Wednesday, 9 August 2017

FOOD, FUN and FLAMINGOS ..........

In mid July, my sister celebrated her 70th birthday. Amongst many other things that she did, she took the female relatives of the family out for lunch in London.

We went to Babylon Restaurant at the Roof Gardens in South Kensington. High up on the 7th floor, 100 feet above the hustle and bustle of Kensington High Street and with amazing views over London ..... it's not often that you can enter a building at street level, take the lift to the 7th floor and emerge in a leafy garden in the centre of London.

I started with Truffle Risotto ..... AMAZING !!!

Then I had a fillet of Hake with Jersey royal potatoes, wild garlic, samphire, poached leeks and a seaweed tartar hollandaise sauce ..... AMAZING !!! 

..... and finished off with Lemon Posset, poppy seed ice cream, gin and tonic jelly with juniper meringue ..... AMAZING !!!

Now, if there isn't an event going on, you can take a tour of the famous and oldest spectacular Roof Gardens so that's what we did ..... the Roof Gardens were the brainchild of  the chairman of Derry and Toms Department Store, Trevor Bowen and were constructed by Ralph Hancock between 1936 - 1938. Bowen wanted to outdo the gardens of Selfridges and Barkers department stores so he created three themed gardens including fully grown oak trees, a running stream and flamingos !!! 
The restaurant and gardens are now part of Sir Richard Branson's empire !!!

The gardens cover 1.5 acres. It has ponds, bridges, walks, trees, shrubs and sitting areas. There is an English Woodland garden with nearly 100 species of trees, a Spanish Garden with fountains and a walled Tudor garden.

Derry and Toms closed in 1971 but was taken over by my favourite shop at the time Biba. Above is Barbara Hulanicki, owner and creator of Biba, in the rooftop gardens with the flamingos !!!  I was always in Biba so, it was lovely to go back all of these years later.  After it's move from Kensington Church Street to the Derry and Toms building, Biba immediately attracted up to one million customers a week and was one of the most visited tourist attractions in London. After disagreements with the board, Big Biba closed in 1975. I used to like it best when it was in Kensington Church Street ...... it was never the same when it moved and became too big ..... anyway, I digress  .....

Here's my photograph of the Spanish Garden .....

..... and here it is in the 1930's.

2017 .....

1940's !!!

It is well worth a visit ..... lunch was very reasonable and, the guy who took us round the gardens said anyone can visit the gardens and sit with a drink as long as there isn't an event on ..... you don't even have to have lunch !!!

Afterwards, we went to see Diana's white garden at Kensington Palace ..... I was going to show the photographs but I thought that you had probably had enough for today ! I'll show you them next time .


images 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 & 12: via me, images 2 & 14: via babylon, image 7: via garden visit, image 9: via mike, image 11: via riba, image 13: via rbkclocalstudies


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

MEXICAN FLEABANE ..... and my MEXICAN wedding dress circa 1976 !!! ..........

Mexican Fleabane ..... Erigeron Karvinskianus !!!!

Such a good little plant ..... doesn't seem to mind where you put it ..... sun or shade it seems to thrive which is great in our North facing garden !!!

I stuck this left over bit in the wall this year .....

We have some steps like this SO, I'm going to plant some in our steps today and hope they will start to look like the above !!!

All of this talk about Mexican Fleabane reminded me about my wedding dress. We got married in 1976 ..... that hot, hot, dry Summer ..... I was working in Mount Street in Mayfair, London at the time .....

In Lower Sloane Street was a shop called Mexicana { I couldn't find a photograph of the shop anywhere on the Internet } It was run by Alfredo Bouret who had previously worked as a fashion illustrator for Coco Chanel, Dior, Pierre Balmain, Valentino and Balenciaga. His inspiration was Mexican fashion and culture. NOW ..... before I show you my wedding dress just remember it was 41 years ago so don't laugh !!!!! .........

TA DAH !!!!

I bought it with my own money ..... I think it cost about £90 which was a fair bit in 1976..... I just looked it up ..... it would be £700 now ..... that's not that expensive is it, considering the average that someone spends on a wedding dress is £1,000.

What on earth would Donald Trump think of me ?!!!!

UPDATE for Cro !!! 


images 1, 2, 3 & 6: via me, image 4: via flickr, image 5: via margot and hesse


Saturday, 15 July 2017

DISTRESSED but not FORSAKEN ..........

We're tarting up the bathroom at the moment .....

We have at last found some lovely plumbers to do all of those jobs that need doing ..... new radiator, new taps. floor needs sorting and it all needs painting !!! We have had the above over mantle for years but I thought it needed updating so, along with the rest of the distressed look in our house .....

..... I have given it the ' Jackie ' treatment ..... Farrow and Ball Pavillion Grey and a touch of sandpaper !!!

Mr. Home's birthday today so family get together ..... I'm cooking !!!


images via me


Friday, 30 June 2017

ARTIST'S MUSE ..........

Vilhelm Hammershoi { 1864 - 1916 } was a Danish painter known for his poetic and subdued portraits and interiors. 

I really like his work .....

Hammershoi's wife features in many of his interiors, often depicted from behind ..........

..... I think that I would have been quite good as his muse !!!


imagrs 1 & 2: via guzelonlu, image 3: via elperiodico, image 4: via socks studio, image 5: via poulweb, image 6: via pinterest, collage: via me


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

CUT and DRIED ..........

On the mantlepiece are the first sweet peas cut from the garden ... there were only three but I'm hoping for more in the coming weeks ...

At the other end of the fireplace are some dried hydrangeas from last year ... they need replacing so I am waiting for the hydrangeas to flower !!

Just thought I'd show you !!


All images via Me


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

TAKE the TIME to SMELL the ROSES ..........

At the risk of boring you with more photographs of flowers in our garden, I'm going to bore you with more flowers in our garden !!!

We have just put this rose in ... it's called Mortimer Sackler...  graceful with a lovely Old Rose fragrance with hints of fruit.

Penny Lane rose ... large, fragrant, honey-champagne blooms , scrambling over our arch, inter-twined with Viticella Alba clematis.

St. Swithun rose ... Very large, many petalled, saucer-like flowers of pure soft pink ... strong, pure myrrh fragrance ...

Blush Noisette rose ... pretty clusters of small lilac pink flowers with a rich, clove scent ...

... and, do you remember the little plugs of gypsophila ' Gypsy Deep Rose, that got battered by the wind and rain ? Well, here it is now ...

It's going to be a scorcher today ... 33 C ... that's 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit ... time to strip off I think !!!
Don't forget the suncream.


image 1: via pinterest, images 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8: via me, image 9: via this is glamorous


Monday, 12 June 2017

AFTER the RAIN ..... and a senior moment !!! ..........

This is our Kiftsgate rose scrambling through a tree ... the high winds and rain that we had the other day blew down a bough .....

SO .....

I put them in a jug .....

 Aren't they pretty ? .... and the fragrance is amazing.

Do you know what else I did ? After a little look around the garden, I noticed the greenfly were attacking the roses so, I thought that I would attack them back with the bug spray { over the years, I've tried Fairy liquid but it never works for me } I gave them all a light spray but instead of using the bug spray I had used weed killer !!! 

D'OH !!!!!!!!!

images 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5; via me, image 6: via google