Archives for category: Food

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.


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.


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


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.






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!






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.


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



Still dreaming about Rye, and the lovely place I stayed for three nights, Jeake’s House. It took about five minutes to walk to cobbled Mermaid Street from the train station. I was welcomed warmly and shown to my pretty room. Jeake’s House is perfectly situated for easy walking around Rye. It’s just around the corner from Lamb House, and close to St Mary’s Church and Rye Castle/Ypres Tower.



The house is beautifully appointed and my stay included a delicious, hearty breakfast each morning in the gorgeous dining room.




I am looking forward to my next trip to the UK and Rye, and would certainly stay at Jeake’s House again.

What a glorious time I had in England last autumn! My travel companion chose some beautiful places to visit; stunning towns and villages I will always remember. In the last week of my visit, I traveled on my own to a little town in East Sussex. It was a town I knew about and had longed to visit, a town known for its literary history and outstanding beauty. I left Brighton on the train the morning of October 18 and within two hours I pulled into the station in Rye. I stepped off the train and my heart swelled to bursting. Within 5 minutes I was at the door to my accommodation, Jeakes House. Being in England gave me the feeling of being home, Rye, even more so.



For three days I wandered the lanes and paths, enjoying every vista, every shop. I visited Lamb House, a National Trust property, former home of Henry James. I saw sunrises and sunsets. In between the wandering, I got caught up on my painting projects and blogging.













And there was a cream tea or two! The Cobbles was outstanding!



I would happily live in Rye, and will be looking for opportunities to spend a lot more time there in the near future!

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.


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.








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).




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.


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

A quiet and gentle Yuletide Season has come and gone. The gift of a head cold on Christmas Day forced me to rest for a week, which I needed. We ate great food,  completed a puzzle, watched our favourite festive films, and took some naps.



Victoria was, as usual, decorated and filled with festive cheer. There was no snow this year, but the winter rain made way for many bright clear days.





We enjoyed two amazing Holiday performances: the Victoria Symphony‘s Christmas Pops concert, and local jazz heroes The Tom Vickery Trio playing the Guaraldi Charlie Brown Christmas Suite at a private party in Chinatown.


And now a new year ahead, filled with possibilities! I will be completing the stories from my autumn trip to the UK, and continuing to work on the art projects which that trip inspired.

Wishing you all the best year ahead!


I spent a few days in the New Forest National Park area of Hampshire, staying in a cottage in the charming town of Brockenhurst. Throughout this region, the ancient practice of commoning still takes place. Farmers are allowed to let their livestock roam free and graze on common land. Just outside our cottage was a green space where we saw cattle, horses and donkeys every day.



I enjoyed one of the best cream teas of the whole trip at Rosie Lea Tea Room. The scone was tender and delicious, and the service was exceptional.


We spent one day in Lyndhurst – a short bus ride away – which is another charming town, filled with interesting shops and a perfectly old-fashioned candy shop.



Lyndhurst is home to Saint Michael and All Angels Church. Built in the 1860s and designed by William White, it is an exquisite Arts and Crafts building with a beautiful fresco by Lord Frederick Leighton and windows designed by William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Charles Kempe. The grave of Alice Liddel can be found in the yard.




Walking in the New Forest was the highlight of this part of the journey. Perfect calm, delicious air, horses and cattle, and a lovely pub lunch. I found an excellent map at the post office in Brockenhurst, pinpointed the nearest pub, and started walking. Trail markers kept me from getting lost.






My usual: cheese and chutney sandwich and a half pint of Guinness!



After a fun two days with my sister in London, I headed back to Somerset on an early train so I could spend a few hours exploring Bath Spa. It seems late October offers no rest from tourists, as the town was packed with us. Such a beautiful place! The Roman Baths historic site was very interesting. More than just ruins, it’s a well-presented museum filled with artifacts and information which give visitors a wonderful sense of what life was like in this Roman town. After a bit more exploring and a nice cream tea, it was back to the train station and on to Frome.


Pulteney Bridge, the iconic view of Bath.


Bath Abbey, a site of worship since 757 AD, with an Anglo-Saxon monastery making way for a Norman Cathedral, and the Abbey as it stands today.


A perfect summer’s day… in the middle of October!


The mineral-rich hot springs below the town still feed the ancient bath.


It’s easy to see why Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – every building reveals the historical story, from Celts and Romans to present day.


Detail of the intricately carved wooden door of Bath Abbey.


The centre of town was decorated for Day of the Dead. Many brightly-coloured skulls accompanied these garlands.


Sweet Little Things, a very pretty tea house in Bath. Many cream teas consist of two scones, which I didn’t really understand, as one was usually plenty. And, as I love my scone to be piled high with cream and jam, I use it all up on one. The second scone made a nice snack the following day.


View from the tea house door.

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:


This intrigued me. I think it is in Soho.


So many gorgeous hotels.


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


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.


Beautiful Tower Bridge. I stayed not far from here.


Leaving Camden Market for a walk along the canal.


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


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.


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


The Triton Fountain in The Regent’s Park.


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


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.


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

On Friday we had a travel day, hauling too much luggage from London to Moreton-in Marsh by rail and then catching a bus to Chipping Campden. I loved Paddington Station in London. It was so easy to navigate. The journey was interesting. I was surprised by how quickly London gave way to countryside, and by how many people were on a late morning train to the Cotswolds, granted a vast majority were obvious visitors.


We weren’t long out of London before the quintessential countryside appeared.


The Signal Box, Moreton-in-Marsh.

We had a bit of a layover in Moreton-in-Marsh, so we found a quaint tea room called The Marshmallow and had some lunch. Willow can’t resist a scone so she had the cream tea. I went for a more savoury lunch and had the most amazing sandwich: cheddar and onion jam on whole wheat. The bread was very fresh and tasty, and the grated cheese blended so well with the onion jam to make every bite a delight. We hope to do a day trip back to Moreton-in-Marsh to explore when we aren’t loaded with luggage.

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The Marshmallow in Moreton-in-Marsh – pretty room, beautiful back garden patio, lovely service.


Post-rail-journey lunch at The Marshmallow, Moreton-in-Marsh.

At the beginning and the end of my big adventure I will have a few nights in London.


I will save most of the art galleries and museums for the next UK journey. These are places GJ and I should go together. However, my London to do list does include the Victoria & Albert Museum, which has a number of very interesting exhibits on while I am there including Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up.

My travel companion told me about Dennis Severs’ House. Part theatre performance, part museum, part art gallery, it sounds like a feast for all of the senses.

One of the London experiences I am most excited about is visiting Highgate Cemetery – not to find famous graves, but for the beauty, solemnity, architecture, and grace. Perhaps I will stumble upon a relative or two.

I will be popping back up to London for two nights in the middle of the trip to rendezvous with my sister who will be briefly in London en route to Dorset. She wants to take me to Camden Market, just for fun!

And for a treat, I would love to visit The Grapes pub, perhaps on quiz night!

I would be thrilled and delighted to find Charles Adrian performing while we are there. His performance, as Ms Samantha Mann, Stories of Love, Death & A Rabbit was one of my most favourite theatre experiences.

And last but not least, I would love to visit Dorothy Circus Gallery. It shows the weird and the wondrous, and I think GJ should show there!

All London suggestions are welcome! Especially art, theatre, puppetry, vegetarian cuisine…