The prettiest place in London

My daughter and I visited the prettiest place last week. The Wallace Collection is an art collection housed in the former townhouse of the Seymour family, Marquesses of Hertford.

It is a beautiful building and contains amazing art and furniture. Among the painters represented are Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Hals (The Laughing Cavalier), Velàzquez, Poussin (A Dance to the Music of Time), Canaletto, Gainsborough and Lawrence.

Well worth a visit if you’re in London. The interiors are amazing and each room is just beautiful. After you wander around enjoy afternoon tea in the Wallace Restaurant located in the courtyard.

Address: Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN

Admission is free. Open 7 days a week 10am – 5pm. Closed 24 – 26 December.

27885663434_b64a8b3dd2_o27870144354_9e8fe459ac_o28442119776_a3f893b962_o28191742530_4c2c719e33_o28364587752_54a51f547a_o27858288704_15ea06abb2_o27858284734_95e35e9eab_o27858439223_d056f580ef_o27858987373_c62ef1d2a6_o27858292994_ea825a3be1_o28364623132_32cc84abed_o28364626862_c3f55a9040_o28437202596_69ccccd17a_o28441616256_7b62d23923_o28395920361_8116b173de_o28364634272_f2821e2266_o28396363911_3bb3745730_o28364612592_5af961fc88_o

Paris (Part 2)

It has been a few weeks since our wonderful weekend in Paris! I promised to share some more thoughts on our recent stay. I’m often asked for accommodation tips especially for Paris. We spent only two days in Paris this time and one day was dedicated to Disneyland so it left only  8 hours for sightseeing on our last day! We somehow managed to fit in quite a bit. This was our tenth visit but as always there were things I wanted to see that we hadn’t managed to get around to on our previous visits.

Accommodation

We stayed at Hotel Brighton in December and just loved it. Hotel Brighton is part of a collection of 37 hotels in France run by Esprit de France. I was keen to stay at one of their hotels again as I love the locations and the room sizes are perfect for our family of four. This time, we chose Hotel d’Orsay which is next to the Musee d’Orsay on the left bank of the Seine. We booked our stay directly via the hotel website as it was cheaper than booking.com which we normally use.

We were not disappointed! On opening the door to our room we were met with a very large room featuring an enormous bed and a sofa bed that was perfect for the kids. The bathroom was also large with a double sink and gorgeous full sized toiletries including body scrub. Each room also has a Nespresso machine which is an added bonus when you’re a parent and often up before the cafes open!

A lovely touch was the gifts that were in our room for the children. They each received a gorgeous Paris colouring book, snacks, juice, and beautiful toiletries. After a long train ride from London, this certainly brought smiles to their little faces.

We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel. The breakfast was also fantastic with everything you could want for the first meal of the day. All the staff we encountered during our stay were very friendly.

Sightseeing

This time, we spent an entire day at Disneyland so only had a few hours for sightseeing in Paris. We visited a few places that had been on our list for a while and then enjoyed a lazy lunch at a cafe in the Jardin des Tuileries along with more than a few carousel rides for the kids.

We finally climbed the stairs all the way to the top of the Arc De Triomphe. A lot of stairs to climb and I was carrying a three-year-old for some of it! But well worth the climb once you reach the top. The views are just spectacular. I’m amazed we didn’t do it sooner.

We also visited a place called Square Rapp which offers a nice view of the Eiffel Tower. Definitely worth a quick visit too as some of the architecture is just amazing. It’s a great spot to photograph the Eiffel Tower although I’m not sure how photographers actually manage to get behind the gates to take their shots! When we arrived it was locked with signs saying private property.

We had a wonderful trip as always. Looking forward to visiting again soon.

Summer in London

As schools now start to close for the Summer, lots of parents are looking for things to do over the break! We spent a great day near Tower Bridge over the weekend. The kids loved playing in the sprinklers and there is also a great spot to relax either on the grass or in a deck chair.

There are some great kid friendly areas around London if you’re looking for some activities. South Bank has a sandpit and also the Disappearing Rooms (sprinklers). There are also some great sprinklers at Somerset House. Perfect for cooling down when the weather is finally warm!

 

London gallery – Jeff Koons 

We visited the Jeff Koons exhibition at Newport Street Gallery today. 

This was my first time seeing Koons work in person. In person the works were mind blowing. The inflatable pool toys made to look like vinyl are actually cast in aluminium and then painted to resemble real vinyl. The effect is amazing. 

The gallery also has a cool cafe serving delicious meals and drinks. We had the Belgian waffles with berries. Delicious!

The exhibition is on until the 16th of October and entry is free.

Address: Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, London SE11 6AJ

All of the lights

We just spent a fantastic morning wandering around God’s Own Junkyard a wonderful space in East London. The warehouse was the workshop of neon artist Chris Bracey who sadly passed away in 2014.

Known as the Neon Man, he made and collected neon signs for 37 years. God’s Own Junkyard is such an explosion of colour and light it is hard not to be inspired! Really worth a visit if you’re in London.

 

 

The onsite cafe is great with coffee and kids drinks as well as cakes and scones.

Address: Gods Own Junkyard

Gods Own Junkyard
Unit 12
Ravenswood Industrial Estate
Shernhall Street
London
E17 9HQ

Open: Friday – 11am to 9pm    Saturday – 11am to 9pm    Sunday – 11am to 6pm.