Today's Things I Love Thursday is brought to you by a very relaxed Cat, enjoying a blissful week off work. I've decided to share a few of the things I've enjoyed so far this week...
|from my Instagram feed - here|
Wandering around the gardens of Ham House. Monday was a beautifully sunny day and after a fun few hours trying on wedding dresses, my Mum and I decided to visit the nearby Ham House for a spot of lunch. If you don't have a National Trust membership, it costs £4.50 to visit the gardens and under house.
We were quite hungry when we arrived (it's surprisingly tiring trying on lots of dresses!) so we headed directly to the Orangery for lunch. I had a baked potato with tuna and cheese, which was served with a delicious salad grown on-site in the 17th century-inspired walled garden.
We then walked around the kitchen vegetable garden, marvelling at the huge marrows and pumpkins, along the South Terrace border and in and around the beautifully laid out Cherry Garden (pictured above). We also visited the rooms below stairs, where we exclaimed at the recipes on display in the kitchen (udder pudding anyone?), Mum tasted some ale (alas not gluten free) and we explored the gorgeous bathroom. There are also a number of outbuilding to visit dotted around the gardens and my particular favourite was the dairy, with its cattle-themed furniture:
|from my Instagram feed - here|
We then decided to head back to the Orangery for tea and shared a gluten-free brownie, enjoying the last of the late afternoon sunshine. Why can't all Mondays be spent like that?
|Portrait in Blue and Gold by Clara Drummond|
BP Portrait Award 2014
Visit the National Portrait Gallery. If you hurry, you can catch the BP Portrait Award 2014, which closes on 21 September 2014. I spent a lovely hour or so wandering around this exhibition enjoying the magnificent portraits on display, as well as the replicas being created by the schoolchildren and amateur artists dotted around the room. My favourite portrait was Portrait in Blue and Gold by Clara Drummond, which you can see above. Quite a small piece, it could easily be overlooked as your eye is drawn to the larger works around the gallery, but I loved the colours and simplicity of this portrait and the fact that it was inspired by the Tudor portraits in the National Portrait Gallery. If you've visited this exhibition, what was your favourite?
I also popped up to see the Tudor Collection. I've always been interested in Tudor history but I'm reading Wolf Hall at the moment and was even keener to re-visit the portraits of Henry VII and Anne that I know so well. The Gallery has a special Tudors display at the moment, with works from its collection displayed alongside some impressive loans from other galleries. There were also some interesting facts about the restoration involved to bring these works back to their former glory as well as the secrets discovered by x-raying the paintings.
After wandering around the gallery for a few hours, I popped up to the top floor café for a spot of tea and cake (a gluten free cherry and almond cake - yum!). Definitely worth doing if you have time because the view out over the London skyline is simply wonderful. I snapped a photo, which you can find here. You can have lunch, dinner or afternoon tea...or just celebrate how fantastic it is to be in London with a glass of something sparkly.
|Image found here.|
Lots of lovely lie-ins! Do I need to elaborate further on that one?!
I'm heading to Cambridge over the weekend for catch-ups and fun times with two of my best friends - there'll be wedding plans and baby talk as one of them is expecting a little parcel. When did I become a grown up?!
Here are a few items I've bookmarked over the last week too...
♥ Career-themed posts are featuring on A Cup of Jo this week and I particularly enjoyed these 15 career tips from smart women. Letting go of the quest for perfection is something I really need to work on. It's just not healthy!
♥ A delicious recipe for raspberry almond cake. I think this would translate very well to a gluten free version...
Hope you're all having a lovely week too!