Friday 23 January 2015

An a "Maze" ing day in London

Yes I know the title is a little contrived but it amused me for a while and it does sum up the meal we had at Maze to celebrate my Hb's birthday on Tuesday. Although he works in London all week we both never tire of visiting this amazing city. We were both born and raised in London and even though we moved into the suburbs during our early married days we are still only 20 minutes by train from Victoria.

We wanted to try a new restaurant for his birthday treat. We have eaten at Claridge's when Gordon Ramsay was the chef there but have never eaten at any of his other restaurants.  We had a look at OpenTable on the Internet and decided to book at Maze, his restaurant at Grosvenor Square.

Tuesday was a perfect winter day, cold but blue skies and sunshine so we wrapped up warmly and took the train up to Victoria and then the tube to Oxford Circus. We wanted to walk via Regent's Street and Mayfair. Just look at that sky as we emerged from the tube exit.

I spotted on of the new route master buses whizzing past as we waited to cross to Nike Town to see if there was any new running gear my Hb needed as part of his birthday present.
 We then walked past the Palladium, I love this Art Deco building

and Liberty's
 and took at detour via Carnaby Street to visit the Ben Sherman shop
 There was a TV drama being filmed at the time...not sure which one but we may even feature in something as we walked past!

We then headed towards Grosvenor Square and our lunch spot
 Maze is in a gorgeous Georgian building which overlooks Grosvenor Square.
Our table was perfectly situated looking out the the square. London is blessed with so much green space.

Now the meal was fabulous and what I was particularly taken by were all the different textures of our food. Everything was so tactile and tasted as good as it looked. At this point I said to my Hb that I was inspired to make a Moment of our meal. M is so good natured with my art work and never despairs that I find my inspiration everywhere.

After 5 delicious courses we walked back to Oxford Circus this time via the Square, it was so pretty.

The trees looked gorgeous despite their nakedness, real lungs of London.

On Tuesday evening our darling son and his dog Bear joined us...a perfect end to the day.

My head was already buzzing with ideas for my Moment so I jotted a few ideas down and finished off my piece after work today. There are some great challenge themes running at the moment and I wanted to join in with these too so I included their themes too in my creation.

First I made an inky background using a mixture of brown and green Distress Inks as these were to represent the trees, the brown/natural decor in Maze and the green grass of Portland Square.

Next I used my Imagination Crafts tree stencil to give a watery tree shadow in the background and then I used my Visible Image winter tree stamp to add some trees in the foreground.

I also used my "These are the moments" Visible Image stamp on some inked card which I tore the edges of.

There was an elaborate railing at the restaurant and I thought that I could use a cut out window frame I won from a recent card challenge but use white rather than black to represent the window that we sat at. I stained my window frame with Picket fence distress stain. You will see this fully in a later photo

I also wanted to include some texture as these were the crackers we were served..
they had different seeds and one had chocolate in the ingredients but it was still savoury...!  Delicious!

I decided to use Frantage and corrugated card as part of my focal to remember the brilliant crackers.

The wine waiter suggested that they made me my very own cocktail. I love gin and wanted something quite floral but not too sweet and could not see anything which suited on the menu. This pretty pink frothy creation was brought to our table, complete with a deep red raspberry floating in the centre. I was told that if I didn't like it they would make something else...annoyingly it was perfect ;0)
It was just right...not too sweet but with perfect floral undertones.

I wanted to add some "love" to my Moment so I inked up some card with red and pink DIs and hand cut 3 out.They are the same colour as my cocktail. I also wanted to represent  the froth in some way.

To do this I added some puffy paint through my Tim Holtz heart stencil.

I heated it and up came my frothy puffy hearts. I loved this effect but still felt it needed something else so I reach for my Artistic Stamper calligraphy mat and added some text using red Archival Ink.

On the left is how they puff up with the heat, and the large photo shows them inked up.

I had such fun making my Moment, here it is;
You can see the window frame clearly above. These are some close ups;
I inked up a die cut TH tree and added text to this too. The trees we looked out to were so beautiful in the wintry sunshine. I added lots of Frantage as it gave a great wintry feel to my Moment plus the texture I wanted.

I even tucked in the Maze business card.
Of course I had to first distress it's edges with Gathered Twigs distress ink and I also added some Frantage! I really like my altered business card, I wonder if Mr Ramsay would approve? I added some Remnant Rubs too with some loving inspirational words.

This will be stuck into Jane's Journal and when I look at my Moment I will be able to recall the sights and tastes of our wonderful meal.

I would like to enter my Moment into the following challenges;

Frilly and Funkie Winter wishes
A Vintage Journey love is in the air
Imagination Crafts anything goes I have used the trees form their "The Clearing" stencil.
NoorUK! With love
Simon says stamp Monday Winter stamping
Simon says stamp Wednesday have a heart
Rhedd's Creative spirit anything goes
Craft stamper take it make it Take a stamp
That Craft Place Love/Valentines
Make the day special recycle something I would not usually use a business card...but I think it fits in really well! I also recycled part of some packaging my Body shop order came in to make the focal.

We are looking forward to our family coming to a buffet party to finish the birthday celebrations tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend and I hope you find some time to be creative. Remember that inspiration (and love)  really is all around us and sometimes it's in the most unlikely of places.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x


  1. What a wonderful post Jane which makes great reading. You obviously had a memorable day and I love how you have documented it in this page for your Journal. It's bursting with inspiration and your frothy hearts are fabulous.Thanks for joining in the challenge at A Vintage Journey and good luck.
    Enjoy your weekend, Julie x

  2. So glad you and M had a lovely day and meal to celebrate his birthday. Lovely too that you have your moment to remind you of it always, I love your tree and the hearts are gorgeous! :)
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend of more birthday fun!
    V x

  3. Sorry Jane can't resist this but love your a-maze-ing work of art. You have included so much detail mixed with lots of love and perfect to remember such a special day. So glad the weather was good and that you enjoyed yourselves. Happy belated birthday to your hubbie.
    Thanks for sharing this with us at AVJ, see you soon.
    hugs Brenda xxx

  4. Sounds like you had a fabulous day, reading all about it felt like I was there too lol
    Love your creation too

  5. A forever keepsake of your awesome day :) xx

  6. A stunning creation...loving all the elements and how you can relate to them...fabulous.
    Thank you for joining us over at Rhedd's Creative Spirit..x

  7. Oh my goodness, Jane.. thanks for sharing your adventure through London and your amazing birthday dinner with your beloved. *H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* to your husband! Your card is another work of art.. you should frame it! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  8. what an amazing post dear Jane!
    I don't know where to begin...

    First, i know Mr Ramsay would be honored and I sincerely hope you will email him a picture of your moment and a link to your post!

    Second, thank you so much for sharing you love, words and beautiful pictures of this great city!
    I repeat myself but it's been so long, too long since I was there last. You allowing us to see it through the eyes of a true Londoner is such a treat!

    the parallels between you inspirations and creations are very interesting as well.
    Just a beautiful, inspiring and thought provoking post all together. Thank You!!

  9. Fabulous!
    You're invited to come play along with us! Word Art Wednesday has weekly Anything Goes Challenges with GREAT prizes every week. We hope you will join us here:

  10. What a fabulous reminder of what looks like a wonderful day. Thanks for joining in with the Craft Stamper challenge ...... good luck! Linda xx

  11. Wow Jane, this certainly is an Amazing post!! Your photos of your London adventure are stunning and the way you have translated those experiences into you creation is stunning! Thanks so much for joining us at A Vintage Journey

  12. I love the way the hearts turned out with that puffy paint. Thanks for joining us at the Take It Make It Challenge.

  13. Quite nice day out in London. We've been to the Palladuim, years ago, when we saw Neil Sedaka. A couple years ago we were able to see him here in OR and he still sounds pretty good at his age. Lovely card and the business cards adds a touch of where you were midst the tree and window. You are so fun!! Have a good day!

  14. It's wonderful that you treasure moments when they happen and get inspired at the same time. The best way to go through life! And Daisy is adorable as always :)

  15. Beautiful photos of London and they inspired a beautiful piece of art! Love that muted background and the lovely gates. Thanks for playing along with us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge!

  16. Wow! Looks like you had an amazing time in London, and I love how it inspired you to create your Moment :o) The background with trees is just lovely and the way you've brought all the elements together is so clever. Thanks for sharing with us at Rhedd's Creative Spirit ~ Steffi xx

  17. Thank you so much for taking us along with you to London, your photos are wonderful - and I love your 'Moment' too, those puffy hearts are beautiful and I love how you created the trees. Thanks so much for joining in with us at A Vintage Journey. Anne x

  18. Hi, fab-u-lous moment, thank-you for entering the challenge at imagination crafts, good luck, x

  19. What a wonderful way to remember a special moment and so clever too.
    Thank you for joining us at Simon says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

  20. Oh goodness you've captured that very special family occasion so perfectly here Jane. I love how you've taken inspiration from so many elements about your meal and the whole day. And thank you for a trip down memory lane again (I want to ride one of those funky new Routemasters!) Thank you for joining us at Frilly and Funkie. Jenny x

  21. This project is a fabulous way to pay homage to your fabulous day. I love seeing the photos and how you replicated what you saw with such lovely stamping and texture. It sounds like that restaurant needs to be on my wish list for my next visit to London. Now if the exchange rate would just settle down so I can afford to make the trip. Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie.

  22. Wow!! I just love how each part of your collage was inspired by your trip to clever and some nifty recycling too :0)
    Thank you for playing along with our challenge this month at Make the Day Special Stamp Store :)
    Jenny x

  23. What a wonderful piece you have created based on your fantastic day. Even though I'm an Aussie Britain does it for me too and London is such an interesting city,
    The pulling together of your elements is lovely. Thank you for a wonderful read and a beautiful piece of art to contain your A-maze-ing day!
    We appreciate your linking up to Rhedd's Creative Spirit this challenge.

  24. Hello Jane,

    I was so sure I left you a comment on this post, but somehow I must done something wrong while writing with my phone (technology&me, not a perfect match!). But here we go again: You seem to had a wonderful day, and your moment captures it all beautifully. That meal looks so so yummy and that drink....ah! Please send M very belated but very BIG&WARM birthday wishes!

    Happy start for your February!



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