| Outfits

Green Dreams

Welcome to the third post in a row in which I’m wearing green. I can’t help it, I just really like green, and I think it likes me back. Opinions?

These photos are from when I went to Bury St Edmunds for a wedding, and while there, came across the cathedral and the Pillar of Salt, a Grade II listed signpost that dates from 1935 and is apparently the oldest illuminated sign in the country.

All dressed up to the nines, obviously, I had to do a pose.

This dress is a gorgeous 70s maxi I bought from Advantage in Vintage via the Ooh La La vintage Facebook group. As is customary with vintage maxis, it’s a bit shorter than I’d really like, but at least you can see my pink Swedish Hasbeens clearly! You win some, you lose some.

With thanks as ever, to my (sort of) patient boyfriend for taking these photos.

A silly one for good measure!

Dress: 70s vintage
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens

| Uncategorised

Straight to the TopVintage

Well, if I’m going to get back into blogging on this brand new platform of mine, then blog I must. Luckily, I went to an amazing event last weekend, so telling people about it is a pleasure, rather than a chore. And I got to wear an excellent new dress so everyone’s a winner!

It’s the second year in a row that I’ve been to the London Fortean Society’s all day symposium The Haunted Landscape. It’s basically a day of lectures from all sorts of interesting people on British folklore, ghosts, witchcraft, legends, magic and so forth. At this point, let me just add that I do not claim to be a witch, or a Wiccan, or even necessarily believe in ghosts or anything. But unexplained phenomena has fascinated me from a very young age. I had books about Greek myths & legends, an Usborne Mysteries of the Unknown book, another one I pored over that I think was my Grandad’s about everything from UFOs to telekinesis. I bought the first ever issue of Bizarre magazine as it had something in it about spontaneous human consumption.

Nowadays I also like mystery (& true crime) podcasts, I have a soft spot for crystals (even if I don’t believe they actually do anything) and still like to read up about unexplained mysteries, so the Fortean London talks are a dream for me… and the all-day one is, well, an all-day dream.

We learned about the legends of the Black Dog, which have persisted for hundreds of years, the ‘walking dead’ or reanimated corpses, World War One visions of angels or apparitions on the battlefield, why large geographical landmarks are often called ‘the Devil’s *something*, and even why ghosts came to be portrayed as a white sheet (it’s a Victorian thing). Plus more. Whether you’re a fascinated sceptic or a complete believer, it’s still an interesting day out, and my friend Bethan & I discussed how it’s so much easier to stay awake in interesting lectures than it was when we were bored uni students.

I also got to wear an excellent new dress, which was a gift from TopVintage. It’s the Olivia dress by Vixen, which is supposed to be 1930s style, but is easy to make more 1970s with the right hair and accessories! It’s got long sleeves, so it’s practical, plus it has a generous length, though at 5’10”, it could still do with another inch or two… but that’s just me being fussy (& tall)! A really lovely, warm dress for the winter… even if my other half said I looked like a granny’s curtain. 🙄

Dress: courtesy of TopVintage
Jacket: Forever 21 when in Boston a couple of years ago
Boots: eBay
Glasses: fancy new ones from Kylie Minogue (via Specsavers)

| Events

Jumping for Joy

Well hello there! Just dipping my toe back into the world of blogging for two purposes. Firstly, to try out this awesome new layout with all its fancy new bells & whistles (steep learning curve after 9 years on Blogger, I can tell you). And secondly as it’s been so damn long, I do actually have a glut of great photos to post and stories to tell! Please have a click around this new site if you have a moment, and tell me your thoughts…

Back in July, after missing the 2016 edition for a dear friend’s wedding, I made my return to the Chap Olympiad. If you’ve been anything like a regular reader over the years, you’ll know this a staple of my summer social calendar, and not just because I usually have a role helping out in some way! It’s also a chance to catch up with people I sometimes only see there, and with those whom I do see more regularly, but not nearly often enough! (more…)

| Uncategorised

The King’s Shorts (film, that is)

Hi readers! I’m not dead. Today I’m here to tell you about a hypnotist, hoaxer, magic lantern operator, and one of the earliest pioneers of film. And, of course, his connection to the King!

