Our Brand Ambassador Hayley Sparkes, model and TV Travel presenter, shares her top tips on trending travel hotspots for 2023 and what outfits you need to take with you!
Paris has always been known as the city of love, but following the popular Netflix series, Emily in Paris, the French capital has really become the go to mini break destination. It is so easy to reach from the UK, with the Eurostar offering affordable train travel, you can even skip the airport. The Eurostar allows you to travel from London to France in as little as 2 hours and 22 minutes.
Shorts are such a staple for summer and are ideal for sightseeing days on holiday. The "White Stripe Belted Shorts" are chic and timeless as well as being fantastic value at just £16.00. I love this look for Paris, it is very simple and chic, just like French women’s style.
Trip advisor has stated Krakow in Poland as being one of the top trending destinations of 2023. Krakow is in the southern part of Poland, lying on both sides of the upper Vistula River. It is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. It is known for its rich history and culture that dates back to the 7th century. Kraków’s Old Town, Stare Miaso is amongst the most impressive medieval locations in Europe and is definitely worth exploring.
For slightly cooler days on vacation or relaxed evenings, the "Polka Dot Oversized Shirt And Trouser Set" is a great two-piece to pack into your suitcase. A co-ord is very on trend right now and this one is really comfortable to move around in. Wear together or separately, team with a crop top, vest or bodysuit when you would like an extra layer.
Good Housekeeping magazine predicts that Aruba will be a popular destination for British tourists as for the first time, direct flights to the Island are now available with British Airways from London Gatwick. Aruba boosts some of the most mesmerising white sand beaches, some of which have been named the best in the world. The island benefits from year-round sunshine, with average temperatures of around 32 degrees.
If you like to catch a tan whilst you are walking around a sunny destination like Aruba, then the "Bardot Tunic Dress" is a great choice RRP £25. This off the shoulder style won’t leave unflattering tan lines and will feel loose, floaty and cool in the heat. I love the striking blue shade, it is bound to compliment beautiful blue skies in your holiday photos.
If you are looking for the perfect staycation this year, then Aberdeenshire has been hotly tipped to be one of the most popular UK locations.
Loved by the Royal Family, Aberdeen is located in the north of Scotland and is known to be the perfect spot for nature lovers. A holiday spot with stunning coastline, majestic mountains as well as scenic rivers. Scotland’s beauty also makes it a desirable location for those tying the knot.
If you are traveling for a wedding this year, or have a really special date night or dinner whilst you are away, this is a dress we would recommend. The "Keyhole Tie Neck Pleated Midi Dress" is one of our most popular styles. This piece is easy to wear and the colours, print are super eye catching with the pleats giving the dress even more of a feminine feel RRP £42.00.
Magical Malta has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Malta is one of the gems in the Mediterranean. Malta is a beautiful island to soak up the sun, explore ancient streets and dine out at Michelin-starred restaurants. It has a reputation of being a leader of LGBTQIA+ travel, and is known for affordability for travellers on a budget
Jumpsuits are so handy on holiday as they are so versatile and they suit all ages and flatter the majority of body types. The "Abstract Honeycomb Cross Over Jumpsuit" RRP £28.00 can be worn with pumps or flats during the day or dressed up with heels at night. This is a great day to night piece.
According to TripAdvisor the number one spot for the global holiday destination in 2023 is Dubai, UAE. Dubai is a popular destination due to the favourable year round climate, fabulous shopping, pristine golden beaches and great hospitality. Dubai is also home to the world’s biggest choreographed fountain and the tallest building in the world.
For a destination like Dubai, I would recommend the "Collar Tunic Dress" RRP £28 because it can be worn in different ways. Simply pop on for a really relaxed casual look or add a belt to create more shape and nip in the waist. This tunic dress will also make a really nice beach cover up.
Wherever you choose to travel this year, I would like to wish you a really wonderful holiday. Please don’t forget to tag @bluevanillaoffical, as we would love to see your holiday outfits.
Written by Hayley Sparkes.
Now we have reached February, we can’t help but look ahead to spring! It’s always exciting when we can look forward to a fresh new wardrobe! With the milder weather approaching it’s a great time to look ahead at some wardrobe staples that will help transition us through into spring. It’s often a tricky time as the weather can be constantly changing, so layering up is still key to getting spring dressing just right!
Looking for outfit inspo for that quintessentially English tradition Afternoon Tea, that we love to indulge in?... look no further, we got you! Be the belle of the tea party with Blue Vanilla's Spring Collection.
The event was created over 150 years, by Anna Marie Russel, the seventh Duchess of Bedford (thank you, Lady!) in 1840. The Duchess would get peckish around 4pm (don’t we all) and usually have to wait until 8pm for their fashionably late evening meal… so Anna began snacking alone her in the afternoon, but as time went on friends were invited to join her. Who wouldn’t love tea and tiny sandwiches!?... Upon returning to London Anna sent out invites requesting her friends to join her for “tea and a walking in the fields” and bam, Afternoon Tea was born.
It wasn’t long until all of Fashionable society was sippin’ a cuppa from beautiful matching china teacups and nibbling on dainty sandwiches and scones. What were all these ladies wearing? By the 1880’s the upper-class and then fashionistas would don long gowns, gloves and hats and swan to the drawing room to get their fill of tasty treats and tantalising gossip.
