A Celebration of Orchids at Valentines Mansion

The Orchid Society of Great Britain’s Spring Show is Coming to Valentines Mansion, Ilford on Sunday 7 March.

Head over to the grade II* listed building for this annual celebration, featuring competitions, special displays as well and many stalls selling a wide variety of orchids from all over the world.

There’s more than meets the eye with these fascinating plants, and this will be the perfect opportunity to find out everything there is to know about orchids! For example, did you know, one of the first orchids discovered by the western civilization was the vanilla orchid which we still enjoy today? And believe it or not, with more than 25,000 species, there are more orchids on the planet than mammals and birds!

Where you’re a member of the society or just part of the general public, there will be lots to see and enjoy. With collections of rare and unusual orchids grown at home by competition entrants hoping for a chance to win prestigious cups and other prizes, to stunning displays throughout the house from other orchid societies and specialist nurseries, you’re in for a great day out.

Visitors will be able to browse and purchase a variety of these fabulous plants from all over the world, including Latin America, China and Africa as well as modern hybrids from the great orchid nurseries of Europe, and the Far East.

Members will be on hand throughout the day offering advice on how to successfully grow orchids and to answer other questions you may have.

Saturday 7 March, 10am-4pm, tickets are just £3 per the general public, and free for OSGB members. For more information and tickets visit:

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Autumn Artists’ Open Studios at Valentines Mansion

Visitors to the Mind, Body & Spirit Fair at Valentines Mansion will be treated to the perfect spot of retail therapy. The talented studio artists who occupy the historic second floor of the grade II* listed building will be inviting guests into their studios – normally a private workspace for the eight designers.

From pottery to basketry, painting to fused glass, sculpture to photography – browsing the studios is a real treat and you’re sure to find lots of unique handcrafted items.

It’s also a great opportunity to chat with the artists and see them at work in their studios. Many of them will be busy creating their next masterpiece, which is always interesting to watch. If you’re on the hunt for an extra special gift, then this is the place to be. Take away a one-off creation, handmade in the studios at Valentines Mansion.

Meet Our Artists:

Lisa Atkin: With a passion and a need to “make” with her hands, Lisa’s creative journey continues to see her working in an ever expanding variety of mediums which have included stained glass, ceramics, mosaic, felt making and green wood working, but more recently basketry.

by Lisa Atkin

Cinzia Castellano: A Florentine abstract painter who has been living and painting mainly in London for over 20 years, as well as in New York and her native town.

By Cinzia Castellano

Anne Eggebert: Specialising in site-specific drawing and photography, Anne also teaches Fine Art at Central St Martins UAL.

By Anne Eggebert

Louise Moore: A talented ceramic artist inspired by architecture and archeaolgogy. Louise is well-known for her drawings made from photographs, which are then transferred onto clay using a special photographic screen printing process.

By Louise Moore

Jason Rose: A skilled painter, inspired by the environment, spirituality, quantum mechanics, as well as places he’s visited, animals and people.

By Jason Rose

Amanda Seljubac: A respected artist in the fields of pottery, stone carving and most notably stained glass.

By Amanda Seljubac

Sadia Ur-Rehman: Sadia Ur-Rehman is a multi-media artist who has worked with a number of major museums, cultural institutions, local authorities and community groups to deliver her unique pop-up tea parties using tea as a connector to bring people together.

By Sadia Ur Rehman


Julian Walker: Julian Walker is currently working with printmaking and sculpture as well as lecturing in print history, and teaches at the British Library.

By Julian Walker


Valentines Mansion Artists’ Open Studios – Sunday 27 October, 10am-4pm, FREE ENTRY

Mind, Body & Spirit Fair, Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October, 10am-4pm, FREE ENTRY


Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4XA

Nearest tube:  Gants Hill on the Central Line

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A Weekend of Well Being at Valentines Mansion

Our annual Mind Body, Spirit Fair is back, and this time it’s going to be bigger and better than ever! This year, for the first time, the fair will take place over two days – that’s a whole weekend of healing, readings and lots of retail therapy!

Doors open at 10am on Saturday 26 October, with a variety of stalls throughout the grade II* listed Mansion. Whether you’re looking for some spiritual guidance, fancy a massage or are looking to pamper yourself with some great products, you’ll find just what you’re looking for.

A number of psychic mediums and tarot readers will be here over the two days, including internationally recognised Leo Bonomo and Sue Breen, Metin Medium, Rosie Spirit and Paul Gentry, to name but a few.

Head for Paula’s Beauty and Bodyworks, Luxury With Laura, The Lifestyle Bee and Shazmiche to give those aches a helping hand – these stalls will offering mini massages as well as some fantastic products you can take home to continue the pampering.

If you’re after a spot of retail therapy, this event is a must for you. Whether you’re after crystals, artisan diffusers, soaps, candles, beeswax wraps or designer crafts, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

We’ve handpicked some fabulous stalls, including local artist and designer Courageous Art, Crystal Buddha, The Sage Son, Orgone Pyramids and Knight Way Infusions.

Tantalise your taste buds with gorgeous products by Honey Heaven who’ll be here with their award-winning products, including honey wine and CBD infused honey, thought to offer numerous health benefits for sufferers of anxiety, depression, insomnia and many more conditions.

Treat yourself to something sparkly! We’ve got a number of stalls offering unique, beautiful jewellery, including Magnetix Wellness, whose magnetic jewellery is always popular at our events – not only does it look great, but it it’s known to aid joint pain, as well as promoting energy and balance.

On the Sunday, our Artists’ Studios on the top floor will be open – pottery, basketry, painting, stained glass, sculpture, abstract art – just some of the art forms practiced from the studios,. This is a brilliant opportunity to meet our artists, see how their work is made and buy unique works of art. Open Studios, Sunday 27 October, 10am-4pm, free entry.

This is just a taster! Come along to the fair on both Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October for a full day of well being at the Mansion, 10am-4pm, free entry.

PLUS! For one evening only, we’ve got renowned psychic medium Leo Bonomo here for a very special event in which he connects the audience with the other side. Tickets are now on sale via www.valentinesmansion.com. Sunday 27 October, 5pm-6.30pm, £10 per person.

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Half Term at Valentines Mansion – It’s going to be spooktacular!

Half Term at Valentines Mansion – It’s going to be spooktacular!

With half term fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about fun ways to entertain the kids during their time off from school. Worry not, Valentines Mansion have it sorted! With craft activities, plus a special exhibition of artwork by children, they’ll be happy to visit the Mansion day after day!

Celebrate the awesome colours of autumn in our first craft activity in which children will enjoy making an autumnal ring, using a variety of craft materials in seasonal colours. This will look great on display at home! Awesome Autumn, Monday 21 October, 11.30am-12.30am, £5 per child.

Get in the mood for Halloween and make your own pumpkin mosaic using a variety of paper, card and tissue – stick this on your window when you get home and you’re all set for the spookiest day of the year! Pumpkin Mosaics, Wednesday 23 October, 11.30am-12.30pm, £5 per child.

Between Sunday 20 and Wednesday 23 October, visit the Mansions’ Gallery for an impressive collection of artwork created by budding artists aged between just 6 and 19 years. All their work has been inspired by Valentines Mansion & Gardens, in celebration of our 10th year of opening. This is well worth a look, and it’s free entry!  The Mansion Through A Young Artists’ Eyes, Sunday 20-Wednesday 23 October, 10.30am-4pm.

For ticketed events, pre-booking is strongly advised via our web site www.valentinesmansion.com.

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The Mansion Through Young Artists Eyes

The 10th year of opening celebrations continue at Valentines Mansion with an exhibition which will showcase the talent of a group of young artists, some as young as 6 years of age. The four day exhibition, ‘The Mansion Through Young Artists Eyes’ features a variety of work by members of a local club, ‘ARTYGalina’.

Returning to the Mansion for their 2nd exhibition, the group, which has been nurtured by their very gifted teacher Galina Rafilailova, have produced an exceptional collection of art inspired by the Mansion and its gardens.

What started as a craft activity for her young daughter and a friend, ARTYGalina has grown over the last 7 years to become a regular art club for ages 6-19 years of age, preparing the children who wish to then continue their love of the subject at university. “It all started with 2 children and after a few weeks the group expanded to 10 pupils and that is how the club was formed”. ARTYGalina, who meet twice a week, now has in excess of 30 pupils.

Over the summer holidays, the children started work on their individual pieces, responding to the brief that their work should be inspired by the Mansion and Gardens. What they have produced is an outstanding collection of different art mediums, including lino-cut, felted wool pictures, paintings, drawings and other crafts, all relating to Valentines.

Valentines Mansion by Eleonora, aged 12y

“I am looking forward the exhibition. I am thankful for the opportunity, and proud to be showing the amazing works of these young people united by an idea filled with light and beauty. The children are absolutely excited and delighted to be a part of this event.” commented Galina.

‘The Mansion Through Young Artists Eyes’ will take place between Sunday 20 and Wednesday 23 October in the Mansion’s Gallery, between 10.30am-4pm, with free entry.

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Try your hand at textile printing

Artlab are back this Autumn with a series of creative workshops for adults. Next on the list is the chance to try block printing – the ancient technique used for printing images and text on to fabrics.

Artlab is a collaboration between two of the Valentines Mansion studio artists, Sadia Ur-Rehman and Amanda Seljubac, who joined forces in celebration of Valentines Mansion’s 10th anniversary, offering the public a chance to try their hand at a number of traditional crafts. Since the beginning of the year, they’ve held classes at Valentines Mansion in lino printing, tapestry, hand applique and mosaic making, to name but a few.

In this next class, participants will get the chance to create a truly bespoke block printed tote bag. Under the expert guidance of our two artists, participants will be shown how to carve their own unique design on to blocks of lino using specialist tools, before printing their designs on to their bags using a fine selection of fabric paints.

“Sadia and I decided that 10 years of the Mansion being open to the public was cause for celebration and came up with the idea of combining our creative skills and offering 10 classes, to mark the 10 years, in traditional crafts. While I was a fashion student, I spent a lot of time exploring textiles and printing, so have a wealth of knowledge in this area. After this class, participants will have learnt a new skill for life and could continue this practice back at home with confidence” comments Amanda.

The class will take place on Wednesday 11 September at 11am and is priced at just £45 per person, including 3 hours of expert tuition, all materials, as well as refreshments. Bookings can be made via www.valentinesmansion.com.

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Young Photographer of the Year returns to Valentines Mansion

In 2016, the Natural History Museum of London ran its annual Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and the winner was none other than a local resident of Redbridge. Just 16 years of age at the time, Gideon Knight triumphed over thousands of international entrants and was awarded this highly prestigious award, often referred to as the ‘Oscars of wildlife photography’.

Throughout September, Gideon Knight will be returning to Valentines Mansion with another very special exhibition, featuring not only the winning image, but a selection of Gideon’s favourite images of wildlife, all taken in our very own Valentines Park.

The stunning photographs have captured the wildlife that can be found in Redbridge, and highlights the colours, behaviour and weather of each of the year’s seasons. From the flowers of the spring, the new born animals of summer and rich russets of autumn to the bleakness of winter. The images will take you through a year in the life of the animals that call the borough their home.

Autumns Russet by Gideon Knight

A red fox vixen rests among a fall of autumn leaves. The warm oranges and reds of the leaves blend with the fox’s rich coat.

Gideon first exhibited at Valentines Mansion in 2017 with ‘The Wildlife of Valentines’ and will be returning with a new set of images, as well as the strikingly beautiful photograph, The Moon and the Crow, which won him the Natural History Museum award.

Gideon commented “I am really honoured to be exhibiting once again at Valentines Mansion with a selection of new images of local wildlife. This exhibition aims not just to show the beauty of wildlife that can be found in Redbridge but to also celebrate the natural beauty and colours of the four seasons”.

The exhibition, ‘The Four Seasons of Redbridge’ will be open every Sunday & Tuesday between the 1 and 29 September, 11am-4pm, with free entry. Prints of the stunning photographs will be available to buy at the Mansion.


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Master the art of floristry at Valentines Mansion

Get creative in the new floral masterclass at Valentines Mansion. Led by a qualified florist, not only will this class be great fun, but also the chance to learn a skill for life.

Paying tribute to the colourful history of the Mansion, the class will take you back in time and recreate a traditional table arrangement, typical of what would have been used to decorate Valentines during the Victorian and Georgian eras. During the time of Sir Charles Raymond, as well as the Holcombe’s and Ingleby’s, the Mansion would have been adorned with such arrangements, using flowers freshly picked from the Valentines Gardens.

With all materials supplied, including a stylish ceramic planter, all you need to bring is yourself. Fresh flowers in seasonal colours will be used to create your masterpiece, and our expert tutor will equip you with lots of tips and techniques to get the most from your blooms – guidance we’re sure will come in handy when you practice your new skill back at home. Flower arrangements make wonderful gifts, which you’ll be able to make yourself after this workshop!

The ‘English Cottage Garden Floral Masterclass’ will take place on Friday 23 August at 7pm to 8.30pm, and tickets are now on sale for just £45, which includes all materials, as well as refreshments. Pre-booking is essential via www.valentinesmansion.com.

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It’s Party Time at Valentines Mansion!

Valentines Mansion turned 10 this year and the celebrations continue this summer with a big party for little visitors. With all the things that make a fantastic children’s party, this not-to-be-missed event promises to be a great day out for all.

Taking place on Thursday 22 August, children can look forward to a day of party games, including the all-time favourites, pass the parcel and musical chairs. There will be arts and crafts including a big birthday cake which needs decorating with lots of candles. Also, no celebration would be complete without a birthday card – children can get busy and creative making their special one for the Mansion.

The Mansion’s birthday is the perfect excuse to get glammed up – face painters will be available throughout the day with lots of designs perfect for boys and girls to choose from.

No party would be complete without a good old sing-along! Visit the Gallery and join in with party songs and perhaps even a little wiggle!

Guests are in for a treat with the main event – Mr Kinder, a fantastic children’s entertainer will be at the Mansion entertaining guests with some very special magic shows that are sure to WOW both the children and parents.

And that’s not all! Children will also enjoy badge and mask making, as well as joining in with fun trails around the house and gardens (with prizes at the end!).

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Birthday Fun’ via the ticket office at £8 per child, the event is suitable for 5 years plus and will take place on Thursday 22 August between 11am-4pm. Pre-booking essential although there may be a small number of tickets available at the door, please call 020 8708 8100 for further details.

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An Artistic Tribute to Ten Years

Valentines Mansion will come alive during the summer with celebratory art, made by some of the most talented artists in the borough. In celebration of the grade II* building having been open to the public for 10 years, the Mansions’ studio artists have each created a piece in their specific medium to mark this special milestone.

From Sunday 4 August, visitors will enjoy browsing ceramics, paintings, lino prints, willow weaving, wood engravings and more, all created in the artists’ studios on the top floor of the Mansion. Through their individual approaches and interests they have reflected on the past ten years, with unique creations in their individual style.

One piece already on display brings together the house and gardens in a truly innovative way. Jason Rose’s organic painting of a secretary bird, made using leaves, flowers, feathers and twigs, pays homage to one of the Mansion’s previous residents, Sir Charles Raymond, who is thought to have adorned the Mansion with exotic imports from the East during his time with the East India Company. A secretary bird, native to Africa, is thought to have roamed the Mansion grounds during the mid-17th century. “I felt this exotic bird would be an ideal subject for my piece – fusing the Mansion of today with the Mansion of yesterday” commented Jason.

Visitors will have to get up close to admire the beauty of some of Julian Walker’s work. His miniature pieces measuring just 9cm by 7cm, have been skillfully engraved with images of Valentines Mansion. “Wood-engraving is a printing method that uses the end grain of hardwood as the printing surface. Allowing fine details and white-line drawing, the technique has been widely used in book illustration. These images were cut on boxwood slices” comments Julian.Artist Lisa Atkin’s work is centred around the strange and ghostly goings on recorded on a “Frank’s Box”, a device used to supposedly communicate with the dead, during an evening of paranormal investigations at the Mansion. A group of ghost hunters set up a specially made device in Lisa’s studio and tuned in to communications from the other side. “The results were alarming indeed!” says Lisa. Her second installation combines her love of willow weaving with this paranormal activity – an impressive woven Ghost Catcher will hang in the Victorian Kitchen for the duration of August.

Other works include a three-part ceramic vase by artist Cinzia Castellano, made specifically to hold a cutting of the Hampton Court Vine, which is already on display at the Mansion, as well as framed lino prints depicting the Mansion’s last resident, Sarah Ingelby, by artist Sadia Ur-Rehman.

The other artists taking part are Louise Moore and Amanda Seljubac.

The studio artists exhibition ‘Decade’ will take place every Sunday to Wednesday between 4th and 28th August, 11am-4pm, with free entry.

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