The Girl in the Red Coat

Archive for the ‘London adventures’ Category

Apologies to anyone reading this who I’m friends with on twitter because you’ll have seen this earlier, but I just had to share this picture of a gorgeous double rainbow I saw while enjoying a Sunday afternoon walk on this crisp (if slightly damp at times) autumn day.

(Snapped on my phone)

All along the high street, people were standing looking up at the sky, taking pictures and calling to others inside the shops to come out and take a look. It was a lovely moment!

 

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Today the mister and I went for a walk from Camden to Hampstead Heath via Primrose Hill. You can see the route we basically walked along below. It’s not the map we used but shows you the area of London we were in, and if you follow the link below you can find details of the area and a walking tour if you’re around London and have a few hours to spare!

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It wasn’t the most beautiful of days (weather-wise!) but was very English – grey, overcast and drizzly – but it was still a fantastic day. There were lots of people out walking and spending time with families and loved ones in both parks. One father, recognising that the gusty autumn day was perfect for kite-flying, was on Primrose Hill with his three kids. Not that they got a look-in where the kite was concerned though! It was such a cute scene, I had to take a picture! 🙂 Hopefully he let them have a turn soon after!

From the top of Primrose Hill you can see a lot of the City of London spread out below. Even with today’s misty weather I could see St Paul’s, the Gherkin and the Millennium Wheel. I do love this city – not many capital cities have so many gorgeous green spaces. The walk took us through lots of different residential areas too, past some gorgeous listed buildings, houses with blue plaques showing famous historical figures who once lived there and some quirky shops and cafés, with delicious-looking cupcakes and pastries in the windows. It was a struggle not to buy something in each and every one!

So, what’s the perfect way to end a walk like this, on a cold autumn’s day? Why, cosying up in a café for a few hours with lots of tea, talking and planning of future trips…and that’s exactly what we did!

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I suppose I should clarify, this isn’t a specifically musically Monday post, this is predominantly a catch-up of the musicality of the last few days.

So the last few days have included…

an evening picnic and dancing in one of London’s gorgeous parks to some fantastic Motown hits…

{photos by me}

being serenaded by the incredibly stylish Jersey Boys…

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Alas not personally serenaded but it’s so easy to just forget the hundreds of other people in the audience and believe for a few hours that they’re singing directly to you ♥

It’s such a fantastic show – the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their journey to fame, with lots of their classic hits (and you’ll recognise more than you may think!) including Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like a Man, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and my favourite – Beggin’.

My only criticism of the show – I wish they’d sung a medley of their main hits again at the end of the show because by that time most of the audience were up on their feet and ready to keep dancing! I shouldn’t complain though, they were singing for pretty much the entire show! I wholeheartedly recommend it and am already trying to plan when I can see it again…

afternoon tea in the elegant St James’ Restaurant at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly…

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There are few things more quintessentially English than going for afternoon tea and that’s what I decided to do with some of my closest friends to celebrate getting through my course this year, and it really was a wonderfully special treat! I’d advise you to arrive hungry – there are lots of teas to choose from (I had the Piccadilly blend and the Chai) along with sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and three different types of jam, and so many cakes.

It truly was the perfect Sunday afternoon – excellent company, conversation and laughter, in an elegant restaurant from where you can look out over bustling Piccadilly below whilst enjoying an almost never-ending supply of delcious treats.

and if all of the above wasn’t enough, gorgeous summer fireworks.

{photos by me}

I hope you’re all having lovely summers so far too!

I think it is important to see the person first and the clothes afterwards – Grace Kelly

This seems like an odd sentiment to come from someone who is remembered above all as such an icon of style, but having seen some of the most gorgeous and well-known items from her wardrobe today I can truly echo this statement.

The Victoria and Albert Museum are currently hosting this exhibition, featuring dresses from around the time of Grace Kelly’s Hollywood career, through to her meeting and moving out to Monaco to marry Prince Rainier and also some of the haute couture gowns of her later years. Plus! Some of her hats, shoes, glasses (I didn’t realise she wore glasses but she had some gorgeous pairs!) and jewellery. Oh to be able to play dress-up in some of those gowns…although I don’t know how feasible it would be – I think I’d have to lose about half my waist. The glasses though, no problems there! (.^_^)v

As soon I went into the exhibition and saw some of the dresses she wore in the 50s, I think my jaw dropped and I literally gasped. As much as I love Victorian and Edwardian-style dresses, I think the 50s are truly my fashion era. The nipped in waists, the full skirts, the patterns and ribbons…my heart skips a beat whenever I spot something similar in a shop nowadays! So as gorgeous as some of the later dresses in Grace Kelly’s collection were, it was the early collection that I loved the most, but what really surprised me about most of the exhibition was how simple the gowns were, with nothing overly fancy. (Apparently she saved that for her elaborate hairstyles at events later in her life – she had to ride to one ball sitting on the floor of a van because her headpiece was too tall for a car.) So yes, she truly embodied the notion that you should wear your clothes and not the other way round.

There were also a few of the costumes, along with clips, from some of her movies – High Society and Rear Window among others. I love Bing Crosby so definitely want to watch High Society at some point in the future and have already seen Rear Window but may have to dig out the DVD for a re-watching…ooh I think this is calling out for a Grace Kelly evening! The dress on the right was in the exhibition and I remember thinking it was stunning when watching the movie. Apparently, this dress was worn to signify the fact that the relationship between James Stewart’s character and Grace Kelly’s was cemented at this stage and so she could simply wear an ordinary understated dress as opposed to the more enticing dresses she was wearing before. Oh, if only this was still an understated, easily accessible, day-to-day style of dress!

I really recommend this exhibition but do book in advance – the V & A are running timed entries so it doesn’t get too crowded and you may not be able to get tickets on the day. The pictures (among others!) and more information about the exhibition can be found by following the link here.


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Welcome to the blogging adventures of a 20-something London girl with a love of travelling, music and laughing with friends. Feel free to join me on my adventures! (.^_^)v

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