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

Strawberry Hill House – where the Gothic Revival began

Strawberry Hill HouseAn icing sugar house in a leafy London suburb with turrets and crenellations like a gothic castle. Even today it’s like something out of a fairytale, but back when it was built, in the mid eighteenth century, hundreds of years after gothic architecture fell out of fashion, it must have been quite mind-boggling. Welcome to Strawberry Hill House, the magical white palace Horace Walpole built himself in Twickenham. Continue reading