Holland Park Wisteria Hysteria

Holland Park is by far my favourite Park in London due to a combination of is history and absolutely beautiful gardens.

I love how Holland Park feels more like a neighbourhood park than some of the others in London. Although you will find some tourists in Holland Park, it just doesn’t get the same attention that Regent’s Park or Hyde Park do, so you can properly escape from the London hustle and bustle and relax among the beautiful manicured gardens.

This past weekend, with wisteria season was in full swing in London, so I was extra keen to make the trip over to Holland Park to hunt down the purple beauties before they disappeared.

First stop before the park, however, was a cupcake at Primrose Hill Bakery!

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Primrose Hill Bakery, which is just opened a branch in Holland Park, is not to be missed if you are a cupcake lover like myself.

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They have beautifully decorated, light and fluffy cupcakes and cakes. The bakery prides itself on using only high quality ingredients to make proper old fashioned bakes in unique and mouth-watering flavours.

There were so many options to choose from, including gluten free ones!

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I picked up a classic vanilla gluten free cupcake, while Mike went for a Snickers flavoured number. Although the shop is absolutely beautifully designed, we decided to take our treats to the park to enjoy the sunshine.

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Holland Park surrounds a mansion, Holland House, named after its second owner, the Earl of Holland. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Holland House was  a hub of political and literary activity, but was largely destroyed by bombing in WWII.

Today only the east wing and some ruins of the ground floor still remain and they form an atmospheric backdrop for the open air Holland Park Theatre.

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We enjoyed our cupcakes while people watching in the manicured tulip garden.

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Holland Park did not disappoint on the wisteria front either. The flowers were in full bloom, showering the park in pastel purple.

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Holland Park, has more to offer then manicured gardens, woodland and mass amounts of wisteria. At the centre of the park there is a Japanese-style Kyoto Garden with a koi carp pond, waterfall and terrific selection of rhododendrons, azaleas and hydrangeas.

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It was opened thanks to the support of the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991.

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We spent the afternoon checking out the flowers, inspiring us to get planning at home.

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Trench Coat, Navy Floral Blouse, Blush Scalloped Flats, Blush Cross-body Bag

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There were also some great animals to spot!

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Even after leaving the park the wisteria didn’t seem to leave us behind. The beautiful homes of the well-heeled denizens of the neighbouring streets were also covered in a pastel purple haze.

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Do you have wisteria hysteria? I just can’t get over these beauties, I am going to be sad when they disappear in a few weeks’ time!

Steph xo

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Springing into Primrose Hill & Regent’s Park

It finally feels like spring in London! The birds are chirping, the blossoms are out and the sun is shining!

Taking full advantage of this warmer sunnier weather at the weekend, I headed to one of my favourite areas in London, Primrose Hill, with my friend Kara.

Primrose Hill is an area in London just north of Regent’s Park. It is a great destination for a relaxing wander and a good lunch.

The high street is lined with lots of cute independent shops and quaint cafes.

But, what I like best about the area is the real estate.

Primrose Hill House Wandering

Primrose Hill is famous for its beautiful pastel coloured homes. We had a great morning wandering around Chalcot Square and Gloucester Avenue dreaming that we were an owner of one of these amazing rainbow coloured houses.

Which one would you chose, the pink one or the blue one?

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I am not sure I would be able to chose between the two!

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Gingham Jacket, Black Jumper, Silver Shoes (0ld), Black Tote, Sunglasses

The brightly coloured homes just bring a smile to my face!

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For lunch, Kara and I headed to Greenberry, a favourite cafe among the locals. Luckily we were able to book in advance, so did not have to join the queue of hungry Londoners that wrapped outside the restaurant.

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The menu was great and the food looked amazing, so we couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

I was very impressed with Greenberry and would definitely go back again. My chicken and avocado salad was delicious, but the standout dish was the sweet potato fries- so good!

The sun was still shining after lunch so we went for a walk up to to the hill (of Primrose Hill) to get a view of the city and to check out the beautiful spring blossoms.

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From Primrose Hill we then wandered over the canal into Regent’s Park.

Regent’s Park is one of the royal parks in London and is home to the London Zoo.  The place was just bursting with fresh spring flowers and smiling Londoners enjoying the warm day.

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The formal gardens are a great escape from the city and have a bit of a Parisian feel, which is a bonus in my book.

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So nice to get the sunglasses out and leave the big woollen jumpers at home.Let’s hope this warmer weather is here to stay!

Regents Park Road spring

Steph xo

Escaping London’s Grey Skies at the Barbican Conservatory

This past weekend I wanted to pretend that I was on holiday in a tropical paradise, instead of enduring winter in a cold grey city, so I headed to the Barbican Conservatory – an exotic jungle in the heart of London!

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Pea Coat (old), Grey Jumper, Jeans, Chelsea Boots, Tote Bag, Silk Scarf

The Barbican Conservatory is the second biggest in London after Kew Gardens and is a great place to escape the winter blues. The conservatory sits on top of the Barbican Arts Centre and is located at the heart of the city making it much easier to get to than Kew.

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The conservatory has an impressive collection of tropical plants and trees, being home to over 2,000 species. The cacti are my favourite.

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There are also tropical fish and turtles to spot too!

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I have never been to a  conservatory like this before, it is truly unique setting as the plants climb around the urban building in stark contrast to each other.

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Admission to the conservatory is free but it is only open from 12 to 5pm on Sunday.  I would recommend you arrive early, as this place is no longer a hidden gem and it can get a bit crowded.

A fun way to warm up from London’s cold on a Sunday afternoon!

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Steph xo