The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace is currently exhibiting The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy 1714-1760. Now I’m not sure if it’s baby George that’s causing a bit of a Georgian hype/revival with several exhibitions and a BBC tv mini-series with Lucy Worsley entitled The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain recently aired. Regardless, my lust after fine paintings, etchings, sculpture, porcelain and furniture drew me out.
The exhibition explores the taste and royal patronage of George I and George II in a period of dramatic change across Britain. Satirist William Hogarth’s moralizing art print series including A Harlot’s Progress, 1734 and Marriage à-la-Mode, 1745 tell cautionary stories.
Chelsea plate, soft-paste porcelain, c.1755.
Meissen porcelain tea and coffee service, c.1730.
This would make a suitably fierce, regal throne/desk chair to help me make those tough decisions from while writing my dissertation. Though I’m not entirely convinced over its comfort in the long run.
It’s been a new experience discovering Uppsala, Sweden with its many historic buildings such as Uppsala Cathedral which dates back to the late 13th century, Uppsala Castle from the 16th century, Uppsala University which was founded in 1477, and one of Uppsala University’s renowned scholars Carolus Linnaeus’s garden and house.
Although I’ve been extremely busy with the apartment renovation and interior design project that I’m currently working on, I’ve managed to squeeze in a bit of time to explore my surroundings. Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve found so far.
Had a phenomenal Saturday evening at Drottningholm Palace with Christopher O’Regan and the dazzling actor Johan Rabaeus who’ll play the character Salieri in the upcoming play Amadeus at The Royal Dramatic Theatre, (Dramaten).
The evening was a triumphant success with a mix of theatrical readings by the talented Johan Rabaeus, then Christopher O’Regan narrating the audience through the good and the bad of life during the late 1700s with classical interludes performed by a small ensemble playing music by Mozart, Kraus, Roman and more.
Picked up a signed copy of Christopher O’Regan’s book En Bädd av Dun, Livet Vid Gustaf III:s Hov (A Bed of Down, Life At Gustaf III’s Court) which I can’t wait to begin reading.
Then, an after party in the company of Johan Rabaeus. Splendid!
Although I find myself physically in Brighton it’s as if I’ve been transported to a foreign, exotic place when looking at and exploring the interiors of the Royal Pavilion. Think Taj Mahal meets Disneyland mixed with lots of chinoiserie and scattered empire style furniture. A bit of a hot mess stylistically which only goes to show the eccentricity and eclectic taste of it’s creator.
After wandering the long corridors of the Royal Pavilion a hit of sugary, indulgent ice cream seemed only appropriate. Queue Gelato Gusto located in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine serving “artisan gelato” which might just sound like a fancy name for ice cream but given their selection of flavors, they certainly earned the title. Stocking flavors as wild and unique as Turkish delight, red bull sorbet, banoffee pie, maltesers, and blood orange sorbet to name but a few.
Ah I wish I could have bought a big cup with at least 10 different flavors giving me the chance to try the most intriguing ones on offer but alas I settled for a cup with two generous scoops, one of their sea salt caramel and the other maltesers. Yum, worth a trip to Brighton in itself!
I even found Bond Street in Brighton – not London and the excitement started brewing immediately but ultimately the experience was short lived upon realizing that the luxury boutiques I was expecting were nowhere to be found.
Forget about wasting your time reading 50 Shades of Grey, as the truly salacious stories of illicit romances can be found in my latest and most intriguing read to date entitled Royal Romances by Leslie Carroll.
If you’re as curious as me when it comes to living life as a European monarch, this book spans through seven scandalous and seductive centuries telling “titillating tales of passion and power in the palaces of Europe”. There are chapters on Charles VII, Henri II, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Catherine The Great (Catherine II), Marie Antoinette, Napoleon Bonaparte and many more. The word notorious just doesn’t do some of these monarchs justice. Intrigued yet? I literally haven’t been able to stop reading!
Sunday, Sunday… Marie Antoinette candle from Cire Trudon, Paris, Ladurée Marie Antoinette thé, and what better to indulge in than a little bit of scandalous living with The Queen’s Lover? (by Francine du Plessix Gray, The Penguin Press New York, 2012)
This historical novel told from the point of view of Count Axel von Fersen, lets you in on the untold love story, phsst, as if there was ever something going on there… between my darling von Fersen and Marie Antoinette. It all begins with a masquerade ball in Paris in 1774 and spans the course of the French Revolution. Fersen joined the French troops in the fight for American independence. Upon his return, France is on the brink of the French Revolution, which calls for an escape for the royal family, an attempt that failed. Back in Sweden, Fersen came to be viewed as the enemy and lost his life to a savage mob. Drama!
Steninge Palace, outside Stockholm, Sweden, is a baroque palace built between 1694-1698 and completed around 1705. It was inspired by Chateau-de-Vaux-le-Vicomte in France. In 1735, it was bought by the Fersen family. Axel von Fersen was murdered in 1810, falsely accused of conspiracy but later acquitted.
Stopped by my imaginary lover’s palace, Steninge Slott belonging to the late darling Axel von Fersen. Move over Marie Antoinette, I think I’d settle down nicely in this stylish mansion.
The view was spectacular, with the water coming straight up by the palace garden. My need for symmetry has been fully satisfied by yet another trip to a fabulous palace property. But the hunt continues…
What’s that I spot, a dark and reclusive love grotto? Ooolala, how scandalous!
In the Baroque gardens there was a monument honoring the life and unjust death of Axel von Fersen, probably best known internationally for his love affair with the French queen Marie Antoinette.
Another day, another palace to enjoy. Welcome to the ever so stylish Tullgarn Palace! Enjoy!
Beware of the dog.
Little known fact but, the gift stores are filled with their own little treasures. Not only dashing postcards of the stylish interiors and dapper portraits seen inside but it also happens to be my source for regal “äppelmust” in Swedish, apple juice. Yum!
Recognize this, my faithful devotees? In an earlier post I wrote about my future home, featuring this palace as inspiration. I’ve passed the beautiful exterior many times but, this summer casually passing by with envy in my eyes didn’t suffice, so I headed in doors. This little summer retreat in Stockholm’s Djurgården, a former hunting park, was built in the 1820s for King Karl XIV Johan, the first Bernadotte. The palace has never been a year round residence.
The interiors were lovely as I had expected but it’s still just as satisfying to get it confirmed. Me and auntie saw the beautiful sights of Rosendal palace and garden.
After enjoying the sights, we stopped by Rosendal’s garden café, which much to our disappointment were out of essentially everything. I was looking forward to nibbling on one of their summery salads, but to no avail.
Stopped by Rosersberg palace to enjoy a tour of the beautiful interiors, the view and enjoy a picnic in the palace park. An extravagant excursion. I’d love to share some images of the divine decor but sadly photography was not permitted.
I made a new friend during my adventures, this adorable furry little baby calf. Far too cute!
Luxury picnic that consisted of homemade ciabatta sandwiches with a filling of smoked turkey, lettuce, Brie le rustique, and Vacherol cheese, served with cucumber sticks. Yum!
Enjoyed a bottle of La Mortuacienne Citron, Reine des Limonades.
The homemade pie made from apples from my apple tree turned out delicious. Recipe in previous post. Give it a try and enjoy!