Since I can remember I’ve always been fascinated with nature, trees, leaves you name it I’ve photographed it in the city and in the heart of the countryside (definitely something to do with my National Trust membership) there’s something so peaceful and naturally beautiful about trees and the V&A curation team have captured this perfectly in their exhibition ‘Into The Woods: Trees in photography’
The Winnie The Pooh exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum is on for a few more weeks and I’ve got to say, it is a lot of fun. I headed over to South Kensington on Friday night to take a look behind the honey pot.
It’s fun, engaging and great for kids, with lots to see and do! Whilst you slalom around the exhibition of original scripts, sketches and inspirations for everyone’s favourite honey loving bear, information pours from installations above, book pages are turned into wallpaper and colour pops all over the place. From Pooh’s starting point in the UK to his adventures as an export abroad there’s some pretty cool stuff to look at.
‘Universal Motherhood’ a journey through the lottery of birth is a multi sensory free exhibition, just off Oxford Street at Noho studios that you just can’t miss. It’s immersive, moving and a must see for the western world. Starting upstairs with a pair of headphones on, you explore the feeling of motherhood, the anticipation of birth and the many diverse circumstances women find themselves in in the run up to having a baby. The exhibition follows five expectant mothers from around the world from pre, during and post birth to document their lives before baby, their baby’s birth and their new baby in the weeks after birth including the sometimes harsh reality of motherhood throughout the world. Through voice, photography and moving image this exhibition invites you into each woman’s individual world to tell you their story. You can’t help but feel incredibly connected and protective of these women throughout their latter stage of pregnancy, into the birthing process. As someone who was born in a hospital I was almost compelled to shout at the screen – Where is the doctor? Get this woman to a hospital! and cry when a baby is born, not breathing.
Earlier this month Adam and I spent a very cold and wet Sunday morning in the V&A museum in South Kensington, London. It was the final day of their exhibition charting their latest extension at the museum and with Adam being a massive building geek (professional translation = Architect) we headed over whilst we still had a chance to see what was on display.
I love wandering through places I’ve never been before and despite Paris being only a stones throw away from London, I haven’t been there since I was a kid and that was on a trip to Disneyland!
I really enjoyed my little wander and exploration of the shopping districts, here are a few of the pictures I took on my way to Galleries Lafayette.
During my walk I came across some lovely little independent stores, book shops, retro stores and a billiards only store, now niche! I managed to capture some of the street art too. It always interests me, a cities street art, it says a lot about the people and the culture of a place.
I’d never been to Galeries Lafayette before and was totally mesmerised by the huge space, amazing visuals and all the brands and designer stuff they had on offer. It really is massive and their Christmas centrepiece is incredible! It’s ginormous, there windows are definitely worth a look too, full of character and colour. A great destination for a spot of holiday shopping.
After work, I managed to catch a few of the Parisian sights, the Louvre, Notre Dame and wandered down the River Seine after filling my stomach with delicious French cuisine and a glass of red!
It was a short but sweet trip to the French capitol and I hope to be back soon to discover some more, hopefully next time I’ll fly and feel a little bit better!
Saturday was so much fun, my dad came to stay for the weekend. It’s the first time he’s come to stay since we officially moved in and this time we actually had a bed for him to sleep in (read more about our move in shinanigans here)
Adam and I had jotted down a few ideas of things to do over the weekend, most of them around SouthBank. So we planned to show dad the sights, stretch our legs and infuse a bit of culture into the weekend…
We started off at London Bridge station, hopping over the borough market. Which honestly, is another post in itself. It’s so busy, bustling with people, food pulled high and more options than your belly knows what to do with. We wanders through, tried lots of samples and gazed at the serious array of bread they have on offer. Got to love the bread.
After sauntering through Borough Market we headed west along the river, passing clink and the eateries by the bridge. We then stumbled across an A board advertising free tours of The Rose Theatre. Adam and I are massive theatre lovers and also are poor graduates, so free stuff is always welcome to come our way. We followed the signs into the side of an office building, which underneath housed the remains of the rose theatre. It’s well worth a visit, it’s super interesting how such an old theatre was uncovered and partly preserved after so much time. It’s ilder than the glove and was where William Shakespeare tested out some of his earliest material.
We ended up in a q&a session with an archeology student after watching a film narrated by sir Ian mckellen. It was great, if a little dated and whilst I’m all for learning something new, I felt rather trapped by the never ending stream of volunteers wanting to talk to us. It was all a little too much and we found it hard to leave. Awkward. However! If your a thespian or history fan, go go go!
After making our way through the crowds, we reached the Tate. It’s always so busy and bustling, no matter what time or day you go. It’s such a wonderful space, full of art, open spaces and home of an extensive bookshop that’s full of essential reads from the worlds of: art, culture, architecture and fashion.
