Posted in Lifestyle, London, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Photography project – Haymarket Hotel

You may have seen my last post Boogie bounce with My PFF app where I attended an event at the Haymarket Hotel. In between bouncing around on trampolines, eating delicious food and talking about light bladder weakness, I managed to pop out and take some photos of the swanky interior at the hotel.

I loved the mix of traditional sculptures and ornamental vases with more modern pieces and quirky décor, particularly the fish wallpaper in the toilet! I did have a look around one of the bedrooms but I didn’t have my camera with me at the time so you will have to take my word for how luscious it was.

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I really liked the way each part of the hotel had a different style and there were so many little cosy nooks where I could imagine curling up with a good book, even this chair in the toilet looks inviting! Maybe one day I will get to try out an overnight stay!

Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

Photography project – The Red Edition

Looking back at some of the photos I have taken around London and red seems to be the colour that stands out. Along with the telephone box and the post box, the red bus has become an iconic recognised symbol of the city.

I thought I would share some of my favourite photos featuring red that I have taken in the past couple of years.

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What colour have you noticed around your city?

 

Posted in London, Travel, Uncategorized

Courtauld gallery @ Somerset house

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The Courtauld gallery is situated at the entrance to Somerset house and I have actually walked past it a couple of times without realising the masterpieces that hang within it.

The collection of paintings range from early renaissance into the twentieth century and features legendary artists such as Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin.

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The collection is spread over four floors which is accessed via the winding staircase and they all have a description of the piece placed next to them with the artists name and information about the piece.

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The displays are not just placed on the walls and some of the rooms are incredibly ornate and a work of art in themselves. It is not just paintings featured in the gallery, there are also prints, drawings, sculptures and decorative arts.

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My favourite pieces were the bronze ballet dancers by Degas accompanied by his painting entitled Two dancers on a stage.

I found the Courtauld to be a real hidden treasure that is a lot more compact than some of London’s more well known galleries, although it does have an entrance fee but this means there are less visitors so there is more space to take in the artwork. I managed to get in free with my student ID and there are other concessions. Under 18s are free although I don’t think it would be too popular with young kids! Check out their website for more up to date information.

 

Posted in London, Travel, Uncategorized

Imperial war museum

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The Imperial war museum in London has been housed in the previous Bethlem hospital since 1936 but has in recent years undergone a £40 million revamp. The museum records the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of Britain and its Empire since 1914 and has some spectacular displays on show.

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As you enter the museum you are faced with the wide open atrium filled with all sorts of vehicles and aircraft hanging from the ceiling and over the sides of different levels.

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The museum is divided into different sections across four floors and it is suggested that it takes half a day to work your way around all the galleries.

I really wanted to see the holocaust exhibition and was really blown away by the size and vast amount of information in the one section, it is like a museum in itself! Unfortunately you can not take photos in this particular exhibition but it is filled with photos, personal stories, posters, models, film and so much more. Children under the age of 14 are not allowed in but this is understandable with the sensitive nature of the subject.

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Another part of the museum I perused was the first world war section. It was a lot busier downstairs so was hard to take in a lot but still contained lots of eye catching displays and interesting facts.

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I spend a lot of time in Elephant and Castle as I attend university there so found this painting really interesting.

If you are a history buff or student learning about the wars then this is a great hangout and it is also set in beautiful grounds with interesting architecture which complement an autumn stroll perfectly.

Posted in London, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Photography project – Albert embankment

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Albert Embankment lies at the side of the river Thames and stretches from Vauxhall bridge to Westminster bridge. As it doesn’t have all the attractions that Southbank on the opposite side of Westminster has, it is a lot quieter which makes for a rather peaceful stroll.

I thought I would take a few photos on my walk…

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There are so many lovely views along the river, I don’t think I could ever get bored of them.

Where is your favourite place to take a wander?

Posted in London, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Photography project – Kensington Palace

I recently attended Kensington palace to photograph some beautiful florals at an event that was taking place there. While waiting for the displays to be set up I thought I would take a look around and photograph the amazingly ornate rooms as I have never visited the palace before.

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The rooms were really spectacular and I heard the gardens are just as beautiful but I didn’t have time or energy to go looking around after spending hours photographing so I hope to go back and have a look around the outside on another day.

Have you ever visited any of the royal palaces?

Posted in London, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

An afternoon at Kew

Kew gardens, also known as the Royal botanic gardens, is set in 300 acres of land in the London borough of Richmond and is home to the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world.

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I had last visited Kew gardens 10 years ago with my eldest son on a school trip and had vague memories of sweating in a giant green house. This experience was pretty much the same only I just had the responsibility of supervising one 12 year old (The youngest son who reluctantly joined me) and we were free to roam wherever we liked.

Armed with the map of the gardens it reminded me of a theme park for nature lovers as opposed to thrill seekers, I’ve definitely become more of the latter over the years! The park has different attractions dotted around and because we arrived quite late in the day we headed towards the right to see how much we could fit in.

Palm house

The palm house is a Victorian glasshouse and is home to some unique palms and tropical plants from the warmer climates of Africa and America. It is very warm as you walk in but if you venture up the spiral staircase you have to start removing items of clothing and wiping the steamed up lens of the camera as it is so hot!

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We left at the rear exit of the palm house to sit and admire the rose gardens while we cooled off for a bit before heading towards the Hive via the broad walk.

The broad walk

The great broad walk is a stretch of 320 metre pathway with double herbaceous borders described as an ornamental promenade.

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It is so much nicer walking from one attraction to another when there are pretty things to look at on the way!

The Hive

One of the things I was mostly looking forward to seeing at Kew was The Hive. Described as an immersive sound and visual experience, it was designed to give humans an insight into what it is like for a honeybee inside the hive. As it was a sunny summers day with lots of visitors the hive was definitely buzzing and although there isn’t anything to do inside it I did really like the experience.

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Princess of Wales conservatory

Described as one of the most complex glasshouses, this conservatory contains ten different environments and houses all sorts of exotic plants. The conservatory commemorates Princess Augusta, who founded the Gardens and it was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales, in July 1987.

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Davis Alpine house

This innovative, award winning structure is home to the alpine plants. The design enables it to create the cool, dry and windy conditions that alpine plants favour and this glasshouse is surrounded by beautiful scenery of rock gardens and waterfalls.

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There were so many more places within the gardens that we didn’t get to explore including the creepers and climbers and the treetop walkway, I suppose this means we will have to take another visit again soon!

When I asked my children if they wanted to join me on a trip to Kew gardens they all refused, my daughter even decided that she would rather revise for her GCSE’s (which are not until next year May) than come with me. My 12 year old wasn’t very enthusiastic about the trip but came anyway and upon leaving the gardens he declared that when he is older he is going to buy me a house in Kew and get a membership card so we can visit everyday… I think that is a result!