Paris in the Snow

paris title

January always lulls us into a false sense of security. We always think that it will be a month of catching up and getting back on track, after the madness of the Christmas season! For us, most of January is taken up with buying trips, as this is the time of year when most of the trade shows are on. So, as well as shows in London, there are trips to Paris, New York……and Birmingham. Guess which one we look forward to least! Anyway, at the end of January we had the first of our bi-annual trips to Paris…from the plane

To be honest we were lucky to get there, as there had been heavy snow fall in Paris – and heavy snow was forecast for when we flew. Luckily we flew from Heathrow just before the snow hit London, and we landed in Paris just after the snow had fallen (heavily).

The view from our hotel (Concorde La Fayette)…from the hotelWell, due to the weather, our usual day for trawling round flea markets was derailed slightly, so we headed to the Musee d’Orsay for a day of culture and sophistication!chairs

Serendipity has always been a favourite word of ours, and this day was, well, serendipitous.                                                                                                                  Jardin Des Tuileries, towards the Ferris Wheel….ferris wheel

The walk from the ‘Tuileries’ metro station – from the Rue de Rivoli, across the Jardin Des Tuileries, over the river to the Musee d’Orsay, was breathtaking to say the least. Due to the heavy snow fall that had covered Paris that night, the whole area including all of the buildings of the Louvre was just so beautiful.

Looking towards The Louvre……winter scene2winter scene 1

Looking towards the Musee d’Orsay, across the Seine….winter scene4

They say that Paris is the City of light – well the light that day was truly something. It gave the whole city a magical and ethereal feel. A dream for photographers, amateur or professional!snowmenjoggerstatues

One of the two famous clocks on the facade of the Musee d’Orsay…..paris orleans

And this is the view from the inside. After waiting ages for the area in front of the clock to clear of people, when i finally got a picture of it without anybody in front of it, i realised you get a much better sense of proportion when there are people in view…..clockj

Looking from the inside of the museum back over the river to the north side…..d orcy

Thanks Paris, for the snow and some wonderful photo opportunities.merci

Four days in Florence (Pt.1)

At the beginning of May we managed to get away for a long weekend. So we headed to the beautiful Tuscan city of Florence, (Firenze).

Over the years, so many people have told us that we would love it.
Well they weren’t wrong.
We were also told it never rains in Florence. That is untrue. When we arrived on the Saturday it was chucking it down. Really, really chucking it down.
It didn’t bode well for the trip, but luckily the next few days were… well, perfect really. Warm and sunny, but not too hot.
Anyway, to sum up Florence in a few words:  Architecture, culture, wine, style, great coffee, friendly waiters (on the whole), old narrow streets, museums, old shop/restaurant signage, historic pharmacies, wonderful handmade paper/stationery shops, and oh yeah, great front doors!
That last one’s a bit unusual i know but go with it.
Anyway,we’ll let the photos do (most) of the talking…
The fabulous Riva lofts, where we stayed. Lovely staff and free bikes to borrow!
Quite a treat………
Wonderful old Kodak branded gift shop…..
Abandoned cinema……….
We were really struck by the cool old signage everywhere in Florence…..
The shutters and aged patina of the walls……
Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, absolutely stunning skin care & toiletries packaging…
We became a little obsessed with apartment block entrances and antique brass doorknobs. I know. A bit odd…..
Stand alone photo booth…..
View from up at the Giardino Della Rose – is simply stunning. Bit of a walk though!…….
 Old entrance door buzzers are everywhere……
Most wonderful artists supply store ‘Zecchi’. Has been there for years and has supplied some of the old masters over the years…….

Paris – New York (Pt 1)

Well, we’re half way through our buying trips now. We’ve had shows/fairs in & around London and recently returned from Paris. Without sounding cliched, we discover something new about this wonderful city every time we go there. I guess it’s the same with every great city. Anyway, here’s a few photos we took that will be going on our mood board for the coming season. We took a fair few pics in the Louvre – If you’re even slightly interested in art, architecture, or history, it really is stunning, well worth checking out. And absolutely huge! You really need a whole day to explore it properly. So here’s some things that inspired us………..