Breathing new life into old floors

The Drawing Room in Valentines Mansion was the latest room in the historic building to undergo major restoration work to bring it back to its former glory.

The two week project was focused on bringing the flooring in the Drawing Room back to its original condition, and was completed in early March.

Before the final panel of flooring was laid a time capsule was buried under it to mark the culmination of the restoration project.

The wooden time capsule, which carried a hand engraved date of the year of burial, contained photos and information about the Mansion and the team behind the works.

Valentines Mansion has a number of resident artists who regularly exhibit their work in the Mansion’s Gallery.  One of the artists – Cinzia Castellano – was working in her studio the day the time capsule was placed under the floorboards.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea to bury a time capsule in the Drawing Room. One of the reasons I enjoy being here is because The Mansion gives me a constant link to the past, which is a great source of inspiration”, said Cinzia.

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Get ready for a magical Easter as Valentines Mansion is transformed into a wonderland

Step in to the wonderful world of Alice in Wonderland as Valentines Mansion hosts its very own fun-filled Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

The enchanting tea party is part of a programme of events that will have little minds buzzing with eggs-citement this Easter half-term.

Taking Place on Sunday 15 April, the event will give children the chance to get involved in outdoor theatre performances, take part in activity trails, crafts, movie & story time, children’s rides (small charge applies), and much more.

A range of great prizes are also up for grabs in the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ costume parade taking place on the day. As a special treat all the children in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ fancy dress will receive a wristband enabling them to ride free at the funfair in Melbourne field after the tea party finishes.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party runs from 11am to 4pm. Tickets cost £5 per child/adult or £18 for a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children). The event is free for under 2’s, and all activities are suitable for under 8’s.

Pre-booking is essential for this popular event so grab your tickets now before they sell out. Tickets can be purchased online:

To see our full programme of Easter Half-Term and spring events at Valentines Mansion please visit:

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Eggs marks the spot at Valentines Mansion this Easter Half-Term

Valentines Mansion is hosting a fun-packed programme of events this Easter half-term starting with an Easter Trail that will have your little bunnies hopping with eggs-citement.

Taking place on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 April, the Easter Trail promises children a mini adventure as they go exploring to uncover hidden eggs and bunnies around the house and gardens.

There are also lots of tasty rewards to be won along the way. The trails take place between 11am and 4pm (last trail 3pm) and cost just £2 per child. There is no need to book, just turn up and join in on the day of your choice.

The half-term fun continues with Flower Power on Wednesday April 4. The event encourages children to take inspiration from the Mansions colourful gardens to create their own flower vases filled with lovely blooms. ‘Flower Power’ takes place 11.30-12.30pm and costs £5 per child.

On Tuesday April 10 the Mansion will be creating a buzz about bees with Bee Happy. Children can find out about the wonderful world of bees and their importance, before going on a bee spotting adventure in the gardens. They will also have the chance to get crafty in the Mansion’s exciting arts centre. The event takes place 11.30-1pm and costs £5 per child.

Topping off the Easter fun will be the fantastic Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Taking place on Sunday 15 April, this enchanting event will give children the chance to get involved in outdoor theatre performances, take part in activity trails, crafts, movie & story time, children’s rides (small charge applies), and much more.

There are also great prizes up for grabs in the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ costume parade taking place on the day. As a special treat, all children in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ fancy dress will receive a wristband enabling them to ride free at the funfair in Melbourne field after the tea party finishes.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party runs from 11am to 4pm. Tickets cost £5 per child/adult or £18 for a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children). The event is free for under 2’s, and all activities are suitable for under 8’s.

Pre-booking is essential for all the events listed apart from the Easter Trail. Our Easter events are incredibly popular so please book your tickets early on:

 All children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

 Nursery Easter Egg Hunt

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Music for the Eyes

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Portraits created using the power of sound will be at the heart of a stunning new exhibition opening in Valentines Mansion.

Music for the Eyes is the debut solo exhibition of the Mansion’s resident artist Jason Rose, and brings together his two great passions – art and music.

Each of the black and white portraits feature a beautiful colour effect created using musical vibrations.

Speaking about the unusual technique Jason said:
“My exhibition is about being able to see sound and music as well as hear it. I placed different colours of paint on a canvas over a speaker and turned it on.

“The colours moved, melting into each other with every musical beat and vibration, producing the unique blend of colours and patterns you see in the portraits.

“ It was like watching the colours dance over the canvas, forming intricate patterns out of the chaos of sound.”

The east London based artist also composed the music accompanying the exhibition pieces, along with a video documenting the technique used to produce his collection of work.

