September 2014 Archives

New 2014 Summer Street Art by Otto Schade

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Artist Otto Schade is a regular stencil street art painter in London, and this summer brought some new work to the streets which I am only just now getting around to publishing on my blog. I originally posted about the artist here: Street Art: Otto Schade. This summer, new works included colourful fishes, political/social pieces, and a nice mural of ET on the bike riding across a purple moon. Enjoy.

Otto Schade - fishes

Otto Schade - gun fishing

Otto Schade - ET

Otto Schade - Evolution

Otto Schade - butterfly and skull

Otto Schade 

Secret Cinema "Back to the Future"

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Last month, I went to one of the final screenings of Secret Cinema's "Back the the Future", which was showing for nearly a month and a half this summer in a secret location in east London. (However, once looking at my photographs below, the many will recognise the location as the Olympic Park.) Secret Cinema built a replica of the 1955 version of Hill Valley, the town where "Back to the Future" took place. Each night, approximately 3,000 people attended the screening, and actors and actresses were on location to bring the 1950s town to life. 


All visitors were immersed into the 1950s Hill Valley experience. This included dressing up in 1950s clothing, which 90-95% of visitors did, and by not bringing along modern technology (mobile phones and digital cameras). I did miss having my camera, but disposable cameras were allowed and on sale, so I took some photographs with them. Most of these did not expose or take well as disposable cameras are useless, so I only have a limited selection. The best of these are posted in this blog entry.


I dressed up in a 1950s-style light blue polka dot dress with red lipstick and nail polish. I'd just come from work, and my hair struggles to hold a style, so I didn't do anything with it. However, for those not minding the queue, hair dressers and barbers were available in Hill Valley.


The replica of the 1955 Hill Valley featured the buildings and businesses that were in the film: Lou's Diner, Roy's Records, Texaco, the cinema, etc. There was also a High School, complete with American-style lockers and an "Enchantment Under the Sea" school dance. The cinema was also showing the film advertised. Another area, hidden between two of the buildings, contained a bar and game room dedicated to the 1980s. 


Upon entering, we walked through Peabody's Farm, through the housing area, and to the village. McFly's, Doc Brown's, and Tannen's houses were on show, and you could walk inside them. Some of the actors and actresses were around to interact with the visitors and each other. The large billboard for the housing estate Lyon Estates was also in this area, and there was a queue to get photographs with it. The school bus came here and picked up "students". (Upon registering for tickets, each visitor received a job and an identification. My name became Sandra Rogers and I was a student for the day.)


We headed for Lou's Diner to get a bite to eat before large queues. I ordered a cocktail and shared some fries. Lou was also hanging around, and later I saw him with Goldie Wilson. Goldie was sweeping the pavement, and the mayor Red Thomas came around and started to speak to people. Unfortunately, photographs of these (or of Doc Brown) did not come out at all.


Some people, like my partner, simply marked out a spot on the fake grass and waited for the film to begin. Doing this misses out of the whole experience as the actors wandered around Hill Valley and created their own stories. I have seen the film so many times, so I wanted to experience the experience. I was on my own then and walked around to see what was going on and watched some of the interactions.


I did meet George McFly, carrying binoculars. He was apparently "bird-watching". I got him to meet my partner. This is the only actor photograph that I photographed that turned out alright.


They also had a fair with some food stands, a merry-go-round and a Ferris Wheel. I got a slice of apple pie with vanilla ice cream a bit later in the evening. 


The actors and actresses spoke with American accents, and most of them were fairly good. They also used American phrases and pronounciations. Example: Zebra (as in zebra crossing) is pronounced with a long 'e' in American English and a short 'e' in standard British English, though Americans do not call it a "zebra crossing" and prefer "crosswalk", though this may change depending on the region of America. 

I asked where I could throw my trash away, and one of the actresses said that there are "trash cans" all around the area. In British English, the word "bin" is preferred. And yes, the trash cans were the metal American style with lids.


The word "dollars" was used quite a lot instead of pounds, but some of the sellers did say "pounds" instead. Old cars drove around the square, and actors and actresses made the visitors feel immersed into the experience. They also hosted a parade with some of the visitors.


Finally, it came time for the film. Everyone went to the artificial lawn area that was the town square, with the clock tower ahead of us. I will not spoil it too much, but the actors and actresses acted out parts of the film as it was being shown. The cars, such as the DeLorean, even made an appearance. Some stunt work was also done.


This was a fun evening. I wish we could have done and seen more as the time just went so quickly. I bought a rosette of the 1955 town fair as a souvenir. We stayed in a hotel for the evening and then went to a well-known department store at Stratford's mall and got some photographs of the replica Hill Valley the next day.


A couple of weeks before our trip to Hill Valley, we visited the pop-up Hill Valley stores on Hackney Road. A frock shop (selling accessories and souvenirs), barber shop, and diner made up the complex of shops, and we ate at the diner. I had American pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and my partner had a burger with a milkshake. 


I have wanted to go to a Secret Cinema event for so long, and we were lucky to get tickets as Secret Cinema is always popular and sells out. I recommend it, and the atmosphere was good here. 

London's Street Guitars - Rock the Boat

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In 2012, street pianos were placed around the city of London to encourage people to play (London Street Pianos Encourage "Play Me, I'm Yours"). This summer, the City of London Festival brought us street guitars placed in wooden boats, called "Rock the Boat". Twelve of these are located in the square mile, the City of London. The significance of using a boat marks the importance of the river Thames. 


For "Rock the Boat" guitar locations, view the website:

New Street Art by Conor Harrington

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Normally, good street art in London lasts a little while. This new piece by Conor Harrington (originally covered in my post Street Art: Conor Harrington), painted only a couple of weeks ago, did not last long at all. I am unsure as to why it was covered, but it possibly has something to do with violence; sadly, a lot of violence is going on in the world at the moment. The artist's work uses this theme quite often in his work, showing motion and old-style costume. The piece is titled "Once Were Warriors". It currently looks like the piece below, but it has more recently been tagged over. 


Before the piece was covered with too much white paint, it looked like the image below. (Image courtesy of


This wall/door has contained work by Conor Harrington for a long while now. I do hope that the artist comes back to London and paints something else here.

London Travel & Food: Boundary Rooftop

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Rooftop cocktail bars / restaurants on a nice sunny day are worth finding in London. I visited the Boundary Rooftop bar in Shoreditch with my colleagues a couple of times early in the summer. The downstairs is the Albion cafe and shop on the corner of Redchurch Street, right behind the station. The views over Shoreditch in the sun are inviting, even if it was a little too warm in the conservatory-area (covered glass). We had cocktails and lunch. This was one of the first warmest days of the year.