While it could never be said that he’s a household name, as many of today’s most famous filmmakers are, George Albert Smith is truly one of the most important people in Victorian and Edwardian cinema. I went to Brighton Museum to have a look around the Experimental Motion exhibition on early film in Brighton and learn more about him. What better setting for a King’s Ginger piece than The Royal Pavilion?

(more…)

| Uncategorised

Eight Years of Blogging Christmas

Forgive me, oh readers, this is a bit of a cheat post. I just read lovely Retro Chick’s Christmas outft post & wanted to rip off her idea. But because I’m nothing if not resourceful and have done this in the past, I’m basically reposting almost exactly what I did last year. But this blog needs a seasonal revival and what’s easier than a good old copy/past/update post? So here it is, the Eight Years of Blogging Christmas, since 2008, when DoaVG was born!

(This time, I’m going to add some different angles & bonus photos. Well, it is Christmas…)

For the 2008 Everything’s Jumpin’ Christmas swing dance in Kingston I wore a two-piece candy-cane striped playsuit & skirt. I couldn’t remember the brand last year, but I can confirm it was by Miss Hussy, a now defunct Aussie brand. I ‘met’ the owner again on Facebook this year, in a vintage group. Small world!

 

This repro velvet dress from Able Grable (also sadly gone) from 2009 has been a festive winner for many subsequent years. Here’s me and my bro, looking young – he’s now more grown-up than me, being married and with a 1 year old little girl.

 


There don’t seem to be any pictures of me from Christmas 2010. Obviously I have no idea what I wore… but I do have some photos of my 30s inspired gown from the New Sheridan Christmas party that year, with Bethan & Jeni looking EXTREMELY young!

Plus, here’s one of me in an actual 1930s gown from NYE that year.

Just before Christmas 2011, I took some photos for  King’s Ginger around St James.

That ASOS jumpsuit makes regular appearances to this day.
On Christmas Day itself, I wore a jumpsuit, and ended up looking like this on our traditional walk.

 

Posing in my best pal’s shop in a festive Rocket Originals jumper…

 

 

Bonus festive pics of my babes Jeni & I doing a photoshoot at the Imperial War Museum. Honestly, I’ve been so privileged in my life.
This picture of me with Percy Pig in a Santa hat deserves a special mention.

 

As does the Christmas cat face.
2013’s Heyday Christmas Fleur (plus my then-tiny cousin), which will be worn at some point over the holidays this year too and…

 

2014’s Heyday Holly Berry Fleur dress, which will also make a comeback.

As you might gather from my infrequent blogs, I’ve kinda fallen out of love with having my photo taken in recent times. I didn’t get any photos of myself last Christmas, except this one. Bit of a different vibe, but more ‘me’ as I am currently!

I think that’s enough narcissism for one post/year. See you all in 2017? Stay sexy, everyone.

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

| History, Uncategorised

The King & The American

Would you look at the time? I’m going back to 1892 to tell you all another story about a certain late King. It’s quite the interesting tale. Welcome to Two Temple Place…

Two Temple place is a gothic mansion, situated on the Victoria Embankment of the River Thames. It was built for William Waldorf Astor in 1892 (completed in 1895), from Portland stone and in the Early Elizabethan style. The inside was described by one Donald Strachan as ‘Victoriana meets Disney’ and is full of completely bizarre details, which I’ll come to shortly. It’s also not generally open to the public, only opening its doors during periodical exhibitions. I’ve wanted to go along to see it in person for a few years, partly because of the connection with King Edward VII, thus making it a great topic for one of these blogs, but also because it just seemed really interesting and unusual. And it certainly didn’t disappoint!

