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UK & Ireland

    Hidden Secrets of London: Chiswick House and Gardens

    There should be a law passed declaring that all historic houses and gardens must be visited at the end of sunny days, and as near to twilight as possible. There is a magic in dappling sun as it beams lazily through tree boughs that can’t quite be put into words. Especially in the beautiful Chiswick House and Gardens grounds.

    Chiswick House and Gardens London Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Chiswick House is a magnificent neo-Palladian villa set in beautiful historic gardens in west London. The house and grounds were created by two Georgian trendsetters, the architect and designer William Kent and his friend and patron Lord Burlington, the third Earl. Influenced by their travels on the Grand Tour, they rejected the showy, Baroque style, fashionable in England, in favour of a simpler, symmetrical design based on the classical architecture of Italy. They championed the work of the Venetian architect, Andrea Palladio and Chiswick House was one of the earliest English examples of what is called “neo-Palladian” style.

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    Unique England: The Kington Langley Scarecrow Competition

    England to me is personified in 3 words; beauty, history and a touch of the surreal. There really isn’t quite a country like in the whole rest of the world. (I could write thousands more words on this Island – and have done – but let’s stick to 3 for the sake of this post not topping out at 18,000 words.) Enter stage right the annual Kington Langley Scarecrow Competition.

    England Secrets Wiltshire Scarecrow Festival Kington Langley Adventures of a London Kiwi

    From intrepid explorers conquering the globe, to the sheer satisfaction taken in a well-made cup of tea England is a nation that has fascinated me for over a decade now(!), not least for the curious festivals that you find.

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    A Taste of Modern Luxury: A Staycation at the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel

    Of late life has been crazily busy – working, planning, scheming et al – and so when I found myself on a rainy day in London, clutching shopping bags in the dour rain with a supperclub in the evening, I simply decided a treat was in order. That treat was a staycation at the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel in Moorgate.

    Modern Luxury Hotel Montcalm Royal London Moorgate Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Sitting in a cafe, idly flicking through my favourite hotel booking website (mostly because I was thinking about a staycation later in the year outside of London and they cleverly on-sold me) I called Mr Kiwi to tell him not to go home tonight after his catch-up with his mates, and hopped in a cab across Tower Bridge.

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    5 of my Favourite Churches and Temples to visit in London

    I loves me a church or temple, especially tucked way in the metropolis of London. There is something soothing, uplifting and endlessly fascinating about spires, minarets and gloriously stained glass windows shining their jewelled tones on a polished floor.

    Southwark Cathedral Free things do to in London Adventures of a London Kiwi

    At university when I was studying architecture, we were asked to compare and contrast two very different styles of churches, but expressly forbidden to discuss the religious aspects. I decided to rebel and do it anyway because you can’t really have one without the other – if it wasn’t for the religion, you wouldn’t have the church in the first place. Read more