♥ OOTD - Autumn in London ♥

When my friend Julie took these outfit photos for me, I almost felt like a proper blogger. Why is that? Probably just the typical London background, and the fact that I really made the effort to put this outfit together to make it look as autumnal as possible. It's got burgundy, a cable knit jumper, boots and a scarf. Haven't I ticked off all the boxes? ;)
Note that I am still wearing a thin trench coat, but to be honest I'll have to switch to my winter coat soon. I've got a lingering cold and it's a struggle to get out of the house early in the morning because of how cold it is. However that day, wearing my new Marks&Spencer jumper layered over my dress really helped keeping me warm. It's all about layering guys!

As I said, this camel/mustard coloured jumper is from Marks&Spencer. I picked it up mainly because of the buttons at the back, but I love everything about it and I've actually been wearing it a lot in the past few weeks. I'm even planning on getting it in another colour, that's how much I love it! This dress from New Look I've had for a while, it is really comfy to wear, the print is perfect for autumn. For some reason, I always wear burgundy tights with this dress, I just think it complements it well. I really want to get back into colourful tights, they can add such a fun touch to an outfit!
Finally, my tartan scarf is the accessory I can't live without at the moment. I like to snuggle in it, and it's also really useful to use as a cushion when you want to have a nap in the train and be comfortable. Trust me on this one!

What is your autumn uniform? Do you rely on layering in the colder months?


♥ The Manicure Moment: The Dark Night ♥

I am definitely more of a creme nail polish kind of girl. Of course I love glitter, but nacre finishes have never been my favourite. However, I may have found the nail polish that could make me change my mind! It is this gorgeous multi-chrome nail polish from Born Pretty Store . It is so hard to describe, and even on the photos you can't properly see how beautiful and complex this shade is. A dark blue base, with pink and purples hues, and a bright, almost turquoise colour when exposed to direct light. And what better time to wear such a deep shade than in the autumn, as the days shorten and night falls sooner and sooner as we advance towards winter? 
Concerning the quality of the nail polish, I would say it is quite good for the usual standards. The only thing is that the colour is very sheer, so you would have to apply three coats to get an opaque finish (or a black base coat as suggested on the website). The product dries quickly though, so it's not a big deal. It lasted a good five days without chipping, which is great considering the price. There was a time a few years back when multi-chrome polishes were all the rage, and I never really got into that fashion, but I picked up this specific shade from the Born Pretty Store website thinking it would be something new to try out. Moral of this is, always try out new things, because you could end up loving it! And like me, have a beautiful winter sky at your fingertips! ;)

Do you like multichrome nail polishes? Have you ever tried anything similar to this one?



♥ A Wander Through the Gardens of Versailles... ♥

Ah, Versailles... I could never properly put into words my love for this place. Some could say it is a place where absolute monarchy, privileges and, to some extent tyranny and pretence grew; but all I can see is the incredible potential of human creativity and skill, the ambitious embodiment of beauty. Versailles is a haven of perfect symmetry, the home of thousands of works of art, the home of several centuries of history and heritage.

I have visited the castle quite a few times already, but only went once this year. We spent the day in the gardens, and I wanted to take you along with me. 

As we went there in the summer (although the cloudy sky doesn't seem like it), the fountains were on. This event is called the Grandes Eaux Musicales, and only ever happen in the summer season at Versailles. From June to September, the fountains and water displays are all lit and baroque music comes from speakers carefully hidden in the well-groomed bushes. The music makes your walk around the garden much more grand and magical, and you just feel like you've stepped into a period film.

As you advance to the left side of the gardens, you'll get a beautiful view of the Orangerie and its impressive gardening design... French gardening at its finest.

I find it very satisfying that the lace collar of my top matches the beautiful spiral designs in the background, hehe.

Go towards the big central staircase directly facing the back of the castle, and you'll get THE view. You probably know which one I'm talking about. The infinite panorama over the whole gardens, that makes you a bit overwhelmed. Imagine Louis XIV going out for a walk with his court, stopping right at the top of these stairs and observing the territory he had built over the years to make it the most glorious royal place there is. 

After having taken in the view, time to get lost in the meander of pathways. Don't forget to get a map of the gardens, it can be very useful when looking for a particular fountain or grove. There are plenty, and all of them are worth taking a look at. My favourite has to be the Bosquet de l'Encelade, hidden in a maze of high vegetal walls on the right side of the gardens. It is rarely open to the public, in fact from all the times I've visited Versailles, this was the only time I had been able to enter the grove itself and look at the impressive fountain under all angles. Follow the signs and they'll lead you to the giant Enceladus, crushed by rocks and turning in what would become the Etna volcano.

I am always amazed by how raw materials can be carved into such beautiful, expressive, moving works of art. You can almost feel the despair of the giant in his eyes, the tension in his muscles, and the inescapability of his fate.

Once you've explored the gardens to your heart's content, there is another place that you may want to see before you return to the normal, twenty-first-century world. When you reach the bassin d'Apollon, turn right on the main big road and follow it all the way to reach the Petit Trianon and Marie Antoinette's Domain. From the awe-inspiring, richly decorated gardens, you'll find yourself transported in a haven of peace, where the infamous Queen, very close to my heart, found her little paradise. I have to say, this would probably be mine too.

Behind the Petit Trianon, follow the stream to stumble upon curious little things, such as the Temple of Love...

Is there a most romantic place for a furtive date with a secret lover than under the beautifully carved temple? 
But wait for it, there's even better. Walk along the little pathways behind the temple, and you'll find yourself in the most curious area of the Domain... The Queen's Hamlet. A dozen medieval looking cottages, an artificial fishing pond, a mill, kitchen gardens... It is fascinating to explore the grounds on which Marie Antoinette escaped the bustle of the Court, which she hated.

As I walked around the area, I could almost feel Marie-Antoinette's presence, I could picture her, ininformal dress, a bunch of flowers in one hand, feeling a sense of freedom in this perfect scenery. 
The hamlet and farm are still used to this day, and if you go a little farther, you'll see chicken, rabbits, donkeys and cows, taken care of by a very privileged team of workers. If I worked in such a place, I would gladly become a farm girl right away!

It took us the whole afternoon to explore the gardens of Versailles, and I still feel like we haven't seen everything they have to offer. It is such a magical place, and it is hard to describe the feeling you get when you are there. You are basically walking in History. Walking in the steps of kings and queens, of favorites, of page boys and gardeners...
I'd like to give credit to all the poor builders, and workmen that made it possible for Louis XIV's incredible visions to become this unique place. Without these people that we haven't recorded the names of, Versailles would have never been. However, they still live in the walls, in the paths and in the statues scattered around the gardens. Trust me, Versailles will stand and shine still, for many and many decades to come!

Have you ever been to Versailles? Or visited gardens as incredible as these?