Archives for posts with tag: Travel Writing

Moving out, especially to a big city such as London, can feel like a daunting prospect. But in this cosy suburb of North London, Muswell Hill is kind to the amateur Londoner, with its orderly middle class atmosphere and village feel Broadway.
Notoriously one of the most sought after areas in London, my budget and I fought over a cosy room (and by cosy I mean small) in a large house share.
After a week of finding my feet, I am beginning to settle in by marking my territory, that is the kitchen cupboard, and by adding personal touches to my room, regardless of whether it’s starting to resemble a jumble sale.
I am gradually learning to master the art of multi-purposing furniture and obscuring ‘stuff’; my current masterpiece being the wardrobe. Under it, on top of it, behind it, on the doors- each piece has been suitably placed. I have even contemplated making use of the walls, their bareness could most definitely be utilised.
Getting up at winters dawn results in loud bangs and bruises and my morning yoga could pass as a form of robotic dance, but I suppose the cooped up chicken feeling will surpass and minimalism will feel too cold and empty.
And if it doesn’t, then the mass of greenery in Alexandra Park will do the trick. It is a runners paradise, with bouncy joggers sprouting from beyond the leafy trees and effortlessly gallivanting their way up the menacing hills, as I huff and puff my way to the top. But the reward does not disappoint. Panoramic views of London stare back and the air is surprisingly cleaner than the thick smog that projects over the rest of the London’s skyline.
The grand Alexandra Palace and I overlook the parkland and cityscape beyond, as I play tourist in my new local area. In the last of autumnal sunshine, I subtly bask in its rays as I make my way downhill towards the Sunday famers market. A long stretch of food stalls and a gathering of Muswell Hillians casually lunching on handmade pies and cold pressed juices, makes for quite the social event. With so many choices for all food palates, my sweet tooth caved in and I purchased a slice of the dark chocolate banana loaf from Nyborg’s Kitchen. This moistly dense, sweetly spiced slice of gluten-free heaven went down perfectly with my vanilla chai tea!

IMG_0012.JPGIMG_0009.JPGIMG_0006.JPGIMG_0067.JPGIMG_0011-1.JPGIMG_8596.JPGIMG_0069.JPGIMG_0001.JPGIMG_0008.JPGIMG_0005.JPGIMG_0004.JPG

The long bittersweet weekend I spent up North has come to an end, and although we say are farewells, our memories shared are sweet.
My birthday celebrations took us to Manchester, a metropolis brimming with favourable delights of culture, arts and history. The Northern hub is stimulating to the eye and promises a photogenic walk around its streets. Comparable to London with its mix of urban hipster and historic surroundings, Manchester is not so overcrowded and has a friendly northern vibe.

The approaching hum and rattle of the tram followed us around as we rambled the city, discovering endless shops, galleries and street food markets. The Manchester Art Gallery held the Cotton Couture exhibition, which featured a short film explaining the history of cotton manufacture in Manchester. On display were rows of elegant 1950’s gowns made by British and French designers in unconventional cotton fabrics. The gallery also hosts an exquisite permanent collection, featuring some of my favourite artists- Turner, Alma-Tadema and John William Godward.

Upon trailing back to the hotel after a long day touristing, we were captured by the stunning grandeur of Manchester Central Library in St Peters Square. We nestled ourselves into a cosy corner of the neoclassic rotunda, quiescently absorbed into the library’s publications.

IMG_8230-0.JPG

IMG_8231-0.JPG

IMG_8381-0.JPG

IMG_8380-1.JPG

IMG_8382.JPG

IMG_8386.JPG

IMG_8383.JPG

Staycations have prevailed this year, and although I am an advocate for UK adventuring, I can’t help but pine for sun kissed, Mediterranean meanders through a pretty white washed village.
Portmeirion did not disappoint. My lust fulfilled, we left behind the rural backdrop of Wales for an hour or two and became captivated into an Italian-esque, fantasy village.

Influenced by the Baroque movement, designer Sir Clough Williams-Ellis has manipulated this artificial village with sublime opulence.
It is beautifully constructed upon the landscape, with dramatic architecture accentuating the hillside that gazes down onto the River Dwyryd estuary.

Portmeirion succeeds at seducing you into this pursuit of perfectionism of macaroon coloured buildings embellished with romantic Renaissance art, stucco sculpturing and peeping arches that overlook the river.
You become part of the idealism, playing a role as you stroll along the cobble stoned paths, pretending you are Lucy Honeychurch in ‘A Room With a View’.

So, after a pleasant wander through the gardens, a ponder in the fountain square and an alfresco dine outside the gelato shop we were ready to head back to reality.

IMG_6780.JPG

IMG_6731.JPG

IMG_6729.JPG

IMG_6724.JPG

IMG_6800.JPG

IMG_6858.JPG

IMG_6860.JPG

IMG_6847.JPG

IMG_6726.JPG

<img src=”https://francispierrette.files.wordpress.