Dogs…they’re a great way to sell products on TV, boost your likes on Instagram, or encourage you to see that latest rom-com, but they’re art appeal goes back further than you might thin.
If you’re after dogs in paintings, then you could do worse than visit the Renaissance section of any portrait gallery! That’s one of the useless things I learned from revisiting London museums and doing the Museum Musings. During these visits I also took some snaps for my friend’s Dogs in Paintings Instagram account and thought I’d share some of my fur-vourites today.
The National Gallery – Probably the place to be, the museum has a pawfect selection of dogs in paintings:
The Wallace Collection – Furtunately for us Mr Wallace collected a lot of portraits with pups:
Victoria & Albert – It’s one of my least favourite museums in London, but I do dig their dogs in paintings catalogue:
Tate Britain – Tate Britain might be a bit dusty and outdated … but their mutts on canvas collection goes on furever:
In the previous edition of ‘The Posts That Never Were‘ I covered blog posts ideas that never reached by keyboard. Today I’m covering some of the drafts I came across during my last attempt to clean out the behind the scenes mess. Maybe some self shaming and naming will inspire me to actually finish and publish them or delete them forever!
Budget For Georgia – I loooove reading budget breakdown posts and money diaries and wanted to do one for my Georgia trip, because I wanted to see how cheap it really was and I have a great formula for it. I kept it for day one and two and then just didn’t add anything. Sadly most costs were spent in cash so unless I can time travel I don’t think I’ll be able to remember everything.
An Afternoon in Bratislava – I had planned this whole day as I only had 9 hours. In the end it was just seven hours and included a city tour, food, a stroll and drink which I definitely can get a post out of. The Polaroids I shot there are the highlights though, so maybe they can save the day, or post.
Mexico Memories – How my friends and I left our hotel at 10 PM for a stroll and got back at 6 AM after a night full of dancing, interrogation by the very kind police on the beach and 3 AM search for beer. Most of them are just ‘you had to be there moments’, so I’m trying to make something more shareable out of it.
Barcelona Packing List – In addition to money/budget posts I love packing lists, specifically reading and writing them. But my trip to Barcelona was just 2.5 days … is it even worth it to highlight the skirt, 2 shirts, 1 t-shirt and jeans that I took with me? Don’t think so.
Living In London Musings – is an ongoing project and while it made sense to start off with, it has now a list with very random notes that I have been typed in a hurry and don’t always make sense any more. What does “stairs at Brixton station” even mean, Tea??
Museum Musings – The project I did last winter and spring to keep me from staying inside all weekend every weekend was to revisit museums and rank them. I managed to visit quite a few and the photos and random notes for Tate Modern, Dulwich Picture Gallery and Childhood Museum ready. It just needs to tidied up.
Ways To Can Reduce Waste When Travelling – this is another ongoing project because I obviously want to try them out before writing about it. It would be easy for me to say that one should get a reusable bag for hand luggage toiletries, but twice already I had to transfer my toiletries from my transparent reusable bag (that fits the measurements) to one of the plastic ones at the airport because staff wasn’t sure. Those bags are being reused until they literally break apart.
Do you have any posts that never saw the light of day?
Honestly? When I went to Brighton for the first time a few years ago I thought it was a bit of a faded seaside town. During my last few visits it was a completely different experience, I came across one lively spot after another which really excited me.
Brighton is sometimes called London-by-the-Sea (or even Shoreditch-on-Sea) so obviously there’s a beach and water to play in, but beware it’s a stone/pebble beach, so no sand for you! Even if the weather isn’t bikini proof you can still walk along the beach, dip your toes into the sea and take photos of the derelict pier. If you’re feeling a little peckish why not try a barbecue on the beach, after 6 pm you’re apparently allowed to, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to catch and roast a seagull – they are everywhere but sadly I doubt they taste very nice.
My favourite thing to do was walking through the Lanes and exploring the cute (vintage) shops and small markets in the tiny alleys. Also make sure to pop by the Photo Booth in Snoopers Paradise which comes with a dress-up box – I was a cowboy, safari ranger and crocodile all in the space of 3 minutes (I’m not crazy I swear!). These areas are full of street art too, so get snapping, staring or being inspired.
On my last visit I spotted Eden Perfumes on the Lanes and got very excited to see the shop. Eden Perfumes create vegan, cruelty-free versions of your favourite perfumes and I got their their versions of Black Opium and Flowerbomb last Christmas. Though they don’t claim these are identical I honestly can’t smell the difference, they only fade a bit quicker than the original. But at £15 for a 30 ml bottle that is still super afforable.
There are so many coffee places in the Lanes and it’s a definitely gamble if the place you walk into is going to be any good. Thankfully Bond Street Coffee do damn good mocha and latte as well as tasty treats, like their banana bread that I’m still dreaming about.
While one of its piers has been long since abandoned, the major Brighton Palace Pier is still going strong, with its cheesy arcade, fairground rides and fast food stalls. Ignore the trashiness and it’s perfect for an evening walk topped off with a portion of fish and chips, the walk was quite a while, the pier seemed to go on forever!
If arcades and rides aren’t your thing, then why not try a round or two of Mini/Crazy Golf? You’ll find three places to putt away on the promenade, two of them are themed – as we like it these days – but the one closest to the pier, which is simply called Crazy Golf, is a stripped down and no fuss old fashioned one where it’s all about simple joy of hitting the ball. And for £3, who can really complain?