Boundary Rooftop bar

I had a peach bellini. The cocktails are not the best I have had in London, and they are a little strong. The previous visit, I shared a pitcher of cocktails with a colleague, and we felt the same way about the cocktails - a bit disappointed.

Peach bellini

Steak, fish, lobster, and chicken are some of the mains. The food was pretty decent, but the prices for it are a bit steep. I think that you pay for the views, and it is a fairly prestigious place. When you enter, you are greeted a bit like you would be to check in to a hotel. I felt a little bit under-dressed in my jeans and t-shirt, and my colleagues felt they were as well, but there's no formal dress code as they did let us in and other patrons were very much the same.


I had the chicken, and it was tender enough and the vegetables were nice. I could have had a little more food, though, as it was not quite enough. Most of my colleagues had steak on our first visit, and they said that it was alright but the cost was steep. Service was also slower than we'd like, but it was fairly busy as the weather was nice and it was toward the beginning of summer. Many were out wanted to enjoy the weather, and one can certainly enjoy the weather in this rooftop restaurant/bar.

In July, I subscribed to 'Love Me Beauty' box, a subscription beauty box that allowed the consumer to choose between a set of four or five set menus with varying products to best suit their needs. This beauty box differed from the others on the market because the consumer could make a selection on their box, so the products were not completely a surprise. 

However, 'Love Me Beauty' changed their process (business plan) in September. There were actually a lot of problems with their website. It took some time to register their DNS (website migration), which meant their website was offline for awhile and is only accessible if you put the 'www' in front of their web address. Also, it appears that they failed to test the website or put processes in place to migrate users and data. Many were left frustrated, and I also had some issues and could not place my order for a few days.

I am not too happy because the reward points that I had earned for the past two months no longer exist. Their website is also not easy to use.  Bad website and technical issues aside, they changed their business plan. Instead of allowing consumers to choose between one of four or five set menus, consumers can now custom-build their box from a number of products based on "credits". Each user gets six credits each month to use, and products cost either one credit or two credits each, depending on the size of the product. When I reserved my products, most of the products were two credits, and that would only limit me to three products instead of the four or five in past boxes. I ended up spending extra to purchase one of the items I wanted. In addition, they have also hiked up their prices, so this subscription box is now less value for money.

September Box

September was the first box that allowed the consumer to customise their box. However, six credits for each box is a bit tight. I ended up ordering four items using my credits and paying an additional amount for a fifth item. This box also came with the items in a drawstring bag, similar to Birchbox. Apparently next month will see a new box design launch.


Swedish Spa Cooling Shower Mousse: This foamy shower gel is easy to use and lathers up for a quick shower. [2 credits, full size]

anatomicals sleep balm: I loved the quirky packaging and decided to give this product a try as it is meant to aid sleep. The lavender-scented lotion should be massaged into your skin. I gave this a try, and while it does calm, the product did not last long. [2 credits, full size]

Murad Exfoliating Mask: This mask made my face feel fresh and clean. Too bad that there's only enough for a one-time use. [1 credit, sample size]

Malin + Goetz Peppermint Shampoo: I like peppermint scented products, so I decided to give this product a try. The product smells nice, but the shampoo feels a little dry on my scalp. I like shampoo that makes my hair feel soft because it tangles so easily. [1 credit, sample size]

anatomicals 'London, New York, Paris and Foam' body cleanser: This was the product that I purchased, and it is a nicely-scented shower gel. [purchased separately]

August Box

August was the last month of the set-menu box choice format for 'Love Me Beauty'. I was not such a big fan of August's choices. All four box set-menu options included the same brow-liner in blond. First of all, I don't use brow-liner. Second, I don't have blond hair. 


Marsk Mineral Eye Shadow in Foiled Again: This silver eye shadow is amazing. I applied it with a brush, and the silver colour shimmers. This product is great for going out and draws attention to my eyes. This is my favourite item in the box by far.

Mirabella Lip Definer in Tart: This product was actually meant to be a different colour than the one that was sent. This one is brighter and more 'red', and in my opinion, it isn't as nice as the colour of the one that I was meant to receive. I used this liner when I wanted bold lipstick, and it works alright. It is similar to other eye-liners that I have used.

The One Eye Liner: This was a nice product and similar to other eye-liners that I have used.

A La Carte Brow Ink (in blond): I don't use brow-defining products, and this item in this colour (blond) was in all of the options for the "Love Me Beauty" box. I tried the product, and it is a brown shade, which could work well for people with lighter hair colour. The colour is still too light to look good on my brows. I've read other posts from bloggers with the same dilemma, and they suggested using the product as an eyeliner instead. The product is a good one and leaves fine lines. I'll be giving it away.

July Box

Hot Spring Sauna face mask: I loved this product. Face masks are always good, and I have used this brand before. I have not used this particular mask, though. The product is orange in colour and it heated my skin as soon as it came into contact with my face. I gently moisturised it, as that is what the packet said to do. My skin felt moisturised afterwards whereas it was extremely dry prior to that. With these face masks, I only ever need about half of the sachet. I keep the other half to use at another time.

Urban Veda Daily Purifying Facial Wash: This facial wash has a pleasant smell and left my face feeling clean and fresh. I have a lot of different facial washes, so I cannot get too excited because I use other brands.

NYX Cosmetics Nail Polish (in Beach Glitter): This nail polish is a blue-grey colour and is very sparkly. I applied three coats to my nails, and it leaves them sparkly with a light blue tinge. I like the product, and it does not take too long to dry.

Beauty UK High Brow Kit: This is probably the least favourite product in the box because I don't spend time on my brows. In fact, I've never touched my brows or added any makeup to them. I've used the product, and it does fill out brows, but I feel that this looks just odd on me.

Model Co Eye Define Pencil: This is an eyeliner with a built-in sharpener for the pencil, which is perfect. I do not like when I have to hunt for a sharpener to sharpen other lip/eyeliners, so I like this product. Other than that, it is the same as any other eye definers that I have used.


Do you subscribe to 'Love Me Beauty'? What are your thoughts on the product or the subscription boxes?

Street Art Masks by Yazz

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A few weeks ago, reddish-brown faces started to appear out of the brickwork in London's east-end. Some featured eyes and nose. Others featured just the mouth and chin. They seemed to form out of the bricks, as if peeking out with their own expressions. These plaster masks are the work of French artist Yazz and appeared on or just off of Brick Lane in east London. Earlier this year, we had similar sculpture masks appear by French artist Gregos, which I covered here: Street Art Masks by Gregos.







