St Dunstan in the East

London has some beautiful old buildings, some that are hundreds of years old. One such building that I visited recently was St Dunstan in the East which was a church built in 1100. It was badly damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and then again in the second World War, after which instead of repairing, was turned into a public garden. Over time nature has grown around and over the stunning, ornate walls, doorways and windows making the view look almost enchanting and something out of a romantic fairy tale.

The steeple built by Sir Christopher Wren has survived and stands tall over the garden, and the rest of the building built in a gothic style looks even more amazing as it has been weathered by time and the elements.

The vibrant green leaves of the shrubs and climbers create a drastic contrast against the huge, grey stone walls as well as dampening the noise a little making it easy to believe that you’re the only one around.

This garden is tucked away in the centre of London and surrounded by modern buildings looks almost surreal. Once you’re within the walls though you feel transported to an older time, and the tranquil feel of the place along with the stunning architecture and nature make this a spot that I would love to come back to.

Enchanting Doorways

I recently went around London to visit some locations that are very popular as they’re pretty and eye catching. Here’s some that I thought were great.

I started in Kensington at this cake shop. The outside was very charming with it’s pastel pink and quaint tables and chairs. The arch of flowers and pumpkins was very seasonal and made for a grand entrance to the inside where there were some delicious looking treats.

Nearby was a bakery which was also looking very Autumnal with an archway that represented the harvest at this time of year.

Next I went to see a very picturesque house that was painted immaculately in white with the shutters and door painted in a popping pink.

Walking to the station I came across a lovely restaurant with a flora and fauna decorating the front with a well placed bicycle to add to the look. There were also other well kept doorways and walkways and of course the huge beautiful building that is Harrods. The best thing I saw all day though, was a huge suspended rhino above a jewellery shop. It looked surreal and it really made me smile.

I can see why some of these locations are sought after and busy, and it’s always nice to come across something unexpected too. I have more photos of other locations that I visited, that I will post soon.

Holland Park, London

We’ve had some lovely weather this summer in London and I was able to make the most of it by going to Holland Park one sunny day. The park has so many different types of plants and flowers, and it was a delight to walk along the winding paths taking in all the vibrant colours and varying scents.

One of the main features of the park is it’s beautiful Japanese Kyoto Garden. I was surprised to see that they had Koi carp (and pennies) in the pond as well as a peacock strutting around. There was a pretty waterfall and a walkway that allowed you to cross the pond and through the garden. I found the garden very peaceful and aesthetically pleasing.

There are also some smaller gardens within the park, some that held interesting statues, and others that had stunning flower displays, as well as a giant game of chess.

Overall the park had some beautiful features and you can tell it was very well maintained, and on a sunny day it made for a lovely day out, one that I would definitely recommend.

My sister’s hennaed hands

I’ve been trying to post more frequently but things have been super busy over the last few months with Eid, weddings and birthdays, (not to mention dodgy internet connections which hasn’t helped either!), but hopefully it seems a bit calmer now which means that I can get up to speed with my posts.

I wanted to share more pictures from my younger sister’s wedding that took place a couple of months ago. In Pakistan and other South Asian countries it is tradition for the bride-to-be to decorate her hands and feet with henna/mehndi a couple of nights before the wedding. The design my sister chose was intricate and very delicate and with the steady, skilled hands of the mehndi artist it came out beautifully

These patterns soon became much more complex and full, with henna being applied on both sides of my sisters’ hands and parts of her arms. You can click on the pictures below to view larger images, and close ups, (maybe if you look close enough you’ll find the name of the groom which he is supposed to look for on the night of the wedding).

henna

I didn’t get a chance to have any henna applied to my hands, but a number of the guests did, including my baby niece who had a butterfly pattern applied (and which lasted about 10 minutes before it got smudged).

I think the finished result of my sister’s hennaed hands was beautiful, reminding me of lace gloves with intricate, delicate patterns. My sister kept the henna on until the following morning before washing it off to make sure the dye was as dark as possible, which you will be able to see soon in photos that I am hoping to post of the wedding