Victoria IV: Arts and Crafts

Cutting back through the park we arrived at Fairfield and Cook Street Village. Fairfield is a picturesque neighbourhood with tree-lined streets and you can take a self-guided walking tour which describes some of the buildings of interest along the route. Housing styles typical to the area are Edwardian Vernacular Arts & Crafts (1904 – 1914) British Arts & Crafts (1905 – 1930), Foursquare (1900 – 1920) and Californian Bungalow (1900 – 1929). Needless to say this occupied a good deal of our day, though we found time to browse in a couple of second-hand book stores (always a dangerous pastime) and have a bowl of soup in a cute retro American Diner complete with pictures of Betty Boop. Continue reading Victoria IV: Arts and Crafts

Just Back From… Ledbury

Last week on a rare day of sunshine and warmth we decided to go for a drive into our neighbouring shires of Hereford and Worcester getting off the usual roads we take when going south to get onto a motorway and slowly exploring a few of the many B roads in the counties to admire the most wonderful countryside and views. Continue reading Just Back From… Ledbury

Strolling around the Île de la Cité

I once read somewhere that “life is too short not to go to Paris as often as one can” but must admit to not having adhered to that having only been there three times in my life. The “City of Lights” or “La Ville-Lumière” as it was then called, comes from the fact that Paris was the birthplace of the Age of Enlightenment and it was famous as a centre of education and ideas throughout Europe. The city’s early adoption of street lighting probably also contributed to its “City of Lights” tag.

Le quai des Grands-Augustins depuis le Pont-Neuf

My previous visit had been during the dull days between Christmas and New Year when everything seems flat. Leaving London Waterloo on Boxing Day seemed like a good idea at the time. Paris put on her usual glittering party frock and despite the bitter cold and wet weather the OH and I enjoyed a few days walking along the banks of the River Seine and exploring the usual tourist sites that we had both seen (though not together) in our late teens; eating expensive steaks and drinking expensive wine and taking rather bad photos (I blame the weather – too damn cold to take off the gloves)

Café EsmeraldaSo in 2010 when the opportunity to spend five days in Paris in early spring arose it was not to be sniffed at. Once again we took the Eurostar (this time from its new terminal in St Pancras station) to ‘gay Paree‘, hoping for a somewhat warmer welcome. As the OH was to be “au conference” pretty much the whole time it gave me an excuse to wander aimlessly and have a look at the hidden parts of Paris. There is nothing better for me than to venture into districts I have not been in and to look more closely at those I had. So armed with a good map, several metro tickets, camera and notebook, off I went to explore. Continue reading Strolling around the Île de la Cité