Something from the weekend….a picture-worthy few days

I’m always snapping away on my phone, truth be told, but this weekend seemed to give me more in the way of picture opportunities than usual. It was indeed a lovely weekend, filled with fun but relaxation too. Anyway, I thought I’d share my instagram feed by way of summing it up…..

Friday night started the weekend with cocktails, as it always should…..

…..we played Guess Who…..

……and then Adam beat me at Triv!

Saturday began with a lovely long dog walk……

…..we headed to Barton Springs for a nice change…..

…..and the sun shone for us rather splendidly!

We found a darling little tea room and gallery for lunch…..

….where they serve an epic Hot Chocolate…..

….and yummy tea on quaint mis-matched china…..

…..as well as lush lunches like the stuffed mushroom on toast that I went for!

Once home we set about hanging our new treasure, the huge antique map of London that looks rather marvellous on our lounge wall…..

….and after that it was an afternoon of snoozing as it all got too much for my boys!

Another lovely walk on Sunday morning, this time at the stunning Chick Sands woods….

….I love all the little dens people have built there!

After a yummy breakfast of Staffordshire Oatcakes (the last left in the freezer after my Mum’s visit!) we pootled around the market and car boot sale, where I picked up some little treasures….

…..and where my favourite stallholder gave me this incredible menu from the 60’s!

We finally took the tour of the museum opposite where we live in the afternoon….

….and took part in a Victorian lesson where we had to practise reading parrot-fashion…..

…..did maths in old money on slate….

….and worked on our handwriting with a dip pen!

The rest of the day was more relaxing, eating and watching of Buffy. Bliss!

What did you get up to?

Ems x

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Something from the weekend……. a night market, a wedding, and London’s oldest Music Hall

Another amazing few days this weekend! We didn’t ram as much in as we sometimes do, but it was certainly fun filled!……

On Friday after work, Adam and I met up with our good friends Kate and Jason at the Bermondsey Square Night Market, “The StockMKT.” It’s silly that I’ve not made it to one of the markets there before as it’s so close, and we enjoyed a lovely walk over to the other side of the river from home. The whole square was filled with food stalls, bars, crafty things and vintage treasures, as well as a band tent. The latter was hosted for the evening by the fabulous Albert Ball’s Flying Aces, whose wonderfully retro sounds had us all toe tapping.

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First off though it was a visit to the first bar we spotted….. and luckily it was a bar hosted by the very wonderful Sparrow Gin from Peckham! Serving a small but perfect list of cocktails, as well as good old fashioned G&Ts, the stall was super cool with jam jars, striped straws and vintage glasses and serving things. We got chatting to the lovely Pru who told us proudly about the gin’s super grapefruityness (although rather more eloquently than me) and gave us a taster of the tipple straight up. It is a beautifully fresh and citrusy gin, and almost a little herbal with the generous number of botanicals used in its production. It’s currently on very limited availability, so we did our best to drink up the current batch and encourage the guys to brew up some more….. the Negroni and the Martini were especially good (we tried the whole list), but I think, like Pru, I would prefer to drink it straight up, nice and cold.

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With drinks in hand, we took a wander about the stalls of pretties and treasures, finding the super Ink Heart Kicks which I’ve been oggling on Etsy, BG Design from where we bought some gorgeous cards, and Kamm and Sons  from whom we bought a bottle of delicious Ginseng spirit. I also picked up some great vintage post cards from a stall of vintage treasures, and we yummed up a very large slice of Yummy Boutique’s super delicious Red Velvet Cheesecake.

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Afterwards we made our way homeward, stopping off for a curry in the award winning Empress Curry House for supper. Although I’d not had a proper meal, I was really too stuffed with gins and cheesecake to need the several dishes I yummed up, so I did rather roll home.

Saturday saw the FINAL arrival of our friends, Matthew and Siobhan’s, wedding. I’d been excited about it for aaaages, but for the last week ridiculously so! After spending the entire morning primping and packing the various bags I ended up taking (shoes, hat, cameras, confetti……) we jumped on the tube to make our way to Putney. The venue for the whole day was the beautiful Star and Garter which is right on the river. The Ballroom has a gloriously high ceiling, chandeliers and stacks of natural light.

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Matthew was looking super hot in a beautiful kilt and tweed jacket, and seemed pretty cool as we chatted before the ceremony. I’d been lucky enough to see Siobhan’s dress at her fitting at Liberty, but I still felt my jaw drop as she walked into the room looking so incredibly stunning. Both of them were glowing throughout the ceremony, and I honestly can’t think I’ve ever seen two people look more happy. It was so touching to hear them exchange their vows, as well as bridesmaid Jo’s lovely reading….. I shed plenty of tears of joy too!

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After the ceremony we drank saucers of Cham in the bar downstairs whilst the happy couple had photos taken out by the river and the Ballroom was turned around ready for the reception. It was brilliant to have time to catch up with people and have some good chat time….. as well as a chance to sample some of the bar’s wonderful cocktails!

Back upstairs, we readied ourselves for the couple’s first announcement into the room…. I had made confetti in little vintage sheet music cones, which several of us sprinkled on them from our balcony seats as they walked in. Then it was a yummy buffet dinner at large round tables dressed with gerbera in vintage IRN BRU bottles, and hand made paper stars (good work Justine!). There were lots of personal touches that reminded us of Matthew and Siobhan too…. the tables were names after Radiohead albums, and they had prepared special CDs as favours, stamped with a cut-out style image of the two of them.