When you’ve worked up an appetite crazy-golfing like a pro, head to Lucky Beach for a lunch. They have selection of top-notch sandwiches and delicious burgers and use locally-sourced and sustainable produce where possible and have lots of vegan and vegetarian options. But really, the hardest part for me was choosing between passion fruit, watermelon, rhubard and elderflower fizz.
Unsure on your evening food options? Well, 64 Degrees is the place to be. It has one of the best concepts ever: they serve 16 small and dishes (four meat, four fish and four vegetables) on the menu, the idea is that you share your food and that way try as much of the menu as you can. This is perfect for someone who can’t choose (yours truly). And because they feel the kitchen is the heart of a restaurant, you sit at the bar overlooking them prepare, just order dish after dish and watch them do some culinary magic. The portions are not huge and the menu is kept light so you get to have dessert without feeling too guilty. And in case you’re wondering, their name is after the temperature they cook their eggs at.
If you decide to lay your head to rest in the city then make sure it’s on a pillow at Arts Residence Brighton, a quirky hotel-meets-art boutique. I really loved the background story too: the hotel had been in the family for years and when times were harder they changed course and enlisted the help of local artists.The artists each took one of the 23 rooms and gave them their own theme. This really adds some extra character – and there is also the killer view.
Have you visited Brighton recently, and if so, have any good spots I should check out on my next visit?
Today I’m sharing my London Summer Bucket List with all the things I can’t wait to go see and do in possibly the best season of the year.
Go To An Outdoor Movie Screening – Between screenings on a rooftop, in a park or in a Neoclassic courtyard, I’m spoilt for choice for my outdoor film fix!
Staycation in London – More specifically… I’m after a hotel with a magical rooftop pool. The Curtain has one and is reasonably priced, so I’m keeping an eye on it and potential swimwear in mind. Otherwise there is always the good old local Lido.
Eat All The Ice-Cream – Really… a summer isn’t complete without gouging myself on the cold stuff at my favourite ice cream spots as well as discovering new ones. Gelato baby!
Give Kew Gardens Another Try – Happy give this historic greenhouse and garden destination a second chance in the right season. Plus I need to check out Temper House as it was sadly shut when I went before.
Check Out An Exhibition – I haven’t been to an exhibition in months so I’m saving it for a really hot day where I can escape to the museum for all of its air-con loveliness. Right now it’s between Stanley Kubrick at the Design Museum or the Manga Exhibition at British Museum.
Finish the Green Chain Walk – I have two more sections before I finally finish the Green Chain Walk and can grab my medal. Ok, maybe there is no medal, but I will feel more complete – and isn’t that the best reward of all?
Finish That Pile Of Books – There will be rainy days and there will be the weekends before pay day where I can lock my self in the house or garden and escape between the pages.
See the art work at Serpentine – A visit to Hyde Park is never a punishment. Combine it with some free art and possibility for dogspotting and that’s a Sunday afternoon sorted. Maybe go all out and have a picnic of cheese, crackers and wine, of course.
This summer is set to break the record of hottest summer ever (what global warming?) in the UK and this weekend the thermometer exploded past the 30 degrees mark in London. Oxford Street might be too hot and crowded to walk around, a train to the nearest beach might be too expensive or you just might want to escape your boiling hot room. So what do you do when you’re melting in the capital?
Get Wet at the Lido
Go dust off that swimsuit, grab a towel and lather up the sunscreen, and you’re good to splash your way through the day. Some of my favourite and easily accessible outdoor swimming pools include the Serpentine Lido, Hampstead Heath Ponds and Brockwell Lido.
Indulge in Frozen Treats
It’s cold, it’s sweet and it will make things better. There’s Chin Chin Labs, which serves liquid nitrogen ice cream in flavours like tonka bean, strawberry hay and burnt butter caramel. Snow Flake gelato have a guilt-free sorbetto range or perk up your ears to listen out for the ice cream van tunes and bag yourself a classic 99 Flake.
That other Ice
When everything is melting outside, the best thing to do is jump into a fridge, so if you are not into the above-mentioned kind of ice why not go to the Alexandra Palace or Queens ice rink to cool off and show off your moves?
Chill Out at the Movies
I don’t know about you but sometimes on a sunny day all I need is a blockbuster in a cool dark theatre, air-con to the max and a big ‘ole bucket of popcorn and a cold drink of your choice. For art house movies, head to Curzon in Soho or Picturehouse Central and for the blockbusters shimmy on down to the nearest Odeon/Vue multiplex.
Check out Museums and Exhibits
Hot days are perfect for exploring a museum and London’s museums have some amazing collections, exhibits and most of them are free, but most importantly they all have air-conditioning systems -for keeping paintings safe that is, they don’t really care about you. The British Museum and the National Gallery are two of the big ones where you can easily spend hours and hours of discovery.
Enjoy a Cooling Drink on a Rooftop Bar
I have to start with saying that water is of course the essential part of staying cool – either drinking it, swimming in it or pouring directly over your head. But at end of the day why not take in the city skyline with a refreshing cocktail or a cold beer or six in hand. Mondrian London, Frank’s and Netil 360 are some of the best spots to do this.
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