Before the lockdown was implemented in the UK I visited the Meet Vincent exhibition in London. I’m quite a fan of Vincent van Gogh’s artwork and I think his story is an incredible one and deeply sad. I think that his art is emotive and really beautiful so was keen to go visit and find out more. The exhibition was quite different to what you might expect. There are lots of props and everyone is encouraged to touch and get close to the displays.
Upon arrival you were handed a headset that would activate as you walked around the exhibit, telling you about that period of the artist’s life and what kind of art Vincent would have produced. There was a room that has a video project onto the wall to give you an idea of what the landscape was like as Vincent painted. You could hear the wind rushing through the tall grass and the birds crying in the sky. Another big section was the café Vincent frequented regularly, painting other customers from his table.
Haystacks play a large part in Vincent’s artwork and there were hay bales you could sit on and a large cart filled with hay.
I think my favourite section was the reproduction of his famous bedroom. You could walk into it and it really felt like you were walking in to one of his most famous paintings. It bought back memories of when I tried to draw the chair with a pipe resting on it at school.
The next section was about Vincent’s stay at a hospital after he infamously cut off his ear, having struggled with menial illness. He created many more paintings here during his stay.
The final section was about how the world has fallen in love with his paintings after he died. Vincent van Gogh painted over 2000 paintings during his 10 years as an artist.
I would definitely recommend a visit to this exhibition if you’re a fan, mildly curious or just love beautiful paintings. I really enjoyed my visit and it gave me a much better idea of who Vincent van Gogh was and his struggle through life.
Over the Easter break there are lots of activities and events planned to keep kids and their parents entertained. One such event planned in our local park was an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter’s tea party. I met up with my sisters, sister-in-law and their little ones for an afternoon of fun and frivolity.
In keeping with the Mad Hatter’s tea party theme there were colourful props and outdoor games to play such as croquet. I personally really liked the giant tarts and cakes.
There were lots of little details from the famous Lewis Carroll tale, from lemonade and top hats to quaint little signs posted everywhere which I think really made the theme come to life. We were even lucky to have the Queen of Hearts join us as well as the White Rabbit, who made sure everyone followed the Queen’s fun demands, something the kids found really amusing.
We all thought it was an enjoyable afternoon and it was nice that a lot of effort had been made by the organisers. You can see more pictures of the tea party here and here.
I recently went to The Warner Bros. studios where Harry Potter was filmed, or what I like to call Harry Potter-land. I’ve long been a fan of the Harry Potter books and films, like my sisters and thousands of others, so when the studios were opened to the public I had to go, especially as it’s not far from London.
As soon as you walk through the doors you’re greeted by photos and props
There’s sets from all the different places in Harry Potter, such as Hagrid’s hut and Dumbledore’s office but I think my favourite room was the Great Hall
Along the tour there’s sets and pieces from all 8 films, it’s amazing how many things there are to look at and you realise how much time and dedication has been given to transferring the magic of the books to the big screen. There’s also lots of fun little facts about the props and videos showing the thinking behind and making of the films. The tour takes about 2-3 hours depending on your pace, but as well as things to see and read about there are fun things to do too, like fly on a broomstick and learn how to swish a wand like the pros. As I visited during the Christmas period there were fir trees and decorations dotted around as well as wintery things to take part in, like feeling the different kind of snow they used.
My photos don’t do justice to how rich the details of the sets and objects are, and there was so much more to see and take part in. There are also a couple of things at the studios that really wowed me that I won’t mention because I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone who wants to visit. If you are a Harry Potter fan I would recommend the trip, and it’s worth booking in advance as it still seems to be very popular with the public. If you’ve also been to the Warner Bros studios I’d love to hear what you thought.