London, beautiful city

15 October 2011
Ben Pentreath

‘Your blog’s getting really boring’, a friend said to me the other day. ‘Enough already with pictures of hills and your garden in Dorset’.

I’ve got to admit – it’s been getting a bit repetitive recently. In fact, life’s been getting a bit repetitive – too much work, and not enough play. It shows…. I mean, there’s only so many dahlias we can take.

In the end I decided to stay in London this weekend. We’ve got a big project which we’ve been designing down in Chelsea, and today was the day that I thought – I’ve got to spend a bit of time just absorbing it all in. So I became a tourist for the day in my own city. It was sort of work, but at the same time fantastic. I got up early, and headed west, armed with my camera.

London was extraordinary in the cold October morning. It looked like the city was scrubbed clean. I feel winter will be knocking at the door any minute now…. the park attendants were folding up the deckchairs in St. James’s and loading them onto tractors – into storage for another year.  The river shimmered at low tide. More importantly, there was a rather cute farmer at the Pimlico Farmers market.

Later, as the sun warmed us up and we basked in the slanting afternoon light, I avoided the Freezers (Frieze Art fair was mental), carried on up to Islington and stopped by the Regent’s canal.  On the way, Lloyd Square glowed and the post office tower shone out from the skyline.

At the end of it, I arrived back home pretty knackered, and having fallen back in love with our amazing city (which implies I had fallen out of love, which is not strictly true.  Just too tied up to appreciate what’s on our doorstep).

Oh – and – I want a leaf green Porsche please. Bedford Square was good, but the car was flippin amazing.  Just in case you were wondering what to buy me for my birthday….


20 comments on this post

Ben, some of us will never get bored with photos of the ancient, dreamy, rolling Dorst hills! But I love London, too. Was there several times in the ’90s during a stint working a civilian job with US 7th Army in Germany. Hope to visit again! Thanks for the photos.


Oh London is just the best city to walk around – so much nicer than buses and tubes. Due your architect eye will in future be looking above the doorways and down at the railings….

I thought that shade was called Kelly Green…? Whatever, it’s a grand colour on that car.


My appetite for dahlias is undiminished. And I love the wonderful houses. Why can’t we have an end to Modernist architecture, that is not only hideous but now, for those who think it matters, pastiche?


love your blog, your shop, your dorset home and your beautiful architecture… go on ben!
p.s. please say you are gay :-))


Thank you Tristram. Um… you guessed! hehe.

Ellen Spencersays:

London is my favorite city in the world. ‘Nuf said.


I agree with life being about duality. Both London and Dorset are parts of your life Ben and thank you for sharing them. Keep up the wonderful posts on all aspects of your life!

Ben- oh no! that Porsche! really?


The best of both worlds, you can really have it all!

I’ve just been admiring a revamped and newly painted leaf green chest of drawers on one blog, only to land here next and see a Porsche in exactly the same shade … surreal!
Lovely photographs of a city I wish I knew better 😀

Speaking as one who was lucky enough to live in one of those houses on the canal, this is a soothing balm for the homesick heart. Thank you.


Lush photos. Apart from that ‘orrible’ green car.


Duality has much to recommend it. I loved spotting the locations in these pictures. Just as I love spotting them in your Dorset pics. Keep up both sides of your life please. Grass is green and porsches apparently are greener.


yesssss!!!, to hell with Dorset. london’s the place to be.
what a wondrous city we inhabit.


Well done Ben, your friend was correct, but now back to inspirational blogs. Great photos

Lovely autumnal pictures, the first canal picture is gorgeous with the water reflections, the sunlight, and the smoke drifting out of the boats funnel.

What a shining city. Thank you for the pictures. I love the idea of a city that has seasonal deckchairs in the parks. And, for the record, I love the idyllic country house posts too. Life is about balance I suppose. Thank you Ben.

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