After pit stopping for what ended up being the smallest coffee ever, we made our way through the lower ground galleries and then up to the viewing deck. Adam and I went around this time last year when it opened, they’ve done a fantastic job, it really is a London treasure and completely free so well worth a visit.
We always end up taking the stairs when at the Tate because the lifts are always too slow and far too cramped! There’s a break in the staircase that’s become our photo backdrop. Each time we go we snap a photo. Perhaps this will be something we do to track our age, haha.
Funnily enough, I was wearing this backpack last time I had my photo taken here.
The views from the Tate are stunning and totally free. It’s a fantastic viewing platform, wrapped around the building, allowing you to see North, South, East and West. It’s much clearer than the Sky Garden or The Shard, whilst it’s probably not great if you live in view of the platform and can’t walk around in your pants due to the tourists , it’s a beautiful way to see more of the city skyline.
After the Tate we headed over to St Pauls, over the bustling millennium bridge and into the St Pauls area of the city.
Wimbledon was on, so we stopped for a gander, then waited a lifetime to get on the table tennis tables that are there. We never did get on the table tennis tables, but we did see a pair of love birds sharing a discarded sausage roll. London wildlife ey?
We’d walked a long way and it was pretty warm, so we finished the day with a beverage by the river, the perfect end to a relaxed day chilling and exploring with my two favourite people.
Catch up soon,
Borough Market, a place full of flavour, character and London charm. When I asked my Dad what he fancied doing whilst he was staying with Adam and I for the weekend, his first suggestion was borough market, with Adam and I being massive foodies, we were sold, so when the weekend arrived, off we went to Borough Market.
It’s got an old industrial vibe, despite the new glossy entrance the one you go through if you’re coming in from London Bridge. The building, just like the food stalls are intriguing and worth stopping to have a look at- and don’t forget to look up!
We’d had a pretty massive breakfast, but that didn’t stop me with the free samples. From fudge to cake, pies and pate; i was interested in anything and everything.
Borough quite clearly had something for everyone. From Vegan, Gluten free and juicing options, the place was packed with all different types of people, all eating all different types of food from all corners of the world.
We’d sort of wandered straight into the sweet stuff: jams, meringue, melon pieces, fruit salads and cakes and a whole host of drinks stalls, selling iced teas, cold coffees and homemade lemonades. It was a foodies dream desert destination.
Moving towards the mains of falafel, hummus, burgers, wraps, lasagne, curry and stir fry, it all smelt amazing!
There’s also a fresh food section full of fruits and veggies for you to take home and cook yourself. There’s a whole host of strange and unusual, specialist foods and ingredients like asian mushrooms, Spices and tomatoes of every kind on offer.
It was amazing to see so many foods, so many people enjoying those foods and getting to try things you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to. We really enjoyed our time at borough market and will be back for a full breakfast, lunch and dinner sometime soon! I’d highly recommend visiting if you’re in town, you’ll find all of the world best food favourites all under one roof!
We were exploring the rest of south bank for the rest of the day, you can read about what we got up to after borough market here.
With a Sunday off work, Dad and I headed out for a day in the sunshine, without too much of a plan I packed a picnic for good measure. We starting the day by visiting my Nan and catching up over a cup of tea and a few biscuits and it was then we decided to head to Coombe Abbey Country Park.
We always start our outings with the picnic, then walk it off as we wander around wherever we’re visiting. I’m glad we ate before we went for our walk because Coombe is huge! There’s no way I’d have made it all the way round on an empty stomach.
We followed the track to start with, heading towards the Abbey, which is now a hotel as well as a restaurant. The trees neatly lined up towards the entrance to the side of the Abbey, which displayed a no-photo sign.
Because of the sign, we didn’t venture further than the little bridge over the moat. I always think those signs are stupid especially in the age of social media. Free publicity is good publicity. Not allowing photos is very vintage and somewhat pointless, because people will take them anyway.
It was after the bridge we headed towards the main track of the country park, towards the luscious green meadows full of plants and flowers. There were a few ducks in the grass, who had wandered off from the lake. The lake was full of ducks and geese loving all the attention from all the park visitors. There were lots of people throwing in bread, which is actually really bad for ducks, however I’m yet to see anyone throwing in frozen peas, which are actually much better for the ducks and is their preferred snack over bread, fun fact.
Taking the right path off the lake, heading up towards the other side of the Abbey, we were greeted with another sign. Another one that people ignored. They evidently love a good sign at Croome Abbey.
I can understand this sign a little better though, just look at that neatly striped grass! Very ‘British summer.’ The courtyard grounds were beautifully kept and featured pretty pink flowers up the aisle.
After admiring the lawn and flowers, we went in search of the walking trail, to get those legs moving and the pedometer going.
