Weekend in Paris – day 1

Paris, Uncategorized

Paris Day 1…

I started my trip at London St Pancras station where I easily caught the Eurostar to Paris Gare de Nord. After taking what I thought would be a stressful and confusing 30 min metro ride across the city, (Turns out it was simple and stress free.) I arrived at my final stop Gare Monteparnesse.

I was staying in the 15th arrondissement at Hotel Innova, the lovely leafy residential neighbourhood of the city has great metro links and is easily accessible to all of the major sites.

Excited to finally be in Paris, it wasnt long until I was checked in, the room inspected and ready to explore.

Camera charged and in my bag, I headed straight towards the iconic Eiffel Tower in hope of some Paris magic, not only was it the biggest must see, ever on my list it was naturally the meeting place to meet my friend.

My first view of the Eiffel Tower was totally unexpected,  I had just walked down a random side street after thinking I was lost and there it was! The top of it in my view……with the sun directly behind it which caused me to squint, take a photo and then be disappointed with it. I deleted the photo before venturing in that general direction and ending up on the Champ de Mars.

The view of Montparnasse Tower from under the Eiffel Tower

Once up close I have to admit I was impressed, it was so much bigger than I expected. I took some more shots despite of the bad weather, working out angles and perspectives, before I had a quick look around for possible photo spots for the next day.

Looking up from under the Eiffel Tower

After taking a few of the classic ‘under the tower’ shots I met up with my friend for a decent catch up and some food, over some very nice french wine we made plans for a photo tour of the city the next day before we headed up to the Trocodero and what I can only describe as one of the greatest balcony in the world for a fantastic light show off the Eiffel Tower at night.

View from Trocadero at sunset

I went to bed feeling the Parisian magic and hopeful the next day would bring better weather for some amazing photographs.

Coming soon! Day 2 – Tourist in Paris

© TuscanDreamsPhotography
Images in this post are owned and distributed by me.
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Bury st Edmonds – Angel Hotel Review

Reviews, Uncategorized

We are back in UK and very kindly had a chance to stay at the luxury Angel Hotel in Bury st Edmonds. In the heart of the Suffolk countryside and right inside the historic town centre, this beautiful Georgian building is set directly opposite the cathedral and Abbey Gardens.

This stunning hotel has traditional charm mixed with contemporary decor. We had a wonderful welcome and took advantage of concierge service before a smartly dressed porter escorted us to our room.

We had a very large and highly decorative ground floor room with double doors leading to a small patio. The bathroom was up a small set of stairs and there was complementary tea/coffee, bottled water and a hamper on arrival.

 

The kingside bed not only look plush and amazing but was super spacious and very comfortable.

There is a warm and cosy lounge where guests and passing visitors can stop for lunch or just a quick coffee complete with a log fire which I bet looks fantastic over the winter time this also serves and an evening dinner area if you wish to use it (We ate out at a local restaurant nearby)

We treated ourselves and ordered breakfast in bed and ate around the little table by the patio doors. The cooked breakfast was filling and although our plan was to eat in sun on the patio it rained, so we ate in the dry comfort of the room watching the morning news before we checked out.

 

 

After spending some time walking around Bury st Edmonds and the Abbey Gardens, we had a stop off in both Sudbury and Halstead on our drive home, both of which are pretty rural countryside towns we found ourselves having enjoyed a very relaxing and enjoyable break in the Suffolk countryside.

With excellent service, including concierge this is a fantastic little night away for a couple or a special occasion the only thing better than the hotel was the town and surrounding area!

 

You can check out the hotel on there website here

Black, White and Red Photography – London…

London, Photo Post, Photography, Uncategorized

I’m not the best at black and white photography (so any tips would be appreciated!) but on my last trip to London, I played around with the classic red of the London buses against a black and white background….What do you think?

 

 

Please feel free to critique in the comments below…

Taken in London, England.

© TuscanDreamsPhotography
Images in this post are owned and distributed by me.

 

Boboli Gardens, Florence

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These 16th century gardens climb the hills surrounding Florence, located behind the Pitti Palace they are a maze of greenery and lavish fountains. With their own unique mix of art and nature, you can imagine the aristocrats of Florence strolling the lawns and holding grand lawn party’s.