“This exhibition has allowed me to bring my art and music together. Music lifts the soul and is the inspiration for much of my work – the two are very much connected in my life. I’m hoping guests enjoy viewing the exhibition as much as I enjoyed producing it”, said Jason.

The exhibition is free to attend and takes place in The Gallery,Valentines Mansion, Emerson Road, Ilford IG1 4XA.

It will be open 11am-4pm every Sunday and Tuesday between March 4-27.

Guests will also have the opportunity to buy the music and original pieces of artwork from the exhibition.

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Rejuvenate your senses at Valentines Mansion!

Perfect timing after the over indulgence of the festive season and New Year – we’re sure the Mind, Body & Spirit Fair at Valentines Mansion will be a welcome treat for many!

Taking place on Sunday 11 February, the event also marks the re-opening of the Mansion to the public after its 3 month closure – this is when essential maintenance of the building takes place every year. With a mixture of over 25 stalls offering readings, treatments, and retail, it’s sure to be a great day out. With Valentine’s Day just a few days after, why not pop along and pick up a thoughtful gift that shows just how much you care?

Here’s a taster of what’s in-store:

Purple Heaven
A spiritual artist who’ll be selling a selection of handmade crystal clocks and wooden decorations.
Synergistic Energy Therapy
Holistic hands on healing including reiki and chakra balancing.

Ocean Spa Therapy
Enjoy the healing power of the sea in your hands and feet with these fantastic naturally derived crystals made by ancient oceans 250 million years ago. Developed by chiropractors, reflexologists and therapists, Ocean Spa Therapy helps to improve the health issues such as back pain, stress, musculature wear and tear, lack of energy and reduced focus.

Thamon London
Gorgeous Vegan-friendly fashion accessories made with real tree leaves – perfect gifts for your Valentine!

Howard Carter
Relax and unwind with a chair massage by Howard Carter – get here early to book your slot with Howard as he is always very popular.

A naturopathic nutritionist passionate about helping people feel healthier through a diet of whole foods and healthy lifestyle changes. Come along for a consultation.

Rock Circle Jewellery
Handcrafted jewellery made with sterling silver, semi-precious gemstones and Swarovski crystals.

Seraphina Jewellery
Handmade jewellery from Brazil with semi-precious stones and crystals.

Mo Juicy & Quality Essential Oils
Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, as well as homemade lemonade.

Fresh and healthy smoothie and juice. Mix fruits and vegetables

Magnetix Jewellery
Magnetic jewellery to help with back, neck and joint pain, as well as arthritis, cramp and gout.

Leones Reiki
Reiki healing and Angel Guidance

Michelle Harris
Holistic therapies, reflexology, reiki, Indian head massage and chair based massage.

Green Mystique
Eco-friendly tableware, homeware and fashion, upcycled products, and organic & vegan moisturisers and creams.

• Spirit Walker Crystals
• Leo Bonomo
• Metin Medium
• Paul Gentry
• Sue Breen
• Sue Withers

This is just a selection of the stalls we’ll have on the day – there will be lots more for you to enjoy and browse at the fair.

Please note: Doors open at 10am. It is advisable to arrive as early as possible to book your slot with the readers and therapists – they do book up fast.

Artists’ Open Studios

Make sure you take a trip to the second floor where our studio artists will be opening their doors to the public. Abstract art, paintings, stained glass, multimedia, willow weaving, fused glass, ceramics, pottery and more – you’ll find a fascinating collection of unique works of art in each of the studios. Another great place to visit for a Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one!

Find out more about each of our artists here:

So for a day full of relaxation, well-being, rejuvenation, art and retail therapy, make sure the date is in your diary!

Mind, Body & Spirit Fair and Artists’ Open Studios
Sunday 11 February
10am-4pm (last entry 3.30pm)
Free entry
Nearest tube: Gants Hill on the Central Line (5 minute walk away)
Car park on site (RingGo telephone payments)

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Countdown to Christmas at Valentines

With just a month to go until our much-loved Christmas Fair and Artists’ Open Studios, we’re busy working on the final touches to this fantastic event. Read on for more details of the carefully selected designers, makers and artists that will be taking part and bringing you the most wonderful collection of Christmas gifts.

The Artists Open Studios will take place on both Saturday 2 December and Sunday 3 December, and the Christmas Fair will take place on the Sunday only.


Artists Open Studios
This year, the artists’ studios will be open over two days – Saturday and Sunday. If you haven’t already visited, you’re in for a treat! Venture to the top floor of the mansion, which were historically the servants’ quarters, and browse the interesting and colourful studios from which our artists create their amazing work. Paintings, stained glass, pottery, fused glass, willow, felt and more – you’ll get to meet the artists and see how their work is made. If you’re looking for unique gifts, this is the place to go.

• Why should grown-ups have all the fun?! Artist Amanda Seljubac will be giving our younger visitors the opportunity to make their very own fused glass Christmas Tree decorations. A fun 15-minute workshop suitable for children aged 8 years and above. Drop into her studio anytime between 10am-3pm, £5 per child, payable on the day, no need to pre-book.
• Unicorns are all the rage at the moment, so it’s just perfect that painter Jason Rose will be selling personalised paintings of this mythical creature, complete with glitter to make them shimmer! Simply pop into his studio and ask him to add the name of your choice to your preferred design. 10am-4pm.
• Meet our new artist Cinzia Castellano, and abstract painter from Florence and browse her wonderful collection of work.

Creative Workshops
Although the rest of the Mansion will be closed on the Saturday, we’re holding a few festive workshops to get you in prepared for the seasonal celebrations.

Traditional Christmas Table Arrangement
Impress your guests this Christmas with your very own handmade table arrangement using a mixture of cones, berries and baubles. 11am-12noon or 2pm-3pm, £15 per person. BOOK HERE & FIND OUT MORE

Traditional Christmas Table Ring
Using fresh flowers, Christmas foliage, cones and berries, you will learn to create an amazing centrepiece for your Christmas meal. 12.30pm-1.30pm, £20 per person. BOOK HERE & FIND OUT MORE


It’s back! We’re so excited about this year’s Christmas Fair, and you should be too!! We’ve meticulously chosen the best designers, makers and artists to bring you a brilliant selection of stalls where you’ll find something for everyone. From jewellery and accessories, to candles and home décor, and not forgetting delicious edible treats –  we’ve got it covered. Read on for a taster of what’s in-store…

Interior accessories and gift items made from 100% wool, including cushiosn, slippers, bags and purses.   Sprinkled with Maisey Dust
Personalised gifts made from wood, glass and textiles, including Christmas treat plates and mugs.

The Candy Stop
A variety of locally sourced flavoured fudge and Chocolate baubles.

AK Beads Jewellery
Stunning handmade pieces of jewellery and accessories by a local designer.

Jewelled Buddha
Ethical retailer offering accessories handmade by artisans across the globe.

Iola Henri
Hand printed and handmade collection including lampshades, cushions and printed T-shirts.

Honey Heaven
Hungarian creamed honeys flavoured with herbs and spices.

Kiki’s House Handmade Soaps
Handmade soaps, candles, wax melst and bath bombs that look and smell good enough to eat!

Stepping Lightly Foods
Homemade jams and chutneys in delicious flavours.

Maddog Cottage Creations
Handmade scented soy wax candles and reed diffusers and jewellery inspired by the seashore.

Dr Beekeeper
Luxurious local and worldwide honey in a wide range of falvours.

Pierce Braysher Illustration
Breathtaking portrait prints of wild animals such as Tigers, Bears and Giraffes and a selection of Garden Birds and portraits of robotic animals and insects, plus greeting cards, and hand-printed T-shirts.

Nicky’s Little Kitchen

Take a break from the shopping and treat yourself to delicious crepes in sweet and savoury flavours by Nicky’s Little Kitchen.

This is just a selection, come along for a unique shopping experience at the Mansion. Sunday 3 December, 10am-4pm, FREE ENTRY.

Reminder of what’s happening:
Saturday 2 December – Artists Open Studios & Creative Workshops (rest of the Mansion will be closed)
Sunday 3 December – Christmas Fair & Artists Open Studios

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Artisan Market to brings delicious treats to Valentines

On Sunday 29 October, pop along to Valentines Mansion and pick up a selection of delicious food and drink to share with friends and family, and enjoy a glass of bubbles (or two!) while you’re here.

From creamed honeys and vegan cakes, to hot paella and fresh olives, we’ve got a fine selection of edible specialties for you to choose from. Below are just some of suppliers we’ve handpicked for you:

Simply Brownies

Simply Brownies are handmade using Guernsey butter, organic chocolate and quality ingredients, to ensure that you get the most delicious brownies. Once you’ve tried one, no other brownie will do!

The Fizzical Company

A beautifully quirky and charming van serving up Frizzante, a light Italian sparkling wine made from Glera Grapes.

Pots of Passion

A selection of handmade chocolate goodies, including hot chocolate spoons in a variety of flavours.

