Tag Archives: Museum

Hillwood Gardens, Washington DC

Hi! Fancy seeing you again!

Just thought I’d quickly check in and let everyone know our nomadic adventures continue – and we’re happy to add another pin in the map. We now hang our hat in Washington, DC. Having moved from one capital city (London), we are feeling right at home and have wasted no time exploring this captivating town.

Spring is giving way to summer, and the weather here has been spectacular. We are trying to spend as much time outdoors as we can before the oppressive summer heat sets in.

As we celebrated our third wedding anniversary, we headed to Hillwood Museum for an early afternoon picnic in the gardens.

Hillwood mansion

The estate was founded by the glamorous (and somewhat eccentric) socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. The mansion is now a museum, home to her incredible art collection and showcasing her wacky eye for interior design.

But the real delight are the gardens!

Hillwood japanese garden

Hillwood bridge1

We set right to work exploring every angle!

Hillwood Japanese garden waterfall

Hillwood japanese rock

And eventually settling in the shade to share a picnic.

Hillwood picnic dada luc

Hillwood picnic

I usually like to have a little lie-down after lunch, resting under the cool canopy, listening to the water babbling and birds crooning, inhaling the scent of freshly mown grass with every breath.

But this guy had other ideas!

Hillwood lawn run

Hillwood side yard

It was the day of the big Hillwood gala and everything was looking in tip-top shape for the evening’s events. So it was a bit embarrassing when we couldn’t keep our child from turning every fountain into his personal paddling pool.

His philosophy is clearly, “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.”

Hillwood fountina

Hillwood fountain mama luc

Hillwood FOUNTAIN

Hillwood Japanese garden lilypads

Hillwood japanese garden bridge

Hillwood putting green umbrella

A glorious day, impeccable gardens, and the best company a girl could ask for.

Even if you have to chase after it.

Hillwood putting green

 

St Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine was a fortunate stop whilst we were in Florida visiting some dear family friends. I had no idea that it’s America’s oldest colony, settled by Spaniards in 1565.

It was also the first of only three walled cities ever constructed in North America; the other two are Charleston, South Carolina (English) and Quebec City, Canada (French).

They just don’t build ’em like they used to!

The old city sits on the gulf of the St Augustine Inlet, the waters dotted with boats and the Bridge of Lions connecting the colonial quarter with Anastasia Island.

Bridge of Lions, St Augustine

Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine

St Auguestine Waterfront View Boats

St Auguestine Waterfront View Water

A stroll through the old city gates takes you to the oldest wooden schoolhouse surviving in the United States.  It was built in the early 1700s, when St. Augustine was still under the rule of Imperial Spain.

Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the US, St Augustine

Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the US, St Augustine

St Auguestine Old Schoolhouse Flowerbox

St Auguestine Courtyard

The streets are lined with colourful shops and boutiques that reflect the influences and traditions of the early settlers from Minorca.

I have been on the hunt for some nice pieces of coral for the beach house and found plenty to choose from here!

St Auguestine Coral Shopping

St Auguestine Coral Closeup

St Auguestine Coral

St Auguestine Park Gazebo

St Auguestine Castillo Front

We toured Castillo De San Marco National Monument, part of the U.S. National Park Services. It’s a great example of the “bastion system” of fortification where angled walls jut out in a star-shaped design.

St Auguestine Castillo Courtyard

St Auguestine Castillo Rooftop Turret view

St Auguestine Castillo Turret

St Auguestine Castillo Rooftop Turret landscape

St Auguestine Castillo Roof View

The roof of the fort is lined with old cannons, some of which have beautiful European casting techniques.

St Auguestine Castillo Cannon Blue

St Auguestine Castillo Cannon

St Auguestine Castillo Rooftop view

St Auguestine Castillo Little Turret View

To beat the heat, we stopped at Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops and bought a few fruity lollies to cool us down. The Cucumber Lemon Mint was amaaaazing – and I have a feeling I’ll be recreating a homemade version before summer’s over!

St Auguestine Hyppo Pop Flavours

St Auguestine Hyppo Pop

Our next destination on the whistlestop tour was the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum. I’m sad to say I couldn’t get a decent photo of the lighthouse because the sun was sitting directly on top of it. But the Keepers’ House and grounds were so quaint and peaceful it was worth the visit.

St Auguestine Lighthouse

St Auguestine Lighthouse Gate

St Auguestine Lighthouse View

St Auguestine Lighthouse Trees

St Auguestine Lighthouse Path

Lots more to explore in this area for sure! Until next time…

Afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery

Living in a city with such a temperamental (aka rainy) climate, one must always be prepared with lots of ways to stay entertained indoors. This past weekend, London was especially cold and damp, so I hopped on the tube to Leicester Square for a visit to the National Portrait Gallery. Public museums have always been a safe haven from the outside world for me since I was a teenager, when I would skip high school and wonder the national galleries in Washington, DC. Later, as an Art History undergraduate at NYU, such visits became a part of my weekly Manhattan routine.

On exhibition at the moment is a wonderful collection of George Catlin American Indian Portraits (7 March – 23 June 2013) organised by my old employer Smithsonian Institution. Weekends are always a busy time to visit but I managed to pop in during a loll in the crowds and had a chance to enjoy the portraits and learn a little bit about the different tribes. I collect exhibition catalogues, so I grabbed one on my way out as I headed to lunch.

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A freezing walk down The Strand left me shivering with a chapped nose by the time I nipped into The Delaunay.

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Felt Hat, Saks Fifth Avenue; Crystal Cut Necklace, J Crew; Trench, Vince

The sister restaurant of The Wolsley, this Euro-style cafe is one of my personal favourites. Having missed the cut-off for booking reservations the day before, I did have to wait 20 minutes for a table but I passed the time at the bar with a glass of bubbles.

The rock oysters were worth the wait!

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Living in the UK, I often yearn for decent service when dining out. At The Delaunay, it is exceptional! And with a lobster roll like this, they get top marks in my book.

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For reservations, call ahead by one day or book online via their website.