miss b's quote

'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

miss b loves .......London, all dressed up for Christmas 2014!

Visiting London in the run up to Christmas seems to have become a tradition of ours.......The capital city has always fascinated me and there's something even more special about it during the festive period.....Last weekend we jumped on the train and just over two hours later we were welcomed by the bright lights of London, all dressed up for Christmas 2014 .......

A tree decorated with Fortnum and Mason
 wicker baskets at Somerset House.

Burlington Arcade

The Giant Observation Wheel
 at Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

Sunday, 21 December 2014

miss b loves ....... getting into the festive spirit in Munich

They certainly know how to do Christmas in Germany and during our recent visit to Munich it was so easy to get into the festive spirit!

Mini Christmas stockings
 at Café Luitpold

I wandered around Viktualienmarkt where wreaths were piled high ready to be decorated.....

There were so many unusual decorations to admire........

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

miss b loves .........an impromptu long weekend in Munich.

Sometimes the impromptu weekends away are even more enjoyable than those which have been planned for months in advance! A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend three days in Munich, a city we have visited before but not during the winter months. It was such a treat seeing it all dressed up and ready for Christmas! 

The enormous Christmas tree in front of the Rathaus(Town Hall) was just about ready for its lights to be switched on!

......and we had arrived just in time to watch again the famous Glockenspiel Clock. As it chimes, tiny figurines re-enact two folklore stories from the sixteenth century .......  

Thursday, 27 November 2014

miss b loves ...new openings in Dubai and a few favourite spots

Dubai is one of those places which is forever changing and developing and this for me is one of its attractions. Following on from our fascinating trip to Abu Dhabi last month, we spent a few days revisiting a few favourite spots and discovering new openings in Dubai....

Imagine my delight to find that Ladurée at The Beach had opened at last. 

With views from the terrace over Jumeirah Beach and the Arabian Gulf, this is a very special location. 

This giant deckchair is apparently the largest in the world but I believe the Guiness Book of World Records is in the process of verifying that!

Friday, 14 November 2014

miss b loves ........a gem of a café in Abu Dhabi and a special cappuccinno at the Palace

Having spent much longer than anticipated at the Grand Mosque, we were more than ready for lunch. We headed back into the city to Café Arabia. I had read great things about this café in a converted villa and it actually exceeded our expectations.

Café Arabia is a real find, an absolute gem of a place. As soon as you enter, there's a feeling of calm.  

One of those charming places where there is so much to admire with photographs of well-known people of Arabia and local art adorning the walls. 

Colourful Arabic lanterns dangle from the ceiling...

Thursday, 6 November 2014

miss b loves....the Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

I'm back from my travels! So many photos..... Let's start with the highlight of this trip .....Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which has been on our must-visit list for so long...... 

So perfect against the cloudless blue sky!

Words and photos just cannot really convey the true beauty of this architectural work of art but I'll try ..... There was one word we couldn't stop repeating though......Wow!

We were immediately awestruck by the sheer size and spectacle of this stunning pure white marble covered mosque, one of the largest in the world with a capacity for 40,000 worshippers. 

There are so many unique and special elements ....The vast courtyard above with its floral design is considered to be the largest example of marble mosaic in the world....

An amazing 82 domes and over 1000 columns ....

Thursday, 9 October 2014

miss b loves .........sweet treats in Alice's Wonderland

Quirky, delightful, imaginative, enchanting, nostalgic....a few adjectives which sum up Alices Tea Room in St Annes.

As soon as we were handed the giant playing card menus we knew we were in for a treat ......

...with numerous references to Alice in Wonderland....

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

miss b loves .....perfect fish and chips in picturesque Downham.

Autumn's here! Cooler temperatures, a touch of rain but I'm now ready for this new season ..... This year in England it's been a good summer.... plenty of sunshine, clear blue skies and so many opportunities to be outdoors...

Early in the summer we drove out into the Ribble Valley, thirty minutes from home and the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle. 

Our destination .... Downham, often quoted as the loveliest village in Lancashire, complete with a gurgling brook running past the village green and stone cottages ......

It's certainly unspoilt and full of old world charm with an abundance of pretty, beautifully maintained properties..... 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

miss b loves.... a memorable experience at Pollen, Singapore

I mentioned briefly here that during our trip to Singapore in July we enjoyed one of the most memorable lunches we have ever eaten. Well, it was more than a lunch and more of an experience! Pollen takes its name from renowned, Michelin starred British chef Jason Atherton's flagship restaurant Pollen Street Social in London. It's the perfect name, as this one is housed in the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay.

Our table was in the perfect spot with impressive views of the city and the huge ferris wheel, the Singapore Flyer.

The beautiful charger plates, decorated with illustrations of flowers and plants, immediately caught my eye ....

Thursday, 11 September 2014

miss b loves ..........one final sweet taste of summer

A couple of weeks ago it was looking as if autumn had arrived far too early with chilly days and overcast skies ...... but summer is back! It's blue skies and warm temperatures(at least for this time of the year in England) What a treat! 

A chance to enjoy a final taste of summer too with a home-made raspberry Pavlova. There are certain foods which instantly make me think of warm sunny days and this is one of them .....

This meringue-based dessert is said to have been named in honour of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova during one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. There seems to be a long-running dispute about which of the two countries actually invented the dish. The Oxford English Dictionary and some research suggests New Zealand but the debate continues!

Anna Pavlova 1912

Thursday, 4 September 2014

miss b loves ......Fifty Fashion Looks That Changed The 1960s

Fifty Fashion Looks That Changed The 1960s is my latest book in the Design Museum's Fifty series. Paula Reed takes a look at the key pieces and fashion icons of this inspirational decade. 

Jean Shrimpton, Saint Laurent
David Bailey, Missoni

The book captures the main fashion highlights and explains in detail the looks which have continued to influence designers over the last forty years or more. It celebrates those swinging sixties styles which revolutionised fashion for ever. This was an exciting creative era, full of energy, bold, bright colours and psychedelic patterns .....

There was lady-like elegance too from Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy .... 

A wealth of fabulous photographs capture the celebrities, models and designers of the time including Courrèges, Pucci, Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell .... and of course Mary Quant described in the book as 'The driving force behind democratic fashion.' Her store, 'Bazaar' on King's Road offered fun, inexpensive clothes designed specifically for young people. She was well-known for her mini skirts and colourful tights which matched the sweaters ....

Thursday, 28 August 2014

miss b loves ..... a stopover in Dubai

En route to Singapore last month we took the opportunity to break the journey both on the way there and back. It's a seven hour flight from Manchester to Dubai and another seven hours on to Singapore.... A couple of long weekends in Dubai was definitely a good idea...an excuse to visit a few favourite spots...

 ..... and a chance to discover new openings in a city which is constantly evolving.

I'd read that London's iconic Fortnum and Mason store had opened a branch in a prime location opposite the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. The terrace has a spectacular view of the Dubai Fountain too .....

The ground floor stocks a variety of teas, preserves and other treats...

The sophisticated Tea Salon on the first floor serves their famous afternoon tea and the second floor is a stylish ice cream parlour. As it was late in the evening, we made our way to the top floor for dessert and coffee.... 

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