Don’t overlook the Household Cavalry Museum

Household Cavalry MuseumThere’s a charming little museum right in the heart of London, a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square, that I’m willing to bet you’ve never been to. Somehow it slips under the radar, perhaps because it’s such a specialist subject, or maybe because of its location, tucked away at the back of Horse Guards (you know, where they do the Trooping the Colour). But Yannick and I have ferreted it out – here’s what we found. Continue reading

White Magic – Snowdrop Days at the Chelsea Physic Garden

Snowdrop DaysThe snowdrops are early this year. So early that the Chelsea Physic Garden had to rearrange its snowdrop days to take place sooner than usual, which explains why Yannick and I found ourself venturing out in the middle of last week’s cold snap to see them. And nearly freezing our fingers off taking photos for you. You’re welcome. Continue reading

Litre of Light at Lumière London 2016

Litres of LightLumière London, a spectacular light show that’s lighting up London for just four days, from 14th to 17th January, has turned out to be a massive success, with overcrowding by Lumière crowds forcing the closure of King’s Cross Station last night.  Lumière is a display of light sculptures and projections all over town, including brilliantly lit goldfish over Piccadilly, giant snowdrops in Leicester Square, and Westminster Abbey as you’ve never seen it before with a multicoloured facade. But with all this to choose from, I’ve decided to bring you a small installation called Litre of Light. Here’s why. Continue reading

Winter in the Sky Garden

Sky GardenI was a bit dubious when Yannick suggested going to see the Sky Garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie building on a rather grey December day. I’d seen all those lovely sunny photos people had taken back in the summer and I couldn’t help feeling we just weren’t going to get the right light. But you know what? We got something just as interesting – an atmospheric smoky glow with a charm all its own. Plus a bonus as the early sunset showed us the garden after dark as well. Continue reading

It’s New Year’s Eve so here’s my review of 2015

Isabella PlantationHow was 2015 for you? I had a busy year which makes it hard to choose my favourite posts. But there’ve been two high points for me. One is the huge growth in interest in my regular spring posts about cherry blossom. The other is that I’ve repositioned the blog this year. It’s always been a London blog, but now it has less of a focus on Japanese stuff, enabling me to post about a much wider range of places and events than I could before. (including the Isabella Plantation in the photo above). Continue reading

A different kind of festive tree – Kalpataru at the V&A

V&A Christmas treeWith Christmas Day galloping towards us at a rate of knots, I thought I’d bring you a Christmas tree with a difference. It’s this year’s Christmas tree installation at the Victoria and Albert Museum and it’s quite literally a tree of light. Continue reading

Christmas Past at the Geffrye Museum

Christmas tree Geffrye MuseumEvery year I have my first mince pie of the season at the Geffrye Museum Friends Christmas party, and revisit their annual Christmas Past exhibition. The exhibition has been running for over twenty-five years and it takes the staff hours to painstakingly decorate each room in the style of the relevant period. The result never fails to enchant. Continue reading

The Festive Season starts with The Nutcracker

© Dave Morgan

© Dave Morgan

As far as I’m concerned, it wouldn’t be Christmas without The Nutcracker. You know how the story goes – a little girl, Clara, is given a nutcracker for Christmas by a magician and when midnight strikes finds herself embroiled in a fight to the death with giant mice and then transported to the kingdom of sweets. All this, plus Tchaikovsky’s fabulous music and a Christmas tree that grows to giant proportions. It’s the essence of Christmas. Continue reading