Tiny Hippo in the Silver Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum

There are tons of great things to see when visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The silver galleries beautifully house an exquisite collection of silver. The most spectacular way to enter the galleries is by the Ceramic Staircase which provide a glimpse into the original designs of the museum and the founding desire to focus on design as well as craft.

The Ceramic Staircase is a remarkable entrance to the Silver Galleries

The Ceramic Staircase is as functional as it is fanciful, and no one minds if a tiny hippo slides down the banister; in fact, a small crowd formed while this hippo slid gleefully down the railing

Once you reach the Silver Galleries be sure to note the two Minton ceramic clad columns that were reconstructed after a discovery of some of the original tiles in the museum’s basement.

Minton ceramic column in the Silver Galleries

There are many strange and delightful trinkets on display in the Silver Galleries.

These sharp bird scissors are just one of the many whimsical things that live in the silver gallery

There are a wide variety of miniature silver pieces in the collection, many of which were designed for children.

While children may have been the intended users of these pieces, one should not negate the ways in which a tiny hippo could take advantage of them, if only someone would open the case for him

There are a number of hands on activities in the Silver Galleries.

Playing hide and seek in the silver steins is a favorite game for any hippo visiting the galleries

There is also a great activity where you can make your own hallmark, just like those found on real silver.

One can first view real hallmarks through magnifier glass on the works displayed in the galleries before trying to create a hallmark

Here is the process for creating your own hallmark.

Place the silvery disc under the press, be sure to center it evenly

Apply all your force on the lever

Retrieve your treasure, it is your badge of honor for a wonderful visit to the Silver Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum

The Silver Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum provide a wonderful display of imagination and creativity. I would highly recommend a trip to this museum and a playful exploration of the Silver Galleries, located on the third floor.

Kew Palace, The Dutch House

Kew Place is a lovely brick manor house located in the Kew Botanical Gardens, London.

Kew Palace, was once known as the “Dutch House” because of its Dutch gables

The perfectly maintained hedges and topiaries add a key architectural feature to this property

The Queen’s Garden is a formal garden that lies behind Kew Palace

The plants in the Queen’s Garden are those grown in Britain before and during the 17th century.

The symmetrical lines of Kew Palace are mirrored in plantings of the Queen’s Garden

This mallard liked the tranquility offered by this pond in the Queen’s Garden. The statue in the center of the pond is a copy of Verocchio’s ‘Boy with a Dolphine.’

This Venetian well head is a focal-point of the parterre garden

This marble satyr stands guard next to a leafy hallway

Looking west down the leafy hallway in the Queen’s Garden

We found the exterior of Kew Palace and the Queen’s Garden to be a wonderfully tranquil retreat from the rest of the gardens. The Queen’s Garden is one of the more structured outdoor gardens at Kew, making it a great location for traditional photography.

Kew Gardens: Golden Pheasant Don’t Give a Hoot

We discovered this strange fellow near the Minka House in Kew Gardens, England. He was not disturbed by anything. Most people didn’t even notice him because he was so quiet. One man almost stepped on him, that’s how nonchalant this Golden Pheasant was.

Golden Pheasant at Kew Gardens doesn’t give a hoot

He will leave when he wants to, don’t mind him.

Kew Gardens: The Adventure Continues

At Kew Gardens there is a lovely pair of Canada Geese who are very protective of their little ones.

Here they are starting off their morning stroll down the path.

The geese with a little one

The wee goslings would often stop on their walk to examine their surroundings.

Mama says, “Don’t stare at the strange man with the camera, dear.”

Mama would often give here brood tips on how to behave in public.

“Just walk along and ignore any strangers you might happen to meet.”

The morning stroll was enlivened when papa goose discovers a treasure.

“I found something!”

The little ones dashed over to see what papa had discovered.

“How is it? Is it good?”

After papa goose nodded his approval the little ones crowded in to get a taste of the delicious orange bread.

“What a great treat!”

But all was not well, for in Kew Gardens lurks naughty Raven, who is always stealing everyone’s snacks. Today was no exception, Raven was on the prowl for tasty pieces of bright orange bread!

Becoming more famished by the minute, Raven watched the goslings devour the scrumptious orange bread.

But mama and papa goose saw Raven watching them and were having none of his monkey business.

Mama and papa goose honked and hollered at Raven, but he did not leave.

Of course, Raven was too proud to be scared off by a bit of goose chatter, he dove in to claim his orange prize!

Papa goose saw Raven coming and stood his ground.

However, Raven was very hungry, a puny indignant goose would not detour him.

So, papa had to chase after Raven

And chase…

And flap…

And he even puffed himself up so that Raven would be frightened of him, puffing-up was papa’s secret weapon.

Finally, Raven gave up. Papa duck was very proud and strutted back to mama goose.

Papa goose proclaimed to mama and the frightened little ones, “Puffing-up always does the trick!”

With the naughty Raven out-of-the-way, the family was able to seek out and enjoy their yummy orange bread.

The wee goslings could not find the bread on their own, mama had to show them where to find it.

Once they had found the tidbit, mama goose sampled it to make sure it was still good for the little ones.

“Mmm… yes, that will do.”

Once mama gave her approval it was a free-for-all, the wee ones fought as vigorously for the bread crumbs as Raven had.

“What’s that there! No, don’t, I saw it first!”

“Aww! Come back here!”

Peace was restored, as it always is, when all the food had filled the tiny bellies.

“Come dears, its time to continue on our walk.”

All the little ones said yes mama, hoping that around the next bend would be more amazing bright orange bread.

Everything is Larger in London

A common theme that I noticed in London is that everything is rather large.

The tree trunks were tremendous.

Cross-section of a stump at Kew Gardens

The gold coins were giant.

This gold coin at Harrods was huge!

The columns were colossal.

Just look at this one, it is covered with bathroom tiles!

Minton tiled column in the Silver Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum

And the kitty cats were massive.

There were several cats at Trafalgar Square

He did not seem to like being called “kitty cat”