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Trailfinders’ Australian Garden at Chelsea wins Gold & ‘Best in Show’

Designed by Phil Johnson of Phil Johnson Landscapes and supported by Wes Fleming, this sustainable garden certainly created waves at Chelsea. One of the largest displays with 300 tonnes of rock being transported from to Chelsea from Scotland. The sustainable garden within an ‘urban environment’ featured a gorge, waterfall, and billabong. Lush ferns with bright kangaroo paws and bottle trees featured reflecting the imperatives for the design which included water capture and conservation, promotion of sustainability, use of recycled materials and solar panels. This is Flemings’ ninth year for supporting an Australian garden, and the seventh and last year Trailfinders will be exhibiting at Chelsea. Mike Gooley (Chairman of Trailfinders) was present with his wife, Fiona.

Below are some images of Chelsea in general, the Trailfinders Garden and some well known faces amongst the crowd.

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Images & Copyright:  Lucy Elliott/Lucy Elliott Photography

Local Restauranteur raises money for a Portable CT Scanner

Local restuaranteur Patrick Taco of Chez Patrick in the Stratford Road, together with the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Cllr. Christopher Buckmaster and Mayoress, Anne Hobson joined friends and residents of Kensington to raise money for a portable CT Scanner. Bob Corp-Reader, OBE and Trustee of the Metropolitan Masonic Charity gave a moving speech and the total raised that night was £1385.00. The Masonic Lodge Charity has previously raised funds of £2M which purchased a CyberKnife for St Bart’s Hospital.
If you would like to donate, please do so via: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/finalCharityHomepage.action?uniqueVmgCharityUrl+TheMetropolotianMasonicCharity
Patrick, a London Freemason has been recognised for his charitable contribution by the Metropolitan Grand Master who honoured him for his services.  Well done to all concerned, especially to the staff of Chez Patrick whose salary went towards the charity that night.

Anne Hobson, Patrick, Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Cllr. Christopher Buckmaster and Brian Sylvester, the Toast Master.

Image & Copyright:  Lucy Elliott/Lucy Elliott Photography

Sir Malcolm Rifkind hosts Kensington & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce Summer Party at House of Commons

A wonderful evening to network and an excuse to study the fine architecture of the Houses of Parliament. Wine and canapes on the Pavillion Terrace overlooking the Thames, with the sunlight on St Thomas’ Hospital, the Eye and other architectural delights of London.

A mixture of members and members guests were entertained by Malcolm (a witty speech-maker) and Greg Hands MP. Members from other Chambers were present too – the Terrace, balmy evening and drink made for a most convivial and easy networking evening. Thanks must go to Julia Walker-Smith who organised the event, with about 200 attending.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine
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Photography Workshop in Mallorca 24 Feb – 28th Feb

Fabulous few days!  How to learn to take photographs and have a great break at the same time. Small group tuition led by professional photographer Michael Potter in the photogenic surroundings of Pollenca. Three things that matter: the ISO, the Av and Tv.  From here we mastered the art of shooting fast objects either clearly or with blur to give the impression of speed, portraits with a model or unsuspecting folk in the Sunday market and how to use lighting – all with the purpose of ‘telling the story’.

Michael is a natural teacher and together with his wife, Fiona, provide a most convivial environment in which to learn photography.  Accommodation is provided in their beautiful home in Pollenca with terraces, pool, studio and sitting rooms – minutes from two squares, numerous bars/coffee shops, a large Cathedral, a Roman Bridge and bustling Sunday market. So plenty of photo opportunities.

Would thoroughly recommend Eye Photographic Workshops as being a great place for beginners or intermediates to learn or refresh techniques. Price (four nights/five days) includes transfers, accommodation, food, drink and tuition but excludes flights. For more information see www.eyephotographicworkshops.com.  An excellent two day workshop is also available in Chiswick (tried and tested!)

Images taken by Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine on this workshop (copyright: ibid)

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Children learn ‘Petite Etiquette’ at The Kensington Hotel

The Kensington Hotel is a smart hotel, but one known to be child-friendly which is a great bonus when taking kids out. And what better than after a session at the Science Museum or ice skating at the Natural History Museum than to have a nice cosy afternoon tea at the Kensington Hotel, in the knowledge that your kids will know how, and indeed, will, behave.

So no more squirming with embarrassment whilst little Jonny plays merry havoc. If you are having little success teaching your own kids, then why not hand them over to Jean Broke-Smith (of Ladette to Lady TV fame) who, for an hour, will teach your children everything they will need to know (certainly until they get to adult hood). The courses, run at the Kensington Hotel, are designed to be fun and helpful to children. To know what it appropriate behaviour in a 5* hotel, and what isn’t. Of course an additional benefit is that (in theory at least) these new found skills can be transferred back at home.

So what does Jean teach children between 5 and 10? Well the basics such as how to sit at the table, not to have elbows on the table, how to say please and thank you, how not to speak with your mouthful or wave the cutlery around. How to hold a tea cup (full of hot chocolate with a tempting marshmallow in the bottom which was a little too much of a temptation for some of the kids trying out this session). Don’t get up from the table for a little wander around and don’t play with your games/phone at the table. All this sounds a lot for some of the really tiny ones there – for India (aged 5) some of this might have been a bit over her head – but she certainly knows how to hold a cup of hot chocolate! The sessions are free and are being held at the Kensington Hotel, SW7 on Saturday 12 and 19th November, followed by some more in April.

