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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Coming Soon – In Search of Gold

This September, The Gallery at Valentines Mansion will be host to a very special exhibition – “In Search of Gold” by local artist Eliyah Quereshi from Barkingside.

In Search of Gold is portraiture which gives prominence to bees, subtly crafted from gold acrylic and ink. The bee is vulnerable yet commands great power within nature, and the collection seeks to accentuate the melancholy of this paradox. The exhibition will be accompanied by workshops and meet the artist session.

Eliyah Qureshi

“I make art to show my soul I am listening. Art is what defines me; I talk in paint and ink, not vowels and consonants. Through art, I process what I have experienced in life.” – Eliyah Qureshi

Eliyah is a Pakistani-born contemporary artist who is known for her conceptual ink drawings and portraiture. The artist has lived and worked in East London for over a decade and is currently exploring the concepts of beauty, acceptance and adaptation. Her most recent work includes a series of abstract acrylic paintings which feature striking, poignant portraits of performers such as Adele, Beyoncé and the inimitable Amy Winehouse.

Eliyah’s solo exhibition, ‘In Search of Gold’ is inspired by the search for a remedy to cure the ‘incurable’. Having personally contended with terminal sickness, her search for the cure felt non-existent.

Eliyah utilises Manuka Honey as a natural remedy that is kinder, and more healing to her body, in comparison to harsh prescription medication. Though bees are known to be vital to life on earth, their value increased exponentially with the introduction of Manuka Honey (which is revered for its medicinal properties) to mainstream society. To those suffering from the untreatable and incurable, bees hold more value to them than gold; an idea that imbues itself in the gold and ink of her works.

In many parts of the world bees are considered to be able to grant the gifts of poetry, eloquence and song to mankind. For the women who strive for the desire to be beautiful, the value of the bee and what it produces maintains significance for these women. Eliyah believes the bee to hold immense power.

Pen and ink is utilised in most of Eliyah’s works, to instantaneously capture and preserve emotions as they are felt. Her resilience exists in every piece, and is a testament to her survival.

Alongside her practice as a professional Visual Artist, Eliyah’s artistic approach to teaching and learning is focused on using art for a cause. ‘Barkingside Art Club’ has been newly established with the aim of bringing local creatives together, which also intends to deliver art workshops to children and adults. Providing a space for local creatives to meet regularly, network, and collaborate with one another. She will also be facilitating exhibitions thereby promoting individual businesses. Local creatives will also be given the opportunity to volunteer in helping children with SEN learn through creative activities.

On exhibiting at Valentines Mansion, Eliyah says “The scenic location provides a synergetic combination of a rich, green environment which compliments the bees in my series, In Search of Gold. Most of my art career has been about giving back to the community and taking part in community based projects; the mansion is a historical artefact in our local community, and I’m very enthused to exhibit my work there.”

Watch this space for more information about the exhibition, meet the artist sessions and workshops. The artwork will be available for purchase, alongside various prints during the exhibition.

In Search of Gold
Open to the public on Sundays and Tuesdays between the 3rd and 26th September
Free entry

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Valentines Mansion joins the UK-India Year of Culture Celebrations

An Indian Summer at Valentines

The British Council, the Indian High Commission and the UK government recently launched the UK-India Year of Culture, a celebration of the long-standing relationship between the UK and India which will see cultural events, exhibitions and activities taking place in both countries throughout 2017.

Throughout August, Valentines Mansion will join the celebrations with a series of events throughout the month. This theme is of particular relevance to Valentines – three of its previous owners during the eighteenth century were involved in with the East India Company (EIC) – Robert Surman, Sir Charles Raymond and Donald Cameron. You can read more about them here: http://bit.ly/2qVBbqT.

