29 September 2019

Another Birthday

Another year older and what a wonderful birthday I have had. My lovely daughter found a beautiful cottage in Boroughbridge where we stayed from last Wed to Fri.

I had the large double bedroom and my daughter was in the second bedroom.

Boroughbridge, in North Yorkshire is a very pretty town 
full of quintessential old-world charm. The High Street has a wealth of lovely independent cafes and tea rooms, shops, pubs and restaurants.  There is a host of small shops and interior specialists selling gifts and mementos, gorgeous fashion boutiques that offer clothing and accessories from both major designers and one offs. You’ll struggle to walk down the high street without dipping into the shops, or sampling cakes and scones from the cafés. There is also a butchers shop, veg shop and, one of my favourites, a fish-n-chip shop.

The Market Cross

War Memorial
At the time of our visit the World Cycling Championship was taking place in Harrogate and surrounding areas. Boroughbridge was decorated with flags and cycles. There are strings of knitted cycling shirts hung on the railings behind the memorial.

Boroughbridge's location is also very attractive, being just a few minutes from the A1(M) it makes an excellent base for visiting the Yorkshire Dales, Ripon, Leeds, York, Harrogate and many more.
Ripon and Harrogate were our main destinations. We arrived early on Wed afternoon to visit a family friend we hadn't seen for 9 years. We enjoyed lunch with him in his cafe in Ripon. After hours of chatting and reminiscing we went back to the cottage to enjoy relaxing, watching TV and eating chocolate! 
Thursday was my birthday. We started the day at a place I have wanted to visit for years, Newby Hall dolls house exhibition. Oh what a delight it was, there aren't enough superlatives to describe how amazing the collection is. There are so many beautiful houses on display, I can't show them all. They are all behind glass so there was a lot of reflection from lighting. I knew I was going to buy the book of the exhibition so I will scan some photos from it. I thought of limiting my selection to just 6 but after going through my photos and the book I have triple that amount!! So I have decided to do a separate blog dedicated to them.

Sentry duty

After the glorious dolls houses we went to Harrogate for a cream tea at Betty's Tea Room

The weather was miserable rain and parts of the town were cordoned off for the cycle routes so we had a brief walk around before returning to the cottage.
Home the next day. It was a great birthday treat, all arranged by my darling daughter.

Be well ~
Polly x

22 September 2019

Brighton, Toys And Tat

Tucked in the early Victorian railway arches underneath Brighton Railway Station is a truly magical attraction full of childhood dreams and memories, an enchanting collection of toys from days gone by. The Toy and Model Museum founded in 1991 is home to one of the finest collections in the world. There are over 10,000 exhibits on display, including collections of toys from the golden age of British and European toy making, plus a rare gorgeous vintage model train collection.

How lovely is this. 

I was very disappointed that the trains weren't running.
Only one person is responsible for operating them and he isn't there every day.

Behind the scene - the train driver's workstation. Notice the empty custard tart containers!
A man after my own heart.


           Tri-ang vehicles                                          Ambulances and First Aid     

A Lovely diorama of a French classroom

Cowboys and Indians
Tractors and farms

Dolls house dolls                      Tea time

Trippel-Trappel Caesar.
This cute little dog is based on Edward VII's pet who followed the king's coffin during the funeral.

Grocery shop. Bottom left is a packet of Kiddicraft  tiny plastic cigarettes!

Matchbox toys

It's a wonderful collection and this is only some of it.

On the way back I walked through the North Lanes
full of lovely individual shops, coffee shops and eateries. 

This shop was bursting at the seams with all manner of glorious stuff. 
Tat to some, treasure to others .

The owners dog, I think his name is George

I then browsed around the usual high street shops, strolled along the pier,
had an ice cream before boarding the coach for the journey home.

I hope you have enjoyed my trip to Brighton

Be well ~
Polly x

18 September 2019

Brighton and George

Brighton is a seaside town on the south coast of England. Originally a small decaying fishing town it rapidly turned into an established seaside resort for the rich and famous thanks to the Prince of Wales and its proximity to London.
In the mid 1780's George, Prince of Wales, rented a small lodging house overlooking a fashionable promenade. He had been advised by his physicians that his health would benefit from Brighton’s mild climate and sea water treatments, which included ‘dipping’ (total body immersion into the salt sea water).