Nowadays Afternoon Tea is just as much of a social occasion and reason to get dressed up. We have pulled together our five fav looks perfect for Afternoon Tea.
Pretty Wrap Dress
The perfect easy to wear dress that flatters every shape. Our bestselling glittery wrap dress JOCYLN is back for spring! Available in a range of prints and colours, we have one to suit every style. Team with a statement stiletto for a classic look:
Silky & Sophisticated Pastel Dress
Perfect for a more dressed up look, for the most glamorous of girls. Wow you friends with this simple yes beautiful silky number. RABIA is sure to turn heads at the most luxurious affairs. Team with a simple nude stiletto, clutch, and pale blazer for a divine royal look.
Trousers & Statement Knit
If you’re looking for a more casual but still gorgeous style, try teaming some smart trousers with a statement knit. Our LORALYN, CHRISTINE and DAISY are THE Afternoon Tea jumpers. Add a heeled boot or simple heel for lovely finished look.
Beautiful Tulip Dress
This silhouette is sure to enhance your most flattering areas! Get ready to enjoy the sunshine in our bestselling tulip style dresses. Wanting to cover a fraction more? Try our JEANNE high neck tulip for a more sophisticated look.
Fabulous Floral Jumpsuit
Be the shining stylist of the group in our pretty fabulous range of jumpsuits. With unique floral prints to catch fashionistas eyes, you will look the part for any Afternoon Tea meet up. Wear with a posh wedge and statement earring to finish of your look.
Ever wondered where your fave celebs, bloggers and Insta-babes take their gorgeous pictures for the ‘gram? Whether it’s a restaurant decked out in floor to ceiling millennial pink, or an impressive townhouse with white pillars and a statement front door - we know the places to go to get the shot.
So when you next find yourself in London, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Instagram-able spots to visit. Don’t know what to wear? We have you covered there too with our fave new season pieces as seen on your fave influencers.
Top 10 Instagram-able Spots In London
Regent Street/ Oxford Street - Central London
In central London doing a bit of retail therapy? Take a snap in and around the Oxford Street/Regent Street area and your followers are guaranteed to know where you are, all thanks to those imposing London buildings, iconic tube stop signs and the classic red phone box! Steal @katiepenny’s chic Blue Vanilla style by teaming our Belle Tie Front Button Cream Shirt with a smart blazer and cream trousers.
Peggy Porschen, Belgravia, SW1W 9QQ
Ah, Peggy Porschen, a much loved location for shooting the prettiest pictures - especially in spring all thanks to their candy floss coloured exterior and flower wall! Head over to beautiful Belgravia and recreate @RosieFortescue’s gorgeous look at Peggy Porschen by pairing our Libby Long Sleeve Snake Print Oversize Mint Tunic with knee high boots and loose, effortless waves.
Related: What to wear to afternoon tea
Notting Hill W11 and South Kensington SW7
If you’re looking for picture perfect streets lined with Georgian mansions, head to St Luke’s Mews and Lancaster Road in Notting Hill or Kynance Mews in South Kensington. There you’ll find blossom trees, rainbow coloured houses and imposing front doors galore. Work it like Rosie in our Maryetta Animal Print High Low Hem Top, or opt for a statement floral piece such as our glamorous Eryn Red Keyhole Halter Neck Floral Dress.
Carnaby Street, W1F 9PS
The original birthplace of the swinging 60s! Head down to Carnaby Street to find a hidden shopping mecca nestled between bustling Oxford Street. Looks familiar? Carnaby Street is particularly sparkly at Christmas time with the infamous Carnaby lights. For now though, add a pop of colour to your spring wardrobe the @IndiaMoon way with our Gloria Brushed Check Mustard/Grey Crombie Coat.
Sketch needs NO introduction. You’ve probably spotted the blush pink tones of The Gallery restaurant, the natural botanical vibe of The Glade, or the cool egg shaped toilets on Insta. Visit Sketch to ensure your coloured Insta-theme looks fresh. We recommend wearing our flowy Haley Floral Print Wrap Tie Back Yellow Dress which can be styled up for afternoon tea, or an evening meal at Sketch with the girls.
Coppa Club, Tower Bridge, EC3R 6AH
Looking for somewhere to dine in style, whilst getting that all important Insta shot? Check out the Coppa Club igloos for a memorable night. Make an impression and head out wearing our curve skimming Livia Long Sleeve Floral Print Navy Maxi Dress - we’re wearing ours with ankle boots for a chic day to night look.
The Shard, SE1 9SG
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, the spectacular views over London and Westminster from The Shard will guarantee your jaw to hit the floor. Don’t pass up a photo opportunity so make sure you’re looking cute. Our Margot Floral Print Mint Pleat Detail CamI Dress is the perfect choice.
Camden Market, NW1
For a more alternative vibe head to Camden Market, famous for its punk scene, renowned Stables Market and the home of the late Amy Winehouse. Don’t forget to take a pic in front of the iconic ‘Camden Lock’ bridge. For your trip to Camden, style it out in our Vivika Button Through Black Polka Dot Dress teamed with a denim jacket and Converse.
Waterloo Bridge for amazing city views
For amazing pics in front of not one, but two London landmarks Big Ben and the London Eye, head to Waterloo Bridge for a photo op looking East towards Canary Wharf, or West towards the Houses of Parliament. Show off your style game on Waterloo Bridge in our gorgeous Nadia Leaf Print Belted Khaki Dress and sandals.