When the Medici family brought the Pitti Palace they called in Niccolò Pericoli, also know as Tribolo to create a masterpiece of “landscape architecture”. He created formal gardens for the rich family to show off to their friends, today these world-famous gardens have been extended and form 11 acres of tranquillity within the centre of Florence. Tickets cost £10 per person and include entry into all the gardens and access to the display of clothing and a small ceramic museum.

The garden has several entrances but Piazza Del Pitti is the most popular, the Piazza itself is overshadowed by the enormous Pitti Palace and it is here you will by able to buy you tickets for the Palace and/or the gardens. Entering through an exterior section of the Pitti Palace, you get a little glimpse at how massive this palace really is!

The elaborate architecture in the court-yard separates the palace from the gardens and to the left of the courtyard is the art filled Grotto Grande (Currently under restoration) and the Rococco style Koffeehouse.

The sprawling gardens are a great breather from the busy city and even in their slightly neglected state you could easily spend an entire day exploring the grounds. A full tour of the gardens will require a lot of uphill walking and the only place to get refreshments is at the Kaffehous so I would recommend bringing plenty of water and some comfortable shoes.

The spectacular lawns climb up Boboli Hill from the amphitheatre, passed an Egyptian obelisk and to Neptune’s fountain. If your legs can handle it, a grand staircase will lead you further up to Giardino del Cavaliere. the small garden is bordered by the porcelain museum and well worth the uphill hike as it provides amazing views not only over the city but also the rural hill sides of Florence.

Towards the east of the gardens is a shady cypress alley called The Viottolone, this axis runs down a steep slope past woodland, through the Island Park and beyond the walls of the garden. The wide gravel avenue is lined with Cyprus and laurel trees, dotted with classically-themed statues and majestically leads you down to Isolotto Pond. The Isolotto is an oval-shaped garden surround by tall green hedges, the large island centre is adorn with lemon tress and wildlife. Connected by two bridges and emphasized by elegant gates the island garden is a must see, from here there is a splendid view back up towards the wide avenue of trademark trees.

Water features played a huge part in Italian garden design and at the end of the Viottolone (just before the Isolotto) is a large mosaic star. Hidden under the star was the mouth of a water jet, the water which travelled down elaborate water ways from the Garden of Cavaliere is reported to have “shot upwards to a height of seventy-one feet! As the gardens lacked a natural water supply a conduit was built from the Arno to feed water into the impressive water system.

Although the garden is packed with dramatic water features a lot seem to have been without water on our visit, which was a shame. Have you visited and seen any of the water displays working?

3 Things to do in Italy on Valentines

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February is known throughout the world as Valentine’s Day and with its winding Tuscan wine roads, Romantic landscapes and historic citys, Italy is beyond doubt one of the most romantic places in the world. You could take you loved one to Venice for a special gondola ride or visit the romantic setting of Verona, where you could spend time at Juliette’s balcony.

But what else can you do to make your romantic break super-special?

  

If your planning on surprising your loved one with an unforgettable Valentines break in Italy. Here’s a few romantic ideas of things to do on that special day.

1. Visit Italy’s Alps – Get you pulse racing with a hike up one the many trails before snuggling up in front of an open fire high up in the dramatic mountains of northern Italy. The Dolomites is a great place to spend a winter weekend, stay in one of the many ski resorts, sleep in a sucluded mountain cabin or cosy up together in an igloo at the igloo village of Piancavallo. Drivers can take their partners breath away with spectaular views over the mountains by taking scenic drive along the great Dolomites Road.

2. Terni, Umbria – The birthplace of St. Valentine host a huge festival and firewirks in his honor, Theres lots of concerts, plays and competitions for both singles and couples. There’s also a huge feast around the Basilica di San Valentino where the “Years Lovers Award” is presented. With a chocolate fair and a “Valentine Marathon” this is a perfect place to spend the lovers holiday.

3. Florence, Tuscany – Take a stroll over the romantic Ponte vecchio, before heading up to the Piazza Michalango to watch the sunset over the most beatutiful city in the world, best enjoyed with a bottle of Prosecco. If arts your thing, after a day of admireing the many passionate paintings in the Uffizi, head to the doumo and hire a horse and cart ride for a sunset tour of the city. What ever you do in Florence this valentines the city will breath romance into your trip.

These are just a few ideas others include, Taking a hot air ballon ride over the rolling hills of Tuscany, Touring vineyards on a Vespa or exploreing Rome.

What ever you do make it special!