Friday, 29 October 2010

Birthday (part 1)

Yesterday was my birthday and my husband and I had a wonderful day in London. Firstly we visited the Wallace Collection which is an historic house with 25 galleries displaying French 18th century painting, furniture and porcelain and world class armoury. I took loads of photos (because unlike in some places you are allowed to). Here are just a few...

Stunning examples of just some of the many pieces of 18th century Sevres porcelain in the house.

This is actually a work table!

This is taken from a tapestry and he really appeals to me as does my favourite picture in the house of a 'Strawberry Girl' by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

They have a lovely restaurant here too and for my pudding I had the biggest, creamiest most divine creme brulee I have ever tasted!

Do go if you are in London, it is well worth a visit and free admission.

We had booked seats for 'Jersey Boys', the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and it was brilliant.

After that we had a gorgeous meal in China Town, then home on the train. What a lovely day!

Monday, 25 October 2010


I managed to finish painting the stairs in time for the new carpet and am very pleased with the result.

I also managed to finish the blind which I'm pleased matches it really well. Underneath the window I have placed an old cast iron bistro table with a marble top that my mother decided she no longer wanted and it looks really good there.

We had finished decorating the dining room but I felt it was a little dreary so I have been trying to introduce some red into the room. I painted this picture frame French Grey (my favourite F & B shade) and think it looks great with the toile de jouey. The bookcase also got a couple of coats of the paint.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Uppark House

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Last weekend we visited the National Trust's Uppark House on the South Downs. It is a really interesting Georgian house which was rescued after a major fire in 1989.

A careless workman who had been working on the roof left a blowtorch alight and this was the result. 150 firemen from three counties tackled the blaze and when it was deemed safe to do so people entered the building to salvage what they could. 4,000 plastic dustbins full of debris containing artefacts were marked according to which room's items they contained.

Six years later the house had been restored and it is just amazing what survived and the quality of workmanship to restore things to how they were.

Another interesting story from this house is that in 1825 its owner Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh married his dairy maid. He had heard her singing in the dairy and proposed to her! He was 70, she was 21! He told her that she could take her time to answer and that if there was a piece cut out from his mutton at dinner he would know that her answer was yes. She was sent to Paris to be educated before their marriage and upon his death the whole estate was left to her.

In the National Trust shop I bought this book 'The Soup Bible'. The first soup I have made is Thai Chicken Soup and it is absolutely DELICIOUS. If you would like the recipe let me know and I will email it to you.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Cooking, Sewing and Painting

I have been making cushions and hearts from Hungrian grain sacks to sell in a gallery which is opening soon in Lee-on-Solent.

We have ordered a new striped stair and plain landing carpet and, because the stairs are to have a runner, I have been sanding and repainting the sides of the stairs.

I also decided to make a co-ordinating Roman blind for the hall window at the bottom of these stairs.

All that hard work had to be rewarded with cake - Lemon Drizzle Cake and Date and Honey Oatmeal Cake.