The difference between the two artists is that Yazz's faces and torsos appear to be coming out of the buildings and brickwork. Certainly, his larger pieces based in other countries show the figures appearing to walk out of the walls.

For more information about the artist and to see more of his work, visit his Facebook page at:

Several weeks ago, I popped down to Adventure Bar in Covent Garden (London) with the bloke after work. I had seen a voucher for cocktails and decided to take advantage of it. A while had passed since I have stayed late in London, after work, to take advantage of the selection of pubs and cocktail bars. A night out was overdue, especially as I have been working so hard.


Booking was easy, and I sent a couple of emails back and forth with a lovely staff member who took my reservation and then rearranged it a couple of days later after the bloke told me that he had just arranged a series of medical treatments. I had then rearranged it for a Tuesday toward the end of July.

When we entered, there was a couple at one of the tables, and our reserved table was at the bar. We were told that we could sit anywhere. We had the place to ourselves.

The bar looks small from the outside, but it is actually in the basement and brick archways extend into the distance. There were plenty of seats. We kept out seats near the bar as that's where the action was, and more and more people were starting to arrive as the evening progressed. Actually, the voucher seemed to prove popular as others were visiting with it.


As it was a Tuesday evening, and Tuesdays are known as "Takeover Tuesdays" at Adventure Bar Covent Garden. We were told that we could have a try at making our own cocktails! This was fun. We also picked four songs to play as "Takeover Tuesdays" means that you can learn how to make your cocktail (with help from the bartenders) and choose the tunes to play. I choose to play, Britney Spears (with, Scouting for Girls, and Flo Rida. After some cheesey 1980s songs, they played my tunes. 

We were entitled to four cocktails each, so we got down to ordering our first drink (June Bugs) and ordered some bar snacks off the menu. We ordered rosemary chips, a beef burger, and a haloumi skewer. The food is made in the restaurant next door, and we were both surprised at how tasty the food was.

Next, we got busy with the drinking and cocktail-making. I ordered a couple of Woo Woos, a second June Bug, and the bloke had Long Island, Grounds for Divorce, and Any Given Sundae. Yes, he was more adventurous. Grounds for Divorce is a combination of fruit juices, apricot brandy and Jack Daniel's. Any Given Sundae combines ice cream, vodka, Bailey's, and Kahlua.

Loads of photographs of cocktails, cocktail-making, and the bar are below.


The atmosphere was fun. After my tunes played, a song from "Dirty Dancing" played, and the bar staff acted out the jumping embrace scene. They also got the guests involved.

The cocktail menu does offer a few surprises and quirky drinks. One of the drinks that you can try includes a real cricket. Eww! That one is not for me. Other fun cocktail items include shots infused with different types of British sweets (Skittles, Flying Saucers, Rhubarb & Custard, Strawberry Bon Bons, and Glacier Mints). Other types included a "Sharing is Caring" cocktail package. 

There were two packages we could choose from, but they also have a package for up to eight guetss. Ours were 2-3 guests, and we had no trouble having that in addition to the four cocktails we had already had. "The Poppy Horror Show" came with a vodka-based cocktail, popcorn, hand-cuffs, and lipstick. The other choice was "Popzilla", a rum-based cocktail served with popcorn, two fortune cookies, and a model plane. Both cocktails would be served in a large glass shaped like a popcorn bag.


We went with the "Popzilla" option, and we received a green-coloured cocktail. The bartender also put a slice of passionfruit on the top of it and lit it. We ate the caramel/toffee popcorn and built the little model foam plane. We also opened the fortune cookies. I got a free hug from one of the bar staff, and the bloke got one about "bad things happen when you party naked". Ops. I felt sorry and let the bloke have my free hug. 

Anyway, we had a fun evening. It always makes me wish that I had more time to have fun and that I did not have to live so far out of London...yet commute every day into London.

Adventure Bar is located at 20 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9HP. For more information about their hours, visit their website at 

In July, I subscribed to a beauty subscription box 'Glossybox'. Basically, I get a sample of approximately five or six beauty-related items to try each month. The items can range from skincare, haircare, or makeup. I try each item before I provide a rating for it, and sometimes I find a nice product. (You may have read my previous post about Birchbox.) 


So far, I have received three boxes. My first box was received in July, and I got my most recent box just last week. I have decided to rate the items between 1 (awful) to 5 (awesome). Of course, these are just my own opinions on the product.

September - Karen Millen

This month's box was designed by Karen Millen, and I love the watercolour-esque London skyline buildings. I have subscribed to Glossybox for three months now, and unfortunately, this box was my least favourite of the three:

Skin Pep Brightening Peeling Gel (x2): (4/5) This product removed dead skin cells. The sample came in a small sachet, and it's the most expensive item in the pack when considering how much a full-size product costs. The gel is massaged into the skin and then taken off after a couple of minutes (or longer, depending on how oily your skin is). I could feel the product making my skin firmer, and it also had a slight sting to it. My face does feel cleaner after using it.  

Skin Pep Dark Circle Eraser (x1): (1/5) This sample also came in a sachet, and it is meant to be massaged under the eyes to rid dark circles. I am not really a fan of eye creams, and although I used this, I did not see any results. I am not sold on this type of product. Perhaps a difference can be seen over time.

Nails Inc Matte Polish Topcoat: (5/5) This full-size product does exactly what it says it does. The product (matte) is to be used on the top coat of your polish, and it replaces glossy nail polish with matte nail polish. I tried this using the "Glossy Seal" nail polish that I received in the July box, and I compared the result. I am amazed. However, I would not really use glossy nail polish if I wanted a matte finish, unless I really liked the colour but did not want the glossy option. 

L'Oreal Mythic Oil Masque: (4/5) This hair masque provides conditioning to the hair. It did make my hair extremely soft and tangle-free. I have fine hair, and it tangles easily. The product did not make my hair look or feel greasy like some products have, but the product is costly. 

ModelCo More Brows (medium/dark): (3/5) This eyelash definer makes only a subtle difference, but I did really like the application brush. The brush is angled slightly and smaller, so it is much easier to apply to lashes. The larger application brushes are always a nuissance for me because getting the angles needed to cover all lashes is a pain. I liked this for the brush.

