Once upon a Christmas at Chatsworth

Every year, Chatsworth House – somewhere you probably recognise from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, 2008’s The Duchess (the tale of the real ancestor of the current owners, Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, wife of the fifth Duke) and 2013’s Death Comes to Pemberley – puts on the most beautiful Christmas displays around the house.…

Eighteenth-Century Men mansplain Women’s History: William Alexander’s “The History of Women, from the Earliest Antiquity, to the Present Time”, 1796

A Man and a Woman seated by a Virginal, Gabriel Metsu, c.1665, oil on oak (National Gallery, London, NG839) My recent research has had me reading lots of histories of women written in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which has been a lot more amusing than it might sound. Of course, this is a really…

Exploring Toronto: Food, Flea Markets and the CN Tower

Canada is officially now one of my favourite places I’ve ever visited thanks to two weeks spent road tripping across Ontario and Quebec – we finished up with four days in Toronto and I wanted to share some of my favourite places that we visited here. As you may notice, this mainly means my favourite…

House on the Hill: Edwardian Glamour at Casa Loma, Toronto

Want one of the most stunning views of the Toronto skyline? You’ll find it at Casa Loma, which literally means “house on the hill”. This stunning castle was built at the turn of the twentieth century and was so opulent it bankrupted its owner, Sir Henry Pellatt. It is full of beautiful objects and gorgeous…

Exploring Montréal: the Mountain, Poutine and the Old Town

I’ve already posted about our trip to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, which is now officially one of my favourite art museums of all time – read about it and the beautiful spaces inside here. We spent a whirlwind forty-eight hours in Montréal, which is a stunning city with so much to do, so…

Pretending to be Cinderella in Toronto: the Bata Shoe Museum

English shoes, 1760s, silk from early seventeenth century (The Gold Standard exhibition) Aside from art, country houses and Jane Austen, one of my biggest passions is shoes. I’ve loved shoes since I was very small, the more outlandish and brightly coloured the better, and relished the day that my feet stayed the same size so…

Cabinets of Curiosity, Salons and the Era of Annual Exhibitions at Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

I’ve recently got back from a two-week whirlwind trip to Canada so I think my November and December posts are going to be full of some of my favourite places we visited: starting with my first, which was the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. We’d been in Montréal approximately half an hour when we arrived…