Five fabulous London gardens to visit this Spring

Isabella PlantationThe weather (today at least) is sunny, and it’s not too far-fetched to suggest that spring has sprung. Cherry blossom season is over, so naturally you want to know what follows. The answer is bluebells and wisteria and rhododendrons and azalea, among others. Where are you going to see them? Just read on. Continue reading

Five Fabulous Historic London Houses to visit in 2016

Strawberry HillHistoric houses hibernate – at least a lot of them do. They shut down for the winter, cover their furniture in dust sheets and doze the dark days away. But the return of spring brings them back to life. They open up like spring flowers, so now’s the time to visit them in all their finery. Here’s my top five houses to see this year. Continue reading

Kenwood House – a North London Treasure

IMG_2388Kenwood House is a North London treasure. Perhaps it’s because of its position, right at the top of Hampstead Heath, gazing down over the rest of the city; perhaps it’s because, thanks to the terms of the Iveagh Bequest, it’s free to visit and always will be. Or perhaps it’s just because it’s so lovely. Continue reading

Rhododendrons and Azaleas at Kenwood House

Kenwood House rhododendron I’d like to pretend that I made a special trip to Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath just to see the rhododendrons and azaleas in full flower, with the visit carefully timed to catch them at their peak. But I’m afraid it didn’t happen like that. I actually went with a group of Twitter friends to see the house, which has been closed for refurbishment for years but has finally reopened, forgetting all about the famous rhododendron garden until we rounded a corner of the house and saw it in all its glory. Continue reading