If you’ve flipped through US Vogue this month, you would have come across what can only be described as the most fantastical 30th birthday party we’ve ever laid our eyes on (think a spectacular English Estate filled with rabbit masks, pastel-hued sheep, bubblegum balloons, a birthday girl dressed in the most fabulous technicolour dress by Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and guests such as Poppy Delevingne and Mary Charteris)...
Welcome to the world of Alice Naylor-Leyland, the woman behind @aliceinherpalace, an Instagram feed so whimsical, you’ll feel like you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole. The stylish founder of blog Mrs Alice in Her Palace and mother of two lives with her husband Tom, and their adorable children Billy, 4, and Nancy, 11 months, in a grand estate in the English countryside (she currently spends two days a week in London for work).
If you follow her on Instagram you’ll know she always looks impossibly chic (she often falls asleep dreaming up what she’s going to wear the next day). And you probably want to know more about the polished blonde behind such a dreamy feed. You’re in luck. We caught up with Naylor-Leyland when she was in LA recently at The Beverly Hills Hotel (she describes the hotel as her “happy place”) to chat motherhood, style and her exclusive collection of chic flats for French Sole.…
Portrait photography: Julie Adams Hair and makeup: Elsa Morgan Additional images: Courtesy of The Beverly Hills Hotel
What brings you to LA?
A mix of work and fun! I love this city and am always so inspired by it’s vibrancy. My friend Poppy also turned 30 so we were here for that.
What is the best advice you’ve been given about motherhood?
To learn to relax – you cannot perfect your children. And it is totally normal (and healthy!) for children to push the boundaries.
Can you tell us about your childhood?
I grew up in London with my wonderful Australian mother. We were on our own and it was heaven. She still to this day is my everything.
When did your love of fashion begin?
Rifling through my mothers cupboard aged 4! I can still remember the bows and shoulder pads.
Where did you meet your husband Tom?
We met through our friend Dick Charteris at a party in Gloucestershire. I was 17.
Can you tell us about how you juggle work and motherhood?
It’s certainly juggling but very fulfilling. I am in London away from the children for two days a week but at least my mind can be totally on that. I fill my days with meetings in the city, fittings etc. Then when I get back to the country I can be with kids 100%. Rather than constantly looking at my emails!
How do you approach getting dressed each day?
I look at my weather app on my phone the moment I wake up and go from there. English weather is so unpredictable!
What was your last investment purchase?
An Olympia Le Tan ‘Alice’ clutch. It goes with everything.
Have you always been a creative person?
I would like to say so… I remember all school always making my notes so neat. I hated a page not to be presented perfectly! I was the girl with lots of stationary and stickers.
Can you tell us about your collaboration with French Sole?
They have been a dream to design with. Totally a collaboration between the founder Jane Winkworth and I. They were open to anything, which I adore. My faves are the Eat Me, Drink Me ones. Wearable but fun!
What has the jump from one to two children been like?
I actually don’t find it that different. If you are putting one baby down, putting two is no harder. Or reading stories, or feeding. I actually enjoy it more as they have each other to interact with.
Where is the most memorable destination you’ve ever been?
I love Villa Cetinale in Italy. It is my husband’s uncle’s house and is a little piece of Tuscan heaven.
Can you tell us about your 17th-Century Estate in Wales Nantclywd Hall?
We go for Easter and Summer holidays. It’s so relaxing. You can really switch off there amongst the rolling valleys and sheep.
What is your approach to health and wellbeing?
Try and be healthy most of the time – but a cupcake here and there isn’t going to do any harm.
Alice with friends Poppy Delevingne and Mary Charteris at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Images: @aliceinherpalace
What are your daily beauty essentials and how long does it take you to get out the door in the morning?
Wash your face with Cosmedix cleanser. I swear it’s like a miracle gel. Then some Darphin serum and moisturiser and I’m done. I only wear makeup if I’m going out for meetings etc.
Who is your role model?
Alice's little list of loves:
Emilia Wickstead anything. I am obsesses with her floral skirt and culottes.
La Coqueta dresses for Nancy. Too adorable.
Jimmy Choo sparkle bags.
My crushed velvet flamingo slippers.
Breakfast at Claridges.
Cheek Frills naughty but nice knickers.
Jo Malone peony and blush suede candles. Best smell ever.
Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze.