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Image via Tom Patterson (The National Gallery)

As London is simply overflowing with places to see and things to do, it can be overwhelming to pick and choose which ones to include when you are visiting for a few days. There are red bus tours, the Thames to wander along and the London Eye to queue for. There are West End shows to see and hatted restaurants to visit, and amidst the bustle and busyness there are also galleries and museums to see! If you only have a short time in London, here are three gorgeous classic galleries worth the visit!

National Portrait Gallery
Being one of London’s few free tourist spots is just one of the many perks of visiting The Portrait Gallery in London’s St Martin Place. If you are a history buff, or are merely interested in different characters throughout history (British, in particular), this is the place for you. With clear information and stunning canvasses, the gallery offers the world’s largest collection of portraits – so you may be there for some time! The gallery is open late on a Thursday and Friday, and there is a well stocked book store and gift shop. Pop into the highly recommended cafe to rest your feet and sip a cup of tea, before carrying on exploring fascinating people throughout time.

Image via Sarah Woo

The Tate Britain
Hosting the largest collection of Turner works as a free exhibition is a huge draw card for this Gallery which first opened in 1897. Also hosting popular exhibitions including contemporary art, of which you may need to book a ticket (they can sell out, so be quick!), The Tate Britain is known for its British art, spanning hundreds of years. With a lovely cafe to revive flagging muscles and a gift shop to perk up those who enjoy the shopping side of galleries, enjoy as long as you can spare here. And if you love Tennyson, hunt down The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse, she is poetry personified!

Image via Britta Jaschinski (Time Out)

The National Gallery
Standing proudly in Trafalgar Square, you can not miss this stunning gallery! Another free entry, The National Gallery boasts an astounding wealth of artwork, assuring you will find something you absolutely love. With ever changing exhibitions, do some research ahead of time to find out if there’s something that really takes your fancy. Give yourself as much time as you can to wander through the varied and well known canvasses, all well laid out and with clear information on hand. The gallery is open late on a Friday, hosts several options for delicious food, and a gift shop for those looking for some keepsakes.

Image via Astrid Athen (The National Gallery)

There are many more galleries in London which hold hidden gems just waiting to be discovered! However, these three classic galleries are guaranteed to fill you with a wealth of knowledge of art, inspire you with their varying exhibitions, and perhaps even cement a new favourite artist or artwork!

Ms Chinoiserie Says: The National Portrait Gallery is one of my favourites – you could literally spend days immersing yourself in history and art!

About Ms Honeycomb  – Hi, I’m Nicola, the florist and crafter behind rubyandjoy. I’m a gardening, fabric loving, mint tea drinking, brownie baking, book obsessed maker! I love a good adventure having just moved back from five years in Scotland (with my lovely Scottish husband).

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Honeymoons in Paradise - Where To Go In April - Polka Dot Bride

Image via Panache Tours

April is one of the best months for honeymoons. The days are getting longer in the northern hemisphere, with birdsong and greenery make a perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway.

1. Paris, France
Who doesn’t love Paris in springtime? As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea.”

Where to Stay
Enjoy spectacular view of Parisian rooftops at Hotel Daniel and watch the sun set over the tip of the Eiffel Tower from the ‘Daniel Suite’. Indulge in all things French too at the Saint James Paris Hotel. The two-level suite overlooks the grand entrance and the grounds. The suite is outfitted with whimsical details such as ‘parquet’ carpet and a tweed armchair with elbow patches as armrests.

Image via Saint James Paris Hotel

Image via Hotel Daniel

What to do
Stroll along the Seine hand-in-hand with the love of your life or take a glimpse of the famous Mona Lisa at the Louvre – the choices are endless. Invent your own scent as an olfactory memento of the romantic trip at Number 68 on the Champs-Elysees, the glittering home of Maison Guerlain. When night falls, settle into a booth at legendary Le Crazy Horse theatre and be thrilled by a modern-day Moulin Rouge.