We reached the top pool, which led us into the tracker trails and other woodlands. Spaces where trees, plants and wild flowers were left to do their own thing. We found some pretty big tree trunks and branches that would have made great wildlife watching spots or interesting picnic tables!
Like a big kid, I took the rough route, rather than the defined pathway. I jokingly said to Dad that people probably just look at me and think I’m a very well developed and tall 15 year old when I haven’t got make up on and am dressed casually. The haircut probably doesn’t help. Dad’s response? I definitely didn’t look 21! Thanks, Dad.
It was at this point that the sky decided to shower. Without rain macs, we sheltered under a leafy tree to keep dry and after a few minutes, the rain went away, leaving behind glorious sunshine.
After walking over a very overgrown field, we came across some really interesting looking plants, trees and flowers, including acorns sprouting and wild flowers growing tall in the long grass.
Just like in my fashion photography, I love the up close, detailed shots of nature. Framed real close to capture the grooves and the lines of bark, plant leaves and flower petals. The natural formations fascinate me.
The rest of the afternoon was a treat. Rain free with a light breeze and sunshine. Near the end of the trail we came across even more pink and purple wild flowers and bizarre tree formations until we finally made it back to the Abbey.
In total, we took an hour and a half to go around the route, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t do the whole thing. I think next time we’ll start the other end, to see what we missed first time around!
Theres ice-cream trucks dotted around the park that’s filled with picnic spaces and benches. Coombe Country Park allows dogs on leads and gives it a really lovely family atmosphere. Coombe Country Park proved to be a really lovely day out.
A couple of weeks ago, Dad and I went out on a day trip, making the most of our National Trust memberships, to one of their properties not too far away from us, Baddesley Clinton. It’s a National Trust house and garden famous for it’s priest holes and tudor history. As a kid, I went there on a school trip and vividly remember dressing up and learning about Henry VII’s wives. Our trip was less about history and dressing up and much more about relaxing, enjoying the good weather and seeing the summer flowers coming out to bloom!
So with my comfy converse on, skinny patched jeans, flowery casual blouse and cropped pink denim jacket on and a fully belly from our picnic in the car lunch, we headed towards the path to start our Sunday stroll.
One of the things I love about National Trust properties is the way that the animals behave. They’re always so chilled and relaxed, blissfully unbothered by people like me zooming in to capture their natural behaviour on camera.
We failed to locate the start of the walk, even with the aid of the map! But we kept meandering around, finding little nooks and crannies of nature to explore, so we just followed the plants, even if we did end up in a few dead ends!
The stunning flowers in the walled garden were very uplifting, colourful and fresh for spring. The walled garden was full of the smell of spring and it was lovely to see so many little kids enjoying the plants and learning all about them.
You can see the house in the distance, just about make out the moat, then the garden is just to the side. I think it would have been amazing to have lived here back in the era of the Tudors, just without the beheading and religious conflict. Just think how amazing it would be to live without the modern pressures and technology we live with and experience today, I think I’d rather enjoy that. But knowing me, I’d probably just write the Tudor equivalent of a blog, a journal.
The greenery adjacent to the walled garden was just as inviting. So many diverse shades of green in all shapes and sizes. There was a fair bit of wildlife too! Fish in the water and ducks and geese. I always look up too, to see what’s growing above, I’m always surprised with the photographs I take of above, featuring the clouds, blue skies and tops of trees, the things we don’t consider all that often.
The flowers and plants weren’t the only interesting thing at Baddesley Clinton. Most National Trust properties and gardens have a second hand book store, I always love to have a gander through the books, most of them are super old, but there are some interesting gems to be found! Baddesley Clinton had old maps in their collection, i’m currently after some vintage maps for mine and Adam’s flat, I didn’t manage to pick one up, but the hunt continues! I’d much rather get it from a second hand source as it’s sustainable and the money goes to a great cause.
We managed to get onto a tour of the house in the late afternoon. It was funny, I didn’t remember the house at all, so it was fun to explore with my Dad. Baddesley Clinton has priest holes which would hide Catholic priests in the house when it was being raided in the era that Henry the VII tried to abolish the catholic church in the UK. Whilst some hiding places are big, some are super small, uncomfortably so.
Outside, around the moat, ducks sat on the grass and paddled in the waters. After watching the wildlife for a while, we wandered back towards the entrance, picked up coffee and ice cream on the way, whilst I wondered whether If I bought a plant I’d be able to keep it alive. I reasoned that I probably wouldn’t and should stick to the non-dead plants I’ve currently got.
Amazing Vegware that’s completely decomposable coffee cups, an ecological and environmental solution that all coffee shops should be using, good one National Trust.
The National Trust is a fantastic organisation that not only preserves properties like this, but provides amazing day out for others to enjoy and I’m all for that. Knowing my money goes towards something great and long lasting makes me happy and allows me to enjoy my day trip even more.
Whilst I don’t remember my school trip, I will remember this visit!