Honey Heaven

A gorgeous selection of creamed honeys in a selection of mouth-watering flavours.

Pimento Paella

Aromatic fresh paella from Pimento Paella – experts in fusing flavours and creating authentic flavours.

This is just a taster of the food and drink stalls we’ll have at Valentines Mansion on Sunday 29 October – make sure you come along with the whole family for a great day out!


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Young Photographer of the Year to Exhibit at 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 October, Valentines Mansion will host a 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 strikingly beautiful winning photo, “The Moon and the Crow” was taken on a cold January, whilst Gideon was shooting by the lake which had frozen over, when he was struck by the beauty of a carrion crow, perched among the spindly branches of a sycamore, and silhouetted by an almost full moon rising through the blue twilight. Gideon was quick to capture the sight, which led to him bagging this prestigious award.

Gideon’s love of photography started at a very young age, and what started out as a pastime, has turned into a passion for wildlife.

“I’ve been taking images since a young age, but it wasn’t until I was about eleven that I started photographing wildlife. It all began for me as a method of recording the birds I’d see in my garden and has led from there into a medium for artistic expression and a way to convey to people the beauty of the natural world.” comments Gideon.

The prestigious title has opened many new doors for Gideon, with him being featured in several magazines, including the Amateur Photographer.

“The competition has opened new doors for me and should lead to some exciting opportunities in the future.”

The exhibition in the Mansions’ Gallery will be open every Sunday and Tuesday between 1 and 31 October, with free entry to visitors. The display also includes a special collaboration with studio artist Amanda Seljubac, who’ll be re-creating the winning photograph as a fused glass lightbox. “I’m thrilled to be working on this project supporting a local young local talent. Gideon’s image is breath taking, and the colours and style are the perfect combination to be fused on to glass.” said Amanda.

Gideon went on to say “I grew up in Ilford, and over the last six years Valentines Park has been the place I’ve done most of my photography. To have my work displayed here is a great honour, and I hope that it encourages people to notice and appreciate the wildlife of the park.”

Valentines Mansion is proud to be supporting another local talent and promoting and highlighting their work and achievements, not only locally, but to a much wider community.  Gideon is exceptionally gifted, and we are honoured and  proud to have his outstanding work on display in our Gallery.  As soon as we discovered Gideon had been awarded this very prestigious prize, we contacted him with a keen interest in working together, as we knew his story would be an inspiration to many, and we are pleased to have been able to assist him in reaching an audience that are sure to love his work.

Wildlife of Valentines, 1 – 31 October (Tuesdays and Sundays), free entry.

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Show your love for Valentines Park!

People’s Choice vote to find the UK’s top 10 favourite parks is now open!

This is the your chance to show much your favourite park means to you – vote for your best outdoor space People’s Choice Awards 2017.

All the UK’s 1,797 award winning Green Flag Award parks are eligible, of which Valentines Park is one.  Last year, Valentines Park made it into the Top 10 – that’s a staggering achievement given the huge number of parks included.

This year, we’re aiming high – for the top spot, and with your help, we can get there!  Voting is quick and simple, no personal data needs to be entered, just click to vote.

The closing date for votes is the 30th September – so there’s no time link the present to have your say!  You can vote for more than one park, but you can’t vote for the same park twice from the same device. If you would like to vote for the same park more than once please use another device.

Let’s show everyone how fantastic Valentines Park is – vote here now!

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Spicing It Up!

Artist Jason Rose has been spicing it up in his studio at Valentines Mansion in preparation for the Studio Artists upcoming exhibition.

Throughout August, Valentines Mansion will be taking part in the UK/India Year of Culture celebrations, a nationwide initiative to celebrate the long standing relationship between the two countries. There will be a variety of themed events during the month, including the Studio Artists Exhibition, which will showcase their interpretation of this celebration, in the year which also marks 70 years since India’s independence.

Jason’s piece for the upcoming exhibition will be cleverly painted using spices commonly used in Indian cuisine – tumeric, masala, mango powder, rose petals, cardamom & more.

“I always like to try new things” commented Jason, “and I like experimenting with textures, and this exhibition provided the perfect opportunity.  I’m enjoying trying all the spices for colour to create the perfect tones and shades for my exhibition piece.”

His totally unique masterpiece will go on display when the exhibition opens on Tuesday 1 August with free entry, and every Sunday – Wednesday thereafter until Wednesday 31 August.

Can you guess what he’s painting?

From Bollywood Dance classes to encounters with exotic animals, and even a very special tea party, we’ve got lots coming up for all ages during August.  Click here for full details.


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