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.


Images & Copyright:  Lucy Elliott/Lucy Elliott Photography

The Kensington Magazine’s (new) Corporate Video Shoot

On a fine Friday morning with the first signs of spring we went to the Milestone Hotel to shoot our new corporate video.  Shot by Ian Gibbons of Panvista Productions, my career in acting commenced.  We started with a ‘look straight to the camera’ approach, but my acting abilities are limited. Catherine from The Milestone, clearly more adept at acting than myself, joined us to give a client’s perspective. Fresh from her role on the about-to-be-on TV programme (to be shown on 28th March) she was able to ‘look into the camera’ with great effectiveness.  On Ian’s advice we then re-shot my part, as though ‘in conversation’ with Catherine which made it much easier.  Ian, being incredibly thorough, had us acting out conversations, meetings, contracts and sipping tea and coffee, just to ensure he had a balance of what The Kensington Magazine is all about.  We then moved to film our offices in Dryland based in Kensington High St.   The video should be out in the next couple of weeks.

Many thanks to both the Milestone Hotel for allowing us to film in this beautiful hotel and to Ian for his dedication to making, what we hope, is a tremendous video encapsulating all aspects of The Kensington Magazine.

www.milestonehotel.com    www.panvistaproductions.co.uk   www.dryland.com


Jaime Winstone sits for sculpture

Jaime Winstone, the young actress who already has several films to her name (e.g. Kiduldhood, Bullet Boy, Totally Frank and Goldplated),  sat at the Calken Gallery to pose for Royal Academy-trained and Landsdeer Prize-winning sculptor, Michael Talbot.  In addition to Jaime, Sir Malcolm Rifkind has already ‘sat’, and there will be others in the near future, culminating in an exhibition at the Calken Gallery later this year.  Jaime  clearly enjoying the session made a model sitter.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com


Sir Trevor Macdonald charms local residents at a Charity Event in Kensington

Sir Trevor Maconald recently opened the ‘Curtain’s Up’ Charity Event in Kensington.  Delighting residents he happily posed with them and spent time chatting with actors and stallholders alike.  Actors from Bad Girls, Casualty, Sharpe, Coronation Street and others all took part in this event, raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society and SANDS (Stillborn and Neonatal Death Charity).  Sir Trevor gave a moving speech, and later in the day Susan Hampshire drew the raffle.  Refreshments were prepared by Master Chef Semi-Finalist Julia Gray.  The event was an opportunity for actors to donate their collectables with stalls offering handbags, crafts, jewellery and clothes.  The event raised £900 for the Alzheimer’s Society and £400 for SANDS.  Congratulations to the organisers and those who took part in the day’s event.





Abingdon Road Jubilee Street Party

With no rain drops in sight, just jolly bunting, excited children and smoky burgers, some 1,800 local residents enjoyed a one-off Jubilee Party in the Abingdon Road. Supported by Strutt & Parker and W8 Catering, organisers Jenny Botsford, Sarah Pascall, Councillor James Husband, Christina Munday, and Kate Greenwood put on a wonderful evening. A real party atmosphere with everyone declaring how wonderful it was (and somewhat wishing we could celebrate rather more often than the occasion lends itself to).
In some ways this was a re-enactment of the Golden Jubilee Party held ten years ago with1,000 residents. How things have changed. This time we had internet, facebook and twitter to alert the neighbours. We had young children dressed as the Queen, in her regal outfit, her country outfit or her garden party look. Prizes were awarded to three youngsters (sporting the above given look) by the Mayor of RBKC, Councillor Christopher Buckmaster and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Lady Borwick and the Mayoress, Ann Hobson.  Such a shame we have to wait another ten years for an excuse for such a right-royal knees up.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine

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)


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


A summer’s afternoon with Elvis and Queen Victoria

One of the most fun afternoons we’ve had in Kensington for ages.   A low key, family event in the wonderful surroundings of Kensington Palace.   A village fete type occasion which could have been happening in any village in Britain.  Instead we had an opened out marquee with Regency and Baroque dancers, together with dancers from the 1950s, jiving and a’ rock’n'rollin to Elvis.  The young and the old got together for a family afternoon of fun and dancing, stories and art.
Inspired by Royal Historic Palaces, local school children held a Fashion Show.  They designed and made outfits for members of royalty who had lived at Kensington Palace over the years.   We had William of Orange, Queens Caroline, Charlotte and Victoria, and Princesses Margaret and Diana (all in finery they would never have imagined).  There was even Peter, the Wild Boy.

The catwalk, 12 ft of it, was not, as Diana Olutunmogun said, a fashion show from Paris, nor even Milan, but from our very own London, Kensington Palace. Young children (some very young) sat on benches and watched in awe as “royalty” – children older themselves sashayed up and down.  ’That’s my brother’ whisphered one very proud little girl, rather loudly.  Grandparents beamed away, parents videod, tweeted or photographed.
Everyone was genuinely encouraged to join in the dancing, from 3 year olds to those approaching 80….   all showing various levels of talent!   Older sisters taught very little ones; professionals swung teens, parents and grandparents about.  The sun shone, families and friends had picnics, a small makeshift table provided teas, coffees, cakes and wines, for those who hadn’t realised this was an entire afternoon’s entertainment.   The most endearing and long lasting memory was of a boy, aged about 7, strumming his skate board very determinedly as though Elvis. Which of course he was. Obviously.
This was Kensington at its best.
images copyright Lucy Elliott

London Open Squares Weekend Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June 2011

Now is your chance to see those wonderful bits of Kensington you don’t normally have access to.

Open to the public for this weekend only are:
Kensington Square (Sun 13.00 – 17.00); The Roof Gardens (Sunday 08.00 – 11.00); Iverna Gardens (Sun 10.00 – 17.00); Lexham Gardens (Sat 10.00 – 17.00); Cornwall Gardens (Sun 10.00 – 17.00); and lastly a real experience, but I’m afraid only available to those who have already booked, Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace (Sat. 10.30 – 14.30)

In total there are some 214 gardens across London which will be open this weekend (117 exclusively for this event). One ticket £7.50 gains access to all (with the exception of Kensington Palace and Wormwood Scrubs). To find out more see www.capitalgardens.co.uk, or call 020 8347 3230.

Have a wonderful time!

Images below have been taken over the past few years and are from Lexham Gardens, The Roof Gardens or Kensington Square (incidentally Kensington Square was one of the earliest Squares in London, dating from the 17th Century and many famous people have resided here – the garden is also famous for it’s Hanky Tree, but please don’t expect to see this in bloom as it’s the wrong time of year – however it’s definately worth visiting this Square.  Bill and Ben are the famous flamingos  at the Roof Gardens, before Posh and Pecks joined them a few years later!  The horse resides in Lexham Square).


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.


Images Lucy Elliott

copyright: The Kensington Magazine