Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Delights of the falling season

It’s hard to crack open the blog when I’ve spent a little while away from it. I forget what words unlock my voice. So instead of struggling to find something profound to say that will encompass the highs and lows of balance finding, I will share some fun things from the tail end of last year. (Last year already! Time flies on hummingbird wings.)

A Happy Meeting

I had the good fortune to meet with the lovely bloggers behind Happy Frog And I and HeArtfully Drawn. A few messages passed between us beforehand (I have long hair! I’m wearing a red coat! I have on boots!), the way they do when online acquaintances skip past the monitor and land in the real world as friends. We instantly got along, nattering and chattering and laughing and sharing stories, making our table nestled inside a Paddington pub a small beacon of happiness. All too soon it was time to wind scarves around necks and bid a fond farewell... until next time.

A Grand Evening

Ever since the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel threw open its refurbished doors I have wanted to wander inside and soak up its luxurious Art Deco atmosphere. Luckily two good friends felt exactly the same way, and since we were in a celebratory sort of mood, we made reservations at the Gilbert Scott restaurant. This was (and still is, in a way) the Dining and Coffee Room of the original Midland Grand hotel, with pillars of polished limestone and gilded capitals carved with conquers, pea pods, and bursting pomegranates. 

The decor of the bar area is magnificent. There is something about sitting in such a chic environment that makes backs straighten, and anticipation thread through the air like stardust.

The ceilings were a marvel...

...awash with colour and style...

 ...and blinking large bells!

We enjoyed a lovely meal and relaxed afterwards with their signature cocktail, the 1873. Again it was one of those sparkling evenings where time fooled us, skipping ahead around the corner before we realised it had slipped away.

Read a lovely write-up of our night by M at To Happy Vegans


A Classical Spectacular

One of my biggest indulgences is going to the Royal Albert Hall at least once a year to listen to amazing orchestras. My mum shares my passion, so we excitedly look forward to our treat – a day ‘up west’ window-shopping, a pause for a coffee and cake, and then dinner in Kensington before the show. A Classical Spectacular will be a night of very accessible scores – as well as Elgar, there could be Ravel, Handel, Verdi, the ‘infernal galop’ of the Can Can, a tenor singing Nessun Dorma... A beautiful evening lost in music, letting thoughts soar into dreams.


Maggie May said...

How lovely that you were able to meet up with the other two. I see froggy was enjoying the wine, too!
You did some lovely things over Christmas.
Happy New Year.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Emily R. King said...

What a wonderful way to spend the last days of 2011. Here's hoping 2012 is just as grand!

KarenG said...

I wouldn't worry at all about finding your voice after the break. This was a delightful post that made me feel happy and light, and like immediately booking a flight to London.

Tanya Reimer said...

So wonderful to look back at such memories. Hope you make many more cool ones like this, this year. And love the photos!

Happy New Year! In honour of my blog’s first anniversary, I have an award for you on my site. Stop by to share the magic. Hugs.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such perfect times you describe!
I must see that hotel!!!

Phillipa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phillipa said...

Hi Jayne - thank you for visiting my blog - mainly so I can now find yours which is very intriguing indeed!

Thanks for the hint about St Pancras hotel which looks like the perfect place to have a drink with friends before I have to get train home from London - in the past, we've resorted to the bars inside the station but this looks much more fun (if rather indulgent treat..)

Shirley Wells said...

What a lovely post. Oh, I want to rush off to London now.

I love meeting up with cyber friends. Isn't it great?

Old Kitty said...

I think the "new" St Pancras is the bestest ever!! I love it there!!

Awww HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!!!

Great to know you celebrated the festive season in such fabulous ways! Take care

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like a great way to spend the last of 2011--with friends, and in some amazing places. :)

Great pictures!

Dolly said...

Hiya Jayne and Happy New Year to you. It was indeed a special evening and I can't wait to meet up again.

I have always wanted to visit the refurbished hotel at St Pancras. In the 80's I worked up the street, in the public library which was in the Shaw Theatre building...which is now a hotel!

Debbie said...

The hotel looks great. I love visiting places with interesting architecture, or discovering it.

Happy New Year.

Wendy G. Ewurum said...

Jane that Cathedral is simply decadent. I'd love to see it but need to fly 11 hours for that. LOL
You had an awesome end of your. I hope for more for you this year.

Mimi said...

Oh it sounds like a lovely break.
One day I will get to the Royal Albert Hall, the band my kids are in has played there twice, but before they joined. So..maybe next time!
And the hotel sounds fab! With cocktails, yum!

magpiewrites said...

I won't lie. Jealousy is running around in my heart, doing jumping jacks, kicking stones and generally fuming. When I lived in London, in the 1990's, St. Pancras was decrepit and unloved. What a treat to be able to go there and have such a magical evening!

Out on the prairie said...

Lovely moments to share, it has a delighful ring in all to feel your happiness. Happy New Year!

Mary said...

A great post and a great way to close off the old year and start the new one ... with good company, good food and lots of great music too ...must check our the dining experience next time I pass by St Pancras Renaissance hotel.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Great memories of the last part of 2011. And your descriptions were lovely, as we're the photographs. Your writing sparkles.

Julie Musil said...

How fun that you got to meet online friends in person! And it sounds like you had a wonderful 2011. Thanks for sharing these goodies :D