Couture Royal wedding dresses: in conversation with Justine Picardie

Justine Picardie is a former Contributing Editor at Harper’s Bazar and author of Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life and a new book Miss Dior coming soon. In a live conversation from their individual homes, Picardie and Caroline de Guitaut, Deputy Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art at The Royal Collection Trust, explored the history of Royal wedding dresses. Later, still in a hazy romantic mood, I pulled out family albums to gaze again on some of the Caswell brides of the 20th century.

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How to enjoy heritage English wines

Wine growing is not new in Britain. While it seems likely that the Romans introduced vineyards it was in the Norman period, with the arrival of William the Conqueror in 1066, that successful viticulture really took off. English wine is a growing industry with increased sales both here and overseas. Recent years have also seen a rise in wine tourism initiatives including Cellar Door openings and wine festivals across England and Wales. There are around 3,500 hectares under vine in the UK, up 150% in the past ten years, with an additional 3.2m vines planted in 2019.*

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This week… sheep stations, Star Wars and sainthood

In the bleak midwinter. January is cold and damp in the UK. It’s my least favourite month and I’m always relieved when the 31st comes around. There are signs of spring in nature like the catkins, daffodils and snowdrops I spot on my walks, and the days are noticeably getting longer, if not any warmer. The pandemic continues to sweep across the planet and every day the sun comes up and sets again at night, and I’m grateful. Period.

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This week… love is in the air

I’d like to tell you that I’ve had a fabulous week, maybe wining and dining at a Michelin restaurant or cosy bistro. In fact, the highlight of my week was the safe delivery of a new washing machine, the old one having flooded the kitchen floor. Welcome to my world.

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This week… monastery, Mad Max and movies

January is always a quiet month in the travel industry and especially so right now. The new year is proving slow to ramp up as we face the challenges of living through a pandemic. So I’m pleased that this week, invitations have started to trickle into my inbox. In addition to grocery deliveries and Zoom coffee mornings, I begin adding conferences and virtual events to my diary, and suddenly 2021 offers possibilities to connect with the world at large over the coming weeks.

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