At the end of the session the children were asked if they had any questions. One bright spark (aged about 6) asked how you said thank you if you were in France and you did not speak French. “You could ask Mummy” was one response from the older sister – another response from the teacher herself, was not to worry, generally most people understood the word ‘thank you’ in whatever country you were in. The children were then shown how to leave a napkin on a seat when going to the loo, and how to leave it on the table once they had finished. So the departing scene was of 5 children very seriously folding up their napkins placing them neatly back on the table. They had finished. The hot chocolate, the sandwiches, the scones and the cakes. They might have finished and the food disappeared. But the manners will stay with them for life.

For more information on ‘Petite Etiquette’ call 020 7589 6300

Images: Copyright Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine

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The Launch of ‘Gardening Leave’ at Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea

Gardening Leave is a small charity, founded by Anna Baker Cresswell in 2007.   It provides a safe haven for ex-Service personnel by offering Horticultural Therapy in walled gardens .   The safety of the garden, i.e. walled in structure is particularly important since most of the veterans visiting the garden suffer from hypervigilance as a result of their time in active service.   This means they live on their live on their nerves and constantly look over their shoulders.  Hence in a walled garden there are no nasty surprises, and gradually with time, the veterans learn to relax in this environment.    This is the third Garden Leave Garden and the first in England.

The new garden was officially opened by Ben Fogle, just back from his trip with Prince Harry in the Arctic (and perhaps a little more used to adventure and exploration than planting trees!) and CEO Anna Baker Cresswell and in the presence of the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor James Husband.

To find out more about this charity, please see www.gardeningleave.org or call 01292 521444

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Images Lucy Elliott
Copyright: The Kensington Magazine

Last Chance to see the Spring Blossom in W8!

There are only a couple more days left to see the splendid cherry blossom in Brunswick Gardens and Palace Gardens Terrace. If you haven’t seen this before, it is well worth a look. And take your camera as its spectacular.

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Images Lucy Elliott

copyright: The Kensington Magazine

Charity Dinner to raise funds for a Cyber Knife – Providing a different kind of radiotherapy care for Cancer

Local restuaranteur Patrick Tako, owner of Chez Patrick in Stratford Road, W8, hosted a Charity Dinner with the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor James Husband in attendance, together with his wife, the Mayoress.

The four course dinner was to raise awareness and funds for CyberKnife – a new frameless radiosurgery system which targets treatment more accurately than standard radiotherapy.  It is revolutionary in that patients do not require anaesthesia, there is no recovery time and patients can usually be treated and go home on the same day.   It is not yet widely available in the UK although there is a CyberKnife at The Harley Street Clinic.

Patrick, together with colleagues from the Metropolitan Masonic Charity are aiming to raise the required £3M for a second UK CyberKnife  to be installed at St Barts Hospital.   At the beginning of March, a substantial sum of £500,000 had already been paid to Barts and the London Hospital towards this goal.

The charity dinner at Chez Patrick raised £1,772.00 with guests paying generously for raffle prizes as well as the dinner.   John Hussey of the Metropolitan Masonic Charity received the cheque from Patrick.

As Patrick explained his incentive to try and do as much as he could to raise money for the CyberKnive, is one, sadly borne of the recent loss of his father last year to cancer, and then weeks later, finding his mother had breast cancer, and cancer on the kidneys.   His desire to raise as much funds as possible is tangible.  He finished his speech with the words ” if we all give a little, we can achieve a lot”.  Simple but true.

If you would like to contribute towards this essential peice of machinery to help those with cancer recover, please give as generously as possible to uk/virginmoneygiving.com/charities/The Metropolitan Masonic Charity

From left to right, top to bottom:

Images: Lucy Elliott

Copyright: The Kensington Magazine: (a)  John Hussey, The Mayoress and Mayor; (b) Patrick Tako and John Hussey

(c) Patrick Tako;

Copyright: Brian Mackett: (d) Patrick Tako, The Mayoress, Mayor and Lucy Elliott

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Kensington in the Spring

Well a couple of weeks later, and Kensington is in full bloom. Absolutely stunning. These were taken in the afternoon around Kensington Gardens, The Albert Memorial, Kensington High St. and St Mary Abbots Church.

Images: Lucy Elliott

Copyright:  The Kensington Magazine

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The Mayor’s Awards – 31 March 2011

Tonight the Mayor for Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor James Husband hosted the 10th Mayor’s Awards. These are given to a small number of people within the community who have “made an outstanding contribution to those who live in the Borough” thus enhancing a community spirit. Of the many entries received, after due consideration by the Panel, only a handful receive this Award; in W8 we had Kevin Barrett, an octagenarian (approaching the 90 end of 80), who has worked tirelessly over the past twenty years to help raise funds and give support to the League of Friends of St Mary Abbots. The work helps the care of elderly at Beatrice Place Nursing Home in the Marloes Road, and the Princess Louise Care Home in North Kensington, providing hospice care for those with severe dementia. Kevin has run the charity single handedly and acts as both Treasurer and Fundraiser to the League. He organises outings and managed to raise enough funds to host some 48 concerts for the residents, as well as Christmas presents for everyone, plus a donation of £3000 for the benefit of the residents. He also visits members of the elderly community in the area, and helps tend to their gardens. He can often be seen traversing the streets of Kensington encouraging retailers to give raffle prizes. It is with his positive attitude that helps families come to term with their illness and future. He has truly enhanced people’s lives. As one supporter said, Kevin is an unsung hero. The League provides relief for members of the community who are sick, convalescent, disabled, handicapped, infirm or in need of financial assistance. (www.thekensingtonmagazine.com)

Images: Lucy Elliott

copyright The Kensington Magazine