It's been a couple of years since I've been to Cambridge, but I was convinced to go when I heard the Fitzwilliam Museaum was hosting an exhibition called"Treasured Possessions" even more alluring was an exhibition of Turner paintings, and a collection of jewel encrusted snuff boxes.
Anything shiny, and I have to go see! I swear I used to be a magpie in a previous life!
But I couldn't go to Cambridge and not take in all the sights and smells of the market, the lovely little Antique boutiques and some of the incredible architecture that makes up this idealic city.
First up were all the Antique shops, I was lucky enough to find an incredible little antique yard down an alleyway at the side of this shop. The sellers had all manner of curios- one specialised in radios, another in retro chairs, another in 1960s and 70s clothing. It was a mine of amazing finds! I was considering buying an old butter crate and using it as a planter for my herbs back at home.
Next, I head to two little antqiue shops that sat back to back- my favourite- The Hive- had an incredible array of memorabilia and an impressive collection of silver spoons. On the walk into the city, I came across this rather colourful bridge, the railings had been yarn bombed too which was simply magical!
Once into the city, I head straight through the shopping archade and on to the market. It was a hot day so the allure of freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh fruit and the smell of flowers was so welcome. I settled for an ice cold mango smoothie and a little browse through all the shabby chic stalls. Of course I had to have a bag of sweets too! I would love to make foam bananas or prawns into jewellery- how fun would that be?
After a little shop around the market I walked past the university, I love all the little shops that line this stretch, my favourite being the fudge shop where you can watch fudge being made by hand, and grab yourself a free sample too. It was so facinating to watch and really proves that culinery skills can be quite the craft in themselves.
Arriving at the Fitzwilliam museum late afternoon, I took a moment to sit on the cool stone steps before heading inside. First up was the jewelled snuff boxes which I had been absolutely dying to see. Unfortunately the museum didn't allow photos, but the boxes were just incredible- some with diamonds and other precious gems that were the size of an eyeball! All of them had been expertly lit and twinkled as you walked around the display.
I then went through to see the Turner Exhibition, it was absolutely breath-taking. I always loved how delicate Turner's brushstokes were and admired the detail in his architectural paintings. Finally, I ended up in the Treasured Possessions Exhibition, the first thing that caught my eye was some Victoriam mourning rings, I've always been a little bit fascinated with anything weird or morbid. Most of the rings had locks of hair in which was a little creepy, but in despite of that they were all very beautiful.
There was also lots of gorgeous pottery which I sketched some patterns from. I honestly love sitting in museums and drawing, it's one of my favourite things. There were also some stunning shoes from the 1700s- bright yellow with pink and red flowers and satin laces, I took a few notes about the colours. Perhaps we'll see a range of jewellery inspired by this trip, eh?