Saturday, 25 February 2017

London In January

 I had been looking forward to our post Christmas trip to London so much and      the weekend did not disappoint.
We had a plan, which we stuck to, and it all worked out rather well.
We took the tube to Notting Hill and walked in the direction of Portabello Road as we wanted to wander the market.
As I'm sure you can imagine the housing in this area is all extremely desirable.
The previous residence of one George Orwell was up for sale in 2012, you can view the details here.

 I can't imagine how busy this stretch of road is in the summer as even on a cold Saturday in January it was absolutely heaving. Everywhere you look there is something which catches your eye.

We weren't really there for shopping but the riot of colour which is Alice's couldn't be ignored and

had money been no object then the soda syphons and this sign would have come home with us.

Even the door was a work of art.

As well as spending some time in a part of London we haven't visited before the other reason we were here is because we were going to visit the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Design. Using our rail tickets were we able to make use of the 2 for 1 deal on the entrance fee.
No photography is allowed inside otherwise this post would be chock full of photos.
We spent ages in here. 
It was so interesting. 
We spent ages pointing at things we recognised from when we were children. Packets of sweets, yogurts, breakfast cereal, tins of soup, household cleaning products, shampoo, toys and games,  I could go on and on.
I would thoroughly recommend a visit, not just for a stroll down memory lane to remind you of things you had forgotten but also for the informative displays on items from other decades such as the children's board games from World War I.

From here we took the DLR to Greenwich where we had booked into a Travelodge.
We managed to get a seat in the very end of the train and as we came up from being underground the skyline of London opened up in front of us and we the most perfect clear view of it.
An unexpected and very welcome treat.

The reason we stayed in Greenwich was so on Sunday morning we would be right on hand for making our way to the Maritime museum for soon after opening. 
We had tickets for the Emma Hamilton exhibition.
Actually before I continue with that, I must give a mention to the cafe where we had breakfast. Should you ever be in the area and in need of refreshment then try The Plumtree Cafe.

We didn't really have time to explore Greenwich which is a shame if there are other parts which are just as elegant as the Queen Elizabeth College Almhouses.

Although we did make a little stop at the vintage market in case there were any gems of the vinyl kind for G.
 He left empty handed but I found a birthday gift for a friend which was an unexpected bonus.

 So then it was on to the museum I must admit I was feeling very excited by the time we got there. I mean just look at this place.

I got a bit giddy with it all which I think probably explains my rather jaunty stance by the huge anchor at the entrance!

The exhibition was wonderful.
Whilst travelling home from Salisbury on the train last year we had seen a poster advertising the exhibition which said 

Emma Hamilton was one of the most famous international celebrities of her time and her life is the ultimate costume drama. Now largely remembered as the woman who captured the heart of the nation’s hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Emma was an extraordinary woman in her own right. Find out all in our dazzling new exhibition and events season.

So what did we find out about Emma?
Emma was born in Cheshire andwent to London when she 12.
She was became the muse of George Romney who painted her dozens of times.
She was the mistress of Charles Greville who then persuaded his uncle Sir William Hamilton to have her live with him in Naples once he needed to settle down to married life.
Emma and William eventually married, there was an age difference of 35 years.
Emma became fluent in Italian and French and developed a series of dances inspired by classical art which were known as The Attitudes.
Emma became a close friend of Queen Maria Carolina, the sister of Marie Antoinette.
Emma met Nelson in 1793 but their affair did not start until a few years later.
Emma gave birth to their daughter Horatia in 1801.
Sir William died in 1803 and Nelson in 1805.
Emma spent time in a debtors prison due to financial difficulties before fleeing to France  where she died in 1815 aged 49.

We had spent quite a while in the exhibition and there really wasn't any time left for further exploration of Greenwich museum. My mum was staying with T and S and we were mindful of having to be back home.
So it was back through the main hall where we just had to spend a few minutes looking at all the colourful figureheads

before heading back on the DLR to Canary Wharf and then on to Waterloo and home.


  1. What a fantastic London weekend. Both exhibitions sound fascinating, we'd have enjoyed them too. We also stayed in Travelodge in Greenwich but didn't have much time to explore the local area. I'd love to go to the local market and take the kids to the Maritime Museum next time we visit. x

  2. You always manage to pack so much in to any time you spend away and this time was no different. I must admit that I didn't know much more about Emma Hamilton than her being the mistress of Lord Nelson so I'm sure I'd have found the exhibition very interesting too. I love being reminded of things from my childhood so the other exhibition sounds fun, I'm all for a bit of nostalgia.

  3. This is why i LOVE London, you can visit so many times and still discover something new. We have been to Portabello Road market a couple of times but i didn't know about the either of the exhibitions you mentioned. We stayed in Greenwich last time we visited and I thought it was lovely although again didn't know about the gardens!
    We are planning 2 or 3 trips this year too as our children bought us some vouchers for various things to do and visit, just waiting for the weather to pick up a bit.

    Thanks for sharing

  4. Great post Lisa! Despite being a Londoner I have never been to Notting Hill or Portobello Road. How shameful is that? Thank you for sharing your days out - I learn so much about different places by coming here! x

  5. I like the figure heads. What an interesting visit x

  6. This looks like an interesting weekend, you managed to fit plenty in!

  7. I'm so pleased you had a fabulous time.
    Lovely to see all of your photographs.

    I didn't know too much about Emma Hamilton, so thanks for all the information.
    There is always so much to see and do, and planning your time and deciding what you want to see is key - and you did this so well.

    Great post.

    All the best Jan

  8. Oooh, you did so much!!! My orchestra performs at the orange coloured church on Kensington park road, on the way to Portobello. Actually, I have wanted to visit the museum of brands for a while. I find that type of thing fascinating-the history of normal day life things.
    The figure heads are very interesting and I enjoyed your facts about Emma Hamilton's life!