Appleyard London’s Kensington Flowers – special offer for readers, get 33% off!

I had the great pleasure of receiving one of Appleyard London‘s exquisite bouquets this week – a wonderful gift that’s certainly brightening up my living room!

A luxury flower delivery company based in the capital – but with delivery available nationwide – Appleyard London pride themselves on their boutique floral creations. Their ever-evolving range of bouquets features many fine elements including seasonal flowers, new and rare species of flowers, and on trend colours; there’s a bouquet for practically any occasion, event or recipient!

Part of their Kensington flowers range – especially designed to brighten up Kensington homes – I received the Hot Toddy bouquet. This seasonal selection is a mixture of grand prix and deep water roses, purple eustoma, red berries and autumnal birch. With wonderfully strong colours – largely a mixture of purple, red and pink, and with some white flourishes too – the Hot Toddy is a great bouquet for this time of year as we transition into autumn. And it’s certainly incredibly striking – definitely not one that blends into the background!

The flowers came safely packaged in a sturdy and stylish box, so were well protected on the journey over to me. Lifting the flowers out, they were wrapped with white display paper and ribbon, and kept well hydrated, placed as they were in a small plastic box with a watered sponge in the base. The flowers are obviously meant to be transplanted into your own vase – and there’s clear instructions just in case you’re not quite au fait with this kind of thing – but I could easily have kept them displayed in their packaging for a while.

Appleyard London's Kensington Flowers
Appleyard London’s Hot Toddy bouquet

Some of Appleyard London’s selection come with a box of Belgian chocolates, which was the case with the Hot Toddy bouquet – so, after carefully placing the flowers into a vase and trying to do my best at flower arranging, I treated myself to a tasty chocolate…or four.

A few days in and the flowers have all opened up beautifully, with the rich red roses taking centre stage and looking fabulous amongst the background of purple, white and pink. They show absolutely no signs of fading and will last a good while yet…which is more than can be said for the Belgian chocolates that were snaffled up super-quick!

Appleyard London’s Kensington Flowers range reflects the nature of our local area, particularly the two wonderful parks we have – Kensington Gardens and Holland Park. I personally think that all flowers in the range are absolutely gorgeous, and there’s bouquets with different colour settings and elements – so, something for all occasions or themes if you’re trying to match (or contrast) a bouquet to the decor in your own home.

Appleyard London also have plenty of other collections and bouquets based on colour schemes, occasions, collections and more, so there’s sure to be something that suits your needs – whether you’re treating yourself, or picking something special for a loved one or friend. They also sell additional gifts and gift set packages – these include food hampers, wine, and flowers that are accompanied with candles or diffusers. Perfect if you’re looking for a little extra something to send out to a treasured recipient.

You can specify your delivery date (ideal if you’re organising a surprise for someone, or planning ahead for someone’s birthday) or you can of course order next day flowers…astonishingly, as late as ordering by 9pm (on weekdays). Which is excellent news both for those who want a last-minute spruce up of their own homes, or if perhaps a special occasion has slipped your mind.

Appleyard London Special Offer – Get 33% off orders!

All in all, I’d certainly recommend Appleyard London for the quality of their service and their absolutely gorgeous flowers. And I have some good news for you too! If you’d like to try Appleyard London yourself, here’s a special offer to all readers in Kensington and Chelsea. Appleyard London have very kindly offered a special discount code that will allow you to make a saving of 33% on orders. This offer doesn’t expire so you can use it any time to brighten up your own home or if you’re looking to send flowers to someone else!

To take advantage of the offer, please use the special discount code BLOG33 when placing an order. (Cannot be used for the ‘Flowers by Post’ range.) Check out the following ranges of bouquets from Appleyard London that are very suitable for readers of this blog – although many more are available besides these:

And most of all, enjoy your gorgeous flowers from Appleyard London!

Byron’s proper hamburgers return to High Street Kensington

Eagle-eyed (and hungry!) residents may have spotted the re-launch of Byron High Street Kensington last week, following a stylish new revamp of this, the first restaurant in the Byron chain which opened its doors way back in 2007.

Byron High Street Kensington

Re-opened on 1st September, the restaurant at 222 Kensington High Street takes its inspiration from its local surroundings and architecture – something of a Byron speciality as individuality is the key ingredient in all of their 52 locations. The Kensington branch now boasts a 1930s Deco-style exterior, with an interior that pays homage to European Modernism.

