Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Hola! It's party time!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas - I had a great time and loved being back with my family!

However, I think it's sign of age.... or just the realisation that New Years Eve is actually better spent at a house party, rather than in some overpriced bar!  So, this year I've decided to be the hostess with the mostest, and will be throwing a little soiree for my nearest and dearest!  I'm always one for a themed party and thought what better way to banish the winter blues by going for a Mexican theme!  So whilst I sink another turkey sandwich, am putting my google skills to good use, by researching all things Mexicana

It's always a fine line between kitsch and classy isn't it for a Mexican themed party, but how cool is this illustration taken from theydrawandcook? The artist is  Gennine Zlatkis  and her beautiful blog is full of wonderful colours!  I think my party inspiration starts right here!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Totally Enchanting...

Are you feeling festive yet?  I think I need a viewing of Love Actually whilst making mince pies and then I can officially call it Christmas!

Today to escape some of the Christmas shopping madness, I went to Kensington Palace to visit their enchanted palace exhibition and a little bit of me melted!  The curators have created something incredibly beautiful and magical and it truly allows us to be introduced to the history of the palace and it's inhabitants in a really unique and special way.

As soon as you walk into the first room you are hit with a sucker punch of sadness, what can be more emotional that a dressing table full of antique bottles used to collect the tears of Princess Mary after suffering from numerous miscarriages.

   Photo from here

The rest of the rooms were all themed around seven other Princesses that lived at some stage in the palace, and the stunning rooms are enhanced with amazing fashion and art installations along with some fabulous performance artists that really bring the palace to life!    We all had a giggle when one of the artists offered for my friend Claire to sit on a thrown and asked for her to speak her greatest wish, the palace courtiers then shouted her wish across the palace for all to hear!   Then a few rooms later we came across a beautiful type-writer and the notes stated that their was a visit from Princess Claire and again her wish was noted for all to see!

As you can probably tell, I really can't speak more highly of the place and I wish I had more photos to share, but unfortunately the exhibit restricts photography and it was stressful enough trying to sneak these photos!  We ended the day with a glass of champagne and afternoon tea in the orrangery!  How very regal!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Wish you were here!

Wow!  All I can say is, thank the lord I'm not in Berlin now!  Today's temperature in Berlin during the day was -7c!  Not exactly walking tour temp is it?  Makes me feel like my experience of Berlin was positively tropical....

We had a great time in Berlin, even though I just wanted to hang out in Soho House all the time!  I created a google map to keep a track of all the places we visited and wanted to visit - so I've got everything saved for next time!

Being a bit of a history and politics geek (I did my degree in Economics and Politics), I was really excited to see the historical side of the city and one of the most interesting tours we did was of underground bunkers from WW2 and the Cold War.  The tours were run by berliner-unterwelten and I cannot recommend them enough, the tour was engaging, fascinating and really gave you a massive understanding of what it was like in Berlin during the Wars.  

We also did a walking tour and it was also a great way of learning how the various administrations of the city have impacted it in so many ways...our guide was fantastic and I'm now a big believer of being a bit of tourist geek and going on these tours!  They really allow you to learn all the important facts of the place you are visiting and also mean you don't walk around the tourist sites without learning the important facts.  Best of all, you then have more time for investigating the bars, cafes and restaurants!

Here are some pics!

 O walking through the Holocaust Memorial.
The memorial was amazing, every stone was a different height and angle and even the floor tilted.

The Christmas Market food stalls were stunning

I loved the U-Bahn - the image of the Brandenburg Gate was on every train and the gate is seen as a sign of freedom for the city.

You can't go to Germany and not eat sausages!  In fact we ate them twice, who knew that chopped sausage, curry powder and tommy k could be so delicious!?

        This was an artist commune in an old department store in the old Jewish quarter.  There was so much street art and I believe in summer there are loads of outdoor bars, so you can enjoy a German beer and some great art.