Let’s start from the beginning. William Waldorf ‘Willy’ Astor, later known as the 1st Viscount Astor, was an extremely wealthy american gentleman, born in 1848. He was an attorney by trade and hailed from New York, growing up in Germany and Italy before returning to his native country as a young adult. He entered politics in the 1870s, with some success, but it was in 1890, when his financier father died, that he inherited an enormous fortune. Enough to make him the richest man in America.

Among the first things he did with his newfound wealth was to build the opulent Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York. You might have heard of it! But in 1891, he got into a family feud with Caroline Webster “Lina” Schermerhorn, the wife of his uncle, over whether it was she or Astor’s own wife Mary who should be known as the official ‘Mrs Astor’. Unfortunately, Willy lost the argument. In a very strange turn of events, in order to disappear from the American public eye, Astor apparently faked his own death from pneumonia and moved to England in 1892. Obviously, this ruse didn’t last long and he was roundly mocked by the American press. Nevermind, eh? He was in England now!

Upon arrival in London, he rented a home, but immediately began work on Two Temple Place, later buying a country estate, Cliveden in 1893. The work was completed in 1895.

Two Temple Place has everything an eccentric billionaire could want. Elaborate carvings, complicated metalwork, crenellations, novelty lampposts, cherubs on the telephone (it was brand new technology then), a fancy weathervane – all on the outside.

But the inside takes it another step further still. It’s extraordinary. Carved wood, wood figurines, gilt plating everywhere, spectacular stained glass on the ceiling and windows. Have a look.

At opposite ends of the Gallery are these amazing windows.
And there’s gold plating everywhere… very dark for photos unfortunately.

 

The main stairwell has this ridiculous ceiling and a frieze starring characters from Rip Van Winkle and Last of the Mohicans among others, as well as Shakespearean carved figures and other characters from both fiction and history. Anne Boleyn is there somewhere. The staircase has not one but SEVEN mahogany carvings of characters from Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers, allegedly Astor’s favourite novel.

Add caption
Porthos
 Not sure – Athos?

It was designed and built by architect John Loughborough Pearson, the founder of Modern Gothic architecture. The budget was so high, he spared no expense on hiring skilled craftsmen. Aside from the crazy and amazing interior, Two Temple Place had many useful features as well. It was Astor’s office, was a home away from the US where he apparently felt his children were at risk from kidnapping, the largest strong room in Europe and other fortified safes.

From Wikipedia

But the interesting story of Two Temple Place is all well and good, but what is the connection with The King’s Ginger, you might well ask? There are almost too many to detail in one blog (and keep it interesting). Firstly, he may very well have met our hero when still in the USA, as a founding father of the Tuxedo Club – which the Prince attended in New York, as detailed in a previous blog post I wrote on tailor to the King, Henry Poole.

But later in life as a London resident, Willy Astor became very interested in British society, specifically his standing in it. He donated widely and generously to charities – Great Ormond Street Hospital was one such recipient, as well as countless universities, schools, hospitals, benevolent funds, war memories, children’s charities and, notably for this piece, donated £5,000 annually to King Edward’s Hospital Fund (you can see an earlier piece on this hospital!). While rumours abounded that he wanted to marry into royalty, he controversially gave a very extravagant wedding gift to Princess Maud of Wales, King Edward and Queen Alexandra’s youngest daughter –  a bracelet with a diamond larger than a hazelnut. The Evening Telegram in 1896 said of it, ‘The ornament is an extraordinary one, even for a many times millionaire to give to a Royal bride, and that giver but a ‘commoner,’ say some of the gossipers.’

Maud of Wales

But even more interestingly, as transcribed in this great blog post, in 1896, the Chicago Tribune reported that the generousgift of the bracelet probably came as a result of Astor’s closeness with the then Prince of Wales, because Astor had paid off some of our Playboy Prince’s mounting debts:

… the Prince looked around him on every side for another benefactor, whom, the probabilities are, he found in the person of William Waldorf Astor, who was only too delighted at the opportunity thus offered to place the future King of England and Emperor of India under so heavy an obligation to himself.