George was vain, extravagant and irresponsible, Brighton suited him, here he could rebel against his strict upbringing and indulge his passion for the arts, fashion and good living. He threw himself into a life of drinking, womanising and gambling, like many before and after him! This decadent lifestyle combined with his love of architecture and fine and decorative arts – his residences in London and Windsor were like immaculate sets to show off his superb collections – resulted in his incurring heavy personal debts.
In 1787, after much pleading and many promises, the House of Commons agreed to clear his debts and increase his income.

So with the taxpayers having cleared his debts and increased his income George set about spending even more money. He hired architect Henry Holland to transform his Brighton lodging house into a modest villa which became known as the Marine Pavilion. He set about lavishly furnishing and decorating his seaside home, choosing Indian and Chinese furniture and objects, and hand-painted Chinese wallpapers. In 1808 a new stable complex was completed with an impressive lead and glass-domed roof, providing stabling for 62 horses, mmm - for cantering along the soft unsullied beaches with gay abandon maybe.

In 1811 George was sworn in as Prince Regent because his father, George III, had been deemed incapable of acting as monarch. At that time the Marine Pavilion was a modest building in size, not suitable for the large social events and entertaining that George loved to host. So, yes here we go again more spending. In 1815 George commissioned John Nash to begin the transformation from modest villa into the magnificent oriental palace that it is today. No expense was spared with minarets, domes and pinnacles on the exterior and opulent decoration, exquisite furnishings and magnificent chandeliers for the interior. George was determined that the palace should be the ultimate in comfort and convenience. Particular attention was paid to lighting, heating and sanitation, as well as to the provision of the most modern equipment of the day for the Great Kitchen.
Photography wasn't allowed but I did manage to sneak this photo of a menu for a dinner served to His Royal Highness The Prince Regent and Grand Duke Nicolas of Russia by Chef Antonin Caréme on the 18th January 1817, hosted to symbolise British supremacy in Europe. The mind boggling courses were: Eight Soups; Eight Removes of Fish; Forty Entrées served around the Fish;  Platters after the Fish; Eight Great Pieces; Eight Centrepieces Patisserie; Eight Roasts; Thirty two Desserts and Savoury Entrements; Twelve Great Rounds!!! Needless to say George's lavish dining habits and excessive drinking led to him becoming morbidly obese and crippled with gout.  

This is not just a dining room, it's a splendid banqueting room.
However because of his irresponsible lifestyle George’s presence had an enormous impact on the prosperity and social development of Brighton. From the 1780s the population grew and the rebuilding of the his home provided employment for local tradesmen. Also the presence in the town of the court, George’s guests, members of society and the Royal Household provided invaluable business for local builders and the service industries. Many of the handsome seafront squares and crescents that stand today are attributable to the arrival of George IV and the fashionable Regency era.

Music room.  How opulent is that chandelier

George became king in 1820 and due to increased responsibilities and ill-health, once the interior of the Royal Pavilion was finally finished in 1823 he made only two further visits in 1824 and 1827 prior to his death in 1830.


He was succeeded by his younger brother, William IV who, with his wife Queen Adelaide, continued the custom of visiting Brighton and staying at what was now known as the Royal Pavillion. Their visits were much less formal than the glamour and extravagance of former decades though. William IV died in 1837 and was succeeded by his niece Victoria.
Queen Victoria made her first visit to the Royal Pavilion in 1837 and this gesture of royal approval thrilled the people of Brighton. However the lack of space and its association with her extravagant uncle, made her feel uncomfortable. She adopted a policy of financial stringency during her residence in Brighton.
As her family grew and the Royal Pavilion failed to provide her with the space and privacy she needed, she finally sold her uncle’s pleasure palace to the town of Brighton for over £50,000 in 1850. As it was thought the building would be demolished, she ordered it to be stripped of all its interior decorations, fittings and furnishings, for use in other royal homes.
The town took over ownership and the Royal Pavilion was opened to the public.  
The Royal Pavillion has also served as a civic building, First World War hospital, and has become an icon of Brighton.

George may have been an irresponsible hedonist but the Royal Pavilion is a living testament to his Regency dream. He was a major influence on Brighton’s growth and prosperity, and he is inextricably linked with the modern and vibrant city that Brighton is today.

After savouring the delights of the Royal Pavilion, and my lunch I set off to explore more of what Brighton had to offer.... coming soon.

Be well ~
Polly x
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