London photo diary

Before I return to my large influx of Paris posts which I’ve got planned I thought I’d finish off this little series of England with my London photo diary. I spent New Year’s Eve with my best friend as our little tradition goes celebrating New Year’s Day with a champagne toast and one of the best roast dinners of the year before sneaking upstairs to the library where everyone plays board games over afternoon tea. Below are just a few of the places we frequented during our time there and ones which come highly recommended.

Eat: NOPI

The famed Ottolenghi’s restaurant is a delight; the white marble and gold interior is the ideal background to let his dishes take centre stage. We went mid-morning and even the brunch menu is more diverse than usual offering shakshuka as well as your standard breakfast fare.

See: Views atop One New Change

For breathtaking views of St Paul’s church this will undoubtedly be your panorama of choice, it quite literally feels as though you can touch the dome. The bonus: there’s a cocktail bar up there as well, in case it all gets too windy.

Coffee: Curators Coffee Gallery

If the honeycomb tiling doesn’t entice you then surely their chai coffee will, unlike the usual chai latte this one actually contains caffeine and is blended with their homemade chai-infused milk.

Do: Columbia Road flower market

A Sunday morning well spent is one along Columbia Road bartering for a bunch of tulips and browsing the trinket stores, nothing quite beats the atmosphere nor arriving home with an armful of pretty blooms.

Drink: The Good Life Eatery

Any health conscious Londoner will have heard of this juicery turned café where they offer an incredible array of raw pressed juices and nut milks. It also happens to be the current hangout for all the best-looking Londoners and Australian expats and who can blame them when the fare is organic and as delicious as theirs is.

Snack: Fabrique Bakery

If you’re peckish then what better to fill up on then a sticky cinnamon roll from the place where it originates from: Stockholm. This Swedish bakery is a feast for the eyes with all kinds of rye breads and delicious pastries.

{Bath guide}

Bath is probably one of the most attractive cities I’ve ever frequented, nestled in the heart of the rolling hills of Somerset, this world-heritage city is the epitome of English charm. There is something distinctly lovely about the homogeneous Georgian architecture which dominates the city, views from the Bath skyline attest this. Luckily for me my parents live in the surrounding countryside therefore I’m fortunate enough to call it my home. The beauty of Bath lies in its antiquity which you’ll soon learn after wandering its cobbled streets and passing horse drawn carriages fooling you into believing you’ve stepped into a Jane Austen book.

PULTENEY BRIDGE

Standing in front of this bridge provides quite a serene moment with the calming hue of the sandstone and the water flowing in the weir below. Similarities have been made between this bridge and Ponte Vecchio because both are examples of historic bridges with shops built onto them and both lie at the heart of their city’s charm.

COLONNA AND SMALLS

Colonna and Small’s is a cafe which you simply cannot miss if you’re in Bath. Make it your first stop and you’ll be back frequently to top up on caffeine. The clean bright interior is peppered with their signature bright blue coffee cups in the hands of contended coffee drinkers. This independent coffee shop has a well-earned reputation, the pioneer Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood has won the World Barista Championships therefore you can relax in the hands of masters of the trade.

Address: 6 Chapel Row, Bath, BA1 1HN, United Kingdom // Open Monday-Friday 8h – 17.30, Saturday 8.30 – 17.30h Sunday 10h – 16h

SOCIETY CAFE

Found along the high street in Bath is the lovely Society cafe with its large window and sand-stone façade inviting you to pop in for speciality coffee and home-baked cake. Sit along the windowsill and watch the world go-by – how every good cup of coffee should be enjoyed.

Address: 19 High Street, Bath, BA1 5AJ // Open Monday-Saturday 7.30 – 18.30, Sunday 10h – 18h

GEORGIAN ARCHITECTURE

Architecture is such a key point in defining a city; Paris is defined by the Haussmannian apartments with their uniform verandas and obligatory seven floors and  Bath is defined by the honey-hued Bath stone which makes it an entirely unique city unlike any other in appearance.

GREAT PULTENEY STREET

Great Pulteney Street is home to some of the most stunning examples of Georgian architecture in England. Large manor houses line this wide avenue and at the end sits the Holbourne museum formerly a ballroom used to entertain Bath’s visitors, now an art gallery.