Vichy Laboratories Day and Night Cream: (1/5) I received two small sample-sized products of skin day and night cream. I have so much of these, and I'm not really a fan, but this product claims to defeat acne, which I do sometimes get. Unfortunately, after using the products for three days/nights, I got acne where I was using the product. This is a disappointment.

September Glossybox

August - Glossybox's Birthday Box

The August Glossybox celebrated Glossybox's birthday. Here are the contents of the August box that I received:

Kryolan for Glossybox (Highlighter in Cashmere): (4/5) This highlighter should be applied to the cheekbones or browbone to give a natural glow. The texture is creamy, but don't make the same mistake as I did when I first tried it and over-massage it into your skin. The highligher does brighten up, and I used it just above my eyelid.

Figs & Rouge Mini Hand Cream: (4/5) The shea butter hand cream absorbed into my skin without feeling greasy at all. I love the light sweet scent, and it reminded me of sweets/candy. I also loved the bright and colourful package design, which I'll describe as modern vintage.

Yves Rocher Nail Polish in rose: (3/5) This bottle of nail polish is the birthday bonus item. The colour is 'rose', and the colour is a pale shade of pink. The polish dries quickly, and it took between two and three coats to cover my nails. I believe that this colour would look best on darkly-tanned skin, and my opinion is that it does not really suit my colouring.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer: (2/5) This is a pre-shampoo treatment, but it is a product that should not be used in a hurry as the instructions recommend keeping this on your damp hair for 20 minutes or more before resuming shampoo and conditioning. On my first trial, it had the opposite affect on my hair and made my hair look greasy and go "limp".   

Lalique L'Amour perfume: (5/5) This perfume has a soft floral scent, and I like the smell. I like perfume, and I cannot fault this product.

SkinPep Hydra Sun Defence SPF30 Day Cream: (1/5) This is a skin protector cream. I seem to get a new one of these with every beauty subscription box that I receive, and I am not really keen on this type of product. I was also not impressed with the product design as it looks "cheap".

August Glossybox

July - Stars and Stripes

This was my first ever box from Glossybox. The box celebrates all things American and came decorated with USA 'stars and stripes'. Here are the contents of the box that I received:

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara: (4/5) This comes in a cute plastic case with a snakeskin effect. I could always use another mascara as I do not own a lot, and this seemed to do the trick. At the moment, I am quite partial to Mary Kay mascara.

Bellapierre Mineral Lipstick (in Manderina colour): (2/5) The lipstick is soft and glides right on. I am not really sure about the colour with my pale skin. 

Absolute New York Perfecting Eyeshadow Primer: (4/5) I have never used an eyeshadow primer before. The idea is that this is put onto the eyelid before eyeshadow. The primer acts like a highlighter when used on the crease above the eyelid, and the colour of the eyeshadow did seem to hold better when I used the product as a base, and it did seem to hold the eyeshadow better.

Color Club Nail Varnish (in Glossy Seal colour): (5/5) The colour of this polish is a bright blue and leaves a glossy finish. Only one coat was needed to paint my nails. The colour is bright, and I've had polish that takes at least two coats of a similar bold colour. The product smelled a little wrong to me, but I guess I did not get the strong 'nail polish' smell. It is a good product.

Carmex Lip Balm: (5/5) I have seen this product around before, but I have never tried it. It did make my lips feel soft and moisturised, and it has a minty taste. I have been using this product a lot and enjoy it.

July Glossybox

Do you subscribe to Glossybox? What do you think? What is your favourite item?

Days Out: A Visit to the 'Cutty Sark'

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Can you imagine England without its national beverage - tea? Tea first became popular after King Charles II's wife brought it with her from her home country of Spain in the mid 1600s. In 1669, the East India Company broguht its first shipment of tea from China, and in 1706, the first tea room in London opened. By the 1830s, teas are then shipped from India for the first time. The tea trade is actually what brought about an important part of history of the ship 'Cutty Sark', which was known as a 'tea clipper'. 

'Cutty Sark' below deck

In late 1869, the 'Cutty Sark' was launched. The ship was named after the cutty sark, the Scottish name for a short night dress that women used to wear. It was also said to be inspired by a poem written by Tom O'Shanter about a witch named Nannie who was wearing a cutty sark. The figurehead on the ship is supposed to represent the witch.


The ship made eight voyages to China. The quickest time to Shanghai in China was 89 days. The ship would usually stay about a month in China, so the ship would be on its voyage for about ten months. 


Tea was shipped in exotic and colourful boxes with Chinese writing on them. Replica tea boxes were located on the ship so it appeared that they were stacked in the ship and visitors could walk over them. How the tea was packed onto the ship was also illustrated.


As the ship is very old, a lot of restorative work has been done to her, including building on her steel frame. To inform people about which parts of the ship are new materials (and which are original), the original ship's metalwork has been painted white. In the photograph below, the evidence of the wear and tear of the ship is obvious.


Below deck are interactive exhibits and artefacts from the ship, including a star of India and the ship's bell. The exhibit also describes other items that were shipped on the boat, in addition to tea. These included other goods and items from the far east, sheep, and furniture. 


One of the interactive exhibits was to 'pilot' your own 'Cutty Sark' electronically using a mock ship's wheel and a map that detailed the currents of the ocean, and the objective was to get the ship back to its London destination in the quickest time that the 'Cutty Sark' achieved in reality (and without being ship-wrecked)!


The 'Cutty Sark' did not have too long of a career as steam-powered boats started to be in use to collect tea shortly after the ship was built. The Suez Canal was opened, and this cut the number of days it took to reach the east from Europe. The 'Cutty Sark' then turned to other trade, such as sheep and other goods and luxuries that were shown in the exhibition below the deck.


The top decks could also be explored, and these included living quarters, the captain's room, and other areas for the crew and captain. Cards next to the equipment on the deck told what the item was.


There are also some nice views from the top of the deck, and we were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day. Canary Wharf could be seen from the deck. It is amazing that this ship is here, after its fate led it to different countries and places in the world as a working and tourism ship for some time, before eventually coming back to London to be displayed as a museum.


The shape of the hull is what made the ship so quick. It was plated with copper. In fact, the ship resting on the ground and gravity was beginning to warp the shape of the hull, so a lot of time and money was spent on suspending the ship in mid-air so that it does not rest directly onto the ground. This is why there's a large steel structure with buttresses around the ship so that visitors can walk underneath it. On this level is the ship's longest wooden plank. It is part of the original ship and is shown in its fragile condition. Burn marks can also be seen on this piece of wood from the fire that happened a few years ago. (After a large restoration project, the ship was finally reopened to the public in 2012.) 


