Outings

Ocean Liner Exhibit, V & A Museum

 

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A few weekends ago I visited the Ocean Liners: Speed and Style exhibit at the V & A Museum, London. The museum website described it as “Experience a unique journey through the design stories of the world’s greatest ocean liners, including the Titanic, Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra, and find out how these impressive vessels helped shape the modern world.” It is running presently until June 17th 2018.

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I wanted to visit the exhibit after going on two cruises, and thought it would be an interesting subject, with lots of history. The exhibit was much quieter and more adult friendly. There was more space, and didn’t feel like you had to rush.

It started off with lots of posters advertising cruises and the ships back in the day, there was also an old black and white video, and models of ships.

The next few rooms were all actual items from past cruises and ships. Doors, furniture, carpets, vases etc. All with the signage next to it, saying the ship and year, with a little information.

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On a cruise, you realise how tasteful everything is, and it was back in the day – maybe even more so. Some of them were so glamorous – and they sold it that way!

On ships, they had the classes broken up into different sections of the ship. The first class lounge had prime location – mid ship, on a higher deck, as if it was bad weather – this is the best place to be.

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There was a room dedicated to the engine and mechanics. This room was dark and painted black so it gave you the feeling of being lower down on a ship.

The best part was the ‘Life on board’ section, there was a big screen showing the sea with a railing to give you the impression you was on the ship! There were mannequins showcasing staff uniforms, and the swimming wear from old times. There was even a deck chair from the titanic!

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They had videos showing, with the room broken into smaller sections – so the cabin rooms, dining, fashion etc. Lots of pieces to look at.

The last room had an actual piece of The Titanic in – and even more surprisingly it was the first time it had been back in Europe since it had set sail! There was also a short video clip with movies/films with ships featured, one was Titanic by James Cameron. It just makes me feel instantly sad!

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Overall, I enjoyed the exhibit and would recommend if you was interested in the good old days of luxury cruise ships and liners, and like learning about the history of them. We went on a Saturday, and I booked the tickets about an hour before going, so it’s not too busy.

 

Outings

Winnie the Pooh Exhibit, V & A Museum

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A few weekends ago I visited the Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic exhibit at the V & A Museum, London. The museum website described it as “This multi-sensory and playful exhibition explores the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh – one of the most adored fictional characters of all time”. It ran from 9 December 2017 to 8 April 2018, so sadly if reading this you have now missed it!

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I had seen the exhibit advertised last year on the website, and knew straightaway I wanted to visit.  I had my Winnie the pooh phase when I was at High School and my favourite was Tigger.

I went on a weekend, so unfortunately it was too busy and full of kids for my liking! But it was a charming exhibit, and I learnt quite a bit.

The exhibit started off with a glass case full of old and unique memorabilia. The next part was all about the history of the authors past and family. This part was set up within a bedroom, and then a house. All white walls with decorations and the exhibits framed with lights on them so you could see the drawings clearly. There was even a bed set up with books to read to the kids.

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And the original drawing/sketch of 100 Acre Wood!

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There was a small door for kids to walk through which then led to the setting being outside. More original sketches and drawings nicely displayed, with just the right amount of information next to it. There was a also a short film type with a reading, so you watched the words overhead.

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Everyone loved the photo opportunity on the bridge playing pooh sticks. There was a coat rack with rain macs and umbrellas to borrow and wear, but as they were kids sizes – I couldn’t do it! This was the main noisy section, with a table full of paper and pencils for the kids.

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Around the corner, was more drawings broken into different sections along the wall, movement, character expressions etc.

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At the end was another glass case with first edition books of Winnie the Pooh.

I did enjoy the exhibit, and it really was such a good price for a cute little hour out! Any fans of Winnie the Pooh, young and old must have enjoyed it too.

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Outings

Festive Afternoon Tea, London

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Last week I went out with my parents to a festive/Christmas Afternoon Tea. We chose the one at Covent Garden Hotel. It wasn’t too ridiculously priced and they had availability.

The tea takes place in the bar area called Brasserie Max, which is to the right of the lobby. It’s quite a small hotel, but it’s decorated lovely. (As are all Firmdale Hotels – its a husband and wife partnership, and the wife is an interior designer and the décor in ALL the hotels is amazing!)

I took a picture of the menu, so you can see what was offered. A few changes to a standard tea with a few Christmassy twists. I also chose a different black tea – bourbon and vanilla, it was nice but very sweet! Almost too sweet, you couldn’t have too many cups of it.

