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Monday, February 28, 2011

155 back home to my nest.....

Buongiorno  to all my blog friends and lovely readers,  Ive really missed you . I returned to 550 emails and its been great fun reading all your blogs  of the last 2 weeks  and your VERY kind emails and comments.If you are having any difficulty reading this post by email please access by google directly .   SO   where to begin...  I think a letter to Merlin is appropriate

My Dear Merlin
please can you you help with these three dilemmas ?  time is of the essence ...

 opposite this lovely Art Nouveau building in an old cinema ,
the Mayor has decided to house

THE HARD ROCK CAFE!!!!!  in the historic centre of Florence at the corner of Piazza Republicca ............

Thank you Merlin ,I know that you understand ,
Vivienne in the woods xx

I was very fortunate not to experience the English rain until the last morning of my stay!  and very happy to be greeted by blue sky  at home in Florence , although VERY cold !

I walked across to Mama s bakery and had my bagel and smoked salmon   which was delicious . 

Slowly meandering through he quiet back streets i also called in at Fiorilli my favourite florist and bought hyacinths and some bulbs I m very fond of their scent .

bought an old tin box !

 and  enjoyed the view and the quietness.

My post office , scene of many a murder !

One of the leather markets
 I wandered into a quiet courtyard behind the Church of Santa Spirito

side door ?

or main entrance ??

 and what a delight, I had the place to myself


 and then I came home to have afternoon tea with Merlin

 I arrived in London to find that the sky was blue and quickly unpacked.

I darted around ,taking in a huge variety of architecture and some of my favourite quiet places.

take your pick the choice is yours...

I miss the buzz of the Tube so its always great fun for me,I don't drive and the Tube is generally pretty quick.

  I called into St Marys  for  a medical MOT ,  home of the discovery of Penicillin.
and even took a ride in a  bicycle rickshaw  around China town and Soho  ,what fun in the traffic ..

and back to the Sloane club  to a hot bath

  and as much cake as I could eat !

A trip to the Royal Court theatre  was excellent  - The Heretic , a black comedy about climate change with Juliet Stephenson  and also featured my hero Jeremy Paxman ,what a surprise !

Jeremy Paxman

I managed to squeeze in my favourite fish restaurants Scotts,Sheekeys,Nicoles, Bibendum oyster bar and also Fish Central in Clerkenwell , where the cod was so succulent and sweet ( sadly here in florence  its salted and I hate it !

Rhubarb crumble mmmmm

Back to architecture....

I cant wait for The Shard    of glass to be completed   another landmark building for London.

In just over two years’ time, London's skyline will be dramatically changed and a large part of the north of the borough will transformed beyond all recognition, as the Shard of Glass is set to be completed on time and to budget.

Designed by master architect Renzo Piano as a 'vertical city', the Shard, Europe's tallest, and first major mixed-use building, has now reached the point where its steel skeleton appears over the top of London Bridge Station and is a highly visible presence to the 375,000 commuters passing by. 

It will be the jewel in the crown in the transformation of the Bankside and London Bridge area into a business quarter to equal and surpass that of Canary Wharf.  The area is designated an opportunity area and part of the Southbank Strategic Cultural Zone in the London Plan.

It has a target of 25,000 new jobs and 1,900 additional homes by 2026 and the potential to become a new world class quarter of the capital, containing successful business districts, sustainable residential neighbourhoods and world class services.

The Shard, set for completion in May 2012, is one of a number of large scale schemes that are underway or planned, including the New London Bridge House, the Tate Modern extension, the Thameslink Programme, London Bridge Station, and Neo Bankside.

I popped down to The Queens gallery to pick up a pretty souvenir of the April wedding !  Ive decided that I will have a better view on my television  as standing outside Westminster Abbey  the views are very restricted  and  I wont be standing outside all night as I did for Charles and  Diana . That was an amazing experience as I was positioned right at the corner ,where all the cars and carriages had to turn into St Pauls  so everyone was about 2 feet away from me . I will never forget that day .

 Happily I had a couple of Laduree  afternoon teas   which were of course delicious 

and did a walking tour of some of the  manyLaduree coloured houses in London ( eat you heart out Burano !!)

home of DH Lawrence

    I made 3 trips to Portobello Market  ,2 on busy market days and  one a quiet day  also fun.

   My friends of many years at Portobello  always find some 18th century glass for me   and this time I found another antique  ivory bracelet to add to my collection  .

      These rare antique chandelier drops are from Czechoslovakia and its gold which gives them this unusual shade

The sugar tongs range from 1890 through to 1920   I love their pretty designs

Hilary Kashden and her husband are the antique pewter experts and supply all the stately homes ,films, television etc  she is such fun, Ive enjoyed buying historic documents and wonderful antique pewter from her over many years.

   I always have time for an organic almond croissant from Pret!

    Dalesford farm is my favourite place for organic lunch or afternoon tea  Tthey also have a place in West
bourne grove as well as the farm in Gloucestershire and the Pimlico road in Chelsea.  They have an amazing range of organic farm produce all beautifully and organically wrapped.

   back to Piccadilly  and the Royal Academy

   and speaking of Royal ! 
I thought that Dame Helen Mirren  looked fantasique in the Vivienne Westwood gown for the Oscars

   and Bravo  Colin Firth

and finally today a favourite quiet oasis in Mayfair...

Tomorrow I will share my week in the country a visit to the spring lambs and my two favourite jewellers.
I hope that your week will be full of fun and  good things .x