M. Denise Costello http://www.mdenisecostello.com --lover of books, art, movies, and music Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:04:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 https://i0.wp.com/www.mdenisecostello.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cropped-coneflowers-1.jpg?fit=32%2C32 M. Denise Costello http://www.mdenisecostello.com 32 32 72975744 Exploring The Wallace Collection http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/18/exploring-the-wallace-collection/ http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/18/exploring-the-wallace-collection/#comments Mon, 19 Jun 2017 02:11:53 +0000 http://www.mdenisecostello.com/?p=6543 The Wallace Collection is at Hertford House in Manchester Square at the end of Duke Street. The square is just a few blocks from the Bond Street tube station. Kristine and I had to cross Wigmore Street on our way to The Wallace Collection. Wigmore Street was the scene of the theft of Kristine’s phone via motorcycle in her previous visit–which actually ended up being a good thing, as far as phones are concerned. Anyhow, remember The Duchess of Duke Street? Hertford House took up almost one side of the square. Kristine had heard about Hertford House and read that it was an old house filled with important antiques and paintings. Well, we were surprised and how huge the place was and the quality of the collection. Really, it was a bloody museum filled with Rembrandts and Canalettos and huge rooms of armor–even a huge, to-scale horse with armor was in the house. So enjoy the follow pictures I snapped:

Some of the paintings and art I liked the best is shown below. The Turkish tile work behind the angel statue was amazing. Each room was decorated with a different color theme and some of the rooms had fabric on the walls. The painting directly below on the right is called The Laughing Cavalier by Franz Hals (1624). I barely got this picture as others were taken extensive pictures of him for a very long time. We felt like we were in the Louvre or somewhere in some of the huge galleries. There was even a room of Rubens . . .

Going clockwise below is a painting of the Earl of Dudley, Queen Victoria at a young age, and a Velàzquez of a woman:

Some of the rooms had gold moulding, below left on the bottom is a painting by Marie-Antoinette’s personal portraitist (this picture is not Marie-Antoinette). And what’s not to like about a guitarist?

The middle right picture was part of a beautiful side table and the paintings are also from the Canaletto room:

Some of the armor in the collection:

To the side of the stairs in the main foyer is a picture of Gurwood and the Duke of Wellington (affectionately known to Kristine as “Artie.”

A personal favorite picture of the sun playing with the grating on the east side of the building . . .

A painting similar to the one in the V and A Museum I highlighted in an earlier post is shown below. After a little research, I found out that both paintings are by Pieter Neefs the Elder and were done about 8 years apart (1640 and 1648). Both are titled Interior of Antwerp Cathedral. 

Many decorative pieces were in the galleries (rooms in the mansion):






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Exploring the Victoria and Albert Museum http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/15/exploring-the-victoria-and-albert-museum/ http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/15/exploring-the-victoria-and-albert-museum/#comments Thu, 15 Jun 2017 09:06:10 +0000 http://www.mdenisecostello.com/?p=6527 Beautiful entrance to the V and A:

Highly idealized sculptures of Victoria and Albert:

The first picture is of an intricate iron grate, the second a floating work of smashed instruments, and the third is a miniature of a room from a beautiful estate.

Definitely a favorite of ours since we snapped away for a while on Bashaw. Just look at those sculpted curls that reminded me of Canova’s curls on the statue of Napoleon at Apsley House. 

A variation on The Three Graces:

One of my favorite paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum (Interior of Antwerp Cathedral, Pieter Neefs the Elder: about 1640, oil on oak panel):

Pink Floyd’s sound board when they recorded Dark Side of the Moon:

And finally, my main reason for visiting the museum: Tipoo’s Tiger

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Exploring Waterloo http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/13/exploring-waterloo/ http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/13/exploring-waterloo/#comments Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:41:28 +0000 http://www.mdenisecostello.com/?p=6497 Thanks to my friends Ian Fletcher and Kristine Hughes Patrone, I had my own private tour of Waterloo from an author and battlefield expert as well as a Duke of Wellington expert. What an awesome 2 days!

“La Belle Alliance” is the farmhouse and buildings where Wellington met Blucher (the Prussian general), who was late arriving at Waterloo and helped save the day, hence the term . . . The building is now feet from the highway and the old plaque in still above the door.

Scenes of the battle field and the only memorial to Wellington and his men in the area: 

From the top of the Lion’s Mound–looking up, looking down.
Overlooking the Panorama and restaurant and around the mound:

We did a night walk around the Lion and it was great fun. The moon was beautiful (not pictured as those shots are terrible on a mobile phone). A few glimpses of the Lion:

We went to Wellington’s Headquarters in the village of Waterloo. The wax Wellington at this location looks amazingly like actor Hugh Fraser, whom I spotlighted in the AtoZChallenge this year:

On to Hougoumont Farm (the site of the death of Riflemen Harris and Hagman in Sharpe, sob):

More of the important gate that was held and of the chapel on the farm:Perhaps my favorite picture I took on the trip to Waterloo:

Our intrepid guide, battlefield expert Ian Fletcher–he is also the world’s best Tottenham Hotspurs fan! Also I included a shot inside the Panorama, another wax Wellington, and the entrance to the underground visitors center. The center was extraordinary and we watched a 4-D film on the battle. Superbe!

