Friday, 10 July 2015

Queen B

 I awoke yesterday morning in my mum's home. It's always a delight to stay there. The aroma of fresh coffee wafts up the stairs and there is always a delicious healthy breakfast waiting on my arrival downstairs. The weather was so beautiful yesterday morning that we decided to breakfast outside. I took the time to catch up on a little writing. It was all quite delightful and calm. That was until a distinct hummmmmm irrupted. At first I thought it was a motorbike, or perhaps the refrigerator inside.  However, it quickly became apparent that it was something altogether more wonderful- a hive of honey bees swarming to find their new queen! Although we had a hive living in a roof of an old home I had never actually witnessed Honey Bees swarming, it's quite a sight. They move in a beautifully choreographed way searching for a spot to land and rebuild their hive. It was quite a start to a Thursday morning. They eventually settled in a field next to my mum's home (if you should encounter any swarming bees telephone BBKA and they will collect them). 

They couldn't have flown in at more opportune moment; my mum and I have been enthralled recently by a house in Real De Monte, Mexico called The House of Honey. Isn't it the most intriguing name?! We are on a quest to find out more about it, and it's residents, the Honeys' who all travelled to Mexico from Chacewater, Cornwall to set up a silver mine. Coincidentally the colour of the bees, yellow & black, are colours frequently associated with Cornwall (you can read about why here).

All these bees made me feel rather queenly so I donned an ensemble worthy of a Queen B and did as a Queen B might do; lounge on a makeshift chaise lounge, eat gilded grapes and buzz about looking faintly peeved. If I learnt anything at Central Saint Martins it was how to bitch face. It comes in very handy when being a Queen B. 

The spirit of this outfit was inspired by the Queen of all B's, Dorothy Parker: 'The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue'. She really was the best at witty but extremely cutting comments. 

Dorothy Parker in a Hungarian blouse
Source: 1

The outfit I'm wearing is what I imagine she might of worn to drink cocktails in a Palm Court, perhaps a little like this one:
Palm Garden dining room, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, circa 1902
Source: 2
My favourite book in the world is Photographs of New York City Interiors at the Turn of the Century. I remember discovering it on my mum's bookshelf as a teenager and spending hours pouring over the beautiful black & white photographs of palm courts, plush dining rooms and tiled bathrooms. Then when she moved it got misplaced, we couldn't find it anywhere. I came home from London to Cornwall for a few days and we did our usual charity shop trot around. What should we discover in Oxfam? Yes there it was, propped up waiting for us! I was delighted. On opening it I got a shiver down my spine it was inscribed 'To Penny'- my mum's name! We snapped it up and it has remained on my bookshelf ever since. It was more recently joined by The Opulent Eye: Late Victorian and Edwardian Taste in Interior Design which I picked up for 10 Euro in Charlie Byrne's, my favourite second-hand book shop in Galway (if you ever find yourself in Galway don't miss it!)

Both books are filled with the perfect locations for a Queen B to inhabit; I can just imagine Dorothy Parker swanning through them dropping lines like 'beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone'. 

It's incredibly hot here in Cornwall. Hence why I look a little flustered in some of these pictures. I have a completely empty house this weekend, free from boys (I live with two). It's a delight, I hardly know where to start with all the activities I have planned. I'm currently making myself a delicious Vegetarian meal of homemade pitta breads, falafel, salad and Chermoula Aubergine. I lived on my own when I was first in London,  it taught me that spending time on your own can be such a great thing creatively. I always feel a hundred times more inspired and talkative after I've spent a few days alone. I hope you all have wonderful weekends, enjoy the sunshine and smile!

Outfit Details

1930s yellow satin dress - belonged to my mum
1930s lace up boots - a Christmas gift
Black silk sarong - Monsoon many moons ago
Gold leaf necklace - East
Victorian embroidered silk apron - a gift from my mum (it really needs mending...!)



  1. amazing colours in your outfit! All that's missing is a Alexander Mcqueen bee choker necklace (please google it, it's amazing) and you'll really be the Queen Bee!
    Love how your still dressing in amazing and fantastic outfits despite the heat <3

    1. I LOVE LOVE that choker. That whole collection was so wonderful. Thank you! XX

  2. What a neat thing to witness a bee swarm! I rarely see honey bees anymore. Love the queen bee inspired outfit!

  3. Can I come round for tea? That sounds absolutely delicious!
    Love your honey bee outfit. One of my friends is a bee keeper and it is scary but strangely fascinating when they decide to swarm. xxx

  4. Ooh how fantastical! I think we once saw a swarm in our garden in Somerset, a long time ago, but I could swear the sky looked a bit dark as it happened, such was the number of them. You look like sunshine in your lovely yellow frock. A boy-free house. God, how utterly, amazingly wonderful. The buggers are hard to shift, so you've done well to get shot of two!! On the rare occasions it happens to me, I treasure every second! Xxx

  5. This satin dress is just too perfect!! I love it. You always look fantastic. I love bees, they're really fascinating, not to be stung, but just to watch them work away is always so interesting. I hope you have a great new week :) x