The scale and length of the 'Cutty Sark' is evident below. There is a restaurant here, and there's also a few more exhibitions, including how the alcoholic drink 'Cutty Sark' got its name; it was, of course, inspired by press about the famous ship. One of the most interesting exhibits on this level is the figurehead collection, known as the Long John Silvers Collection. This is the largest collection of ship figureheads in the world and was given to 'Cutty Sark' by Captain Long John Silvers (Sydney Cumbers). This collection and the 'Cutty Sark' is dedicated to the Merchant Navy. 

Figurehead collection

A plaque is located in the area to identify each figurehead; some of them are modeled after famous people. One was Abraham Lincoln. Figureheads were regarded as important, and the crew would always keep them clean and look after them as they believed that the ship's soul was embodied in its figurehead. Not all of the figureheads are human.


After our exploration of the 'Cutty Sark' ship, we went across the street to the Gipsy Moth pub, which we could see from the top deck of the ship. The restaurant/pub was busy, and all of the seats outside in the garden were taken, but we were lucky to grab a table and enjoyed our lunch. I had the chicken pie, and everything tasted nice.


Have you visited 'Cutty Sark'? What did you think? Leave me a comment.

London's Greenwich Foot Tunnel

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The Greenwich Foot Tunnel is located near the restored Cutty Sark ship in Greenwich Village, east London. The tunnel was completed in 1902 and it allowed people who lived on the south side of the river Thames to reach the north (by crossing in the tunnel under the river) where they worked in the docks. The entrance to the tunnels are large domes and can be seen on both sides of the river.

South side entrance

Green dome foot tunnel entrance with Canary Wharf behind

The tunnel is open 24 hours a day, and those that pass through can use the stairs or a lift. The lift is in the centre and can take several people and bikes. I took the stairs down, and it actually was not as deep as I was expecting it to be. I've climed up and down far more steps at times at various London underground stations. A sign near the entrance said that the foot tunnel is 33 feet deep at low tide and 53 feet deep at high tide.

Entrance and the stairs

Once at the bottom, the journey could be completed up through to the other side. The tunnel looked a little too worn and unwelcoming for my liking, though it has recently been under refurbishment. This tunnel was the only tunnel built under the Thames for the sole purpose of pedestrians. Even though the tunnel looks a little unwelcoming, there are CCTV cameras in operation. Still, I'm not sure that I'd like to be there at night.


The foot tunnels also have a list of rules for pedestrians, such as skateboarders and cyclists have to dismount, and busking and flash photography is not allowed. More information about the foot tunnel can be found here:

Dark Sugars Chocolates (Brick Lane, London)

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Dark Sugars Chocolates is a recent and welcome addition to Brick Lane. Their chocolate is really good, and I've popped in to get an after-lunch chocolate quite a few times. I visited several weeks ago and asked to get some photographs with my mobile phone. I love the presentation of their shop. The chocolates are colourful and come in many imaginative flavours. I have tried quite a few over the past several months, but my favourites are the rose chocolate and the toffee cups. The rose has a hint of rose flavour with a smooth chocolate and sugary (but subtle) rose petal on top. The toffee just melts around the solid chocolate cup, and they do look too pretty to eat.

Chocolates from Dark Sugars

Their bulk chocolates also come in many flavours and are presented in hollowed-out bowls made out of tree stumps. These are also delicious. The chocolates are soft and slightly chewy and dusted with cocao. 


The newest addition are the flavoured chocolate cups with flavouring added into small plastic tubes. I tried the passionfruit one. 

The chocolates here are so yummy, so do check them out next time you are in the Brick Lane area. These make such nice gifts too, if you can refrain from eating them. They can make custom gift boxes for you to take the chocolates away in.

Dark Sugars
141 Brick Lane
E1 6SB


Street Art: Bicicleta Sem Freio

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Earlier this month, Bicicleta Sem Freio painted on one of London's most famous walls for street art. Bicicleta Sem Freio are a group of artists and graphic designers. Their work features bright colours with dark outlines. The work was painted on Pedley Street, just off Brick Lane.  




Earlier this summer, the group painted a wall further down on Hanbury Street. It's a little off the beaten track and features bright orange, red, green and blue colours with dark outlines and tribal-style patterns. It also features a figure of a woman with flowing hair.


Check these murals out quickly because there's been quite a bit of tagging over street art in east London recently, and they may not last much longer.

#WallsProject Brings Street Art to London

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This summer has been busy with new street art appearing on a regular basis, and I've struggled to keep up with adding photographs and write-ups to my blog because so much has been going on in the street art scene and in life in general. The #WallsProject was one of the street art events that took place this summer at the end of July, around the same time as the 'Meeting of the Styles' street art project, which I wrote about here: Meeting of the Styles London Street Art 2014.


Artists that featured in the #WallsProject this year include Himbad, Zadock, Jim Vision, 2Rise, Inkfetish, Roes, SeedsOne, Pang, Hunto, Vanessa Longchamp, Core, Thieu, Captain Kris, Airborne Mark, and Amara Por Dios. A lot of the work appeared on the scaffolding around the Leonard Street car park, where it seems that they are tearing the old buildings down. (I think that further gentrification of the area is not good news for the creative street art that often appears in this area and behind it in Blackall Street as this are is now a building site.)


The below art is by Askew One, Himbad, and others.


In light of the building work that keeps happening in east London, it seems that more and more walls for street art are disappearing in east London...

Belfast's Botanic Gardens

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After a visit to St. George's Market, we walked to Belfast Botanic Gardens, located near Queen's University and Ulster Museum. The gardens consist of a Palm House, rose garden, Tropical Ravine House, and grounds. The park was popular with tourists, students, and office workers on their lunch breaks. This was one of the highlights in my trip to Belfast, and the weather was perfect for exploring the gardens.


The Palm House foundation stone was laid in 1839. The structure, designed by Charles Lanyon, is one of the earliest examples of curved iron with glass. The ironmaster was Richard Turner, and he constructed this before the Great Palm House at Kew Gardens (London) in the 1840s. Today these gardens is the most visited gardens and visitors can get private tours. The displays change with the season. 


After walking from the City Hall, we sat down for a few minutes in front of the beautiful Palm House. The weather was lovely. Once we had rested, we wandered around the Palm House, and I took several pictures of the plants.











The cooler part of the Palm House contains flowers, and the hotter central area contains tropical plants and larger trees. I saw an orange growing on one of the branches in the tropical area. The cool area was filled with house plants (pictured below). 


I tried to capture the height of the Palm House.


