The significance of the red poppy …

A poppy is a glorious thing – a wild flower, whose seeds are distributed on the wind and the wing, planting itself resiliently and defiantly on waste ground where no other vegetation raises its head.  It was this ability which saw it adopted as a symbol of lives lost in the First World War –…

A new dawn rises for South Parade Pier, Southsea

Friday 14th April 2017 was a great day for the people of Portsmouth. It’s been five long years since South Parade Pier, a Grade II listed Victorian Pier, closed its doors and many of us feared that it would never reopen. It’s taken investment from a private consortium of local businessmen to repair and re-open…

What’s in a plaque?

I do love to read a good plaque as I wander around the streets of London, camera in hand. It’s like having a mini-history lesson laid out for you as you take a path, walked by thousands of people before you. They help us connect our present to the past. They also help us enjoy the living…

The Pennington Penny

Having worked in PR and marketing for all of my working life, it is rare indeed to discover something that is genuinely new about a hotel, something which even the tourism authorities would not have known about. So imagine my excitement about working on an opening project with the sales team of the newly rebadged…

Big Ben falls silent …

The most famous peal of bells in the world is falling silent this year. That unique sound, created by a cracked bell called Big Ben will go mute whilst much needed restoration takes place. Work is scheduled to take place on The Great Clock within the Queen Elizabeth Tower early this year – part of a…

The Ivy – A Century of Style

  One of London’s most interesting and vibrant restaurants, the venerable Ivy, turns 100 this year. Having undergone a complete re-invention in 2015, who would have thoughts that today’s go-to restaurant for cinematic and theatrical royalty had somewhat humble beginnings. What is now The Ivy started life after the Great War as a simple Italian…

London’s largest Royal Park

It’s taken me half of my life to finally visit Richmond Park, London’s largest Royal Park in fact. Perhaps its only now that I tend to go for long walks with faithful Hound in tow that I have come to appreciate the beauty of nature – and it doesn’t come better than this beautiful park….

Why is a stamp called a stamp?

As followers of this blog will know, I do love everything miniature so it should come as no great surprise to learn that I collect stamps, or to be precise, am an enthusiastic amateur collector of British stamps. Thanks to eBay, I am reliving my childhood interests and discovering the very early British stamps but this has left…

Inspired by the Malvern Hills

I first set eyes on Wales’ dark and brooding mountain range whilst visiting the new owners of the Cottage in the Wood, a small hotel and restaurant in the Malvern Hills with stunning views over the surrounding countryside. These views inspired Tolkien I was told and I could well believe it. The Black Mountains being…

A rare gem: Ham House

Why oh why did I not visit Ham House when I lived in London? This is an historic jewel of a property run now by the National Trust, situated just outside Richmond in South West London, close to the River Thames. We had the good fortune to be shown around the property by one of…