ideal Home Show was last year (2014) on its last occasion in Earls Court. 2015 brings a new era to the show as it makes the move to Kensington Olympia. The event fitted the venue perfectly with each zone in its own separate spacious hall, making the show easy to navigate from any entrance.

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I usually visit the event on a Thursday evening, which is a bit like late night shopping when the show stays open until 9pm. It’s a nice time to visit as it’s slightly quieter from the day trippers and doesn’t have the weekend rush which means it is far easier to navigate around the event. Make sure you leave plenty of time for your visit though – there is so much to see (and purchase!) and you won’t want to be rushing round at the end!20150402_193300

We entered through the garden section, full of beautiful gardens, inspirational garden houses and beautiful water features. Living in central London currently means we have a bit of a distinct lack of garden but I now feel inspired to fill our balcony with water features, a pergola and a green house along with a hot tub! Maybe I should wait until I have a large enough garden to do that though?!

The food section was our absolute favourite part of the show! There was so much to choose from, everything from Chinese, Indian, Caribbean, Hog Roast, through to Ice Cream and Confectionary! We had delicious chilli and bratwurst German sausages which certainly filled us up! We also had a look around the Willy Wonka chocolate competition – Ideal Cake Decorator of the Year, which had some beautiful cakes!

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British Gas, as one of the main sponsors of the show, provided a number of stands exploring sustainable solutions for the home. There was information provided about loft and cavity wall insulation which will be provided free with support from the Government to the 90% of homes that need it depending on eligibility. You could be saving as much as £145 on your heating bill in a single year by having cavity wall insulation. By having loft insulation you could be saving as much as £150. Click here to find out more!

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Smart Meters are the new upgrade to how your energy usage is measured. British Gas is currently upgrading properties with this new technology across the country for their customers. If you are a British Gas customer this will mean you will no longer receive estimated bills, as readings will be automatically taken and sent directly meaning you will have a lot more control enabling you to see just how much energy you are using before your monthly or quarterly bill arrives. Click here to find out more!

Hive is ‘the clever way to control your heating and hot water.’ Using an app from your mobile, computer or tablet, you can control your heating remotely so there is no need to waste money heating an empty home again! It also has an optional feature alerting you if you have left your property with the heating on, again saving you money. Click here to find out more!

You can get a full range of Home Inspiration tips and advice from British Gas by clicking here to visit The Source. Helping you to get the best out of your home.

The Ideal Home Show has a number of show houses on display and this year, in true election spirit they had Number 10 Downing Street as one of the houses! It’s amazing to see how they literally flat pack and build these houses into the event. It’s definitely a key feature of the event.

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I attend a lot of exhibitions and events and what I found especially good about this show was the amount of stalls and businesses exhibiting. It was though every space had been used productively, partly down to the fantastic displays by the stall holders but also by the company that set up the event layout. It was very impressive!

To find out more information about the Ideal Home Show please click here.

Becky at Pretty & Petit