For the second part of my London adventure with Laura, we headed to the incredible Barbican Conservatory, which is inside the Barbican Estate. I had seen the Conservatory in one of Natasha's videos, and was absolutely entranced, so I knew I had to visit this strange and wonderful place. Luckily Laura also had it on her list of places to visit, so we were both quite excited about getting there. From the outside the Barbican Conservatory looked fairly unassuming, but walking in felt like entering a different world.
Back in the spring I spent a day in London with Laura. I hadn't been to London for around five years and was a little bit nervous, so having Laura as company was excellent. We packed a lot into one day!
The final stop on my day in Oxford was the picturesque Christ Church Meadow. Bordering Merton College and Christ Church College, it provides gorgeous views back over the city and is steeped in local history-including being the site of the some of the earliest hot air balloon ascents-but it is also a wonderfully tranquil pocket of nature.
One of my priorities on my trip to Oxford earlier in the year was visiting the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. I am generally a fan of Natural History, and I'd seen snippets of the place on social media and was intrigued. I actually got lost on the way to the Museum and almost gave up, but I'm so glad I didn't!
On entering the Museum I was completely awestruck. The first thing I saw was the huge jawbone of a sperm whale, pointing towards the iron arches supporting the sparkling glass roof, and looking for all the world like part of the architecture.
Sometime last year, I got this castle shaped shelf very cheaply from a charity shop. Although I liked it, it was clearly meant to be for a child, and the colour scheme and paint job reflected this. It also had part of the battlements missing, and had several stickers stuck to the sides. It was always my intention to repaint it, I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it.
After visiting Blaise Castle Estate and climbing Blaise Castle, there was just enough time for a quick visit to the magical Blaise Hamlet. This is a tiny hamlet of nine picture perfect cottages, arranged around a central green.. The houses were designed by John Nash (who also designed Brighton Pavilion, Buckingham Palace, and a whole host of other notable buildings) and built around 1811, as retirement cottages for former workers from the Blaise Castle Estate.