There was also an ugly plant toward the back and central area of the Palm House. It had a name like Henry or Harry, but I cannot remember which. I am not sure what type of plant it was, but it looked ugly, and I thought I had a photograph of the sign but I could not find it. A photograph of Henry or Harry (or whatever his name is) is below.


Outside the Palm House, we walked around the gardens that were filled with rhododendrons in all sorts of different colours. I love these flowers as they are always so colourful.


There were bees attracted to some of the flowers.


After a quick wander, we came upon the rose gardens. Unfortunately, only a few roses were out in bloom in the rose garden in the Belfast Botanic Gardens. I can imagine that it looks equally beautiful as Regent's Park rose garden when they are all out in full bloom. We were a week or two too early.


We walked down from the rose garden and came across another hidden area that was completely unexpected. Different areas of the grounds were secluded with trees and a small spring.



We followed signs to the Tropical Ravine House. The Tropical Ravine House is another conservatory in Belfast's Botanic Gardens. Instead of mingling with the plants, visitors walk up above them and look down onto the smaller plants or directly at the larger branches of the trees. The trees were dense here and very tall, so I did not get many good photographs, but there is one below of the interior of the Tropical Ravine House.


After all the walking around, I had one of the fairy cakes that I bought in St. George's Market.


Have you been to the Botanic Gardens in Belfast before?

Hippo in the Thames

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On my visit to Battersea Power Station to see Battersea Fire Garden by Carabosse about a week ago now, I took a walk to pay a new visitor a visit. Courtesy of the Totally Thames Festival, a large wooden hippo turned up and made London his home. The sculpture has been created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, who is famous for the giant rubber duck that appeared in some Asian countries. The hippo, named 'HippopoThames', is residing in the Thames at Nine Elms and will remain there until the end of the month, when the Totally Thames Festival finishes. The artist was inspired by the river's history in the creation; these animals were once common in the Thames.


The Totally Thames Festival celebrates the river, and in the past, it was simply branded as Thames Festival. It is the last London festival of the summer.

To visit HippopoThames, the nearest station is Vauxhall. Walk down to Nine Elms Lane, along the river, and follow the riverside walk. It is signposted. There's a small garden on the embankment here, and the hippo is located in the river here. Access is free.

Spectra by Ryoji Ikeda

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To commemorate the centenary of the Great War, an art and light installation was installed in Victoria Tower Gardens to shine for a few nights. The installation casts a strong beam of light into the sky, and viewers from all over London could see it for miles away (as long as they were above the buildings). The installation was created by artist Ryoji Ikeda, a Japanese artist based in Paris. Photographs (1) are below and credited as I unfortunately did not get to see it.



The installation was switched on as the #lightsOut event was taking place throughout the UK at the beginning of August.

1) Smith, Jennifer. Daily Mail. Let there be light: Art installation Spectra created as part of WWI commemorations pierces the night sky in dazzling display [7 August 2014].

Making Kids' Lunches Fun: Sandwich Bag Art

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The new school year began recently, so I thought that I would share this interesting idea that I saw awhile ago now to make lunchtime fun. Father and graphic designer David Laferriere has been drawing on his kids' sandwich bags with a marker each day since May 2008. These became an internet sensation last year.

Artwork by David Laferriere

Sometimes David gets inspiration from the bread to create these lunchtime masterpieces. For example, talks about using a bubble in the bread as a hole that a worm comes out of, and this seems to go down well with his children (1). 

Artwork by David Laferriere

To see more designs, view David Laferriere's Flickr page at 

For more information about the artist, visit his website at:

Artwork by David Laferriere

Artwork by David Laferriere

1) Flickr Blog. Dad illustrates kids' sandwich bags with imaginative drawings. [19 April 2013].

London's Talking Statues

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Thirty-five statues in London and Manchester have come to life, courtesy of Sing London. Writers and actors have contributed to making these statues live, and each has their own story to tell. This is a fabulous idea because many times I have walked by a statue and have paused to look at it, but only a plaque bearing the name of the statue (or individual depicted in the statue) exists. The plaque normally does not tell the story about the statue or the person, so the importance of the statue is unknown and thus a bit meaningless to the visitor without this knowledge. 


Talking Statues allows visitors to use their smartphones to swipe a tag near to the statue or to type in a website address to make the statue "ring" the phone and speak to them. Some statues speak about the historical importance of London and their significance as a part of it or witnessing the world and people evolving around them.


I discovered a few of these statues and guessed the website for their audio clips for the remaining ones that I did not visit so that I could hear them. The audio clips must be accessed with a smartphone. (For more technical readers, simply change your User Agent in your browser to a mobile device of your choice.*)

I have included the list of audio clips from the talking statues in London and in Manchester:


  • Hodge the Cat:
    • Hodge was a beloved and spoilt cat that his master used to feed the best shellfish. This commentary talks about Hodge.
  • Sherlock Holmes:
    • This commentary discusses the famous character Sherlock Holmes and separates fact from fiction, such as the portrayal of the detective and his thoughts of standing facing the exit/entrance to Baker Street station and watching people.
  • Isaac
    • Isaac Newton talks directly to the viewer and discusses gravity and science, including some of his discoveries and his childhood. According to the scientist, the world will end in 2060...
  • Whittington's
    • Dick Whittington bought his cat Tommy for a penny. Dick was not wealthy but heard the bells of Bow church with a message that he would be a mayor. He ended up making a lot of money from his cat's ability to catch mice, and he became mayor of London three times.
  • Hugh Myddleton:
    • This witty commentary describes who Hugh is and why he deserves a statue. He got a statue because he brought clean water into London. 
  • Peter Pan:
    • Peter Pan tells a little bit of his story and addresses the viewer, appealing to their childhood.
  • Goat:
    • The goat statue (pictured above), stands in Spitalfields. This commentary talks about the "melting pot" and evolving culture of Spitalfields.
  • The Broad Family:
    • Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams voices the commentary for this statue, which is told through the eyes of one of the blocks (the one with feet) and her adventures climbing the stairs next to the statue and experiencing how quiet the City is at weekends.
  • Eye-I:
    • This abstract sculpture (pictured above), discusses all of the people that pass by it each day. The statue sees everything.
  • Rowland Hill:
    • Rowland Hill invented the postage stamp, the Penny Post. As you may know, letters were sent but the receiver had to pay the cost. The idea of the stamp came from Rowland as he witnessed a girl receive a letter from her lover, but she handed it back as she was unable to afford the cost. The government was originally against the idea of the Penny Post, but the public supported it. 
  • Ariel and Prospero:
    • These magical characters were based on a Shakespeare play, and they are located on BBC Broadcasting House. The statue caused controversy in its time because the statue is nude.
    • The architect/engineer Brunel provides commentary and discusses his work on the trainline from London to Bristol, which was constructed because he wanted to create public transport for the masses.
  • The Unknown Soldier:
    • This soldier was the focus of World War I poetry earlier in the year. The soldier reads a letter from his mother, which has been written into a poem.


