SPOTTED: Gorgeous Vintage-Style Wedding Dress by Caroline Castigliano

Walking past bridal gown designer Caroline Castigliano‘s Central London store on Berners Street is always an exciting experience.   The dresses in the window always make me stop and stare but, being a lover of vintage bridal designs, I often find her elegant gowns too modern for my tastes. Until today.

The vintage-inspired gown seen below took my breath away. I love lace, sparkle and sleeves and this one has all three (thank you Princess Kate for starting the sleeved trend again!)… Despite the fact that marriage will never be in my future, when I see a dress like this one, I feel a wistful pang (sad and pathetic, I know):

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Caroline Castigliano Bridal Gown - Berners Street Window Display

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Caroline Castigliano Wedding Gown - Vintage Style

The dress was difficult to photograph through a glass window but I’ve blown up sections of the image and added colour effects to try to bring out some of the gown’s intricate, gorgeous detail:

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Caroline Castigliano Gown - Amazing Detail!

The above images don’t do the dress justice but I tried my best! Whichever brides may get to wear this stunning gown are very lucky indeed. Wishing you all a beautiful wedding and a blessed future.

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Trim That Bush!

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You have to admire the artistic vision of the graffiti artist responsible for the above design, found on a wall in an upmarket residential area of North London. Who’d have imagined that a few hanging leaves would inspire such an X-rated result! It’s hilarious … though I doubt all the local residents will agree! I wonder if this will inspire them to trim the offending bush 😉 I can’t wait for the news headline: “RARE URBAN BEAVER KILLED BY LOCALS”

North London Wedding Venue: Vintage Glamour

London’s ethnic minorities have been leading the way in vintage themed weddings for decades, but most of them haven’t even realised it. With a need for venues capable of seating hundreds of guests, London’s Greek, Turkish, Italian and – more recently – Eastern European communities have been flocking to The Regency Banqueting Suite in North London for years:  http://www.regencybanqueting.co.uk/gallery.html

Venues for big numbers are hard to find – especially at a reasonable price. Many Central London hotels have lovely suites on offer, but the cost can start from as much as £60 per guest, for food alone! Some couples turn to local community spaces (church halls, school gyms etc.) but these are usually very plain in their decor and you’re forced to be extra creative with table decorations and other accessories, just to transform the space into a romantic vision.

That’s why The Regency Banqueting Suite is a saving grace in the mid-priced wedding venue sector. As its name suggests, the interior is styled in the oppulence of the Regency period, offering a luxurious, vintage themed backdrop for loved up couples to either tie the knot or celebrate their union.

There’s even a huge drinks reception room for cocktails or champagne ahead of the main party in the banqueting room. Thankfully, the catering is good, too. They even provide a choice of Meditterean appetisers (like tangy humus, delicious salads, refreshing tzatziki), ahead of your actual starter, helping you to provide a four or five course meal at a reasonable price!

Admittedly, the outside of the venue is not much to look at and the limited parking at the rear of the building isn’t perfect but, once you step into their banqueting suite, it immediately fades into insignificance. All you feel is the splendour and glamour you’re suddenly cocooned within. What more could any couple want on their big day?

London In Pics – Sight-Seeing Here Never Stops!

As a Londoner, there’s a real danger of walking around in a haze, huffing and puffing my way through life in a blind rush. As I get older, my eyes become more open and my senses are permanently on red alert … Because when something beautiful or provocative suddenly appears in my path, it would be tragic to miss it because I’m simply in a hurry!

London as a city never ceases to amaze me. I’ve walked through its streets my entire life, getting from A to B, sucking in the energy, the atmosphere, the colours, the emotions and the contrasting beauty of one location to the next. I love that. I love the feeling of being a tourist in my own hometown. It means I can’t ever stop learning and I can’t ever get bored. The surprises are endless. The sights are limitless. The vibrancy of life here embraces me whether I want it to or not. It attacks my senses; sight, smell, touch and audio. I can taste the city as a result. It’s an uplifting experience and makes a routine commute or journey that much more exciting.

Here’s what I noticed last night and today, just walking along, going from A to B!

Royal Opera House:

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Camden Lock:

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China Town:

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All in all, not bad for an average, routine walk through my town!

London: A Tonic For The Human Soul

Here’s a little photo collection of sights I’ve spotted in London that made me feel something – ranging from happy and awestruck to thoughtful and inquisitive!

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Sometimes, if we just stop and stare – literally just pausing long enough to fix our gaze on our surroundings rather than submerging our souls in the flood of our everyday thoughts – myriad sights unfold to give us joy. All we have to do is look around.

Maybe It’s Because I’m A Londoner…

… That I Love London Town!

It’s a love affair that will never end. My relationship with London has, at times, been rocky and unforgiving yet there can be no denying the wonder and affection it still delivers, each and every day.

When I walk through the streets, often those which I’ve trekked through many times, I still find something new to marvel at. Whether it’s a pocket of awe-inspiring architecture, hidden away from the maddening crowd, or a tiny street sign with vintage charm, there is always something to make me smile, provoke thought or generate child-like awe.

I love London. I really do.

Here are some of my favourite sights:

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