Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Ingatestone Hall

William Petre bought the manor of Ingatestone after the dissolution of the monastries and commissioned the building of the current house. Elizabeth I spent several nights here in 1561. The family were Catholic resucants and befriended the composer William Byrd who composed music to be sung at their private chapels.

It houses what's left of the Petre family picture collection ater the fire in the 19th century at the family's other house the palladian Thorndon Hall.

Sunday, 24 June 2018


I've just spent a week in the Cotswolds. It is full of quaint picture postcard villages and I guess many overseas visitors have this area as their perception of England.

So I guess Sezincote comes as something of a surprise. It is was built in the Indian Style a combination of Hindu and Muslim architecture. The Prince Regent visited in 1807 and the house is said to have influenced the Brighton Pavillion.

It is visited by guided tour and it is well worth a visit. The gardens are lovely as well.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Bourton-on-the-Water and Snowshill

I am currently in the Cotswolds. It is a lovely area of the country and there is a lot to see without having to drive that far.

Bourton-on-the-Water is a picturesque if touristy village

Snowshill Manor houses the collection of Charles Padget Wade who was a total eccentric. The house contains his collection which contains no masterpiece but is definitely worth a visit.

Sunday, 20 May 2018


I've just come back from 5 nights in Florence, like many people I fly in and out of Pisa airport and I typically spend my last day in Pisa. I get the feeling most people who visit Tuscany do the same thing.

Pisa sort of gets a bad rap. Yes it is a bit rough a round the edges compared to some cities but it certainly has its moments, it isn't a city I'd choose to stay in (if you are looking for an alternative to Florence to visit choose Lucca) but it is well worth exploring. You can easily walk from the rail station to the Leaning Tower. I didn't have as much time as I'd wish (someone was too lazy to jump out of bed on the last day) so I didn't explore as much as I'd like

Whatever your thoughts on Pisa you can't deny that the Field of Miracles with it's tower, baptistery and Duomo is singularly beautiful.


Cafe culture....something I love about Italy

The river.... you may notice a religious building on the right

This is the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina. And annoyingly it was open and closed about 15 minutes before I got there....

Oh well an excuse to go back.... something I'm not likely to need :)

Monday, 16 April 2018


I've just spent a week in Cornwall. Here are pictures of Mevagissey Harbour (we bought some nice Scallops there!)

Thursday, 22 March 2018


This is only 11 months late!

The islands of Burano, Mazzorbo & Torcello in the Venice lagoon are very close to each other. Burano and Mazzorbo are linked by a bridge and Torcello is a short 5-10 minute boat ride..

Torcello is the oldest continually occupied region of Venice and was once the most populpus. Today it is very sparsely populated due to malaria. It has a population of 10 including a priest. You can guess that it was once much more populous due to it's fine Duomo (well worth visiting!). 

Sunday, 18 March 2018


It is cold, grey and there is snow on the ground therefore I thought I look back to last March when I was in Venice and it was slightly warmer!

Murano is an one many islands in the Venice Lagoon. It is the most famous but not my favourite I prefer the islands of Burano and it linked sister island Mazzorbo and the island of Torcello (I promised to show you this last April.... later this week promise!).

Murano is famous for it's glass making.

Despite not being my favourite of the Venetian islands I really do enjoy visiting them!