Housed in the ancient church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, the oldest structure in the London Borough of Lambeth, there is the Museum of Garden History to celebrate British gardens and gardening.
Thankfully to Rosemary Nicholson who was the driving force behind the salvation of this hidden gem we can still admire both the church and its treasuries. Shocked to discover the church in readiness for demolition, she established the Tradescant Trust to rescue and repair the church converted into the world’s first Museum of Garden History.
In the churchyard of St Mary’s, there is still the magnificent tomb of both John Tradescant the Elder and his son the younger, naturalists, collectors, travelers and gardeners of many English royal family members (such as Henrietta Maria “the rose and lily queen” of Charles I).
A garden of pleasure for you…
I spent my Friday evening in bed with my favorite TV series, Downtown Abbey of course, and Lady Mary and Lady Edith suggested me to have lunch at Rules today.
In Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, Rules was opened in 1789 by Thomas Rules and began as an oyster bar, it immediately earned an instant and starting success, praised by all writers of the time. Over the years the great and good of British society have entertained here – from Royal family and politicians to stars of stage and screen.
The atmosphere you can feel at Rules is magic… you feel at once in both countryside and city, a perfect combination of ultimately nostalgic comfort food tasting and downright luxurious service. It’s always a unique experience.
You will choose a great variety of dishes, any of which is sure to make you feel at home (at Downtown Abbey… maybe). But this isn’t simply home cooking… I love to start with Fines de Claires oysters and follow with a tasty and season pie or pud.
And don’t forget… Rules is indeed a good place to have your drink… a Kate Middleton “Royal 29” maybe.
Not only is Thai food delicious, but it is also really healthy!
Low in fat, gluten-free and jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, it is the perfect food to boost your immune system, aid weight loss and give your energy.
Patara, Maddox Street, with its chic décor and fragrant green curries, is the ideal place for your spicy meal. Eating plenty of iron and lean protein is pertinent to hair growth and maintaining strong, healthy locks. What’s more? Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron, so eating Thai food will double the pleasure!
It’s my day off today and to escape is the greatest of my pleasures; street haunting in winter the greatest of adventures! Have you ever walked along a street and imagined the lives of the strangers that you pass?
Lose yourself following the “Mrs Dalloway’s walk” and spend your day in street-haunting.
This was Virginia Woolf favourite sport! To walk alone in London is the greatest rest, dipping in and out of people’s minds as they move through the city’s crowded streets.
Let’s followed her advice, on the day of her birthday… .
Style icon Gianni Agnelli, or “L’Avvocato” as he was nicknamed, was a man of impeccable elegance. His legendary silver grey hair gave him charisma and charm which indeed made him one of the most stylish Italian men who ever lived.
When in London, he loved shopping! Nothing suits a man better than a tie and he knew it. His favourite place was Turnbull & Asser in Jermyn Street, where he could find a wide range of silk and wool ties to add something to his exquisite and perfect wardrobe, partly created by the famous Huntsman of London in Savile Row (of course!!).
15 years after his death let’s celebrate this unsurpassed bon vivant, raising a glass of champagne at Claridge’s Bar, in the hotel where Agnelli always wanted to stay and which remains the gold standard for London luxury hotels since opening its doors in 1856 in Mayfair.
Mayfair. A place where you can lose your hair, for sure. But also, a bunch of gems that can feed your sick and tired soul. Few steps away the “big city life”, in a slice of heaven between Green Park and Bond Street, there’s Mount Street Gardens, a public garden arose on a former burial ground and taking its name from the “Oliver’s Mount”, a fortification built under the English Civil War.
Mount Street Gardens is not a place to cross by. Hidden between mansions and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, this is the place where you can have your personal epiphany or just relax contemplating the huge rearing horse placed in the middle of the garden (at the end of the day, this is the place where Johnathan Reyes Mayers confesses to his friend his affair with Scarlett Johansson in Match Point by Woody Allen).
Choose your bench, read words carved on them in memory of people who used to sit there, sit down and breathe. Listen the silence and smell the scent of the ground after a raining day.
Then you hair will magically re-start growing!
22nd January, Happy Birthday Lord Byron! Let’s pay homage to one of the leading figures of the Romantic Movement in early 19th century England. The green plaque to Lord Byron’s birth place is attached to the John Lewis store on the south west side of Holles Street, just north of the junction with Oxford Street.
Byron, they say, was obsessed with his weight. He was terrified of becoming fat and said he would rather “not exist” than be large! He was also very keen about his own hair, often offering locks as a memento. Though a new book claims that what Byron often send was only a lock of fur from his pet newfoundland dog Boatswain.
By the way, in the past a lock of his hair was sold at London auctioneer Bonhams for a little fortune. Byron gave the five-inch twist of brown hair, tied in a loop with a green silk thread, to a fellow student, John Fitzgibbon, for whom he had developed an idealized love…
The snow has been spotted falling in London this morning and the Old Smoke appears immediately pure and innocent.
A short walk from Shakespeare’s Globe will bring you in a special place with an extraordinary history, Crossbones Graveyard. It was once the final resting place for the “Winchester Geese” as the prostitutes were quaintly called in medieval London.
Now, a beautiful garden is object of pilgrimage in memory of these “pure and innocent” souls.
Bring your flower… in the snowly London.
Been eating lunch at your desk all the week? It’s about time to break this bad habit! Take your lunch break at Le Pain Quotidien and share a communal table.
The smell of fresh-baked break will inspire and feed your soul. Find rich and deliciously crusty bread with a choice of jam, marmalade and biscuits. Everything is made with organic ingredients. It’s vegan! It’s healthy!
Communal tables are big enough for all to fit. And you might even have the chance to be seated next to Sir Paul Smith!
Lift your spirit after a tough week! Try the world’s best Martini at Duke’s, in the heart of up market Mayfair. Alessandro Palazzi, talented head bartender, will welcome you with a James Bond’s Martini. This is where Sir Ian Fleming is said to have invented the famous motto “shaken not stirred”.
You can also try the special ‘89 Jermyn Street‘ cocktail created by Palazzi in partnership with famous British Family Perfumers Floris, since XVII century. Dukes & Floris is the perfect combination! Have a cocktail for an inspiring break. Then try Cefiro, the luxurious Floris shampoo to gently cleanse your breathtaking hair!