2. Cyprus
Cyprus is an excellent destination for a beach holiday or for a walking adventure. This ruggedly beautiful and interesting island in the southernmost of the Mediterranean is wonderful in springtime.

Where to Stay
Cradled by hills and fronted by the ocean, Anassa Hotel is a regular nominee for the world’s best spa. The impeccably groomed hotel is the definition of Greek chic with fantastic views and private balconies. Set on Paphos’ sea-facing promenade, Almyra Hotel in Cyprus is decorated in simple, cool hues with minimal extras. The ‘Kyma Suites’ have private terraces that lead to a shared lawn overlooking the sea.

Image via Anassa Hotel

What to Do
April is the perfect beach weather at the coast – warm enough to swim in the sea, and not yet too hot. For nature lovers, April is the greenest month of the year, and the hillsides are bursting with wonderful light and colour. The mountains of Troodos are dotted with wineries and painted churches, many of them rated as UNESCO Heritage Sites. Admire the spectacular and vivid paints of saints in Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, one of the most spectacular of the painted churches.

Image via Visit Cyprus

3. Tokyo, Japan
April is cherry-blossom time in Tokyo and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful times to visit the city. Parks across the city are filled with thousands of cherry trees. However, it is also peak tourist season, which means more crowds and peak season prices.

Where to Stay
Luxury hotel Aman Tokyo takes a nod to the traditional with its decor – the lobby mirrors the layout of a traditional home, complete with a meditation garden. Enjoy the spectacular Tokyo cityscape from Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Sky Lobby on the 38th floor, then ease away a day of walking and sight-seeing at The Spa.

Image via Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

What to Do
Rent a boat and surround yourself in shades of soft pink and falling cherry blossom petals at the Kitanomaru Park. Hundreds of cherry trees decorate the moats of the former Edo Castle, creating one of the most outstanding cherry blossom sights. Tokyo is a foodie heaven with many hole-in-the-wall eateries, so take a stroll along the backstreets at night and indulge in the sweet and savoury treats that Japan has to offer.

Image via Japan Travel

4. Barossa Valley, South Australia
For wine-loving Australian couples looking for a short-haul getaway, Barossa Valley combines Mediterranean-style climate in April and some of the best wines in the world. The Autumn months are a reprieve from the scorching summer weather making sight-seeing a more comfortable affair.

Where to Stay
The Louise Hotel is an exquisite, contemporary dwelling featuring 15 architecturally inspired suites on a vine-lined hillside. Immerse yourself in a piece of history at the Kingsford Homestead Hotel. The country retreat was the centrepiece of long-running TV drama ‘McLeod’s Daughters’.

Image via Kingsford Homestead Hotel

What to Do
For those looking to combine taking in the Barossa’s scenery with a dose of added exercise, take the opportunity to pop on a helmet and hop on a bike for a cycling adventure. The close proximity of a number of the region’s best wineries to one another, coupled with the scenic landscape, makes Barossa one of Australia’s most enjoyable leisurely rides. Whisper sweet-nothings to each other from over 100 metres apart at the Whispering Wall Road. The abandoned dam’s curved shape leads to voices being carried from one side of its arch to the other.

Image via Barossa House Wine Tours

5. Riobamba, Ecuador
Tucked away in the Andes, Ecuador’s colonial town of Riobamba charms visitors with its cobblestone streets, Spanish-style architecture and large arcaded plazas.

Where to Stay
A new boutique hotel in Riobamba, Mansion Santa Isabella offers 11 stylishly-appointed rooms surrounding a gorgeously appointed central courtyard with its own singing fountain. Set in a country-style house with elegant Colonial decor, Abraspungo also features chic rooms with garden views and private balconies.

Image via Mansion Santa Isabella

What to Do
Rimbomba is a favourite base for trekkers and climbers due to its proximity to many of the country’s best hikes and tallest mountains. Known as the ‘valley of the volcano’ the region features jagged landscapes that are sure to blow you away. Whether you’re celebrating Independence Day with the locals at lively concerts and colourful parades or strolling through the weekly market on Saturdays, Rimbomba is a fantastic honeymoon destination for April.

