Monday, 20 May 2019

Her Majesty's Garden Party 2019

One day as a kid I went to see Buckingham Palace. It had been a long day, my feet were in shreds, and I walked down the road at the side of the palace barefoot, exhausted from sightseeing. It then dawned on me that the wall on my left was the Queen's wall, and on the other side of those bricks was her private garden. As a child, that idea seemed magical. There was another day, quite a few years before that, where children across the country were encouraged to enter a competition to win an invite to the Queen's birthday party. I entered, and I was desperate to win -- but I didn't, obviously.

Fast forward to 15th May 2019, aged 20, and I finally got to see the other side of the wall at Her Majesty's garden party. Say whaaaaaat. (To be clear, I'm not cool enough to be properly invited by the Queen; I was just tagging along with my boyfriend and his mum, who had actually been invited to attend.)

Dress: Paper Dolls | Fascinator: ASOS | Bag: Michael Kors | Jewellery: Ted Baker | Shoes: *shrug*

We entered through the back of the garden, meaning we got to wander around the rather lavish grounds to get to the main lawn you see in all the pictures and on TV. Weirdly, as soon as we stepped through the gate, the air changed, and I'm not shitting you, it smelled royal. Gone was the London pollution, replaced with the freshest air I have ever smelled?! And I actually live in the countryside. Maybe they have fresh air pumped in.

The Queen, although in residence at the palace, was in a meeting all day with international dignitaries, and so didn't attend the party. Instead she was represented by Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess Anne, and we were so close to them! There were 8,000 guests so I had only expected to see maybe one of them from a distance -- not all of them up close.

I will never ever ever have cake as nice as the cake I had there and that makes me sad. Guys, it wasn't even Waitrose standard, it was above. I'm aware that that makes me sound like a peasant but, like, I shop at Aldi; I don't usually move in rich circles. Also, I'm pretty sure the apple juice was pressed from a thousand apples. Very apple-y.

Anyway, it was the most amazing and surreal day, and I really, really enjoyed it. (And I didn't have a panic attack, yay.) Amazingly, there were four of these parties, with approximately 30,000 guests in total!

Have you ever been to one of Her Majesty's garden parties?

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Gringotts Wizarding Bank at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets by Warner Bros. to attend the launch but I have not been paid for any of the following content.

A few weeks ago Warner Bros. kindly invited me to the launch of their new addition to the Harry Potter studio tour: Gringotts Wizarding Bank! I first visited the studios a few months after they opened in 2012, and back then it was fairly small. My next visit in 2015 was a little bigger... and my visit after that in 2017 was bigger still...

But this time, they've really outdone themselves. Driving into the car park, I barely recognised the place, and if you haven't been in the last couple of years, you won't either. Not only have they added more parts to the tour, like the Hogwarts Express and Gringotts, but they've completely re-done the outside, and the foyer is all new, too.
Saturday, 4 May 2019

Tour My Collaborative Travel Journal

Last Christmas, I got a large Moleskine sketchbook which I had asked for with the intention of making it into a travel journal. However, I had a slight problem in that I'm not very good at art journalling. The fact that I'm not good at it means I don't enjoy it. But making a travel journal was something I really, really wanted to do - so I enlisted my mum, an artist, to collaborate on it with me. I decided that she would do the backgrounds - well, most of them - and I would do the decorating. I was much happier with it that way, and I love what we've created so much that I thought I would share with you the travel journal so far...

I really like our arrangement. I'll tell my mum which page is next, and if I have a colour scheme or any ideas in mind, and the rest is up to her. Then I'll stick bits and pieces in, work on the typography, and generally finish it off. Our house might as well be an art shop, so I'm lucky in that there's no shortage of supplies...!

Follow my mum on Instagram @ZoeFordCreates.

What's your favourite page?