Cats everywhere – a visit to the London Cat Village

We’ve dropped in on a Sunday night because we couldn’t wait any longer to share these photos… Don’t worry, there aren’t too many words to read here, just some incredibly cute cats from the Cat Village in Shoreditch.

Cat

With cat cafés popping up around London, there’s some competition, but we’re pretty certain that this one is up there with the best. Particularly now, as they have a ten-week-old litter of kittens roaming around…

Cat

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A sunny stroll in Hampstead

We’re north Londoners, it turns out [for the moment at least]. I’m not quite sure why, but what it does mean is that we have the joy of Hampstead Heath on our doorstep. Every time we go we ask ourselves why we don’t go every week – I guess those National Trust properties won’t visit themselves…

After a short walk from Gospel Oak Overground station, you end up here at the top of Parliament Hill, looking out over London. Spottable are the Shard, St Pancras station, St Paul’s and other highlights of the London skyline.

View from Parliament Hill

Facing the other direction, though, was another popular activity – kite flying. Ostensibly for children, there were a fair few parents not too keen to give up the reins…

Kites over Hampstead Heath

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Afternoon tea at Le Méridien Piccadilly, courtesy of RIBA

Today we are breaking the tradition of a blog lifetime and telling you about something that happened midweek. On a Wednesday, in fact. But fear not – it was very exciting and blog-worthy…

We were invited by the team from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the lovely people at Le Méridien to a bloggers’ afternoon tea at the beautiful hotel on Piccadilly. RIBA and Le Méridien are currently collaborating, and as part of this partnership, RIBA has curated a beautiful photography exhibition, ‘Unlock London: A City in Pictures’, showcasing a stunning selection of 17 black-and-white images of London’s most iconic landmarks taken by leading architectural photographers from the 1930s through to the 1960s.

We were given a tour of the balcony first, and the opportunity to snap a few pictures in the last of the summer sunshine…

Terrace at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

From atmospheric architectural shots down to finer details:

Flowerpot on table at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

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An evening stroll

Just a short post this week with some pictures I took one evening around St. Pancras station in London. I happened to have my camera with me, and I love playing around with night photography, so I thought I’d take a few shots on my way home. This wedding car was sat outside the beautiful Renaissance Hotel as I walked past.

Wedding car outside St Pancras

A handy bollard served as a makeshift tripod for some long-exposure shots as the evening traffic busied around.

Traffic around King's Cross

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A day at Osterley

Fancying a day out of central London but nearby, we used our hardworking National Trust membership and headed to Osterley Park, in Isleworth. When built, Osterley was surrounded by rural countryside, but is now dissected by the M4 and the Heathrow flight path [which you’re unfortunately reminded of fairly frequently] – probably not something Robert Adam had to bear in mind…

Front entrance to Osterley Park

We’re big fans of Robert Adam (as you can tell from here and here) and he remodelled this Elizabethan house in 1761 for the Child family.

The garden is typically pretty, with a very lovely Adam “garden house” in keeping with the house itself.

Orangery at Osterley Park

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Her birthday adventures – looking over London

Amongst other brilliant happenings, including a horse riding lesson in the countryside and the aforementioned barbecue, we returned to London on the Sunday evening for a lofty surprise. 20 Fenchurch Street, otherwise known as the Walkie Talkie (or the Scorchie, after it melted some cars when it was first built) is home to the Sky Garden, bookable for drinks, snacks or just a wander around.
20 Fenchurch Street

You need to book a couple of months in advance, but it’s free, and you’re whizzed up in a lift to floor 35. Once there, you’re free to walk around the outer perimeter and get a panoramic view of London.

St Paul’s looks dwarfed by the BT Tower:

St. Paul's surrounded by other buildings

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His birthday adventures – from Regent’s Canal to a secret Tube station 

Our birthdays are six days apart, which in effect means about three weeks of continuous sociableness and fun. We thought we’d share with you a little snippet, though, of each birthday – the bits that you might like to do for yourselves (rather than have a barbecue/camping/mini-festival with my friends, which you might enjoy less than I did, for example [oi, stay on topic – this week is my birthday]).

First, it was his birthday [better]. Given our (his) [definitely our] slightly geeky propensity for transport, I booked a canal boat trip along the Regent’s Canal, from Little Venice to Camden Lock. Simply called Jason’s (both the boat and the enterprise), it trundled up the river while the owner gave us a fascinating historical commentary.

Cafe boat in Little Venice

We passed lovely boats, old factories, beautiful houses, and ended up at the love-it-or-hate-it Camden Lock.

Boat passing through Camden lock

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Cats, photographs and Finchley Fair

A quick post of an unexpectedly great London day…

We strolled around lesser-known but lovely parts of Islington, spotting some beautiful squares.

House in Angel

A very friendly neighbourhood cat:

Cat

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Exploring Clerkenwell

J is away in Durham, so I thought I’d share some photos with you from a quick lunchtime stroll around Clerkenwell

Barclays bikes

I’ve worked around this area near Farringdon on and off for a few years, but as ever when you go somewhere every day, it’s easy to forget some of the details you see all the time. 

Daffodils in cattle trough

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Exploring London: Hackney City Farm and Columbia Road

Maybe this particular weekend we were missing the countryside, or maybe we just wanted to see the more natural parts of London, but we decided to fill our weekend with flowers [urgh] and animals [better]!

We started at Hackney City Farm, which neither of us had been to before. It’s free, so definitely ticks the frugal box, but there isn’t too much there to see so not worth a long trip. With the help of the camera zoom, though, we did find some bunnies… (Common theme, we know)

Rabbit at Hackney City Farm

We also spotted some very peaceful-looking donkeys, who were proving to be pretty popular!

Donkey at Hackney City Farm

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