It was nice, and just the right amount of filling. I wish I could have done a tour of lots of Christmas tea’s and then given them all a rating!

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Like I mentioned, I wish I had more spare time before Christmas to try out more festive afternoon teas, as most of the Firmdale Hotels had an offering, let alone the rest of London!

After the tea, we decided to soak up the London Christmassy atmosphere. It was super cold, so we bundled up and walked around. We was by Seven Dials, where they was giving out free tasters of  Baileys hot chocolate – it was so good! Definitely need to try this one at home.

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We walked all round Covent Garden, whilst I took pictures on my phone and just wondered around. There was some really good shop displays, and amazing decoration’s this year. We was also lucky with the weather, it was cold, but the sky was amazingly clear and blue.

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I also wanted to see one of the new Christmas tree trends this year – the upside down tree (Stranger Things anyone?!), so we walked to Claridge’s Hotel so I could see it and take more photos!

We grabbed a Starbucks on the way around London just to warm up. It was a nice day, and definitely perked up my Christmas enjoyment. (I’m normally a Grinch/scrooge).

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How about you, what have you done this year to get in the Christmas spirit? Any London recommendations for next year?

If I don’t post before, have a Happy cosy Christmas and a great New Year!

Outings

Prosecco Festival, London

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A few weekends ago, I attended the first UK prosecco festival. I got tickets to the London one (it had travelled all over the UK for weeks). The London event was held at the Kia Oval – the cricket ground at Oval.

There was two different time sessions you could attend. One was 12.00-4.30pm, the other was 5.30 -11.00pm. I chose the afternoon session as just with getting home late on the tube and staying safe.

The ticket purchased before, got you entrance fee, your keepsake glass and booklet.

The keepsake glass was a branded prosecco festival glass, you keep this the whole time and get it filled. I like this idea, as seems less wastage and you have a souvenir.

The little book of fizz is the booklet, which had a small description of each prosecco available to try.

We had a quick bag search before entry. Then we was given our wristband, glass, which had our ‘Little book of fizz’ in and a complimentary token for a glass of prosecco.

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See now, this is where it got expensive! You had to buy tokens (the bars had a no cash policy). Each glass of prosecco would cost £5 a glass. We chose to do the deal, for 6 tokens, the glass of prosecco would be £4.50. There was also the option to buy bottles (not sure how many tokens they was!)

I did think the room was going to be a bit bigger! There was four bars, each with different proseccos and a specialty drink. There was a stage with a band. Chairs and tables. Room for dancing. We consulted our little book of fizz, and chose by the description that we liked the most.

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There was rose, Italian, Spanish, bellinis etc. They also had a table with a speciality syrup to add your prosecco. I can say, I learnt the hard way – do not put coconut syrup in your prosecco!! My friend tried bubblegum and that kind of worked!

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The band and music was good, and towards the end, the music was great. Dirty dancing, and old classics. Everyone was dancing. (It was about 90% female).

We was also led to belive there was an Italian street food festival. They lied! It was one stall serving food, we waited an hour for some chips! When people are drinking for four and half hours, they need food! One stall was absolutely ridiculous. A lot of people was complaining. We know it was the first festival, but they know how many tickets was sold!

I did like the festival, and glad I went. But it did turn out an expensive day! The food situation needs to be changed for definite next year. We had dinner on the way home, as some chips is not enough to soak up alcohol. It was very popular, and I heard all the tickets sold out, so it is back next year. But a few kinks need to be ironed out first.

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Outings

Another Day Out in London!

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A few weeks ago, I had a Friday off so my friend and I decided to have a day in London (again!). I had been looking around and found a place called Coppa Club, it’s in Tower Bridge. In the summer, they have these pretty cabanas outside, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for availability. We got one!

So I also looked around to see what else we could do.

The HMS Belfast (the big navy ship moored on the River Thames) was nearby and we both hadn’t visited before, so we also booked tickets for that.

We met at London Bridge station and had a nice walk to the Belfast where we stopped for some pretty Instagram photo opportunities (see above).

We “boarded” the HMS Belfast and took the headset they gave us. I had forgot how much of a workout looking round old boats/ships was! Up and down tiny stairs, various decks and the ship was huge.

I did like it, and you can see how cramped and small working conditions could be, but we both could have done without the creepy looking wax figures!

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We also went right to the top, and did some silly photos by the Union Jack flag. Also, by chance I think we chose the nicest day in September! Look how blue the sky was.

