Happy New Year people, hope you all had good ones, I’m easing myself into 2017 with a gentle post today on our recent day trip to Polesden Lacey, near Dorking. This is exactly my kind of daytrip, a place with nature and a house that reminds me of the countless interwar novels I’ve read, with an interior I could feel at home in and all coinciding on one of those days we’ve had recently where the outdoors is engulfed in beautiful delicate clouds of ethereal mist. Winding down country roads, with trees above our heads forming arches and silver birches lining borders, all surrounded in enveloping mist, made for the very definition of other-worldliness in my eyes and just what I needed the week before Christmas.
Over the bank holiday weekend I took a lovely daytrip to the seaside town of Margate in Kent with two of my favourite people. It’s been three years since we last went and the town continues to evolve and expand beyond the ruins of desertion and downward turns. It’s still the town that Primark left, and indeed the Woolworths still sits with its 2007 shopfront unoccupied, but last time the century old amusement park Dreamland was also closed and forlorn and like much of the town shaped by a decaying glamour which I caught on my picture tour here. As more artists move down to the area, and the town continues a regeneration after the building of the Turner gallery in sympathy with its past, Margate is changing. We visited Dreamland, and although at 35 I may not be quite the target audience (best not relay the tale of three grown women atop a Ferris wheel having a decidedly regretful moment) but I have massive heart eyes for this sherbet dibdab writ large. From its sweetshop-seaside-rock colour palette to its fifties typography, the new Dreamland’s is a colour walk of kitsch and nostalgia and a perfect part of the seaside landscape of a famous kiss-me-quick town. I’m a little in love with it. So, today’s Through the Aperture post is devoted entirely to Margate Dreamland and it’s candy floss dream of kitsch. Enjoy!
We’ve just had 3 days KID FREE in Lisbon. It was bliss, Lisbon was magical, welcoming, pretty, hilly, hot & inspiring. It’s a great city for design lovers, a town of typography and tiles, pretty paving, colour, great food and a really convivial culture. We packed so much into a short time, I knew I had to see beautiful Sintra and also to escape to the beach for a few hours so fitting in all the cultural sights and the things highlighted in the fabulous Wallpaper* guide was a bit of a squeeze but well worth aching feet for. Today I’m sharing the top things we saw, did & ate in the city and on trips around which I think you could comfortably squeeze into a long weekend, wherever possible I have included a google map for directional purposes.Read More
Last year when we visited Istanbul I saved back a few snaps from a visit to the truly awesome Museum of Innocence. In anticipation of The Barbican’s new exhibition this month ‘Magnificent a obsessions: The artist as collector’ (which I will definitely visit) I thought I’d share our experience of Turkey’s finest exhibit. Read More
Like many young English girls over the past eighty years, Nancy Mitford’s Love in A Cold Climate was a defining novel of my youth. This week the last remaining Mitford sister Debo’s funeral occurred so I thought that I would quickly share one of my favourite Mitford scenes on the blog. This is a snapshot from the pub Debo owned in Oxfordshire, The Swan Inn. A few years ago I visited the house where the Mitford’s grew up as a part of an open garden scheme and stopped for lunch at the pub Debo owns a stones throwaway from the house in Burford. It is a comfortable old inn, a million miles away from the splendour of Chatsworth House that Debo would call home as the Duchess of Devonshire and is crammed full of paraphernalia of the Mitford family history saga. We had lunch by the fireplace which was adorned with these family portraits of all the sisters in their youth, from the communist to the fascist, the Mitford’s represented an astonishing curio of inter-war aristocratic life with all its pain and eccentricities.
So things have been quiet for a very long while whilst I’ve been growing a baby! 15 weeks in I am finally starting to feel more myself so I thought I’d share some snaps from our recent trip to Istanbul. It’s a place that’s been on our list for years and it is truly stunning and otherworldly. It fed my tile and fabric obsessions to beyond brimming and I have come home wide eyed from a smorgasbord of texture and colour.
I wasn’t sure that this trip was entirely feasible, I mean 48 hours in a place as beautiful and magical as Venice, how was it going to feel anything other than having your candy floss snatched at the fair just as you go to take your first bite? But it’s January, and we have plugged all our money into the house for so long that we’ve forgotten to take a holiday for a few years, so we decided to beat the January blues and impetuously booked a short city break to Venice. We packed the Wallpaper guide and not much else, letting our noses guide us down the winding roads. I had some vague plans, things I’d seen on the recent Nigella series, narrow passageways so beautifully evoked in classic novels and ghost stories, even the Brideshead trip to the Lido, but nothing prepared me for just how utterly seductive this city is. I should say that we married in Italy and have been on many holidays here but somehow never quite got to Venice, I’m so glad we finally did.In fact it turns out 48 hours is perfectly feasible, don’t get me wrong I could have stayed for months, but when you go out of season you have the city virtually to yourselves and I suspect you get a better feel of the place and it’s inhabitants now than you would over a week in the summer.
There is currently quite a cool exhibition running til 7 December at London’s Guildhall which celebrates the impact of Victoriana, curating the work of modern artists from Grayson Perry to the The Chapman Brothers and incorporating design houses like Timorous Beasties and trends such as steam-punk. On show are ceramics, taxidermy, print design, photography, graphic design and the most spectacular moths zoetrope by Mat Collishaw (find the video I took of which at the end of this post).Read More
Whitby is a beautiful coastal village on Yorkshires East Coast filled with junk shops, gothic splendour and a trade in oddities. From the ruins of Whitby Abbey which inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula to cafes named after Lewis Carroll’s wonderland poem The Walrus & Carpenter to the waterfront bar named after Somerset Maugham’s Moon & Sixpence, Whitby has a decidedly literary & nostalgic feel. It hosts an annual Gothic weekend, boasts a boutique guesthouse with literary themed rooms and contains a plethora of vintage junk shops. This is the town responsible for us arriving in Yorkshire with one overnight bag and going back on a packed Edinburgh festival train with three. Here is my final photo diary, decidedly less pastel-y, of what the mice saw on their field-trip, starting with what we bought: