Marianne and France

One of my definite highlights from last year was finally seeing inside Windsor Castle – however, although I very much enjoyed poking around the gloriously opulent state rooms, my favourite bit was having a good old look at Queen Mary’s Dolls House, which is on permanent display in the castle and is a beautiful masterpiece of miniature art. However, rather […]

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Dismaland

“This event is so much more than just an art show, well, two things more. It’s got a bar and a cinema. Think of this as a fairground that embraces brutality and low level criminality – so a fairground then. Here you’re encouraged to consider, not just consume, to look, not just spectate and most important of all – beware […]


Buckingham Palace, Summer 2015

My blog has provided me with several pinching myself to check that it is real moments over the years but perhaps none were quite so grand or amazing as Wednesday morning’s adventure when I was invited to a very special function in an otherwise empty of visitors Buckingham Palace where we were promised cake and a private tour of the […]

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Poldark competition!

I am still so in love with the recent BBC adaptation of Poldark that I had a dream about it last night. Not that I’m complaining, mind as after all, who wouldn’t want to have a period costumed Aidan Turner holding hands with them during the night? Exactly. In my dream I told him how he almost hit my husband […]


Camp Bestival 2015

This is the story of how I went to a festival by accident. It may involve some Withnail and I quotes. There may also, as is traditional, be some occasional wry commentary on various aspects of British middle class behaviour that were observed and eye rolled over while I was at the aforementioned accidental festival. I still wholeheartedly recommend that […]

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Penny Dreadful

As it’s well known that I am of a somewhat goth persuasion, it’s probably of absolutely NO SURPRISE to absolutely anyone that I am a massive fan of the series Penny Dreadful, which plunges hapless viewers into the darkly beating heart of the terrifying demimonde of 1890s London. In Penny Dreadful, most of the capital’s citizens are still reeling from […]


London Trip: Day Three

Gosh, it seems like AGES ago that we got back from our impromptu family visit to London and I still haven’t finished bombarding you with posts about what we saw while we were there! Never mind, here’s the last update – which might turn out to be pretty short as I’m not entirely sure that I can remember everything that […]

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Phryne Fisher Fashion

I have now run out of Miss Fisher’s Murders episodes to watch and probably have one hell of a wait to endure before the third season of Phryne Fisher’s escapades land on Netflix. Sad times. I’m consoling myself with the books, which are very entertaining but so very different to the series that they’re just making me feel even more […]


Love for Love at Bristol Old Vic

One of the best things about living in Bristol (and let’s be fair, there are MANY great things about living in this amazing, vibrant city) is being able to hang out at the beautiful Old Vic theatre on King Street, which still retains many of its original Georgian features and is absolutely lovely both inside and out. In fact it […]

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Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Who doesn’t love a really good Netflix binge? I know that I certainly do! We don’t actually watch normal terrestrial television because ugh reality shows and adverts and yuck (I make very rare exceptions for the likes of Peaky Blinders, Poldark, Wolf Hall, Game of Thrones and Ripper Street, which I watch on catchup an hour after everyone else has […]


Greenwich Maritime Museum

When I was a very little girl, I used to spend a lot of time in London visiting my great grandmother and other family members. We lived in the Scottish Highlands at the time and would get the sleeper train down from Aberdeen and make a real event of the whole thing, visiting the Tower of London, making special shopping […]

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Dover Castle

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my recent English Heritage giveaway! The winner has been notified and will hopefully have their membership cards in their clutches very soon! I absolutely love being a member of English Heritage as they really do have something for everyone – from Roman forts to cottages to castles to stately homes, including Osborne […]


The Roman Baths

Even though I have lived in the West Country for over ten years, I am ashamed to admit that until just a few weeks ago I had never set foot inside the famous Roman Baths at Bath. This oversight becomes even more peculiar when you consider that I live in Bristol, which is probably less than fifteen minutes away from […]

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Last Day in Edinburgh

I had such an amazing time during my recent research trip to Edinburgh. I’ve already shared posts about my first few days, which were spent researching my three upcoming Marie de Guise books at various royal palaces associated with her residence in Scotland and to cap it all off, here is a post about my last day in the Scottish […]


Linlithgow Palace

Of all the places that I visited during my recent research trip to Edinburgh, Linlithgow Palace was perhaps the biggest surprise. I went along one rainy morning expecting to find a completely empty shell but instead discovered that there is much more than that left standing of the former pleasure palace of the Stewart Kings of Scotland where both James […]

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WWII at Dover Castle

As long term readers of my blog probably already know, I’ve been on a bit of a massive quest over the last twelve months or so to properly educate myself about WWII, a period of history that I somehow never managed to learn about at school or university and about which I was woefully ignorant about until quite recently when […]


Marie Antoinette: An Intimate History

I’m so sorry about taking a month off from my blog but I hope you’ll all forgive me when I reveal that the reason for my absence was a brand new book about Marie Antoinette, based on decades of pretty obsessive research (both primary and secondary) and thoughts and questions from all of you. A couple of years ago I […]

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Falkland Palace

James V and Marie de Guise, anon artist, c1542. Photo: National Trust for Scotland. Oh dear, it’s now over a month since I returned from my amazing research trip to Edinburgh and I still haven’t finished writing up all of my adventures for this blog! In my defence, I’m incredibly busy right now with my other writing projects so haven’t […]


Bletchley Park – The Imitation Game

Long term readers (you poor poor things) may well recall that around a year ago, I came clean about my shameful lack of knowledge about the Second World War. This was not entirely my fault – despite going to three different secondary schools, all of which have since been ranked as ‘outstanding’ by Oftsed (God only knows how or why), […]

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