Come down to enjoy tasty burgers and cold craft beer whilst perched on the specially-selected vintage seating or one of the leather banquettes, surrounded by the work of illustrator Alec Doherty. His vibrant style will be familiar to Byron’s customers, given his previous work with the brand. In fact, it’s no surprise that Byron recently won a YCN (You Can Now) Illustration Award for its use of illustration – with work from including the work of Jean Jullien, Alec Doherty and others – across its branding.

Tom Byng, Byron’s founder, says:

“All our restaurants are dear to me, but our ‘Mothership’ at High Street Kensington is particularly close to my heart. When we started Byron, we wanted to make every restaurant unique, so we gave each one its own playing card. Fittingly, Kensington is the Queen of Hearts, and we’re reopening here just as we’ve completed our first Byron deck: 52 playing cards for 52 restaurants. We may have grown over the last few years but our vision has stayed the same – to serve consistently delicious proper hamburgers in beautiful, individual-designed restaurants. I couldn’t be more delighted to be celebrating where it all began in 2007.”

Byron High Street Kensington

To celebrate the re-launch, Byron High Street Kensington will be giving away free hamburgers between Monday 7th and Wednesday 16th September to Byron Club members who sign up and choose the HSK branch as their local Byron. Membership is free – to sign up, visit (Offer runs all day, Monday to Wednesdays only.)

For more on the re-launched Byron and all their other venues, please see, or check them out on Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram!

222 Kensington High Street
W8 7RG

Kensington Mums Back to School events for September

Local mums’ and parents’ website Kensington Mums is hosting a couple of exciting events for this month, helping you get back into the swing of things for the start of the new school year!

Kensington Mums

First up is a pampering event for all the mums out there – perfect for having a little ‘me’ time whilst the busy academic year starts up again. (Or maybe a relaxing moment after a busy summer!) Kensington Mums is proudly inviting you all to a special back to school pamper party at Salon Valentino in the heart of Kensington on Wednesday 23rd September for a blow-dry and express manicure.

Kensington Mums Pamper Party with Ruuby App

Each mum will receive two treatments (which must be booked in advance with assigned time slots) – there will also be an option to have a quick make-up look (eyes/lips) which is great for both school run mums and working mums! Kids are allowed to accompany you; drinks and nibbles will also be available for all to enjoy. All mums attending will also receive ‘Love Ruuby’ vouchers, which gives you £10 off any treatment booked over £30. Tickets for this event cost £10 and must be booked in advance – book your place today!

On Friday 25th September, there’s a first aid for babies and toddlers course provided by First Aid for Life, the the leading independent supplier of award-winning first aid training in Greater London. Mums and dads will see this as a great opportunity to pick up some first aid skills that may be life-saving in the case of an emergency.

Kensington Mums First Aid for Life

This two-hour course will be relaxed, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions throughout. Taking place at My Kid Atelier in SW6, the course costs £50 per person or £100 for couples – you can again book your spot for the course online.

More on Kensington Mums and their other upcoming events can of course be found at

Kensington Mums September Events
Back to School Pamper time with Ruuby App
9.30am – 12.30pm, Wednesday 23rd September 2015
First Aid for Life Course
7pm – 9pm, Friday 25th September 2015

Crown & Glory Pop-Up at Anges de Sucre

Anges de Sucre on Holland Street – the local sweetshop that was voted the best café or coffee shop in Kensington in the 2014 Timeout Loves awards – will be hosting a flower crown pop-up next weekend (Friday 14th – Sunday 16th August 2015) and is inviting people of all ages to come down!

Crown and Glory Pop-Up

Their Crown & Glory #CGCandyshop pop-up will be a fun and creative summer event. You’ll be able to pick out your own flowers to make fantastic, long-lasting flower crown headbands, whilst also munching on Anges de Sucre’s famous and delicious macaroons and cupcakes!

Pick your own custom faux fleurs from the sweet jars and watch the Crown & Glory gang whip up a unique floral crown, fascinator, headband or clip especially for you.

Girls and ladies of all ages can pick up a beautiful accessory for summer that will perfectly compliment their own style. But men won’t be left out – gentlemen, why not pick up a floral beard? For those with furry friends, floral dog collars can also be made!

