Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing

2019 marks five hundred years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, and the Royal Collection are commemorating this with the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. I say “the” exhibition but actually, it consists of twelve simultaneous exhibitions in art galleries across the UK, containing 144 drawings from the Royal Collection. It’ll…

A Wander round Eighteenth-Century Rome with a Georgian Lady

Ever wondered what Rome was like in the eighteenth century, in the age of Grand Tourists, endless art shopping and constant archaeological excavation? Well here are the adventures of Henrietta Femor, the Countess of Pomfret, who took to the continent with her husband and two eldest daughters from 1738 to 1741. Henrietta detailed all of…

A Visit to the Pompidou: The Day I Fell in Love with Matisse

Last week I got to banish the January blues and Wednesday “hump day” in one fell swoop with a day trip to Paris with my sister. We got a nice and early Eurostar from London, ate croissants on the way there (to get us in the right mood of course!) and had a whirlwind day…

Updating the Classics: Five Modern Retellings of Classic Stories to Read and Love

I swear one of my favourite genres of books could be called “modern retellings of classics”. I am always on the lookout for them, in particular Jane Austen retellings, which is why I am hoping that eventually the Austen Project, which paired Austen’s six novels with six contemporary bestselling authors, will eventually resurface with modern…

A Fairy Tale Day in Bruges

Welcome to Bruges, possibly one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. We took an overnight ferry from Hull to spend eight hours exploring the Christmas markets, shops and museums as an early Christmas present to ourselves. Here are some of our favourite places we visited around the city: Jan Van Eyck Square Jan…

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…