If you ever find yourself in Oxford, England in search of a bed for the night, you might consider booking a room at the student dorm accommodation of Christ Church College, University of Oxford for a real-life Harry Potter experience. The university not only provides accommodation over the summer months, but your stay comes with an all access pass to wander the campus, halls and gardens out of hours. Largely empty in summer, several parts of the campus feature in the Harry Potter films, including the famous dining hall, and the college even served as an inspiration to Alice in Wonderland.… Read the rest
Staring out of the passenger seat window on car journeys through France, I’ve always found the roadscape of highways strangely alluring ever since I was a small child. What lives at the side of the road in a no man’s land of concrete and abandon are often ignored and very rarely the subject of artistic interest. French photographer Read the rest
I can’t give you romance with a chocolate box or a card with teddy bears on it, but I thought I might, just for a moment, take you to one of the most romantic secret gardens I’ve ever had the pleasure of stumbling upon…
The Orangery at Euridge Manor in the Cotswolds is set in ancient grounds and woodland beside explorer Sir Walter Raleigh’s old hunting lodge. Surrounded by the ruins of a castle and evergreen palm trees in the middle of the English countryside, this hidden gem is as fairytale as it gets. But here’s the kicker– it’s available to stay overnight in.
And if you can find just three other friends to stay with you (or another couple), it adds up to £95 per … Read the rest
1. When Howard Hughes built the biggest plane in history (out of wood)
Hughes’ H-4 Spruce Goose
Because of wartime rationing on strategic materials such as aluminum, the plane was built almost entirely out of wood. A skeptical press dubbed it “The Spruce Goose.”
Hughes hated the nickname.… Read the rest
Stepping inside Maison Gatti is a bit like entering Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for Francophiles, and furniture connoisseurs alike. Nestled in the Parisian commune of Fontainebleau, the atelier is the last of its kind, and the world’s only source for authentic Parisian bistro chairs.
As such, Gatti has become the guardian of a long-standing craft, and a tradition that has made Paris’ renowned terrace culture what it is today. “They’re as Parisian as the grandes boulevards,” says owner Benoît Maugrion of the nearly 100-year-old business, “In a way, they gave us the grandes boulevards.… Read the rest
Tucked along New York’s Hudson River is the town of Sleepy Hollow, where old carriage roads can still be walked, and the woodlands feel just a bit darker than they should. It’s also home to the Union Church of Pocantico Hills, a gothic style church built in 1921 by the Rockefellers. Oh, and it happens to house works by two of the 20th century’s greatest artists — nine by Chagall, and the last ever work created by Henri Matisse.… Read the rest
For those whose taste in fairytales favours a darker touch, we’re traveling to the far reaches of Eastern Europe, and into the enchanting world of animator Jiří Trnka. The late Czech animator (whose name is pronounced “Yershy Trinka”) created nearly two-dozen films over his lifetime, from folksy gems like Grandfather Planted a Beet (1945) to the gutsy anti-Stalin short, The Hand (1965).
Craftsmanship ran in Trnka’s blood. He was born in Bohemia in 1912, where his grandmother sold toys for a living and his mother worked as a seamstress.… Read the rest
She began driving secretly at the age of 14 in her father’s ‘borrowed’ Citroën 2CV and her earliest races took place on the gravel roads of the French riviera, trying to carve off the journey time between work and home in a Renault 4. Michèle Mouton became the first woman in rally driving to win a world championship, whilst still only finding her feet in the male-dominated sport, winning a total of four championship rallies for Audi and beating the men at their own game. More than 3 decades later, she is still the last woman to compete in top-level rallying.… Read the rest