The Prince is not ungrateful, and he has shown by his visits to Cliveden, by his influencing the other members of the Royal family to accept Mr. Astor’s invitations and by his inviting him far more frequently than is stated in the newspapers to Sandringham, how much he appreciates the assistance afforded.

One of the most significant features of the situation is the superb wedding present given by Mr. Astor to Princess Maud of Wales the other day. It was an unset diamond of huge size, of perfect purity and luster, and of immense value.  It was a gift which a brother-in-law might give to a sister-in-law or a kinsman to a relative, but hardly one which any mere acquaintance of the family, a comparative stranger, would dream of sending.

The Royal family are very particular about the origin of presents, and many a gift has been refused because the Prince and Princess did not consider that the value thereof was warranted by the degree of intimacy or of friendship.

The inevitable conclusion, therefore, is that William Waldorf Astor, descendant of the German pelt-peddler and late of America, is not only considered an intimate friend of the family of the Prince of Wales, but is in a position steadily to intensify that intimacy and worm his way to the throne, the left-handed consort’s throne, itself.

London society is convinced that this is Mr. Astor’s purpose, and those luminaries of it who best know its inner workings consider that his chances of success are good.

And as a final amusing note, Astor’s son, Waldorf Astor, had a second marriage to another American emigré to England, Nancy Witcher Langhorne. Nancy Astor was famous in English society for being a bit saucy in her speech – she was apparently charming, witty and interesting (if also very devoutly religious). The couple lived in another of Willy Waldorf Astor’s homes, the aforementioned Clivedem. On the Cliveden site (now National Trust), it states:

In the early twentieth century, King Edward VII was eager to meet the newly married Nancy Astor. On one occasion during a visit to Cliveden, Edward VII asked to play bridge which Nancy declined, famously saying ‘I am afraid I can’t tell a King from a Knave’ – much to the King’s amusement.

I suspect the King might have had designs on her…

That’s all for now. Here are a couple more photos of the amazing Two Temple Place, where Astor and the King may or may not have drunk together. The exhibition on inside during my visit was on Egyptology – fascinating but the building itself was worth the trip alone. It’s now closed to the public until their next exhibition in 2017. I encourage any history lovers to go along when you can, it’s amazing!

 

D’Artagnan in the foreground there.

This is the ladies loo! It’s the worst photo I took, but I’m sharing for posterity!

In the meantime, drink loads of The King’s Ginger – it’s getting to that season after all. Especially at this weekend’s Goodwood Revival, where there’s a lovely Berry Bros. & Rudd Bar! Cheers!

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

| Travel

Go Hard or Go Frome (part 1)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (or rather last June in Somerset), much fun was had. It was actually a hen do, and all in honour of Jeni aka Yesterday Girl, who got married in Vegas last July. A fabulous time was had by all (and documented on Instagram) but then the photos got lost on a hard drive and so no blog post was written. But then, a couple of months ago, they got found… hooray!

So anyway, last June, my girl gang and I drove in convoy to Frome (yes it’s pronounced Froom, rather than to rhyme with home but oh well), with me in my little yellow Panda and Bethan in her red Ka. We stayed in a lovely holiday cottage called Stonehenge (s/o to all you Spinal Tap fans) that we found through Snaptrip, which had a pool and games room next door. And we celebrated Jeni’s forthcoming marriage with almost none of your standard hen party accessories. Except willy straws. Oh, and willy cutlery.

I will simply post this as a visual diary of our excursions. There’s Wookey Hole, which was quite literal cheesy fun in caves (clogs not recommended), the vintage amusement arcade and mirror maze plus the dinosaur trail outside. We also did a trip into Frome to poke about the vintage shops. While other people’s holiday photos can be dull, I assure you all there are lots of good vintage outfits and hair to be seen here! Part 2 coming soon and by the way, all these photos are from Jeni’s amazing camera, which explains why they are much better than my knackered old Canon can manage.