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We had so much fun, chatting and throwing balloons around and dancing the night away….. Matthew and Siobhan had created their own playlist for the night packed with floor fillers, and even Adam got up to dance (first time ever!). There was cheese, fruit cake and bacon rolls as a wonderful late night snack which kept us going, and I danced my last song, rather aptly to Tiffany, I think We’re Alone Now. It was such a joy to be part of their special day, and to see them enjoy it so much. Love you guys!

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It was a traditional lie in on Sunday, as we were feeling rather worn out. So we decided to keep it local and just popped over the road to Wilton’s Music Hall for a few hours in the afternoon. It was the last day the historical venue was open, before the refurbishment of the auditorium takes place. After we’d had a wander about and taken a few snaps, Artistic Director Frances Mayhew took to the stage alongside Capital Project Patron David Suchet who talked of the importance of the refurbishment and the continued fundraising necessary to protect the music hall.

We were lucky enough to get tickets for the final tour, and so ‘Deputy Tour Guide Chris’ gave us the lowdown on the history of the local area and the beginnings of Wilton’s, before Carole told us all about the history of the building itself and some of the most notable events in its history. It was wonderful to hear some of the stories about the place and I would highly recommend taking the tour there…… the auditorium is due to open in 2013 but until then the beautiful Mahogany Bar is still open for drinks, as will be the new cocktail bar which will open soon, and even some performances taking place in the smaller rooms (I very much want to go to the Horror! Horror! Halloween show!). I’m really looking forward to seeing the auditorium again once it’s finished, although we were promised that the appearance won’t change.

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After that it was home for a pot of tea, and to finish up a pot of clotted cream we had left over from my birthday…… I made up a large helping of what I’ve named ‘French Tea’ (strawberries, clotted cream and jam on thick slices of brioche in lieu of any scones!). And after that we were only fit to slob about and watch Planet Terror….. a nicely quiet end to a super weekend!

Hope you enjoyed yours….do share!

Ems x

Planning the weekend…. London has festival fever!

As London gears up for this forthcoming big games event thing, there seems more than ever going on….. Although I can’t say I’m terribly excited about the prospect of a jam packed London this summer, I am loving the fact that more even than ever, every corner I turn there’s something going on!

Here’s my pick of what’s going on this weekend…..

The London Festival of Architecture is a celebration of the capital’s architecture and architectural talent. Bringing architects and communities together, this year’s theme is ‘The Playful City’,  in response to the impending London 2012 Games. Focussing in different ‘hubs’ all over the city, the festival is this weekend hosting stacks of events in its Fitzrovia hub, with workshops for families, open studios, exhibitions, walking tours and games.

The festival runs until 8th July and you can find a list of events here.

Masterpiece London is one of London’s leading art and antiques fairs, and it’s new home at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, saw 28,000 visitors last year. Dubbed a forum for distinctive design, the fair carefully curates its contributors, offering a huge variety of excellent exhibits including wine, cars, jewellery and decorative arts.

Runs until 4th July, tickets from £20 available here.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival is considered London’s leading festival of free outdoor performing arts, and features ground breaking new performances in theatre, dance, and street arts. One production that has caught my attention is ‘Crow’ by Ted Hughes, presented by Handspring Puppet Company (the talent behind the incredible puppetry central to the War Horse stage show).

The show runs until 7th July and tickets are available here from £10. You can see the other events in the festival here.

The London International Festival of Theatre is a biennial event which takes place in theatres, arts venues and sites all over London. Working in often unconventional sites with artists from across the world, the festival seeks to find new ways of seeing the city, and produce theatre which is surprising and stimulating as well as simply entertaining. Amongst this year’s offerings is the ‘Adventure Map’, a limited edition map which promises to take you on adventures across the city, and to reinvent your relationship with it. You’ll need to book a ticket for your ‘Departure’ on dates from 5th July to 22nd August here.

This weekend, London’s new Pleasure Gardens opens with a spectacular ‘grand opening’ featuring pyrotechincs, live music, street art, sideshows, a Ballroom, vintage funfair and stacks of other stuff. Harking back to 200 years ago, when London hosted numerous common spaces known as Pleasure Gardens, this event is set to emulate those meeting places where Londoners could immerse themselves in culture and experience the joys of open air entertainments. This opening event is free to get into and promises to set the benchmark for future events at the venue and start things off with a bang! The opening event is open from 1pm to 11pm on Saturday and 1pm to 10pm on Sunday….just turn up at the Pontoon Docks venue…no need for a ticket!

One of my favourite places in London is closing for refurbishment after this weekend, but Wilton’s Music Hall is not one to go quietly….. This weekend the stunning music hall is preparing for a big overhaul by inviting us to visit and take a tour, as well as enjoying their new bar and lots of cake! It’s your last chance to see this incredible venue until it’s due to re-open again next year once essential repairs are made to the auditorium. Visitors are also being asked to donate cakes to sell, contributing to their ongoing fund raising, as well as writing letters which they will stow away under the floor when it’s lifted up and laid again as part of the work…. what to write?!?!
Come along on Saturday from 5pm – 11pm (7pm talk) or Sunday from 3pm – 6pm (3:30pm talk). It’s free to sit in on one of the talks but you need to book a place here.
Well I know that’ll be enough to keep me busy…. hope you have a wonderful weekend too!
Ems x