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 sight.

You are literally stopped in your tracks by the sheer size of the interior for one thing, but also by the Baroque oppulence of rich colours spread before you. Many of the panels on the soaring ceiling are set with glass chips that sparkle like jewels as they catch the light.

Where to start which such a lavish offering? Common sense prevailed and we booked a 90-minute tour with one of the expert volunteer guides.

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Goring Beaach June

This week… name dropping Rick Stein, Cecil Beaton and Napoleon

What is it about a celebrity name that grabs a headline? Celebrity status has been around since forever. Rome’s first emperor Caesar Augustus knew the power of endorsement back in ancient Rome, adding his image to coinage that circulated around the vast territories. His personal ‘brand’ mimicked Alexander the Great by adopting an eternally youthful clean-shaven image, with a carefully ruffled ‘fringe’ (or bangs, if you’re a US reader, Hello!). This week the industry has rallied together with their favourite celebrities to entice us all out of lockdown.

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This week… pillows, puddings, and very important pooches

It’s been a busy week. Surely everyone is longing for release from the tensions and uncertainty of the pandemic and lockdown. The Christmas season really kicks off as we all seek some fun and laughter. In the UK we wait to hear whether we’ll be able to spend time with our loved ones over the holiday. In the meantime, lockdown is an experience that has highlighted the importance of human connection and we need to take every opportunity to connect.

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This week… ode to autumn

Autumn is in the air. You can feel it first thing in the morning and late at night. There’s a particular earthy smell in the cool breeze. Leaves are beginning to turn here and there as the sap falls, and the trees prepare for hibernation once again. I’m hopeful that there will be one or two more days of sunshine but they will be fleeting dog days.

The seasons for me are marked in part by food, and at this time of year my taste buds change. Instead of eating unseasonal salads, this week I begin to make rich vegetable soups and spicy curries. I’m looking forward to English apples cooked with cider and cinammon, and fresh green walnuts.

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