Outside Stone’enge!
Picnic essentials
Bathing belles (mostly in What Katie Did!)
Swedish Hasbeens – not health and safety conscious in caves
Mirror lols
Jeni from the slots

That’ll do for now… stay tuned for part 2 of ‘Photos I didn’t take in Frome’! Also, anyone else now wishing for some summer sunshine?

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

| Modelling

Feelin’ Vinyl

Yesterday was really quite special. Not only did I get to hang out with one of my oldest and dearest friends Naomi Thompson, but I got to dress up and have my photo taken in a fabulous 1970s dress with hair and makeup, too. Exhibit A:

As a newly converted 1970s aficionado, it was a bit of a dream. The shoot was in honour of the new HBO series Vinyl being released for digital download, today. Firstly, and most importantly, here’s what Vinyl is all about:

VINYL is a ride through the sex- and drug-addled music business of 1970s New York at the dawn of punk, disco and hip-hop. Richie Finestra, the founder and president of American Century Records, is trying to save his company and soul without destroying everyone in his path. With his passion for music and discovering talent gone by the wayside, and American Century on the precipice of being sold, he has a life-altering event that reignites his love of music, but severely damages his personal life.

It has been created by none other than Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, author Rich Cohen and multi-gonged producer Terence Winter who is known for “The Wolf of Wall Street; HBO’s “The Sopranos” and “Boardwalk Empire”, so if that’s not a recipe for an amazing series right there, I don’t know what is!

The aim of the day was for the dream team of Naomi and Natasha from Pretty Me Vintage to transform a select few journalists and bloggers into (imaginary) characters from the series. Think glitzy, moneyed 1970s New York music industry clothing, rather than boho, wild-child hippies or English Laura Ashley frocks.

It’s fair to say, they got it spot on!

 

 

I’m actually wearing one of my own dresses, because being so tall makes it very difficult to get vintage maxi dresses that are long enough. This was a lucky find on Etsy and is a handmade 1970s evening gown in a bird of paradise printed cotton. It has a matching belt and even a shawl, which I left off as it can make the outfit look more boho. Sleep, sophisticated but with a touch of 70s flower power… the perfect dress in my opinion!
Naomi teamed it with some gold jewellery and a bag, plus some real 70s vintage sandals. I teamed it with a somewhat haughty expression.
I loved my Farrah flicked hair and 70s makeup by Natasha! I clearly need more bronze eyeshadow in my life. And kaftans. And big sunglasses…
I haven’t actually watched the show, since it only comes out over here today, but I have been browsing through the stills online. There are some truly wonderful costumes on it.

 

As mentioned, VINYL is available to own on Digital HD today. The info is this:

The star-studded HBO drama Vinyl: The Complete First Season on digital download will be available for the suggested pricing of £17.99 (SD) and £23.99 (HD) through several retailers including Amazon, BT TV, Google Play, iTunes, Sony, Talk Talk, Xbox, Wuaki. Digital download gives consumers the opportunity to own their favourite shows to watch instantly and forever across multiple devices.

I will genuinely be seeking it out to get stuck into as I’ve been bereft of anything good to watch since Mad Men finished and Walking Dead is on a break… and before Game Of Thrones comes back on. Yes I probably watch too much telly… no regrets.
Thank you to Naomi, Natasha and the Premiere team for having me.
Think you’ll give Vinyl a watch?

