Spiral Staircase

In Heal’s furniture store in London, tucked away towards the back is a wonderful staircase. It was designed by Cecil Brewer in 1916 and it is as beautiful today as it was then. The staircase spirals from fourth floor to the basement level, with a stunning Bocci chandelier filling the space in the centre with 65 glass pendants.

This is the lovely view from the bottom to the top

The handrail is a rich dark brown, giving a lovely outline to the staircase, and the glass pendants sit at irregularly giving a sense of height

My favourite view is from the top down to the basement. There is a black glass table sitting just under the chandelier which reflects back the lit up pendants giving the view an extra twinkle.

I would definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area, as access to beautiful structures isn’t always so easy.

Light-seeing in London

My niece has been asking me to take her to London to see the Christmas lights and yesterday I thought I’d show her around. We started at Trafalgar Square to see the fountains, lions, Nelson’s Column and the huge festive tree. After a walk around we went to Leicester Square where there was a Christmas market and we treated ourselves to some sweet mini pancakes.

We then walked towards Oxford Street to see the lights there and maybe take a peek at the sales in a few shops, before stopping for a much needed lunch. Carnaby Street was next on out destination, which has some interesting artworks and displays.

As it got darker and the lights began to shine we went on to St Christopher’s Place, another little place that’s hidden away.

We finished at Marble Arch after a fun but tiring day. My niece said I sounded like a tour guide pointing out landmarks, so hopefully I did a good job.

Lumiere London – Part 2

The Lumiere event that my sister and I went along to recently was spaced out over various areas across London. Part 1 covered the innovative light artworks in Mayfair and Regent Street, and this post will cover the remaining areas.

After our walk through Regents Street we headed towards Trafalgar Square. I love Trafalgar Square anyway so with this light festival I was looking forward to see what was on show. In front of the National Gallery the words ‘Central Point’ were illuminated (these are normally found on top of a building on Oxford Street) and the iconic fountains were filled with light and plastic bottles. My favourite in this area were the neon dogs, which were so colourful and fun.

After seeing the dogs we hurried on to the next area on the map, Leicester Square. On approaching we could see an array of wonderful bright colours and could see that the whole area had been transformed into a garden of light. There were enormous lit flowers and colourful trees and I think this was my sister and my favourite spot on the map. My photos don’t show just how much the colours popped but it was a a really pretty sight.

Our last stop on the map was at Kings Cross, here the installations were a bit easier to find and closer together. There were some really innovative ideas; some light sticks to draw on the ground, a fun light show projected onto a large building and rainbow tunnel made up of coloured bottles. A little extra thing we spotted were candy floss on light sticks, which we thought was such a simple but effective idea.

All in all my sister and I had a great but exhausting evening, we walked around London on a cold night for approximately 4 hours and manged to see all but a handful of what was on show. We thought it was a great event and one that certainly lived up to the promise of showing us the city in a new light. I think we both agree that we would definitely go along to this event again if it was held next Winter. For more photos you can check out my sisters post of the evening here.

Lumiere London 2015 – Part 1

Last week my sister and I went along to Lumiere London, an event being held over 4 days showcasing 30 light art installations across Central London. This is the first time such an event was held and as it was free and practically on our doorstep we decided it was too good to miss. Armed with our cameras and special maps pointing out where each artwork was placed, we got going, ready for lots of walking and snapping.

The first area we walked through was Mayfair. Here there were a couple of pieces I liked, my favourite being the phonebox converted into a fishtank – which I thought was so innovative and clever. Unfortunately it was really busy and difficult to get a good picture, but below is my best one to give you an idea.

Next we moved on to Regent Street, where as soon as you approached the area you could see a large, strange, colourfully dreamy object almost floating in the sky

London

It was an interesting piece and the various changing colours and textures kept our attention for as long as we could see it.

Other lightworks around Regent Street that we saw included a stickman show, a lovely trumpeting elephant and a pretty, colourful, luminous dress. I also enjoyed watching the flying ‘fish’ which were set against the backdrop of tall white buildings and the dark night sky.

As we worked our way through the London street we took in the colourful, pretty lights, the buzzing atmosphere and the upbeat music, and although it was a really cold night we were glad to be there.

I still have more photos of the remaining 2 areas; Trafalgar Square and Kings Cross, both of which also held some lovely innovative pieces which I will post soon.

All the fun of a Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park, London hosts Winter Wonderland every year which is a family event running over the festive season. There’s fairground rides for thrill seekers, Christmas markets for anyone looking for beautifully crafted gifts, and tasty food to make sure energy levels are topped up. Seeing as it looked like a fun evening out I went with my sister and her family to experience the sights, smells and tastes on offer.

I went on a ride or two with the kids, was distracted from stall to stall with the interesting and beautiful items on display and was awed by the pretty lights and great atmosphere.

I didn’t manage to experience everything as we ran out of time, but hopefully I’ll be able to return next year to enjoy more rides as well as see the circus show, the cool ice sculptures in the ice kingdom and take a spin on the ice rink. We left with smiles on our faces and our goodies from the markets but were absolutely exhausted, with the kids falling fast asleep all the way home.

Oxford Street Christmas lights

Every Christmas Oxford Street in London is transformed into a wintry scene of sparkly, colourful lights and wonderful shop displays to get everyone in the mood not just for Christmas and the New Year but to give you warm, happy thoughts for the long, cold nights. As kids we were driven around to ooh and ahh over the pretty light displays and I had the same response when I went down over the weekend.

Oxford street lights

There were so many more beautiful shop and street displays to take in which I just didn’t get a chance to take photos of but if you’re ever in London over the festive period I really recommend a walk down this iconic London street to soak in the wintry atmosphere and admire the great light shows.