Crown and Glory Pop-Up

Whatever your age or style, simply select the blooms you like best and get the C&G folks to create your own unique floral masterpiece at a special rate. Whilst they’re working their magic, why not tuck into delicious macaroons and cakes, all freshly baked in store?

The Crown & Glory pop-up is open to all ages and it’s free to explore – just turn up on any of the days! Floral accessories will cost between £10 to £35 to buy, whilst coffees, macaroons and cakes are available for under £5.

Crown & Glory Pop-Up at Anges de Sucre
9am – 7pm, Friday 14th August 2015
9.30am – 7pm, Saturday 15th August 2015
10am – 6pm, Sunday 16th August 2015
1 Holland Street
W8 4NA

Crown and Glory Pop-Up

Pintar Rapido outdoor painting festival returns on 11th & 12th July

The UK’s largest outdoor painting festival, competition and exhibition is returning to the streets of London – and Chelsea – on the weekend of 11th and 12th July 2015 for its third annual event.

Open to both professional and amateur artists from all over the UK, the event challenges artists of all levels to create a picture of a London cityscape from start to finish in one day. Pintar Rapido attracts hundreds of artists each year that compete for £3,000 worth of prizes, including the top award of £1,000 sponsored by, as well as the opportunity to sell their creations.

Pintar Rapido Pintar Rapido

Pintar Rapido‘ means painting ‘painting quickly’ in Spanish; the event was founded by Roger Beckett who has published two of the UK’s most influential magazines for designers, Design Week and Creative Review. He was inspired by a similar event whilst visiting a small village in Catalonia called Horta De Sant Juan where Picasso painted several early Cubist paintings.

Pintar Rapido Pintar Rapido

Roger Beckett said:

“Last year we had more than 500 artists taking part in making Pintar Rapido the biggest outdoor painting festival and exhibition in the UK. It was inspiring to see so many artists of all abilities, backgrounds and mediums creating a picture, live, out on the streets. I want to encourage people to take part – to paint, draw, sketch and be more creative whilst celebrating the city landscape of London.”

Pintar RapidoAfter Painting Day on Saturday 11th July – when each artist can choose a location across London to create their artwork using their own materials and working in any style, medium or size they wish – Sunday 12th July will see the public exhibition and sale at Chelsea Old Town Hall. Visitors can view more than 400 paintings and meet the artists, including the winner of the £1,000 Pintar prize. Paintings will also be available to buy, with 10% of profits going to charity.

Last year’s first prize was awarded to Ben Hope (pictured right), who painted Looking West Along Queen’s Gate Terrace, 25x30cm, oil on canvas. This year, the Pintar Prize is being judged by award-winning artist Richard Pikesley, gallery owners Charles and Sarah Russell-Walling and Steve Pill, editor of Artists and Illustrators Magazine.

If you’d like to take part as an artist, please sign up at

Other Pintar Rapido events will be taking place in Glasgow on 15th & 16th August 2015, and in Amsterdam on 5th & 6th September 2015.

Pintar Rapido
Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th July 2015
Sunday exhibition, 12pm – 6pm, at Chelsea Old Town Hall
King’s Road

Design Pop Up The Poundshop at The Science Museum

The weeklong Poundshop pop up will be held at The Science Museum from 24th June and will feature a number of unique and exciting products based around the theme of science. The pop up will showcase the best science inspired designs the UK has to offer, including items from a range of talented contemporary designers.

Products on offer will include paper Lego spaceships by Durrell Bishop; geometric platonic solid candles from Essence & Alchemy; ‘stitch-it-yourself’ dot-to-dot constellation tote bags by Lollipop Designs; and A2B wrapping paper by Lisa Jones.

The Science Poundshop
Designers shown: Top: Lisa Jones Studio – You + Me – card -£1; James White – wooden toy cars – £10; Dind Ding – A5 clipboard Platonic solids – £1; Hana+ Hasmita – Paper rolled pencils – £1 Bottom: Gogo Chop Shop – Space cats and Space dog pillows – £15; Lollipop Designs – Mini planner – £5; Electronic Sheep – Scarf – £20; espergaerde – Desk Island – £3 each

Aiming to spread design to a wider audience by making it more accessible in terms of price and engagement, the Poundshop is also a superb platform for young and emerging designers, offering a testing ground for those looking to experiment with new and interesting products. Founded in 2010 by George Wu and Sara Melin, in 2013 the Poundshop was named as one of Selfridges’ Bright Young Things and also as one of the top five creative entrepreneurs on the h. Club 100 list.