Highlights include:

Memories of India
The Bird Room Cabinets will showcase our crowd sourced show, a collection of people’s memorabilia, photographs and souvenirs picked up from visits to India or gifts they have been given. To take part and display an item, please get in touch by calling 020 8708 8100 or email hiringvalentines@visionrcl.org.uk. Tuesday 1 – Wednesday 30 August, during the Mansions’ normal opening hours, Free entry

Studio Artists Exhibition
Come and see our artists’ interpretation of this celebration, in the year which marks 70 years since India’s Independence, featuring works in fused glass, ceramics, paintings and more. Tuesday 1 – Wednesday 30 August, during the Mansions’ normal opening hours, Free entry

India and Redbridge – An Exhibition
This special Redbridge Museum exhibition explores the 400 year old links between India and Redbridge. From local East India Company merchants to the different communities who have lived in Redbridge for over 50 years, the displays feature objects and local stories from the collections of Redbridge Museum. Sunday 30 July – Sunday 3 September, during the Mansions’ normal opening hours, Free entry

Indian Tunic Block Printing Workshop
Block print an Indian tunic called a Kurta with artist Sba Shaikh.

The workshop includes a 10 minute presentation on block printing with a short film screening followed by a practical session. There will be an object handling courtesy of William Morris Gallery as well as looking at batik, Indian textiles and resources from the Anokhi Museum, Jaipur and Calico Museum, Ahmadabad India.  Sunday 13 August, 11am-3pm.  Early Bird Offer – book on or before 31 July, pay only £25 per person. Normal price £30 per person, includes refreshments. Limited spaces, book early to avoid disappointment.  Valentines Box Office


And not forgetting the little ones, we’ve also got some fantastic events coming up for children:

Exotic Animal Encounters
Get up close to lots of weird and wonderful creatures native to India, including a peacock, snakes and lots of interesting bugs. Brought to you in association with Animals Work, whose animals have often been used in TV and Film. You will also get to make your own peacock to take home. Monday 14 August, choose from two sessions: 11.30am–1pm and 12.30pm-2pm, £10 per child, suitable for 5 years plus, pre-booking essential here: Valentines Box Office

Bollywood Fever!
Get your groove on at Valentines Mansion in our energetic & upbeat Bollywood dance classes for kids led by professional dance company D Style Dance. Limited spaces, book early to avoid disappointment. 11am-11.45pm (4-7 yrs – £5), 12noon-1pm (8-12 yrs – £8), 1.15pm-2.15pm (13 yrs+ – £8), pre-booking essential here: Valentines Box Office

Look out for Tea Parties and other events throughout the month on our web site www.valentinesmansion.com.

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Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Valentines Mansion on 9th April 2017Here’s a look back at the wonderful day had by all at out Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on Sunday 9 April – thanks to everyone involved – all staff and volunteers, Vision RCL Nature Conservation Team, Parnham Funfairs, ISS Education and most importantly, all the visitors for making this such a fun packed day!


Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Valentines Mansion on 9th April 2017

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We’re All Mad!

The office at Valentines is a bit crazy at the moment! It’s all hands on deck with the preparations for our Mad Hatters Tea Party on Sunday – we’re all super excited, it’s going to be a great day!

Ticket holders are in for a right treat, we’ve got a fantastic day of fun and laughter in store – here’s a quick look at what’s happening on the day:

Mad Hatter Arts & Crafts
Get creative & make a mad hatter clock and hat! (Over 5’s ticket holders only). Sessions throughout the day, first come, first served.

Healthy Eating Activities
Join ISS, providers of school meals in Redbridge, and get fit on their special Smoothie Bike and make yourself a delicious drink at the same time! Try your hand at decorating playing card cookies – a fun activity that will run throughout the day.

Outdoor Interactive Theatre
Enjoy three interactive and hugely entertaining scenes in which audience participation is much needed!

Movie Time
Enjoy Disney’s animated classic in the beautiful surroundings of Valentines Mansion – 3 screenings throughout the day.

Sit back, relax and enjoy storytelling throughout the day.

Mad Hatter Trail
Go in search of the Mad Hatter and other characters around the house and gardens – find them all and you’ll win a prize! (included in ticket price for over 5’s, £1 for under 5’s)

Other activities raking place throughout the day include garden games, children’s rides, face painting and the chance to meet some very cute animals. Please note that some activities may incur an extra charge.  The gardens are a  great spot to enjoy a picnic, bring yours along and enjoy the sunshine at Valentines!

Please note that tickets for this event have now sold out.

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Handmade Crafts Celebrated at Valentine Mansion

This Sunday, Valentines Mansion will re-open to the public after the winter closure with “Made with Love” – a special handmade craft fair offering visitors a unique shopping experience in the Grade II* listed building – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

As well as carefully selected stalls throughout the house, the top floor, home the Mansion’s studios artists, will be open for visitors to explore. The studios open twice a year, so it’s a great opportunity to meet the artists and catch a glimpse of how their work is made.

Here’s a closer look at some of the fabulous products you can expect to buy on Sunday offering some fantastic gift ideas for Valentine’s Day:

A wonderfully innovative collection of accessories to keep your cash safe – all made from beautiful fabrics.

enstage-2Woodford & Warner
A delicious range of cordials, drinks an jelly made from a Hibiscus flower – a traditiona drink in the West Indies called Sorrel.

newlandingpage-2400x1638Kiki’s Soaps
A gorgeous collection of handmade soaps and candles.

kikis-soaps-2Dainty Kate
A contemporary illustrator who uses nature and animals as her inspiration, transforming them into beautiful products:


Gilli’s Flowers
A unique collection of hand folded origami jewellery.  Original and affordable!

gilllis-flowers-2M C Chocolatier
Handmade chocolates, brownies and tarts – truly scrumptious!

The Wild Irish Skincare Company
Handmade natural skincare including soaps, body butters and more – this is sure to go down a treat on Valentine’s Day!

cs-soap-1A K Beads
Gorgeous and unique designs from a very talented beaded jewellery designer maker.

anna-kepinski-9Yianna’s Baking Delights
Tantalise your tastebuds with these delicious baked goodies by Yianna – including cupcakes, shortbreads, biscuits & more – all made with love!

Seaside & More
High quality art works, wall plaques and jewellery.

Maddog Cottage Creations

Helping you set the scene for Valentine’s Day (& every other day!) – soy candles, reed diffusers and lovely jewellery.

Purple Seasons
Unique handmade cards, including 3D box cards.

The Den
Handmade jewellery – the ideal Valentine’s Day gift.


Conscious Souls
Stunning jewellery made from silver, copper, brass & semi-precious stones.

sakinaLove The Idea
Adorable textile greeting cards, notebooks and pictures, as well as original hand drawn art.

Inga Pia
Ceramic art tiles, dishes and candle holders – all handmade to perfection.


Sunpatch Quilts
Hand embroidered cards, patchwork and quilted items.

Cool Caricatures
How about a fun gift for your Valentine?  Pose for a caricature – they only take 5 minutes and are sure to go down a treat!

caricature-from-photo-01-228x228Blue Can Cafe
After all that shopping, treat yourself to a yummy hot Belgian Waffle, smothered in chocolate & strawberries (plus lots of other flavours too!), washed down with one of their extra special hot chocolates – heaven!

Gardener’s Cottage Cafe
The cafe in the walled gardens will be open throughout the day for hot drinks and lunch.

Don’t miss – our new exhibition, “Young Artists” celebrating the work of some super talented artists, some as young as 6 years of age!

Sunday 12 February, 10am-4pm, FREE ENTRY

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Young Artists at Valentines Mansion

The upcoming exhibition at Valentines Mansion will showcase the incredible talent of a group of young artists, some as young as 6 years of age. These gifted children have been nurtured under the guidance of an art teacher from Chigwell, Galina Rafilailova, and have produced an astounding collection of artworks, which we are proud to be displaying at Valentines Mansion.