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

| History

Welcome Home (The King’s Sanatorium)

It’s time for another delve into English Edwardian history for The King’s Ginger. This time, we’re going back to a darker time, when tuberculosis was a scourge. Men, women, children, rich or poor – no one was safe, and a cure was not yet known. But the luckier (and not necessarily wealthier) victims of consumption did have more of a chance, thanks to a state-of-the-art sanatorium that bore the King’s name…

 

 

Back in my teens, all I really knew about TB was that the leading lady in La Boheme had it and I got a very painful BCG inoculation against it. But in the early 1800s, TB was the cause of an astonishing twenty-five percent of all deaths in England. By the turn of the 20th century, rates of death from consumption were still high, with a vaccination more than twenty years away and a cure, almost fifty. It was only a couple of decades previously, that the medical profession discovered that TB was infectious. It was certainly had no respect for money or class status. But it’s fair to say there was a huge difference in the treatment of poor TB victims and the wealthy ones. Both were isolated from society, but the poor went into sanatoriums that were essentially prisons or workhouses and the more well-heeled benefited from plush hospitals, relaxation, fresh air and sunlight.

It wasn’t all bad news for the TB afflicted poor though, thanks to one philanthropic Royal. A certain hospital was founded in 1901, and officially opened on the 13th June 1906 by, you guessed it, His Majesty King Edward VII. The King’s Sanatorium was the brainchild of the monarch himself, after he was given £200,000 to spend on charitable purposes following his accession to the throne in 1901. Inspired by similar TB sanatoriums overseas, Bertie wanted to found an institution which treated the poorer patients in pleasant surroundings to aid their recovery.

A couple of older images, from Purcell, the restoration architects

and the Midhurst & Petworth Observer

After a public competition to solicit ideas, the resulting hospital was the very embodiment of the latest clinical ideas (the aforementioned relaxation, fresh air and light). It was also really beautiful, designed by architect H Percy Adams in an Arts & Crafts style architecture by H Percy Adams, his then-assistant a young Charles Holden, who went on to design some of the most state-of-the-art London Underground stations in the 20s and 30s. He influenced Charles Rennie Mackintosh, among others.

The building was south-facing and featured two long wings and a central block with two bay windows. Brick, pantile, sandstone and wrought iron were all used – and there was (and still is) beautiful detail all over both the exterior and interior. From Royal crests on the drainpipes to Art Nouveau details on the tiling.

The gardens were designed by Gertrude Jekyll, who has featured on my blog before. They were specially designed to work in harmony with the architecture and to be therapeutic for the patients. Whether the layout of the grounds did much to heal TB-riddled lungs, I’m not sure, but the gardens do have huge historical significance and are listed on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens.

Sadly, despite the lovely surroundings and the finest care, the lack of a real cure meant the prognosis wasn’t amazing for TB patients at the time. Wikipedia states that in the sanatoria of the time, even under the best conditions, half of everyone who entered died within five years. Still, the hospital operated exclusively for tuberculosis patients until the cure was finally found, in 1946. TB was eradicated in the UK by the development of the antibiotic streptomycin (it remains a big problem across the globe today, sadly and has now become antibiotic resistant, but that’s another story), and the institution became a modern NHS and private hospital in 1964 before closing in 2003.
It was sadly neglected for a number of years but is now facing a new lease of life as luxury flats – a phrase that sometimes strikes fear into the hearts of history-lovers…but luckily not in this case. It’s being redeveloped by a company who does wonderful restorations of period properties. And I was lucky enough that the lovely people at City & Country let me have a poke about inside and outside (though unfortunately, only the back as the front is very much a building site, still and the gardens are being fully restored) for this piece!
The Edwardian wood panelling, parquet floors and tiling in the main building’s entry hall has been fully restored. You might spot a familiar face in the portraits hanging below!

 

The communal areas have some amazing detailing (and windows).
Look what I found (it wasn’t hard, it’s right by the entrance)!

Had to bring along a bottle of King’s Ginger to show the City & Country people, of course.

On a very interesting side note, the current visitor’s centre at the Estate is a house built specifically for King Edward to stay in when visiting the hospital. It is also, strangely enough, the childhood home of Griff Rhys Jones! He’s written about it in his own book, but I found this article by Sandi Jones online, in which he describes it.

