23 August 2016

Newport Sails and Stripes

Welcome to Newport! From Rhode Island capital to coastal cliffs, Newport is a true gem of New England. After seeing photos on Girl with Pearls, I was already aware that it was pretty postcards perfect. Yet nothing could quite prepare me for the #instagoals overload of sailboats, rocky shores and coastal cottages. 

* I admit that I went a little overboard with Penny photography in Newport; I may as well have titled this post If it ain't Bokeh, fix it! So I really do hope you like plants twigs and trees.... Exhibit A: 
At the time I felt like a photography genius. Looking back, my judgement was definitely a bit blurred by the Bokeh-bubble! I think I prefer the first photo, where the coastline is blurred, but what are your thoughts? My approach on holiday was very much "snap first, see later." I took so many photos and a lot them were promptly deleted! 

Sadly, My snap hat did come with a fatal flaw; I'd somehow run out of memory by the end of day 2? The memory card can hold 1000 photos, so I was a little perplexed. Then I realised that I still had around 500 photos of Millie that I'd forgotten to delete kept because I'm a crazy dog lady

Thankfully, Penny was on-hand with her trusty iPhone wireless; as much as I love my #bloggergoals blurry background, this might be my favourite feature of the the EPL7. A few panicked minutes later, Millie was transported and I snappy days were here again. Note to self: Clear out your memory card before you travel! 
Stripe midi dress, £20, New Look    Periwinkle push lock, £100, Cambridge Satchel Company

Chapels & Chobani at Mill Street Inn 

This was the roof terrace at our hotel, which was pretty picture-perfect for breakfast! They also had berry tea in the loveliest glass cups, plus Chobani greek yoghurt and actual berries. Mill Street Inn you stole my heart, along with your coffee table book on dogs...

An introduction to caviar & cauliflower puree... 

So I finally tried caviar... I don't know about you, but maybe that's what Taylor meant about feeling 22? Caviar, champers and cauliflower puree. This was possibly the fanciest dinner I've ever had, all thanks to a bit of a crisis with restaurant availability... Newport's top destination, the Clarke Cooke House Skybar, was around our 6th attempt at securing a reservation! It was a bit fancier than we had planned and I did feel slightly daunted. With caviar vin blanc, grapefruit gastrique and curried avocado, I needed Heston as my translator!

However, when I saw "sea scallops" I just knew the quality would be too good to miss out on. So Mum and I both decided to brave the  grapefruit gastronomy, while shellfish-allergy Dad stuck with Duck. As I said in my Providence postNew England seafood is legendary and I definitely made the most of this! I admit that I wast sold on the grapefruit, but the cauliflower puree was lovely and oh my days the scallops... they should have been labelled "ambrosia", they were that good! Sorry Waitrose, you've been out-scalloped, but you are still my go-to for free coffee. 

A room with a Bellevue...

Khaki wrap playsuit, £35, Topshop     Tan satchel (similar), £30, ASOS  
On the Monday morning we went on the famous "Cliff Walk", where you can have a nosy at the Bellevue Mansions. You can go inside the mansions, but you have to pay we wanted to make the most of the sunshine - we do come from RainLand after all. Before starting the walk, I was already sold by the name of the adjacent street: Bellevue. We may as well have been in Disney/ a Sims neighbourhood! As always, Olympus Penny was by my side.to capture the (Belle) view..

While I snapped away with Penny, mum was like an excitable child with her selfie stick; forget Kim Kardashian the Sat Nav, we have a new contender here... I'm still amaxerd her iPhone didn't end up in the ocean, to be honest! Given the convenient sea-colour of her the case, that would have been a long search...
 The Mansion above is is The Breakers, Newport's grandest 'cottage' - yup, it is actually a summer cottage, built by the Vanderbilt family in the 19th Century. These are the same Vanderbilts that are name-dropped in Legally Blonde or Gossip Girl... that's how I know them anyway, given my love for the two! You can just tell I was destined for high-society life... So for those of you who wanted to marry Nate Archibald, this little summer cottage could have been all yours. Or, alternatively, one of these...

Even the plants looked sad and austere, poor things Personally, I couldn't think of anything worse than living in one of those places; it's just another reason to go with Dan Humphry! This house is over-the-top, Old-Money overkill and it's scary to think that this was their vacation home. it reminds me of the Mortimer mansion in The Sims, which I swiftly bulldozed, or Malfoy Manor. Incidentally, they used a couple of the mansions for filming the original Great Gatsby, which made a lot of sense. 

In an English country estate, it might have worked, but this was a coastal cliff with beautiful flowers and salty air... where's the clapboard?! Where are the open windows and shutters and living plant life?! I would much rather have lived in a house like the one below. Okay, so it's not exactly modest - it actually looks like the Mckenzie mansion in Father of the Bride! - but it's a welcome depature from  the Royal Wannabes at Chateau de Windsorbilt....
So it turns out that Bellevue Avenue is also home to a University Campus?! A Catholic College, to be precise, possibly for girls to get their MRS degree (find a rich husband). And I thought Exeter was a good choice for Beach trips...  At this point on the walk, nature started to look a little more colourful and the buildings did too. I even got a chance to practice some of those "flower zoom/Bokeh background" shots I've become slightly obsessed with.  Still got a little way to go before I'm Mario Testino, but practice makes picture...

Have you ever visited Newport or Rhode Island?


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