  • John Wilkes:
    • John Wilkes discusses conducting and music during the first war, and he played on the Western Front.
  • Lincoln:
    •  This statue of Abraham Lincoln addresses the people in Manchester and talks about American history during the Civil War. Manchester, an industrial town, would not purchase cotton from the southern states because of its use of slavery. As a result of not buying the cotton, Manchester suffered because its mills closed.
  • Alan Turing:
    •  This stuttering and troubled statue is dedicated to the codebreaker of the German code in Bletchley Park during World War II. Apparently and despite all the breakthroughs he made, he was prosecuted for homosexuality and treated extremely poorly. What a sad story.
  • The Reading Girl:
    •  Voiced by Doctor Who companion Jenna Louise Coleman, the Italian statue of a girl describes watching people in Manchester and reading books.
  • L.S. Lowry: 
    • L.S. Lowry is an artist and was inspired by painting industry. 

Broad Family

To listen to these recordings while looking at the statue in its surroundings is a treat. The Broad Family commentary used the statues and its surroundings to construct a story as told by the "child" in the family. If wandering past and not in a hurry, take a moment to listen to the statues.


* Firefox browser has an 'add-on' for User Agent Switcher, and after this is installed, an XML file of user agents can be added in order to switch. This mimics a different browser or device.

Fintan Magee's Astronaut Mural

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Street artist Fintan Magee painted a large wall near Old Street in London last summer, which I photographed and posted here, along with a lot of other street art. The artist returned as he had an exhibition in London (Oceanic Exhibition with Askew One). A couple of new pieces appeared on the street at this time. I enjoy seeing his work as it is detailed and realistic, and the depth makes it 'pop' off the wall that it is painted on. Often, it depicts motion and common themes include two figures in a struggle of some sort.


According to the artist's Facebook page, the astronaut work is titled "Two Men Fighting Over the Moon" and it appears in a high profilic wall on Hanbury Street. It shows two astronauts floating in space with a small moon and planet Earth.


The collaboration with Askew One appeared on Great Eastern Street for about a week and featured Fintan Magee's name.



For more information about Fintan Magee, visit his Facebook page:

Battersea Fire Garden by Carabosse

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A couple of months ago, I mentioned "Fire Garden" to one of my friends and looked it up in a search engine to discover that actually they were going to be in London for the Totally Thames Festival, which was rebranded this year from "Thames Festival", as it was known in previous years. I was excited, and this was the top event on my "Totally Thames" schedule. I saw them in Milton Keynes in 2012 with a friend as the Salisbury Fire Garden event that my partner and I had planned to attend was rained out a week or so before. (Photographs of the Milton Keynes Fire Garden can be seen in my post here.)


The ticketing was a bad joke, unfortuantely. I actually would not have minded paying for the ticket so that I was guaranteed entry. A couple of times each day for a couple of weeks, I took a peek on the website to see if booking had opened, and when they announced that that tickets were randomly given to those who sign up, I was beyond gutted. I was gutted because it was not "first come, first served", as I have never had luck with winning anything. After registering with a couple of different email address and getting a couple of friends to register on my behalf, I was not lucky.  Surprise, surprise!


I decided to turn up by myself after work on the Friday (the day that I wanted to attend) and hope for the best. When I arrived at 6:00, about ten people were already in the "non-ticket-holder" queue in front of me. I waited. I watched the ticket-holder queue get a bit longer. Then, when the queue started to disappear inside, a few people in that queue announced that they had extra tickets. It is no surprise that these people had signed up for multiple tickets and got lucky with the "random ticket ballot" twice. This is why this random ballot ticketing system does not work. The same person enters multiple times, and they get extra tickets. In a few cases, it was people who ordered four tickets, but only some of the people turned up. I was gutted with this whole ticket system. Rant over.



A nice lady had an extra "single person only" ticket to Fire Garden, so I jumped at the chance after the two single people ahead of me got previous offers from other ticket holders. Since I live outside of London, I was worried about staying too late to catch my train home. When I arrived inside the venue, the lights were just starting to be lit and the sun had yet to set. Bars and food stands were available, and I ordered a cocktail and waited for the light to fade.


The Fire Garden was held at Battersea Power Station, which is one of London's most iconic buildings. The power station featured on an album cover by Pink Floyd. The building has been unused for years now, and there was talk that it may be torn down. The Nine Elms area, including the Battersea Power Station, are actually being regenerated at the moment. Battersea Power Station will contain housing and cafes/restaurants once it has finished. At the moment, it is an empty shell.


Fire Garden is the work of French arts company Carabosse. Sculpture, fire, music and smell play a part to create stunning works of art. While walking around, the warmth and heat of the fires added another dimension to this work, as well as the smokey smell and fumes given off. The sculptures also move or erupt with smoke and flame, and some make a noise when they move, and this adds another level to the experience as the viewer awaits and examines the metal frames and figures.


A large collection of glowing orbs was displayed along the Thames, with the silhouettes of metal cranes in the background.


Sculptures covered with fire moved and changed shape before our eyes.


New for the company, and the highlight of the Battersea Fire Garden, is the chandalier made of flames. The Battersea Power Station itself was turned into a flaming sculpture as strands of flames hung from its brickwork.


Some of the sculptures of figures were a little more interactive, such as the two below. One uses a watering can, and the other has a torch pointed at a fountain. Others has faces with expressions, and one even had a clock face.




Some of the sculptures could blow flames out of stacks when a wheel was turned. 


My photographs came out alright considering that I did not bring my tripod as I was not sure that I would get access to the Fire Garden. (I used a tripod and manual settings for my SLR digital camera in Milton Keynes, and the results are noticably better.) 




The Fire Garden is on for a final night on Saturday night. For those who do not have tickets, turn up early and hope that someone who was lucky enough to get tickets has a spare. According to their website, they do let non-ticket holders in after a certain length of time.

Inspiring Packaging: Champagne Bottle

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I originally created this blog to showcase my visual and technical work, provide personal updates, and to include other inspiring examples of good visual design and code. The blog has evolved into much more than that, although I have been posting quite a bit of work that perhaps does not inspire me but could inspire others as design and particularly art are individual. 