A shot of the city of Genappe where Napoleon’s headquarters were located. I am not that into L’ Empereur so not too many pics of his sites.

–Above is also a shot in the channel tunnel on the car train. 

Below are some more fun shots . . . Adieu to Waterloo. I hope to return someday. The Belgian countryside is stunning.

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Exploring Chelsea and Belgravia http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/12/exploring-chelsea-and-belgravia/ http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/12/exploring-chelsea-and-belgravia/#comments Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:48:17 +0000 http://www.mdenisecostello.com/?p=6484 Continuing our London 2017 adventures–

Kristine and I rented a flat on the edge of Chelsea/Fulham:

–The flat was located above a shop on King’s Road and it was very nice–2 bedroom, 2 1/2 baths, kitchen, dining and living area. Airbnb did not disappoint. We were a few blocks away from the Fulham/Broadway tube stop and near the Chelsea Football Stadium.

–Above are some shots from around Chelsea and Belgravia. Roses were in full bloom and were beautiful. So many well-designed and historic buildings are everywhere (a nice change from young, bland American cities).

–Some shots from the nearby Chelsea Harbor. I really did not know there was a harbor area near the river, but we saw a lot of nice boats. Since it was a bank holiday, not many people were around when we were there.

As we neared Sloane Square, Kristine remembered the nearby Duke of Wellington pub in Belgravia. Such a cute pub in a quiet area. From the website:

Dating back to the 19th century, the ‘Duke of Boots’, as we are known, was originally built as a reading room for local residents, who went there to read the morning newspapers, but the locals reputedly said that they’d rather have liquid refreshment than reading matter, and they won the day!

As we were sitting there, José Mourinho, the manager of Manchester United walked by talking on the phone. We wouldn’t have known that but for the man sitting outside next to us was excited to see him just walk by and we started chatting. Turns out that this sweet and intelligent man is a journalist and Pamplona bullrunner with mutual FB friends.

I thought I would end this post with pics of our tattoos in preparation for our side trip to Waterloo:

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Exploring Winchester http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/11/exploring-winchester/ http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/06/11/exploring-winchester/#comments Mon, 12 Jun 2017 01:23:59 +0000 http://www.mdenisecostello.com/?p=6469 Kristine Hughes Patrone of Number One London and I spent 2 weeks in London (she is still there now conducting two tours). On one of the days we took the train to Winchester and met Beth Elliott, a Regency romance author who had come from outside Basingstoke. Beth has visited Winchester many times and showed us around the quaint city.

Two Jane Austen related pictures–she is buried under the slab in the first (in the cathedral) and died in the house shown in the second (just a few blocks away). Jane Austen was not from Winchester, but she had come to the city when she fell ill and then died there at the age of 41.

Pretty pics from the city and cathedral:

An old abbey found from Henry VIII’s time:

Elizabeth and Victoria in the Great Hall of the city:

More scenes from the city–a mail drop from George’s reign (Elizabeth’s father), the statue is of Alfred the Great, and a building using flint (quite common in Winchester):

This little church was located over the street  and archway:

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Pics from Trip to Gibraltar April 2017 http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/05/07/pics-from-trip-to-gibraltar-april-2017/ http://www.mdenisecostello.com/2017/05/07/pics-from-trip-to-gibraltar-april-2017/#comments Sun, 07 May 2017 16:13:55 +0000 http://www.mdenisecostello.com/?p=6414

At the end of April I went to London briefly and the next day to Gibraltar. These first 3 photos are my favorites. The coffee was good at the hotel in Gibraltar, the knotty trees up on the Rock were interesting, and the Moors and their castle were there before the British:

A few from London before Gibraltar. It was the London Marathon Day when I went to cross Westminster Bridge (in defiance of the terrorists).

The side of the Rock near the Hotel Caleta:

The part of the Rock facing Morocco. Not pictured but Morocco was just a blur on this day.

Various sides of the Rock and looking out over the Mediterranean:

Scenes from the city–  

Catholic church mural, “Little Ben,” steep streets, archways, and Casemates Square, the main square in the town . . .

The American Monument (WWI) and the Sikorski Memorial:

The King’s Chapel (small chapel in the town): 

Look at the old flags. I also did a blog post the previous day on Lord Uxbridge then saw one of his son’s memorials in the chapel. The chapel is a nice respite from the midday sun–Gibraltar is sunny 300 days of the year.

Some of the signs I snapped:

There’s always a Wellington connection:

More signs:

Pictures of the Barbary macaques:

One of the most enjoyable and interesting places visited was the Gibraltar Museum. This museum has a scale model of Gibraltar. From Wikipedia: 

The John Fernandez Rooms include a 8 metres (26 ft) long scale model of Gibraltar and also includes old photographs of Gibraltar. The model was completed in 1865 from a survey by Lieut. Charles Warren R.E. who later took a leading role in the Jack the Ripper investigations. It was made at the direction of Major General Edward Charles Frome R.E. and painted by Captain B.A. Branfill in 1868.


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