Posts from the LIFESTYLE Category

Winter Walks, Laura HowellWinter Walks, Laura HowellWinter Walks, Laura HowellWinter Walks, Laura HowellWinter Walks, Laura HowellWinter Walks, Laura HowellWinter Walks, Laura HowellWinter Walks, Laura HowellSpring is fast approaching and I don’t think I could be any happier to finally say goodbye to this cold weather! I certainly won’t miss wearing layers upon layers in the hope of not freezing, but before I say hello to spring I want to share these last snippets of winter.


As staircases go the one in City Hall, London is fairly impressive. Its understated, simplistic curves and never ending spirals make for one aesthetically pleasing piece of architecture. Residing on the banks of the Thames, near to Tower Bridge the building is most well known for housing Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London among other city officials. Starting from the top I indulged in the view, which unfortunately wasn’t much further than Tower Bridge in all its grandeur (at a squint I could just about make out Canary Wharf in the murky distance). However I was far more taken with the view coming down, it was a slow meandering process that involved stopping at every other step;  but that staircase just doesn’t have a bad angle! I visited City Hall as part of Open House London and I am very tempted to visit again next year as this Norman Foster designed building is possibly one of my favourites!

Sensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesSensational ButterfliesIf you have an interest in all things that flutter then you may like me have visited the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London. Upon entering the tent you are transported into a sickly sweet paradise (aka a greenhouse) filled with a variety of different species flying overhead. It was interesting to see the evolution of these delicate insects, from caterpillar to chrysalis, to their final form. The chrysalises are flown in from all over the world to create this little tropical home filled with sweet smelling flowers to attract the butterflies; and it really was filled to the brim with these wonderful creatures in all stages of their very brief lives.




Summer in SouthwoldSummer in SouthwoldSummer in SouthwoldSummer in SouthwoldSouthwold in SummerSummer in SouthwoldSouthwold in SummerSummer has been and gone and autumn is already making its presence known here in England. Endless cloud cover and a drizzling of rain is becoming the norm. So I’m hiding inside today, cocooned under my duvet with a plethora of hot tea to keep me warm; wishing I could back to a sunny day. I took these photos in Southwold, a quaint Suffolk town a few weeks ago when the sun was shining brightly and it was acceptable and warm enough to eat ice creams on the beach. Its one of my favourite places to amble around, indulging in treats and just exploring all the cute shops. Whilst there I shot a few photos for my sister’s blog, which you can find here.

Above is a montage of all my favourite iPhone shots, many of which are on my Instagram.



Leadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketLeadenhall MarketI’ve walked down Leadenhall Street many times, but never have I managed to stumble my way into this charming indoor market. Dating back from the 14th century Leadenhall Market is one of the oldest in London, and the mix of ornate architecture and decor instantly transports you to diagon alley a time of colonialism and British rule. Unfortunately my accidental visit was early on a sunday morning and most of the shops were still closed, but there were a couple of stalls open selling some wonderful handmade items.


HoltIn my opinion a birthday can’t be celebrated or even acknowledged without a cake and the blowing of candles/ birthday chanting charade that comes with every passing year. You squeeze your eyes shut and blow with all the muster you have, like you life depends on it. All whilst making that crucial wish of course. It’s not official until you can smell the waft of burnt candles – marking that realization that another year has sped by. As the cake is clearly the most important element of the day, me and my best friend decided to make a little field trip to get one. We headed up the coast to our destination of Holt in North Norfolk, wherein lies Byfords; the most charming english cafe/ store/ B&B you may ever come across. After seeing the menu, neither of us needed much convincing. Katy ordered the eggs arlington and I got the posh fish finger sandwich which was incredibly yummy. After brunch I chose my cake (a classic victoria sponge- sold in the store) and spent the afternoon pottering about Holt, dashing between the cute shops whilst hiding from the ever lurking rain.

For more photos and daily updates you can follow along through Instagram.



The last of my photos from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and I think I saved the best till last. ‘Positively Stoke-on-Trent’ was designed in partnership with Bartholomew Landscaping and it represents the future of the city, with the aim of being self sufficient in energy. You may wonder how this is communicated through the vibrant display of blooms and the ambiance of the quietly bubbling pool. Hmm well I didn’t quite get it either, but I cheated and read the display book!  The colour scheme is enchanting, with a mixture of English roses in glorious hues of pink and intricate ceramic globes placed in between. I couldn’t help but photograph them, and show them off in all their beauty. If you missed my first two posts from the Chelsea Flower Show you can find them here and here.




Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014 The Great Pavillion at Chelsea is filled with the most opulent and lavish displays, with every last nook and cranny of the vast tent populated with both people and plants. I loved wandering around capturing all of the beautifully coloured blooms – especially the multi colored array of lupins which dazzled the crowds. On the Saturday at exactly 4pm the annual plant sale kicks off and the whole tent erupts with noise. It is one of the craziest sites you will see, with people jostling to scoop up any bargains and struggling away with humungous plants; often larger than themselves. Anyone who doesn’t have a chauffeur (which is most of us) can be seen ambling to Sloane Square underground, and it must be the most bizarre site for anyone passing through as the platforms are filled with showgoers and their purchases. This year I brought back one of the lovely bright sunflowers (seen above) from the Marks and Spencers stand, but it’s since perished which doesn’t say much for my plant tending skills.


Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014Chelsea Flower Show 2014

Apologies this post is long overdue, I’ve been editing and rewording for days now. My visit to the Chelsea Flower Show seems like it was weeks ago, leaving me with a slightly hazy memory and very sore feet. Although the tickets were slightly expensive, it is an all day affair with an abundance of plants and gardens. Of course if there isn’t a horticultural bone in your body then it may not be the place for you! There is much to see, plenty to eat (ahem chelsea buns) and of course drink, in the form of Pimms.  

From top to bottom: The Telegraph Garden, Gold Winner designed by Tommasco del Buono & Paul Gazerwitz // A Garden for First Touch at St George’s, Silver Winner designed by Patrick Collins, The RBC Waterscape Garden, Gold Winner designed by Hugo Bugg (such beautiful blue Irises) // London Square, Gold Winner designed by Jo Thompson

Patience is really the key to seeing the outside gardens, with little or no space to move about you have to really have to treasure the moments of space. Best avoided during a thunderstorm (which saw the entirety of Chelsea cram into the show tent) but the place to seek out at 4pm when plant sale craziness kicks off!


Whilst in London the other day, I couldn’t help but stop and stare at the magical christmas windows in Selfridges. From the pretty lights that decorated the store, to the intricate window displays; I was slightly in awe. The trip wouldn’t have been complete without a wander inside. I breezed through until I got to my favourite part- the food hall, I just love looking at the yummy, to die for treats. Unfortunately this time I left empty handed, and settled with just these lovely photos instead.