All of those years ago at university while I was studying to get my Bachelor's degree in Visual Communications, I was told to find a keep examples of design inspiration. These could include posters, brochures, business cards, or anything else that I was inspired by. I started to add these to a box, which I still have today. As the nature of my profession is more along the lines of the virtual (online) and interactive media, I started to include screenshots of web designs or areas of a website that inspired me. I combined some of these into blog posts to refer to later and for others to gather inspiration from.

That leads me to this post. While wandering around Southbank Market in London a few weeks ago, I came upon these cute one-glass bottles of champagne for sale for nine pounds. The small round bottles hold a 125ml glasss of champagne and contain a different charm each, with a "Drink me" label. (At the time of writing and publishing this, I have yet to sample the goods.)


The company behind these cute bottles is Grays and Feather. The product is known as "The Bubble". Each bottle has its own unique silver or gold/bronze charm. I saw stars, keys, hearts, feathers, roses, heart locks, and so much more. I settled on the silver solid heart charm, pictured above. 

The Pudding Bar

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A little over a week ago, I went to one of London's most recent pop-ups, The Pudding Bar, which is located in Soho on Greek Street. The Pudding Bar offers puddings (or desserts to my American readers) and wine. Laura Hallwood is the creator of the puddings, and she worked at the Savoy and for Gordon Ramsey. The idea was conceived by three friends. They hope to change the menu regularly to keep people coming back. When speaking to one of the staff when I visited, I was told that the lease has been extended into January, and they hope to bring out some wintery desserts, such as crumble.


The Pudding Bar could be visited after having a meal at another restaurant, a snack, or perhaps when one just fancies a little bit of dessert. The pop-up is located in the heart of Soho with theatres on its doorstep, so one could see a play and then enjoy a bit of panna cotta or Eton Mess.


Actually, I visited after I had gone to see the play "Hetty Feather". I had pre-planned this; Vaudeville Theatre is located on the Strand, and The Pudding Bar is in the heart of Soho, so it's not exactly next door. (By the way, "Hetty Feather" was fun.) Appropriately, my plan was to complete the last charity sculpture walk of Books About Town, which celebrates British books and writers, such as writer Jacqueline Wilson, who wrote the story "Hetty Feather".


Lucky, there were a few seats available in the middle of the "pudding bar". The venue is quite small, and I can imagine that it does get busy. I ordered a sweet wine first, and I choose Royal Tokaji Late Harvest. The wine is a Hungrian and tasted sweet, thus living up to expectations.  


On to the puddings. I ordered the "Tasting Menu" choice as I wanted to have a selection of different puddings. However, neither of us like cheesecake, so we opted to have two servings of Eton Mess. Normally I would have tried the cheesecake, but the option is fairly expensive, and I did not want to have something that both of us may not enjoy.


First up is the double-serving of Eton Mess. Meringue, strawberry sauce, clotted cream ice cream, and black pepper shards made up this dish. The texture was light and not too overpowering.


Next up was my favourite of the desserts, Baked Alaska. What made this so special is the unique flavour. Blueberry, cinnamon, and elderflower gel make up this dessert. The whipped foam had toasted cinnamon blended into it, and this was delicious. The dessert was also light and easy-going. We could have had another helping; it was both our favourites.


Choux Buns was the next pudding on the plate, and we had two buns. One had vanilla cream inside, and the other had chocolate cream inside. This was topped with pistachio and salted caramel sauce. This was my least favourite as I find salted caramel a little too over-powering. 


Panna cotta was the final dessert. I am not sure what the flavour was at


The interior of The Pudding Bar was decorated with wildflowers in glass vases, and wooden spoons hung in the windows.


We had just left with the heavens opened up, and we got a little bit wet. Fortunately, this did not last too long and I went off on my way to complete the final 'Books About Town' charity sculpture walk around Holborn. (Read more about that here: Books About Town.)


Have you made a visit to The Pudding Bar yet? What did you have? For those who have not yet had the chance to go, details are below. Note that The Pudding Bar is a walk-in service, but reservations can be made for parties of five or more.

The Pudding Bar
26 Greek Street
Soho, London


Monday - Saturday: noon until midnight
Sunday: noon until 11pm

A Visit to Belfast Cathedral (St. Anne's)

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When I was in Belfast earlier this summer, I popped in to have a look at Belfast's Cathedral, St. Anne's. The cathedral is in the heart of the famous "Cathedral Quarter" (naturally...), opposite Writer's Square. It is a centre of artists and writers, and that is where it gets its name. The area was bombed extensively in the second World War, so many of the older buildings no longer exist and the cathedral took damage. Near the square was the headquarters of a newspaper that intercepted the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 and published it before England's king had word or sight of it. 

Exterior of St. Anne's in Belfast with its large Celtic Cross, completed 1981

St. Anne's cathedral started to be built in 1899, so it is a relatively new cathedral. After the first World War, a new part of the cathedral was added in memory of the Ulster men and women who served. In addition, there are many plaques around the interior of the church to commemorate those and also to commemorate the victims of other wars. New architectural additions to the cathedral have been made throughout the 1900s and are as recent as 2007.

Interior of St. Anne's

The Baptistery, located near the entrance to the cathedral, has a beautiful ceiling decoration and beautiful stained glass windows. 


The most recent edition to the cathedral was made in 2007 with its modern steel spire; the spire is 40 metres in length. It is known as "The Spire of Hope" and is illuminated at night. Visitors inside the cathedral can look up from the nave and see it. There's a photograph of it from the nave in the photograph below, and you can see part of the metal spire in the first photograph in this entry. 

On the left-hand side as you enter the cathedral is the "Chapel of the Holy Spirit". It is dedicated to St. Patrick. In the photograph below, Saint Patrick is the middle figure, and the boat below is his with the Mourne Mountains in the distance on his way to bring Christianity to the people of Ireland. 

"Spire of Hope" and "Chapel of Holy Spirit"

Stained glass windows

The cathedral also has a reputation of charity at Christmas. This started many years ago when the Dean of Belfast started a "sit out" on the stairs of the cathedral in the week leading up to Christmas to collect donations for local charities. He was nicknamed "Black Santa" because of the outfit he wore to keep warm. The tradition is still held every year before Christmas, the those who collect the charity are still called "Black Santa".

Facade of the cathedral from Writer's Square

I hope you enjoyed photographs of St. Anne's in Belfast.


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