Archives for category: Art

For the month I was in the UK, I was determined to fulfill all the art perks which had been promised to my Indiegogo backers – those which could be produced with pen and watercolour paint. The engravings, which had to wait until I was home, are almost ready to send to the patrons who requested them. I will post those next.

Finding inspiration for these pieces was not hard. Beautiful architecture, lovely nature, vibrant colour, and gorgeous vistas were all around; my heart was so full.

Hopefully these all made it to their recipients.

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At the very end of my UK adventure last autumn, I spent three last days in London. I didn’t expect to love London as much as I did; and I didn’t even see one tenth of the city. There is so much more to explore and I can’t wait to go back!

I left lovely Rye tearful, and began missing it even as I boarded the train. A quick ride brought me into the gorgeous St. Pancras Station.

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I checked in at Victoria and Edmund’s beautiful house in Hammersmith, where the adventure began a month earlier. I stayed in The Pink Room for these last few nights, and – just like at the beginning of the trip – enjoyed exceptional hospitality. Back onto the tube and on a mission: to find the Fortnum and Mason store. I hopped off at the Green Park station and made my way a couple of blocks to this beautiful department store, filled with delights for all the senses.

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Since I was so close, I walked through Green Park to see Buckingham Palace. Impressive and majestic, but so many people!

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The next day I walked around Chelsea in the morning, heading over the Albert Bridge, and spending a bit of time walking along the Thames in Battersea Park. Back over the bridge and a lovely snack at Gail’s.

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The afternoon was devoted to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I was completely overwhelmed by the extent of the collections. So much so, that I had a little panic attack and had to calm myself with a cream tea!

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The last day I spent exploring Camden with lovely friend I hadn’t seen in many years. Dinner with dear people was the best end to a remarkable trip.

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I will be back in the UK as soon as possible. My heart remained and I must go collect it!

 

 

I was so excited to have an unexpected night in Brighton near the end of my month in England last October. It was very nice to be beside the seaside, and explore this interesting and artsy town. A quick train ride from Brockenhurst brought me right into town and just steps away from the hotel I found near the station: ibis Brighton City Centre. My room was clean and comfortable, and I had a nice view of the town.

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As soon as I had dropped my bags, I headed out to explore the town and find the iconic pier. Brighton Palace Pier, opened in 1899, is an amusement park featuring rides, carnival games, entertainments and restaurants/food stalls. It also offers a lovely view back towards Brighton, which became a fashionable seaside resort in the Georgian era.

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I also had a bit of time to explore the Royal Pavilion, The Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, and The Lanes (a car-free area filled with shops and restaurants).

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The food theme for my 12 hours is Brighton was FUN! I met the lovely owners of a wonderful Belgian fries shop called Befries, had a big soft ice cream on the pier, and enjoyed a very nice pizza from Very Italian Pizza.

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All around an exceptionally fun time was had. I would love to spend more time in Brighton!

My beloved sister was also visiting the UK in October. As we don’t live close to each other, I took the opportunity to spend a couple days with her and her partner in London. We had a wonderful time exploring the city, eating and shopping. The weather was summer-like and perfect. Here are some of the highlights:

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This intrigued me. I think it is in Soho.

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So many gorgeous hotels.

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Lunch at The Crypt, in St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square.

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I loved all the layers of history and architecture. This is the Liberty building. The animatronics above the clock depict St George and the Dragon.

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Beautiful Tower Bridge. I stayed not far from here.

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Leaving Camden Market for a walk along the canal.

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Last look at the Camden Canal, near St Mark’s Church. Many narrow boats were moored at it’s edges.

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We enjoyed a remarkable dinner at Nopi in Soho. This was the most succulent Burrata with peaches and crunchy coriander seeds with a delicious dressing.

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The Regent’s Park roses still blooming in abundance, in the middle of October! This one smelled particularly fine.

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The Triton Fountain in The Regent’s Park.

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The Regent’s Park has waterways and a boating lake.

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We watched this gentleman feeding the birds. They were all eating from his hand. The grey goose to the right of him was looking at him so lovingly, and patiently waiting his or her turn for a handful of seed.

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Sunset over the Thames, viewed from the bridge on Narrow Street, district of Limehouse, East London.

From Chipping Campden, we took a local bus to Broadway, crossing over the county line into Worcestershire, and then walked back into Gloucestershire for about an hour to our second National Trust property, Snowshill – immediately heading to the café for a cream tea to help recover from the last long hill!

Another spectacular place, filled with awe and wonder. Charles Paget Wade, architect and collector, purchased the estate just after WWI, and gave it to the National Trust a few years before he died in the early 1950s. The grounds are beautiful: simple walled decorative gardens near the manor, orchards of apples, and pasture for sheep. A tenant farmer still raises sheep on the property, and the apples from the orchard are used for delectable treats in the cafe. Next to the manor is a small priest’s house where Mr Wade lived while he filled the manor with his collections, which are vast; a passion he acquired as a small child.

The walk from Broadway was very pretty, although a bit treacherous on a narrow country road. The cream tea was calling and we persevered!

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The grounds were so lovely, with apples and flowers, a miniature harbour village, and a magical stormy sky all around.

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The collections: everything from bicycles, to musical instruments, to kitchen items, to prisoner-of-war bone carvings, to religious items, to over 2000 pieces of costume, and on and on.

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We ended the adventure with a drink just around the corner in Snowshill Village at the Snowshill Arms, before walking back to Broadway to catch a bus home.

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My first English pub experience. I had a small sherry!

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I am a bit behind on my posts! This week has been filled with adventure, but that will have to wait.

While we were in Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire, we visited two National Trust properties. The first was Hidcote. Our walk took about an hour and 45 minutes, but we did stop to take lots of pictures. We wished we had done more research about the public footpaths, as apparently there is a route away from the roads.

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The garden was created with many arts and crafts garden design principles, with formality giving way to wilderness the further away from the house you wander.

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And even in October, there was much colour to enjoy!

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I am incredibly impressed with the work of the National Trust. The scale of what they take on with historical properties is enormous – each is so unique with its own needs and challenges. Hidcote runs with a team of gardeners, and a magnificent array of volunteers. I was amazed to find that the café tailors its daily menu based on what produce is available from the vegetable garden, and that historical research is ongoing. I would love to visit Hidcote again.

Read all about the fascinating history of this magical property here.

 

 

DetailChippingAs I sit in our next beautiful cottage, listening to the river just outside our door and the rain, I am thinking back to the wonderful seven days we spent in Chipping Campden. There were so many lovely details within the architecture in this picturesque town – I could post at least 50 pictures of door knockers alone!

Chipping Campden has existed since the late 12th century, but the current look of the village dates from the late 17th century when many of the wood-frame buildings were re-fronted in the honey-coloured limestone found in this part of the Cotswolds. Here are a few of the details I found most charming:

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