Previously held at Tokyo Loft, Selfridges and Somerset House, amongst other locations, this time round the Poundshop will be offering new price bands for the first time – from just £1 to £20.

The Science Museum is delighted to collaborate with The Poundshop and its opening coincides with the much anticipated Science Museum Lates, The Next Big Thing, which is being held in collaboration with the Royal Society.

Sam Pilkington, Product Development Manager of the Science Museum Group, says:

“We’re delighted to welcome The Poundshop to the Science Museum this June, many contemporary designers are referencing science and scientific processes in their work, this pop‐up shop will showcase the best science inspired design that UK has to offer, all at a great price.”

Entry is free.

The Poundshop at The Science Museum
10am – 6pm, 24th June – 1st July 2015
Opening night: 6.45pm – 10pm, 24th June 2015
Science Museum
Exhibition Road

Kensington Mums Pamper Evening at Liz Earle on 30th June

Join local mothers and parents network Kensington Mums for a special evening of pampering on Tuesday 30th June at the flagship Liz Earle store on Duke of York Square.


The evening will include treatments such as skin and hair consultations, hand and arm massages plus make-up tips and tricks. Mums will also be given goodie bags to take home, and there will be a wonderful selection of drinks and canapes to sip and nibble on whilst you get pampered! The store’s expert advisor team will also be giving a talk on celebrating the ‘Liz Earle 20 Year Anniversary’. The evening will be a great way to treat yourself, and also to mingle with like-minded, local mums!

Founded in 1995, the Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare range is a British beauty brand that uses naturally active botanicals to leave your skin looking healthy and radiant. All products are specially formulated to give you softer, smoother and more beautiful skin from head to toe.

Tickets cost £10 and must be booked in advance. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment! Tickets can be booked online here:

Kensington Mums Pamper Evening – Summer Beauty with Liz Earle
6pm – 8pm, Tuesday 30th June 2015
Liz Earle
38-39 Duke of York Square
Sloane Square
Kings Road

Life drawing classes in Chelsea at The Ram start on 14th May

Starting tonight, Thursday 14th May, and running until early July, The Ram pub near Chelsea Harbour will be hosting a series of life drawing classes for all budding artists.

Led by professional artist Jonathan Ellis, the classes are suitable for all levels and abilities – from those who haven’t picked up a pencil since their schooldays to those who are closet Picassos.
Life Drawing Classes in Chelsea

All materials and full easels are provided for each class, and there are varied models and a new theme for each session.

The classes are run in an informal and relaxed atmosphere, with everyone encouraged to experiment, even make mistakes, whilst improving their drawing skills. Inspiring tips and drawing techniques will be learnt, and it’s a great way of picking up a new skill or honing an old one – as well as having a fun evening and a drink with friends and colleagues.

Life Drawing Classes in Chelsea

The Art With Benedict classes are being run in some of London’s best pubs (currently also in locations in Winchmore Hill, Shepherd’s Bush, Tufnell Park and Ladbroke Grove) and have had an amazing response!

At The Ram, a free drink is also included in the price of the class! Tickets cost £20 online – you can book at – or £21 on the door.

Do also check out the website above for more details on the Art With Benedict team, to see previous students’ work, read testimonials, and for information on their other classes around London.

Life Drawing in the Pub
6.30pm – 8.30pm on 14th May, 28th May, 11th June, 25th June, 2nd July 2015
The Ram
32 Burnaby Street
SW10 0PL

life drawing classes in Chelsea

Art History courses in Chelsea start 20th April

Art historian and accredited lecturer Mariska Beenkenkamp-Wladimiroff will be running a new set of art history courses at the World’s End Studios, Lots Road, starting on 20th April.

Art History Courses in Chelsea - Mariska Beekenkamp-Wladimiroff

Them main five-week course is titled ‘Introduction to Art’, covering different styles and genres each week as detailed below, and followed by a visit to the National Gallery. The course costs £75 per person, although you can also just sign up for a the gallery visit, or for the classroom course.

Introduction to Art (up to 1860 / Impressionism)
Week 1: Early Renaissance
Week 2: Renaissance
Week 3: Baroque
Week 4: Rococo
Week 5: Romanticism & Classicism
Visit: National Gallery

You can sign up for the course online here:!about1/c15ww.

