art and culture

Preview: Spain and the Hispanic World, Royal Academy


  • Review: Spain and the Hispanic World
    Starting off the year as I mean to go on, I visited the first major exhibition of 2023 which opened in London this weekend. Over 150 items arranged chronologically, from antiquity to early 20th Century, provide a visual narrative of the history of Spanish culture. On display at Spain and the Hispanic World: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library at the Royal Academy, are …
  • Exhibition Preview: 2023
    Have you bought your new diary, or do you rely solely on a digital calendar? I’m a traditionalist and carefully select a beautiful hardback desk diary which becomes my bible for the year, with appointments, anniversaries, travel and events. Everything, large or small, noted to not only keep on track but, just as importantly, in anticipation of interesting and fun things to come. Having good …
  • Christmas decorations at Windsor Castle
    Today is the first Sunday of Advent and this week I share my visit to see the royal decorations at the iconic Windsor Castle. The day trip was part festive, part reminisce (verb: to indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events) and part pilgrimage. Which seems entirely fitting as the year draws to an end. Let’s get Christmas 2022 started!
  • Visiting St Paul’s Cathedral: The Highlights
    For some unfathomable reason I have never been inside Christopher Wren’s masterpiece. Recently, I made amends and spent the day in what is, surely, one of the most breathtaking buildings in the world. The approach to St Paul’s Cathedral across Blackfriars Bridge affords a great view of the iconic dome and towers, but it is nothing compared to stepping inside. It was love at first …
  • Review: 878 AD a new App. by creators of Assassin’s Creed
    If you were a Time Traveller where would you transport to? A new App. 878 AD launched this week and aims to re-create a significant moment in English history. After years of repeated attacks by the Vikings, in 878 AD King Alfred finally defeated the Great Heathen Army at Edington in Wiltshire, close to his army’s winter quarters. His success would mark the beginning of …
  • Heritage Open Days: The Highlights
    It has been a busy week. The annual festival, whereby heritage locations open their doors to the public for free, is an autumnal treat. Having said that, it’s not all about ancient buildings. Last year, with traditions as the theme, I popped into a family-run coffee roaster and this year I enjoyed talking to an artisan cheesemaker (while indulging a little cheese tasting, of course). …
  • This week… books and Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    In an attempt to focus on the positive and ‘forget about the worries and the strife’ of the world-at-large (apologies for paraphrasing Baloo, but you get the idea), I find there’s a lot to be grateful for. Okay, so there’s a lot of rubbish going on too but, hey, I’m trying here. The bright summer days are metamorphosing into autumnal mellowness. The light is softening …
  • Discover a secret garden this summer
    This week I’ve been enjoying many horticultural delights courtesy of the National Garden Scheme (NGS). The annual summer event provides the opportunity to mosey around private and public gardens in aid of charity. The scheme is so quintessentially English, reminiscent of the beloved village fete an atmosphere fostered by the delicious homemade cakes available. Spoilt for choice at one garden, I indulged in a generous …
  • Review: Out Of The Blue at The Arc
    In the beginning there was Terence Conran, Ossie Clark, Celia Birtwell, Mary Quant, to name but a few of the innovative mid-century designers, and Tricia Guild. The Designers Guild began in 1970 with Guild opening in a small section of a shop in Chelsea’s King’s Road in 1974. It quickly became synonymous with cutting-edge design, the brand a byword for stylish living. The Guild’s fabrics …
  • Review: moody blooms by Tricia Guild and photography by James Merrell
    Tricia Guild’s new book, moody blooms: designing with nature, is part gardening book, part art catalogue and part interior design manual. The pages explode with colour and present an exploration of the varying forms and energies of different plants as an integral element of a beautifully designed interior. Guild’s designs are influenced by the cyclical life of a twig, leaf or flower from tentative bud …


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