Tag Archives: London

A Proper London Day Out

It was always going to be a long day; so much to see and so much to do, we needed to plan carefully and with military precision.

We promised ourselves a proper London day out; and we definitely got one!

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A proper London day out!

The early morning train, tube ride and coffee stops on the way out East to the O2 Arena, Emirates airline to (nowhere really) and amazing views back towards the city and Canary wharf.

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The Emirates Air-Line is a pretty nifty cable car, it certainly gives you some height, rising straight up to 90m and a wonderful view of London.

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Looking down onto the river we had a change of plan and the Thames river clipper service was a great last minute idea, taking time to swoop around between piers.

We gained a real tourist’s eye view of London as we chugged from the O2, past the Isle of Dogs, to Canary Wharf, Royal Naval college at Greenwich and the the Cutty Sark and under Tower Bridge before getting off at a busy Tate Modern pier.

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After pizza and posing in Paternoster Square (Dinner Date), a walk around St Paul’s Cathedral and back over Blackfriars bridge,  the fun continued with a stroll along the embankment, past the OXO tower and sand sculptures of Kevin Spacey to the South Bank, National Theatre, skate-parks and eventually the London Eye amidst the thronging crowds and street performers.

A proper London Day Out

A proper London Day Out

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The London Eye never fails to impress – it’s at least ten years since I have been on this amazing cartwheel, and it’s as good now as it ever was.

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That’s enough for one day!

Onto the tube, up to Kings Cross, a drink or two and a train home, phew!

National Portrait Gallery, London

National Portrait Gallery front door; home to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition

National Portrait Gallery front door; home to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition

Yesterday  I went to the National Portrait Gallery in London; it was fabulous!

National Portrait Gallery If you like head and shoulder shots, you will not be disappointed!

National Portrait Gallery
If you like head and shoulder shots, you will not be disappointed!

My main objective was to get into the ground floor Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition – a very reasonable £4 charge was levied and I was in.

The blurb says this is the leading competition to celebrate and promote the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world.

Certainly the many images were spread across both traditional and contemporary approaches to photographic portraits, I don’t even know who Taylor Wessing are, but well done on them, because this was a great show.

National Portrait Gallery front door; home to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition

National Portrait Gallery front door; home to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition

Having moved on upstairs, I was allowed to get my camera out; I only took a couple of pictures, I hope you like them.

National Portrait Gallery, a group are given a quided tour and hang on every word in the Tudor section

National Portrait Gallery, a group are given a guided tour and hang on every word in the Tudor section

 

 

 

I don’t think they like you taking pictures in here….of course there was one addition that was rather poignant; Mr Bowie.

David Bowie at the National Portrait Gallery

David Bowie at the National Portrait Gallery

And that’s all I have to say about that. Except that afterwards I had to get some fresh air and walk around Trafalgar Square,  and say hello to some old friends my wife and I had both been perched upon for pictures as young children.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

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Chiswick salmon en croute

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Chiswick is not a particularly famous corner of the world; a district of west London, and part of the London Borough of Hounslow[3] it contains Hogarth’s House, the former residence of the 18th-century English artist William Hogarth; Chiswick House, a neo-Palladian villa regarded as one of the finest in England; and Fuller’s Brewery, London’s largest and oldest brewery.

But now, it is more famous for Chiswick salmon en croute.

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And this is the man that made it famous…

Here is a man who know's how to entertain Here is a man who cooks a mean salmon en croute

Here is a man who know’s how to entertain
Here is a man who cooks a mean salmon en croute
London W4, Saturday 2nd May 2015
Leica M, Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH, f2.0, 1/180 sec, ISO 800

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Historic figures who lived in Chiswick include the poet Alexander Pope, the Italian revolutionary Ugo Foscolo, the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro and the novelist E. M. Forsternone of these can hold a candle to our family members, who in their own Gavi-fuelled way have contributed far more to the cultural fabric of the local community.

And here they are…

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Chiswick occupies a meander of the River Thames which is heavily used for competitive and recreational rowing, and Chiswick itself is home to several clubs. The finishing post for the Boat Race is just downstream of Chiswick Bridge.

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I don’t know if salmon swim in these waters, I suspect that is rather unlikely – we are not in the highlands of Scotland here, none the less, Waitrose down the road is stocked with our aquatic friends, and they can be purchased and wrapped in pastry to form the infamous national dish of W4; Chiswick Salmon en Croute.

And the kitchen environment is so important if you are serving up a masterpiece….

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Chiswick has a number of named sublocalities: Bedford Park, Grove Park, the Glebe Estate,Strand-on-the-Green and those with named tube stations Turnham Green, and Gunnersbury.

Other parts of the W4 postcode area, including Chiswick Park tube station, Acton Green, and much of Bedford Park are in theLondon Borough of Ealing.

I hope you found these pictures and reflections on Chiswick to be of some comfort in getting you through a very long election day in the UK!

 

King Henry of Brentford

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We went on a family trip to London to see some important relatives; there was an undisputed star of the show – and he was crowned, King Henry of Brentford

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It would seem that he is the very latest in a long line of royals, who have given their respective families a right royal run-around.