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We then walked to Coppa Club, so glad we went!

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We loved the outside cabana straight away. We was even seated early. We ordered a cocktail each, and decided on the same one. Wild Strawberry Spritz – Prosecco & Cartron wild strawberry liqueur, it was yum!

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We also decided on the small plates to share for lunch, so we got 3 dishes with chips. I didn’t get any photos of the food! But it was all really tasty.

The cabana was a 2 hour booking slot, so we made the most of it. We then had a pudding each, and a glass of prosecco. I chose Sticky toffee pudding and it had some really good honeycomb on top.

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It was just so nice there! The vibe was chilled, the sun was out, music was playing, the views – we could see the Shard one way and Tower Bridge the other! Then the cabana emptied – so we had the whole one to ourselves for a while! I think we could have stayed there all afternoon!

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It was a really nice day out, and the weather being so lovely just topped it all off! I really recommend the Coppa Club – I heard last winter they had igloos outside – and they got booked pretty sharpish. I can imagine why!

 

Outings

Day out in Portsmouth!

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Over the last August Bank Holiday, we decided to go to Portsmouth. We had last been about 3 years ago.

But this time, my partner wanted to visit the Historic Dockyard, I didn’t mind going as long as I got to visit Gunwharf Quays after!

We got an early start, and managed to get in to the second car park we found. Then a short walk to the Dockyard. We bought a ticket which gained entrance to all the attraction’s, and apparently lasts a year!

The first ship we saw, (pictured above) and that you can actually walk on and around was The HMS Warrior. First thing I learnt, the steps was super tiny and narrow. So difficult to walk up and down. Must have been awful if they was at sea, and there was bad weather!

I liked the way they had the ship and equipment set up so we can see what it would have been like.

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We walked round most of The Dockyard (it was really big), we also went and saw The HMS Victory – which was Lord Nelson’s ship. This one was huge! You was given a headset, which you then pointed at various points, and that then gave you information. You started by walking up the stairs, and then walking round each deck, going down and down. I liked this style, as felt like you didn’t miss anything and wasn’t walking in front of people all over the place.

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We also went into the specially built museum to showcase the Mary Rose. This has taken years and years to bring up from the sea bed along with anything else they could find/salvage. This was actually Henry VIII’s favourite warship.

The part of the ship that was bought up, is in a special airtight room that has a certain temperature and is constantly monitored.

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We also visited a few of the museums, including a new part which was Women and the Royal Navy. That was quite interesting.

We missed the submarine part as the queue was over half hour.

We then walked to Gunwharf Quays, we headed to the front and grabbed a late lunch. We sat outside overlooking the harbour, in the sun. It felt like a holiday!

We then hit the shops! I got a shirt from Superdry, and a bundle of coconut goodness from The Body Shop, plus a coconut Toblerone to try!

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Outings · travel

Day out in Brighton!

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We had a voucher for Christmas for something we didn’t want to do, so we exchanged it!

I chose a tour for the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, with a cream tea included.

So my boyfriend and I drove down, and spent an hour or two in there. I have been to Brighton plenty of times throughout my childhood and as an a adult but have never been to there or inside!

You get given a headset, which you click once inside each room, and then gives you information. It reminded me of a mini Buckingham Palace.

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The exterior has indian influences and the interior has Chinese influences. The palace was used as a pleasure palace for royals. So was essentially a getaway from London and other palaces! Some of them loved it, others hated it as too gaudy for them. its quite a big palace, bigger than I was expecting.

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It is now all been preserved, and some pieces are on loan from the Queen!

One of my favourite’s was in a bedroom, the bathroom door was disguised in the wall!

The cream tea you could have when you liked/preferred. We had in the middle of the tour as the tea room is in the middle of the tour! But you can have at the beginning or the end etc. Was the usual tea – scone with clotted cream and jam with a pot of tea.

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After our tour, we headed to Brighton Pier, I hadn’t walked along this in years! The wind and the salty air was so refreshing. Its such a cheesy place, but feels like a proper English tradition.

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I love being by the sea, living in a town, its always so nice to get away for a little bit. The sea always calms and relaxes me. I could watch it for hours!

We had a nice August day too, so the sun was out and we was in tshirts. We did some window shopping and browsed some of the smaller lanes.

I always find it mind boggling too, how much water there is on earth!

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What about you guys, what have you been up to? Do you love the sea?

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