Mariska will also be running a five week, more in-depth course on Ancient Greek & Rome at the same time for those with more previous experience of art history:

Ancient Greece & Rome:
Week 1: Ancient Greece – Geometric and Archaic Art, from the Bronze age palaces of Crete to the beginnings of perspective
Week 2: Ancient Greece – Classical and Hellenistic Art, from the Parthenon to Alexander the Great
Week 3: Ancient Rome – The founding of Rome, from Etruscan beginnings to the glory of Augustus
Week 4: Ancient Rome – The rise of Imperialism, from Pompeii to the Provinces
Week 5: Ancient Rome – The decline of Rome, Constantine and the Beginnings of Christianity
Visit: British Museum

Art History Courses in Chelsea - Marten de Vos Seven Liberal Arts

Both courses are run in an informal class room setting, with presentations given by experts in the field. No previous knowledge is required, and no homework is set. All attendees are given hand outs during the course, which list art historical vocabulary used, important names and dates, suggestions for reading and suggestions for visits.

Mariska has been running similar courses in Richmond since the start of the year (and will continue to run courses in that area as well) – please see details of the Richmond courses here:!art-history-courses-london-2015/c1rcp.

Art History Courses in Chelsea – run by Mariska Beekenkamp-Wladimiroff
commencing 20th April 2015
World’s End Studios
Lots Road
SW10 0RJ

Art History Courses in Chelsea - World's End Studios

It’s All About Piano returns to the Institut français, 27 – 29 March

The third edition of the music festival It’s All About Piano returns to the Institut français at the end of March, with a wide variety of piano-themed events featuring musicians and artists from all around the world.

Curated by the Institut’s Head of Classical and Contemporary Music, Françoise Clerc, It’s All About Piano is the only festival in London that’s dedicated to this, the “king of instruments”. The festival aims to give its audience a chance to become more familiar with the instrument through events that combine piano playing with art, film and theatre. The festival also allows artists from a wide variety of different disciplines to work together.

It's All About Piano 2015

The festival will open on Friday 27th March with two multimedia recitals that will fuse animated images by the Brothers Quay and Kandinsky with music by Janáček and Mussorgsky, commissioned by the Cité de la Musique in Paris and performed by Uzbekistan-born French pianist Mikhail Rudy. That same evening, French-Cypriot pianist Cyprien Katsaris will improvise to a champagne tasting given by French Bubbles co-founder Maud Fierobe; this will be followed by a recital given by British jazz pianist John Taylor. All of these events will be held at Kings Place.

On the Saturday and Sunday of the festival, events will move to the Institut français itself with recitals and readings, film screenings, a sing-along concert, a story-telling event, and free tuition for beginner piano players, plus workshops on How to Build Your Own Piano and The Art of Piano Tuning. The Institut français’ house bistro will also be turned into a ‘piano bar’ on these two days, with improvised jazz sessions being performed on both days.

It's All About Piano 2015
Pictured left to right: Angela Hewitt (credit Bernd Eberle) Cyperien Katsaris (credit Jean-Batptise Millot) François-Frédéric Guy (credit Benjamin de Diesbach) Mikhail Rudy (credit mr) Peter Donohoe (credit Sussie Ahlburg)

These weekend events will include recitals from international pianists François-Frédéric Guy and Peter Donohoe; a concert from Julien Gonzales, who is the 8-time winner of the Accordion World Championship; the London première of Messiaen’s La Fauvette Passerinette given by pianist and scholar Peter Hill who discovered the work in 2012; a collaboration between students from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and students of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama recorded by BBC Radio 3; a masterclass with Angela Hewitt; and ciné-concerts with improvised accompaniment to French classics created by Louis Feuillade and Max Linder.

Locals will of course know of the Institut français as a famed language centre, which today also comprises a multimedia library, cinema and French bistro. The centre also strives to contribute to London’s cultural life with many of its events that are held throughout the year – these include live broadcast screenings of the Opéra national de Paris and the Aix-en-Provence Festival; family chamber concerts organised in collaboration with the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust; and a network of contemporary classical music projects organised in partnership with the Franco-British fund for contemporary music, Diaphonique.

The full line-up of It’s All About Piano can be found at, where you can also book tickets for all events.

It’s All About Piano
27th – 29th March 2015
Institut français
17 Queensberry Place


Kings Place
90 York Way
London, N1 9AG