CAFE LUCCA

Large ceramic bowls filled with hearty home-made salads line the counter of this Italian-inspired eatery. The cafe is located within a concept store and serves the best bruschetta and panini outside of Italy.

Address: 1 Bartlett Street, Bath, BA1 2QZ, United Kingdom // Open Monday-Saturday 10h-17h, Sunday 11h-16h

COLONNA AND HUNTER

This recently opened cafe is a sister project to the aforementioned Colonna and Small’s offering the same standard of coffee as well as extending their specialisation to craft beer with the same meticulous attention on the cultivation of the hops and malts as that of the coffee beans. The interior is boldly designed opting for different textures and deep colours such as speckeld granite and fern green – one wall is dedicated to the English penny with hundreds of copper coins carefully stuck to it. The light interior and exposed brick walls ensure that these deign details don’t overwhelm the space nor distract from the quality of the fare.

Address: 14 – 15 Milsom Place // Open: Monday – 10h – 22.30, Sunday 10h – 21h

PRIOR PARK

Just a few minutes drive from Bath city centre lie the beautiful gardens of Prior Park which were landscaped in the 18th century. The gardens now make up one the many National Trust sites in England and provide astounding views over Bath and the surrounding countryside. Home to one of only four Palladian bridges in the world, this architectural gem alone makes a visit worthwhile.

I hope you enjoyed this little introduction to my home city, if you want to see more photos you can take a look at my Bath photo diary here.

{Bath photo diary}

Initially the purpose of this website was to share the best of Paris and my hope was to turn it into a Paris guide of sorts so I always feel guilty if I post anything other than photographs of Paris. However as life changes direction and consequently I change location this blog has to come with me. I am hoping to expand my horizons and my photography outside of Paris. My aim is to curate travel guides and photo diaries of places which have inspired me, in the hope that they too, inspire you. Don’t get me wrong I will still be posting about Paris very frequently as I have thousands of unpublished photos left to share but I also hope you’ll get equal enjoyment from seeing other places through my lens. (Plus don’t forget you can always refine the posts to Paris by clicking on the Paris category in the tab.) Below is my photo diary of Bath which is truthfully one of the most beautiful English cities once more its only a couple of hours from London, so if you ever get the chance, hop on a train and come and explore this world heritage city like my dearest friend Merrit and I did together.

{2014}

January - My year began in Paris, as all of the best years of my life have done so far. I was so eager to return to my beloved  city that I brought my flight forward to spend New Year’s Eve breaking in the year with my best friends in the city of light.

February – spring arrived astoundingly early in Paris and so the streets were budding with cherry blossom rather prematurely, these photos were taken on the 2nd February along la Promenade Plantée. I also returned to London this month to spend a weekend with my best friend as I was feeling homesick for England. I spent my days perusing the fresh farmers markets and  photographing the macaron-coloured apartments in Notting Hill.

March - I celebrated my birthday with dear friends brunching at Ralph’s and returning to the beautiful Japanese and English rose gardens at the Albert Kahn museum. It also appears to be a month rich in day trips according to my photography archives where I visited the highly recommended Chateau de Sceaux and Chateau de Chantilly.

April – in April I pushed myself entirely out of my comfort zone and did something I’ve never done before. I left my camera in Paris and ventured to a remote village not far from Nice and the French Riviera where I embarked on a brutal detox. It was both emotionally and physically gruelling and perhaps one of the hardest things I have ever done having all amenities stripped away from me. I conversed solely in French, ate an all vegan and raw diet, survived on dandelions for lunch and almonds for breakfast and exercised every day. Never have my lungs breathed in such fresh and pure air nor have I felt so alive as I did during that month.

May - I hosted my second Pierre Hermé brunch in May, this one was in celebration of the beginning of Spring and was the perfect excuse to gather a few of my favourite people under one roof. I relied heavily on caffeine as the weeks ensued as it proved to be an intensive period of final year exams. Luckily I had friends and coffee dates to get me through.

June – June was to be my final full month in Paris so I made sure to make the most of every single second and can honestly say that I lived every day and evening to the max. It was the month that I truly embraced the Vélib’ biking system and solely used this mode of transport to get around. Gone were the days of the sticky métro, replaced by cycling to the beat of the city which energised and excited me. Among the highlights were the Prix de Diane horse races, the Chateau de Bagatelle and the Chateau de Fontainebleau.

