10170869_638801446853_5304081035146960260_nI thought a picture of beautiful Bath Abbey would be an appropriate picture for Good Friday and to conclude our week on Bath. I hope you all have a lovely Easter Weekend with friends and family.  - Miranda

 

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The only museum outside of the US to be solely devoted to the history of the American people, this is one of my favourite UK museums. It has acres of gorgeous grounds, a delicious cafe, a wonderful ye olde General Store and a host of fascinating exhibits that take me right back to my days of wandering the galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In the basement, you can get a basic understanding of modern American history, and then upstairs you are treated to several reconstructed rooms from historic American houses, as well as magnificent textile, furniture, art and china collections. No trip to Bath should be complete without a visit to this remarkably beautiful place; there really is no excuse, as the museum even lays on a shuttle bus from the centre of the city, giving you a chance to sight-see for free, too. What’s not to love?! – Rachel

photo (1)During our day in Bath, we were lucky enough to make it to the American Museum in Britain (a truly fascinating and beautiful place) and even luckier to see their current Kaffe Fassett exhibition. I knew the exhibition would be my kind of thing as soon as I spotted the crocheted lamp post cosies and neon pom-poms hanging from trees outside the museum. As someone who loves colour, I revelled  in Fassett’s bold use of hot pinks, bright oranges and turquoise greens. It’s the sheer vibrancy of colour that hits you as soon as you enter the exhibition, making it the perfect thing to see on a rather grey and windy day. The quilts hung on the walls were all truly gorgeous, and now I’m determined to make my own one day. I love an exhibition that sparks the urge within me to do something more creative, and this was one of the most inspiring experiences I’ve had in a while.

Kaffe Fassett is famed for featuring vegetables in his work, and leafy greens seemed rather a theme to our day as we had lunch at the wonderful vegetarian and vegan restaurant, Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen. The set menu is a real steal and we all thought the food was delicious.  I definitely recommend stopping by if you’re ever in Bath. - Miranda

Note: check out our Facebook page for more pictures of the exhibition and our meal!

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What I love most about Bath is its architecture. Coming into the city by train and seeing it from a distance, all curving softly in a golden snake around its hilly foundations, is remarkable. Walking the streets, so uniform and grandiose, is literally like stepping back in time, and when I spotted this wonderful old painted sign, I really did feel like I was a Georgian. Probably after all of those dances, I could have done with a nice gentle read. – Rachel

10264436_638802330083_6454790596960378556_nOFG at the American Museum in Britain gardens

Rachel and I (plus my mum and another friend called Rachel – I really do know a lot of Rachels!) had a brilliant time in Bath on Saturday. Our friend Rachel had never seen Bath before, and my mum was desperate to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the American Museum in Britain, so we decided this was the perfect opportunity for an OFG outing. We had a super time strolling around the city, admiring Bath Abbey, eating delicious food and enjoying some American culture. I’ll be writing more in detail about the trip in upcoming posts. I hope you all had a lovely weekend! - Miranda

 

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Living in the sticks has its benefits; lovely views, fresh air, and plenty of beautiful, historic places to visit. One of my favourite such places nearby is Ightham Mote, where I enjoyed a very sunny afternoon a couple of days ago. Highlights were the bluebell woods that surround the medieval moated manor house, the ceiling in the private chapel that still contains the painted design of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s emblems, and seeing the Victoria Cross won by the son of a previous owner of the house. I feel lucky to have such gems on my doorstep! – Rachel

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I’m planning some baking over the holidays, and the nicer weather turns my mind towards picnics in Kew Gardens and Richmond Park. Could there be a prettier way to transport a homemade cake than these rather appropriate Kew Gardens underground station poster tins? I pounced on them when I saw them in Waterstones and look forward to putting them to good use! – Miranda 

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Goodness me, I loved this play. When I booked the tickets months ago, the cast list hadn’t been released and I had no idea who I’d be going to see on stage. I was delighted when I arrived to find the amazing Mark Strong and Nicola Walker in the lead roles of Eddie and Beatrice, both of whom I have seen and loved in roles on the small and big screens. They and the rest of the cast did a remarkable job of bringing a challenging play to life, and despite having read it several times, I found myself coming away re-considering my interpretation of events thanks to Strong’s powerful, sympathetic performance. If you can get to London between now and the end of the run, I can’t recommend this highly enough. – Rachel

PicFrameI’m so delighted to be enjoying the Easter holidays now and decided to celebrate the start by booking an all day Introduction to Embroidery course at the Royal School of Needlework (which just so happens to be situated within Hampton Court Palace). I had the most fabulous day in the most gorgeous surroundings (the top picture is the view out the window whenever I stopped stitching to let my eyes rest for a minute). My tutor was lovely as well as very knowledgable (I learnt fly, satin, chain, trellis, buttonhole and split stitches to name but a few, as well as perfecting my french knot technique – amazing!), and everyone else in the class was very friendly which created a great atmosphere. I would definitely recommend RSN classes as an enormously fun way to develop a new skill! - Miranda

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Launched today is a wonderful new online quarterly book magazine produced by some of our lovely book blogging friends. Entitled Shiny New Books, it has reviews of new fiction and non fiction books as well as reprints, written by a huge variety of people, me included! If you want to know what to read this spring, pop on over and have a browse. Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration! – Rachel

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