Henry in the Right Royal Botanical gardens, Kew

Looking at the statistics, he is indeed in good Royal company…

8 in England, of whom the last departed in 1537 and is rather well-known

5 in France, the last Henry V being around as recently as 1830

17 Dukes of Bavaria, Henry XV11 cavorting between 1483 and 1512 to be precise.

A full list of rulers named Henry can be found here courtesy of Wikipedia.

And now we have the 1st King of Brentford to add to the history books, born in 2014 and wreaking havoc across West London for the last 14 months, intensifying his activities since learning to walk in early 2015

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Get out of my room!

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Storming the battlements at Kew

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Eating and drinking and merry-making at the royal court

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Ticking off one of the royal cour staff

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…but most of all, being a good King, and a worthy heir to the throne for his mum and dad!

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Thanks for looking in, we will revisit henry in years to come I am sure!

The End

 

Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

Take the bus, tube or just walk, any trip to Kew is worthwhile

Take the bus, tube or just walk, any trip to Kew is worthwhile

We visited the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew this week.

It was everything we were hoping it would be, and more besides.

Located near to family, it seemed an afternoon strolling through the gardens, greenhouses and grasslands of Kew would be the perfect activity for our group, young and old, o a sunny Sunday afternoon in West London.

Nice day for it, where next?

Nice day for it, where next?

Kew Gardens is the world’s largest collection of living plants. Founded in 1840 from the exotic garden at Kew Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, UK, its living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants, while the herbarium, which is one of the largest in the world, has over seven million preserved plant specimens. The library contains more than 750,000 volumes, and the illustrations collection contains more than 175,000 prints and drawings of plants. It is one of London’s top tourist attractions. In 2003, the gardens were put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The Prince of Wales Greenhouse

The Prince of Wales Greenhouse

The main house is closed until 2016 I think

The main house is closed until 2016 I think

 

 

 

 

 

Kew Gardens, together with the botanic gardens at Wakehurst Place in Sussex, are managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (brand name Kew), an internationally important botanical research and education institution that employs 750 staff, and is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.[1]

Water lillies at Kew Gardens Sunday 3rd May 2015 Leica M, Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH, f1.4, 1/1,000 sec, ISO 200

Water lillies at Kew Gardens
Sunday 3rd May 2015
Leica M, Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH, f1.4, 1/1,000 sec, ISO 200

The Kew site, which has been dated as formally starting in 1759,[2] though can be traced back to the exotic garden at Kew Park, formed by Lord Capel John of Tewkesbury, consists of 121 hectares (300 acres)[3] of gardens and botanical glasshouses, four Grade I listed buildings and 36 Grade II listed structures, all set in an internationally significant landscape.[4]

Family fun is guaranteed at Kew

Family fun is guaranteed at Kew

Kew is a fabulous place to enjoy an afternoon with family.

 

in fact, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. An internationally important botanical research and education institution, it employs 750 staff.[2] Its chief executive is the current Director, Richard Deverell.[3] Its board of trustees is chaired by Marcus Agius, a former chairman of Barclays PLC.[4]

You may need this or the App on your phone to find your way around

You may need this or the App on your phone to find your way around

I liked these concrete steps, very 70's

I liked these concrete steps, very 70’s

The organisation manages botanic gardens at Kew in Richmond upon Thames in southwest London, and at Wakehurst Place, aNational Trust property in Sussex which is home to an internationally important Millennium Seed Bank. The Seed Bank is also the site of multiple research projects[5] and international partnerships with at least 80 countries.[6] Seed stored at the bank fulfils two functions: it provides an ex situ conservation resource and also facilitates research around the globe by acting as a repository for seed scientists. Kew also operates, jointly with the Forestry Commission, Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent, which specialising in growing conifers.

The treetop walk gave a fantastic view across to the large greenhouses that were being renovated. As well as providing a viewing platform for the constant bombardment of huge jets cruising down into Heathrow, 10 miles beyond.

A large jet every 30 seconds approx.

A large jet every 30 seconds approx..

These greenhouses are amazing

These greenhouses are amazing

Don't look down

Don’t look down

Lots for youngsters, and adults alike

Lots for youngsters, and adults alike

Tree top walk is not for those who don't do heights

Tree top walk is not for those who don’t do heights

The lillies lillies in this greenhouse were amazing

 

Water lillies at Kew Gardens Sunday 3rd May 2015 Leica M, Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH, f1.4, 1/1,000 sec, ISO 200

Water lillies at Kew Gardens
Sunday 3rd May 2015
Leica M, Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH, f1.4, 1/1,000 sec, ISO 200

Some wildlife was also on hand to observe proceedings

This chap was very keen to say hello

This chap was very keen to say hello

The cacti in the Prince of Wales Greenhouse were stunning

More cactus

More cactus

a great cactus collection, as you would expect

a great cactus collection, as you would expect

To cap off the trip, a nice cuppa and slice of cheesecake in the Kew cafe is highly recommended after all that walking.

Nice cheesecake and a coffee at the Kew Greenhouse cafe

Nice cheesecake and a coffee at the Kew Greenhouse cafe

I hope you enjoyed this post, I will be adding some more plants when I have sifted through all my pictures from a fabulous weekend