“Whenever I drive through West Sussex, I am instantly transported back into an era of cocktail parties, where women wore rustling silk dresses and ice crackled in elegant glasses filled with gin and tonic. Us children would be trussed up in itchy flannel shirts and ties, and stood, open-mouthed in wonderment, as we were offered Coca-Cola.

These weren’t scenes played out in our house, a small lodge nestled in a vast pine forest. No, these were the monthly events held at the mansion on the other side of the woods, occupied by Sir Geoffrey Todd, who ran the sanatorium that stood between our house and his.

My father was a junior doctor, specialising in diseases of the chest, and the “sani”, as we used to call it, had been specifically built and set up by King Edward VII to treat tuberculosis. It was a real showpiece, and the king was passionate about it; so much so that he would spend dirty weekends at the lodge with his mistress, Mrs Keppel. I’ve never understood quite how he managed it, as he was a rather stout fellow and the lodge was beyond tiny.

However, he loved being there, and decorated it to palace standards, adorning every surface with bright red paint and gold twiddles. I know this because when I drove my tin car too viciously at the skirting board, the white paint would chip off and a scarlet glimmer would shine through. “That’s the royal paint,” my mum would state proudly.”

 

It’s now adorned in beautiful William Morris wallpaper and regal green paint. It’ll make a lovely home, once all the flats are sold, in the future.
That’s your King’s Ginger lot for this month! Thanks to City & Country for showing me around the flats and communal areas so I could get a real look at the Hospital. Until the next piece…

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

| Travel

Snapshots of Berlin

After an insanely busy six weeks, last Monday I ran away to Berlin for a couple of days. One of the nice things about being a freelance copywriter and social media type, is that with a bit of preparation, I can theoretically do my job from anywhere in the world. So, off I flew!

My lovely man had gone to Hamburg the previous weekend to watch St Pauli play (I had to work, which was a convenient excuse to get out of watching football) and came to meet me in Berlin on Monday night. We stayed in the awesome Michelberger Hotel, a place that’s 50% boutique hotel and 50% budget hotel, and 100% hipster, but in a cool way. The way East London was about five years ago, before it became too knowing about its own hipsterness! It’s in Friedrichshain, in what was previously East Berlin, which was then the poorest part and is now arguably the most fun and creative part. We especially loved neighbouring Kreutzberg with its independent shops, bars, restaurants and venues.

What I present here are some snapshots of my trip, more for personal record than anything else. That disclaimer comes because I have a brand-new camera (a Canon 70D) which I haven’t quite got to grips with yet, so these photos are really just holiday snaps and not beautifully-composed blog photos. And because sometimes it’s better to capture moments with an iPhone than it is to grapple with a DSLR beast!

The most delicious German breakfast, at Tante Emma

Taking photos of himself taking photos of street art, including ROA.

 

The haunting memorial to Hitler’s Nazi book burning, sunk into the Bebelplatz

 

Being a currywurst seller at the hilarious Currywurst Museum

 

Two of many.

 

Checkpoint Charlie

 

A huge MacDonalds behind the historic American checkpoint in the Berlin Wall

 

The Brandenburg Gate

 

View of the Brandenburg Gate from the top of the Fernsehturm or TV Tower – such a masterpiece of 1960s retro-futurism. Also amazing to see the clear difference between what was previously East and West Berlin, the Soviet influence as clear as day in the former’s architecture.

 

And from the ground

 

The excellent Ramones Museum

 

From when Reading Festival was cool

 

And the only snap of me! I lived in my Pinup Girl Clothing Doris Pants, which I bought from Deadly is the Female. They rule. As do my customised cropped denim and hand-knitted pixie hood scarf! Warm AND stylish.

I’d love to go back to Berlin for longer than two days, and especially over a weekend, when there are shows, fleamarkets and other fun things. If anyone has any recommendations for a trip later this year, please give me a shout!

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com