Just a stone’s through away from the bustling atmosphere of the City of London, there is a secluded oasis of virgina creepers and ornamental vines climbing up the ruins of a Sir Christopher Wren church. As we entered through the cobbled stone path into the heart of the historic structure, we were taken aback by the sheer beauty of St Dunstan in the East and the dramatic power of nature reclaiming the manmade walls. Built around 1100, the Grade I listed building has witnessed and survived through major historical events. Initially damaged in the 1666 Great Fire of London, a tower and steeple were later added by Wren, only for the church to be severely damaged again during the Blitz of 1941. Wren’s tower and steeple miraculously survived, but it was decided not to rebuild the church after the War. Now, the ruins serves as a peaceful solace and a hidden garden in the centre of the financial hub of London welcoming officer workers during their lunchtime breaks.
We knew from the moment we stepped into the church that capturing the beauty of this setting was going to be a tall order. It almost felt too magnificent to grasp, but to my relief, the shades of blue which I had decided to wear seemed to blend harmoniously with the grayscale walls and the shaded scenery. Whistle’s Cora dress was the perfect addition with delicate lacing and an elegant silhouette matching the church’s serene mood. I couldn’t resist twirling and swishing my skirt around as I walked through the enchanted open air.
I felt the day’s look could not be complete without a fitting handbag. Any city expedition cannot be successfully achieved without a trusted bag which is capable of holding all my essentials without overwhelming me with its size and weight. Modalu’s Erin mini tote is quintessentially british in style with an understated simplicity that is timeless and versatile. The blue and claret red combination is tasteful and befitting of the upcoming autumn season and crucially, able to hold everything I need for the day (including my iPad). The combination of the dress, the mini tote and the stunning church made my experience of exploring this hidden gem such an unexpected treat.
Photographed at St Dunstan in the East by Form 42.