Thursday, 17 September 2015

To Bournemouth In Quest Of Beauty

Well as ever we managed to cram much into our annual September long weekend in Bournemouth.

This year we tried a different hotel - gee that was a mistake.Let's just say we won't be staying there again!

Having said that the location was good and the other side of Bournemouth to where we usually stay. We checked in and went for a mooch round town, ate chips on the beach (because that's what you have to do because it's the seaside law) then took a lovely long walk to Boscombe and back to clear the cobwebs.
We called in for a drink on the seafront at Boscombe and watched with interest whist a bunch of ladies did a boot camp circuit training thing right under our noses, I guess it's more fun to do on and around the beach than in a gym? I can't say circuit training has ever appealed, I'm fat, lazy and get bored easily for a start, drinking wine whilst someone else exercises is always going to win.

On Friday we decided to visit The Russell Cotes Museum because they had a Mucha exhibition 'In Quest Of Beauty' on and Himself is a big fan of Mucha.

 I'm somewhat ashamed that I have never visited this amazing museum before now, it is everything I love in a small museum and the extraordinary Mucha exhibition was just the icing on the cake.

The Museum was actually the Russell-Cotes family home before they donated it and it's contents to the people of Bournemouth. Finished in 1901 and crammed full of all the things that they collected on their extensive world travels, the museum somehow still manages to maintain the warm feeling of being in someone's home rather than an institution. 
I know it's not everyone's taste, and it was even a bit too full of stuff for me if I'm truly honest! but wow did this cliff top house with it's stunning sea views make me wish I could live there!! Look at the beautiful peacock mural, this went all around the whole room.
Below are just a few of the many pictures I took. More of fixtures and fittings than views of the rooms as you will see.

There was even an elephant stained glass window so how was I not going to love it?
 I was also taken with this beautiful side table.
Part of the ceiling came down at one point so it was repainted in the 1930's with this deliciously Art Deco version of Venus.
Look at the detail,on this door furniture. This is the door to the Lily Langtry toilet no less!

The swallow stained glass was repeated often through the whole house.
I loved this painting on the landing.
One room had peacocks the other had slightly more sinister crows!
The gorgeous stained glass dome above the stairs and all this before we even got to the Mucha exhibition.
We both thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, though as a graphic designer (Himself) and an ex-art student (Me) we both would have liked to see many more of his preparatory sketches. The skill and detail of the few that were there was astonishing.
Mucha was also very interested in photography and there were some wonderful pictures he took himself to use as preliminary ideas for future works. 
   I do love to see originals of prints I have at home, we have the two pictures above as wall plaques. All in all very well worth the visit and somewhere I will most definitely go again.
There was even a fabulous 13th century statue of Ganesh borrowed from the British Museum on display
We didn't stay to sample the busy cafe though I gather it is very good, but did do a quick browse of the gift shop where I bought this print of an old railway poster.
As we still had the afternoon ahead of us and the weather had decided to behave we took a long walk along the seafront to Southbourne and back.
Quick cheeky cider and a sit down!

On Saturday I did my annual meet up with my friend Alison. This year she took me to visit Emporium in Christchurch. It's quite new and still not fully open but we had great fun browsing the mad mix of crafts, gifts and vintage. I ended up buying loads of bits and pieces and this was where I nearly bought the other red vintage handbag, but in the end the price tag was just a little too much given it's well loved condition.
Ironically I was just telling Alison how I never ever wear skirts anymore when I found an absolute beauty for £2! A full tartan swing style skirt in the right length for me, a bit too big but well it had to be done.
Now I just need to get over the skirt thing and actually wear it!

So what else did I buy?

A make your own brooch kit and cat print scarf for my Mum not pictured
Who could resist this cat egg cup?
A ceramic brooch.
and a pressed glass jug that went straight into service catching the water that was dripping through the ceiling when we got home! 



  1. I love Mucha and that looks like a cracking exhibition. Aren't those murals fantastic?
    I used to go out with a bloke who made me get up on a Sunday Morning and do circuit training, it didn't end well....
    Love the cat egg cup and looking forward to seeing you in that skirt. What a bargain! xxx

  2. I love Mucha too and there's so mucha loveliness here....sorry Look at that sketching. Superb.
    Love the cheeky cider shot and get in to that bargain of a skirt. Will look fab.

  3. Never been to Bournemouth, but always thought the Coates Museum sounded ace. How nice they let you take photos! I like that ceramic brooch, reminds me of agate. Hope the leaks aren't too bad!

  4. That museum looks wonderful. I visited to the Mucha museum in Prague, it's really fantastic.
    The quirky cat is a beauty, and we need to see you in that skirt, please! xxx

  5. There was a Mucha question on University Challenge tonight!! Did you see? It's donkey's years since I went to Bournemouth, bet I wouldn't recognise it now. It used to be amazing for shopping when we were kids. Let's see you in the skirt? Xxx

  6. What an amazing place with all that architecture and art, let alone the delights of the Mucha exhibition. Great photo of you indulging too! xx

  7. That place looks amazing! I love some interesting architecture. And what a fabby skirt! My friend is blaming me for her recent skirt acquisitions, saying she never wore them before now. I can't help it if I'm a style icon... (ha! I'm so not)

  8. Serious contender for the cutest eggcup ever there. Aww!!! It's always such a delight to see your vintage/second hand finds, dear lady. Though the thrifting gods smiled on me in July, no such luck in August or September (so far). We'll see what fall holds in store there.

    Wishing you a splendid first week of autumn,
    ♥ Jessica

  9. That museum looks amazing - someone else (might have been Cate) also blogged about it a while back. Mucha's stuff is just heavenly.