22.07.2016- The Graphic Art of Harry Potter

Friday, 22 July 2016

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good…

2016 is well and truly the year of the Harry Potter renaissance, and I for one couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of delving back into a world of witchcraft and wizardry (especially as us Muggles seem to be making a right old mess of things at the moment…!) There’s something really lovely about rediscovering a phenomenon which was such a huge part of my younger years- especially looking back at it with a more grown up head (and finding myself identifying more and more with Professor McGonagall by the minute…) Like most of the world, I’ve got my tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child booked and have pre-ordered the play text too. I’m planning on re-reading all of the books before I see the production in December. I’m once again eagerly watching the letterbox waiting for my letter from Hogwarts to arrive, as well as evaluating my long term investment prospects with Gringotts- and thanks to the incredible House of MinaLima and their exhibition, it’s easier than ever to delve back into the Potter pensieve:

Located in Soho (not Diagon Alley as you might expect…), The House of MinaLima is a treasure trove of all of the graphic designs used in the Harry Potter films, from copies of The Daily Prophet to decrees from the Ministry of Magic. If you’re in the market for a new copy of The History of Magic, or fancy perusing the volumes of a certain Gilderoy Lockhart, this is a one stop shop for all of your wizarding wishes. The exhibition encompasses all of the now iconic props from the films- including the abundance of letters which made their way to Little Whinging, the odd Howler here and there and tickets for the Hogwarts Express- replicas of which are all available to purchase as keepsakes on site too. I’m already planning on making a return visit to snap up some souvenirs, and am stashing away my Galleons as I type..! 

Have you visited the House of MinaLima? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

20.07.2016- What I Wore Today #269

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

I've posted about the fine art of packing light on more than a few occasions on these pages, but sometimes no amount of forward planning can accommodate for the most unpredictable element of all- the weather. In an effort to prepare for all eventualities ahead of our trip to Ireland, I'd perhaps underestimated the fact that we'd be graced with glorious sunshine for the three days we were there, so on the final day I delved into my case to choose between a sweatshirt or a jumper...not exactly summer wardrobe staples! Having said that, the knit which I plumped for proved to be a perfect failsafe fallback- especially for keeping warm in on the plane journey home: 

Jumper- & Other Stories 
Jeans- ASOS 
Bag- Oliver Bonas 
Trainers- Puma (via ASOS) 
Sunglasses- Ray-Ban (via John Lewis) 

I picked up this colour block jumper from & Other Stories towards the end of the winter, and it's one of those savvy spends which lends itself really well to all sorts of styling dilemmas, whether it be injecting a much needed splash of colour into a winter wardrobe or as a transitional staple. Luckily for me on this particular occasion, the fine knit meant I didn't get too warm on our stroll around the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, and kept cosy at the airport as we headed home to a distinctly chilly London. 

What are your airport essentials? 

(Image credit: Hannah Hobson, please do not reproduce without permission.)

18.07.2016- Exploring Northern Ireland: Belfast Botanic Gardens

Monday, 18 July 2016

Anyone who knows me well will probably tell you that I'm at my happiest when surrounded by flowers. Whether it's getting to grips with my own garden, or exploring the beautiful displays at flower shows, there's something instantly calming about being out in the fresh air amidst an abundance of flora and fauna- especially when you spend the majority of the week in a concrete jungle. With that in mind, when we visited Belfast we made a beeline for the Botanic Gardens- on another gloriously sunny afternoon:

Just a short walk away from Queen's University, the Botanic Gardens are a lovely little oasis of calm, home to immaculately kept lawns peppered with floral displays, adding a riot of colour which seemed all the more vibrant thanks to the beautiful weather. The Victorian Glass House is a stunning focal point- custodian of tropical palms and all sorts of plant species which thrive in warmer climates- needless to say I was incredibly jealous of the stunning yellow, pink and red hibiscus on display- especially as these are impossible to grown at home! Meandering further around the gardens, it was lovely to see everything in bloom, especially wisteria, clematis and stunning rhododendron- a plant which I spotted growing wild all along the coastline during our visit. I only wish we could have spent longer soaking up the peace and tranquility of such serene surroundings.

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)
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