July - July was a big month for me; I graduated from university and celebrated at the exquisite gold-adorned British Embassy in Paris where the graduation ceremony was held. It was a bittersweet day as it was the day I left Paris for good. I then spent a blissful week in Greece and later traveled through Italy with my closest friend, passing through Rome, Florence and Venice.

August - I returned to England in August for some much needed down-time where I began de-cluttering and organising my life. I found a full-time job in a solicitors office and prepared myself for the routine of a 9-5 job. I also took the time to explore more of England learning to appreciate its natural beauty, spending time in Bath and around National Trust sites.

September – Despite starting my new job I moved around an awful lot in September travelling to London where we saw the installation of ceramic poppies in memory of the war and dined in the highest restaurant in the UK. I also spent a week on the Isle of Wight at a festival watching a few of my favourite bands. At the end of the month I spent a long weekend in Copenhagen where I had the most incredible and slightly life-altering experience.

October – I returned to Paris in October for a few reasons. I had to tie up some loose ends in the city, wanted to catch up with friends that I dearly missed but also to do a few photography shoots with the beautiful Kim. My final evening was spent at the stunning Chateau de Versailles where the sunset will forever be engraved into my memory.

November & December – both of these months flew by with work and deadlines filling up my days not giving me time to catch my breath before Christmas! I ended the year in London reunited with my best friends from all over the world.

{Macarons}

Pierre Hermé released his ‘velouté collection’ a long while ago and I have to say that this series of macarons are among the yummiest I’ve ever tried. They’re smoother in texture than his usual macarons due to the creamy yoghurt included in the recipe yet still as intensely flavoured. We picked up a whole box and shared them along the steps at St Sulpice. Make sure to get some before your New Year’s resolutions kick in, after all ’tis the season for over-indulgence.

{Dreams}

We all let ourselves indulge in a little fantasy from time to time and one which I find myself frequently returning to is the one pictured below. I would love to one day have an apartment with the tiniest veranda where I could drink my morning coffee in the sunshine. Come evening I would turn on the fairy lights which would decorate every inch of it, light the candles and watch the city come to life observing contentedly from afar. In an ideal world I’d have a direct view towards the apartment photographed below – is that asking for too much? I think so, but a girl can dream right?

{Kim Jones St Sulpice}

I know that this site isn’t particularly fashion orientated but I couldn’t help but share a few photos from the photography work which I’ve been embarking on recently. How could I not share these photos when Kim looks as gorgeous as she does? St Sulpice is and always has been one of my favourite peaceful places in Paris. It’s a place I always used to come for a bit of solitude to gather my thoughts although due to the increasing popularity of the flagship Pierre Hermé store which is located just off the square, it’s no longer a particularly peaceful or quiet place these days. When Kim assigned me the task of location scouting I immediately thought of this spot which was a former haven to me and as ever beautiful as it always was. Once more we got fortunate with the weather as the sun glistened off the fountain and Kim’s hair shined in the sunlight

For more photos take a look at Kim’s blog

{Sacré-Coeur}

Here’s a little postcard of the iconic Sacré-Coeur peeking through one of the winding streets up in Montmartre. There is something so quaint about the apartments up in that area which has a lot to do with their imperfect structure and slightly dilapidated walls. It’s nice to find a side of Paris where its beauty lies not in its grandeur but in its imperfections and individual characteristics.

Kim Jones Jardin du Luxembourg

When I first saw Kim in this Eudon Choi floral skirt she looked like a vision of Summer so the only place we deemed apt to it shoot was in the the perpetual spring-like Luxembourg gardens. I had a vision of her against the abundance of yellow potted flowers but what we arrived at was even more beautiful than I’d imagined in my mind. The gardens were softly lit with that warm light which happens just before sunset and lasts for only a few fleeting minutes but those minutes are always the most precious ones. A scattering of empty green chairs awaited us so Kim modelled the skirt whilst I tried my best to shoot the magic which was happening before my very eyes. It was a perfect end to a perfect day and a reminder that sometimes even Paris can surpass my imagination.

For more photos you can visit Kim’s blog.