A Lovely Sunday...

Hey Everyone...

Thank you for all your kind comments on my last post. I am hoping it was just a but of a bad day. I am very tired and worn out from work, so I am hoping some extra sleep this week might make me feel a little better.

Anyway, I am trying to dwell on the positive and today was a lovely day. We were up early (after a disturbed night from a neighbour buzzing the door at 1am!) and straight into town to the beautiful Somerset House...

I had never been before, despite living in London and was eager to see the beautiful architecture! Annoyingly, London Fashion Week had taken over the courtyard, blocking the view of the stunning building...

*Sigh* But the interior more than made up for the blocked view...

There were such beautiful colour schemes - I am inspired for decorating our next home (when/if we move) and wish I could redecorate now - but I really need a more period property with pretty picture rails!

There were lots of lovely things to see...

Beautiful Silverware

So Shiny - I'm a Magpie

A slightly better view of the courtyard from up high

A beautiful Monet painting - my favourite

The stunning stairwell

The beautiful architecture

All of this was an added pleasure on top of what we had got up early to see...

The Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition - Beyond the Moulin Rouge. You may not know that I am slightly obsessed with the Moulin Rouge. I saw the film back in 2000 and since then have fallen in love with all that surrounds in. For my 21st birthday (too long ago) my lovely fiance (then boyfriend) took me to the actual Moulin Rouge! Not just to see it! INSIDE to see a show and have dinner. It was a once in a lifetime experience and probably one of the highlights of my life.

This exhibition focused on one of Toulouse-Lautrev's favourite subjects, one of the Moulin Rouge dancers - Jane Avril. In that sense I was slightly disappointed, as I love the classic Toulouse-Lautrec posters and to see beautiful old photographs of the Moulin Rouge itself, but this exhibition had very few and focused heavily on painted portraits of the dancer.

There were however, these two iconic images (above and below) of the beautiful venue. Above pictures the fantastic giant elephant, depicted in the film. Unfortunately, it is no longer there! Believe me, I checked! I walked all around the inside and outside of the Moulin Rouge searching for any trace - it is long gone much to my despair.

However, the iconic windmill pictured below is still standing (I am not sure if it is the original however!) and the two buildings enclosing the Moulin Rouge still appear similarly today!

The photographs are not unknown to me, but this red printed advertisement for the Moulin Rouge was a new delight. I was hoping for a postcard in the gift shop but alas, they were only of the beloved Avril.

The associated artifacts, articles, poems and illustrations captured my attention. All of these so intricate and fascinating - I wish I was able to read French...

I really love this miniature illustration of the Moulin Rouge in this book of poems...

Of Jane Avril - one poster stood out - in fact this is incorrect - this picture was Toulouse-Lautrec's last portrayal of the dancer and was never made into a poster, due to the artist's death...

This was the only image of the dancer that I would say I found beautiful or attractive (which is strange considering many of the images were meant to entice men into visiting her at the Moulin Rouge). This is her leaving the Moulin Rouge. I love the captured emotion of sadness, almost despair and desolate, a real taste of how the poor women of the Moulin Rouge may have often felt...

After enjoying the exhibition and the full collection which included some stunning and very infamous pieces, including Monet, Cezanne, Seurat, Picasso and more, we stopped at the lovely courtyard cafe for a piece of cake...

When the sun shone it was lovely to sit in this secluded spot. Despite the poor service the cake and tea was lovely...

The fiance being snap happy!

What a lovely day you might say! Well it didn't stop there! We rushed back to our native East Finchley to see a collection of old films called 'Made In Barnet'. They were accompanied by a lovely talk on how the film industry really actually began in and around East Finchley in the borough of Barnet. It was all screened in the fabulous old cinema - The Phoenix, which has been around almost since the start of film in the late 1800's.

If you are ever in North London, please visit this beautiful cinema which has survived 100 years and been beautifully restored and modernised! Watching the films, and the final film documenting the history of The Phoenix made me cry to see how such a beautiful treasure has been looked after over the years by our community!

Anyway I am so sorry, I have rambled on and I praise you if you have reached the end. I hope you might have enjoyed it!

Jewel x


  1. Hi Jewel,

    How beautiful Somerset House looks! I love museums like this. They have so much atmoshphere. Oh...you had sun in London...lucky you :-)!!!

    You asked me about the teacups. They are all vintage. I found them on the fleamarket in and around my hometown.

    Wish you a happy new week!

    Madelief x

  2. Hi Hun,
    Look like you had a lovely sunday indeed. Love all the pictures and thank you for taking us on this "tour". WIshing you a lovely week ahead.

  3. Brill pictures, the cinema looks so lovely....ahhhhh I can imagine snuggling down and watching an old black and white in there!
    Nattie x

  4. What a fabulous day out, i also adore the look of the cinema, stunning. Thanks for adding my giveway to your side bar too hun. Mwah Scarlett x

  5. Hello Jewel,

    I am so happy I stopped by to visit you today! What a lovely post full of informative, cultural facts about Somerset House. Your pictures are great and really I learned so much from you.

    I used to live in East Finchley although it was only for a couple of years. My sister at the time was in Muswell Hill. Lovely memories.

    I hope you feel better soon. It's amazing how a few good night's sleep can make all the difference.


  6. Aw I love old cinemas! Thanks for you're comment on my blog - I got the tea diffuser in Fenwicks, Newcastle for about £12 and it came with 3 types of tea, but then you have to buy the cup as well which was £5. I think you can also buy them from www.ringtons.co.uk!

  7. oh wow, lovely photos of the gorgeous somerset house! so lucky you got a chance to see the moulin rouge, i was only passing by and took a pic of the front when i was in paris urghh...seems like you had a lovely time with your fiancee (i wish my hubby likes to take pics of me :) - i'd love to visit the cinema if i ever got a chance to visit north london! x susan


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