 

Ms Chinoiserie Says: The Barossa in April is just stunning with its Autumn colours; for an adventure overseas, Cyprus looks so beautifully romantic too.

6 Things To Love: Daylesford

Image via Lake House

Located amongst the Great Dividing Range, the small spa town of Daylesford is what you would call ultimate bush luxury and ideal for any romantic getaway, especially honeymoons. Situated only just an hour and a half from Melbourne, the leafy green heritage town is sure to make you wanting more when you leave. So grab your better half and discover what there is to love about this enchanting little piece of Australia. Here are six things to love…

1. Secluded villas. Boasting extraordinary views and gleaming with luxury, Interlude is a sophisticated one bedroom villa perfect for any romantic getaway. Nestled amongst the bushland, the urban villa includes a large open sun deck, a luxurious outdoor jacuzzi, a large open plan kitchen and living space with huge glass windows complementing their surroundings. This secluded honeymoon retreat is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Image via View Retreats

2. Relaxation. Located just out of Daylesford is the historical Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa. Welcoming visitors since 1895 to bathe in the region’s mineral water, the Bathhouse and Spa also offers a magnificent day spa with a variety of relaxing and reviving treatments. Enjoy being renewed and recharged with your other half by indulging in the Day Retreat Package which includes the choice of a 60 minute Hepburn signature massage or a pure replenishing facial. Also part of this luxurious escape is a regional tasting plate and a glass of wine, how relaxing! What better way to unwind and recharge your wedding batteries than pampering yourselves.

 Image via Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa

3. Regional dining. Lake House, awarded with two Chef’s Hats and inclusion on Australia’s Wine List of the Year Hall of Fame, is the ideal place for two love birds to enjoy an exquisite dining experience. Supporting small local growers and producers, Lake House produce is all hand picked and delivered daily, ranging from lamb, rare breed pork, grass fed beef, fresh water fish, sheep and goat’s milk cheese, heirloom fruit from old orchards and windfalls from local gardens. The seasonal, high quality food and wine will be sure to get your taste buds dancing. Book a table for two and gaze at the magnificent views and let the passionate team at the Lake House amaze your senses. Stay at their elegant hotel too and an enjoy all the sophisticated pleasures of this rural retreat.

Images via Lake House

4. Wombat Hill House. If you and your beloved are up for a bit of an adventure then why not take a walk up to Wombat Hill House which is situated in an ancient extinct volcano and explore its enchanting gardens. Prized for their beauty, the gardens are perfect for that afternoon stroll, with panoramic views and the Wombat Hill House Cafe when you reach the top. Enjoy a cocktail or two, whilst sitting outside watching the sunset, how romantic!

Image via Wombat Hill House

5. Wine time. Enjoy a long lunch and a glass or bottle of local wine at Passing Clouds Winery in Daylesford. The award winning winery is best known for its great atmosphere, good food and accompanying wine. Book a table for the two of you, choose the ‘feed me’ option and let the staff at Passing Clouds indulge your tastebuds. The menu is delectable with a range of  paper thin ribbons of cured meats, toasted local bread, homemade pickles, organic local farm grown vegetables, cheeses and of course wine. Relax, eat and drink your way through the afternoon together.

Image via Passing Clouds

6. The perfect ending. A great way to finish your honeymoon, why not book a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Daylesford and the surrounding areas. Enjoy breath taking views of rolling hills, vibrant scenery, rich red volcanic soils, beautiful blue waterways and green forests, all whilst in each others company and enjoying a cheeky morning champagne. After your flight, indulge in a five-star champagne breakfast. What a perfect way to end a perfect honeymoon.

Image via Picture This Ballooning

 

Ms Chinoiserie Says: I am totally in love with Daylesford; Autumn, with the magical colours of the russet and golden leaves, is my favourite time to visit!