Taking place in the Mansions’ Gallery, this 4-day exhibition will feature a variety of art forms for which the children have used a mixture of materials including paints, pastels, pencils, charcoals and more. The children applied their knowledge under the subject of “famous masters from ancient times until today”, and the results are truly breath taking. The collection also includes 3D items which will take pride of place in our Bird Room cabinets.

Their proud teacher Galina, whose art class, ArtyGalina started with just a few children, speaks highly of her young students. “The children do not cease to amaze from the beauty and diversity of styles, happy to learn new techniques which expand their aesthetic feelings.” Now the club boasts 21 young budding artists, all thrilled at the opportunity of showcasing their talent at Valentines Mansion.


Galina goes on to say, “With this exhibition I would like more people to see children’s talent and creativity, to perceive the character, emotions and sensitivity in their works. Art and children’s mind are interconnected, because both are infinite.”

Young Artists will take place at Valentines Mansion between Sunday 12 and Wednesday 15 February, 11am-3pm, Free entry. On Sunday 12 February, Valentines Mansion will re-open to the public after our winter closure – come and enjoy the exhibition, as well as Artists Open Studios and our special handmade craft fair, Made with Love, throughout the house.

Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4XA

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Jingle all Way to our Christmas Fair!

Get in the mood for festive celebrations at the Valentines Mansion Christmas Fair. It’s THE place to start your festive shopping – not only will the Mansion be full of stalls offering some wonderful gift ideas, but our artists’ studios will also be open for you to browse and pick up many handmade arts and crafts.

Handmade jewellery and ornaments for the home and garden, paintings and more made by our artists to lots of wonderful Christmas gift ideas from our carefully selected suppliers of unusual crafts, artisan food and drink. This is sure to get you in the mood for Christmas.  Here’s a closer look at some of the stall holders we’ve handpicked for you:

All Natural Soap Company

Gorgeous handcrafted soaps for everyday use made by a multi award-winning artisan producer, established in London and handmade in the UK.

Visit their stall for ready-made gifts, the option of creating your own, and also special offers and festive deals.

All Natural Soap

All Natural Soap

Blue Kazoo

Inspired by the ocean, Blue Kazoo bring you unique handcrafted jewellery and gifts for all occasions.


Cacao Amelie

Who can resist chocolate, especially when it’s the good stuff!  Enjoy organic handcrafted raw chocolate and fudge – all sugar, dairy and gluten free from Cocao Amelie.   All ingredients are ethically sourced and made with love into mouth-watering treats.  Choose from individual chocolates, bars, gift boxes and small gift bags.


MillieMoo Knitwear

Back for the 2nd year, Suffolk based designer brings her beautiful scraves and wraps in natural yarns to Ilford for our Christmas Fair.


The Little Brown Shed

Get your hands on some handmade British Beef Jerky and BBQ foods including sauces and rubs in tantalising flavours!  All made from a little brown shed in Essex…


Dr Beekeeper

A delicious collection of festive honey and nut gift boxes.


The Little Craftery

Decorate your home with fabulous luxury hand painted artwork and Christmas decorations by The Little Craftery.


Jewelled Buddha

Unique fairtrade jewellery and accessories sourced from artisans from around the world.


Just Sew Inspired

Handmade, retro – inspired nightwear and separates by textile artist Karen Odinga. Unique and comfortable pieces that add a touch of vintage styling to your wardrobe.

The Little Black Cat

Handcrafted gemstone jewellery and hand stamped jewellery, gifts and personalised Christmas decorations.


Handmade Christmas wreaths and decorations.

Purple Seasons

Fun and creative handmade cards and advent calendars, and decorations with a vintage retro feel.


Mehraj Art

Imaginative and colourful textile art, prints, and clothing.

The Curtis Cakery

Treat yourself and your family & friends to delicious festive cupcakes.

Stepping Lightly Foods

Homemade jams and chutneys.

Flowers by Karen

A lovely selection of dried flowers, Christmas wreaths and gift items.

Head for the top floor and browse the artists’ studios for unique handmade crafts – from paintings and books, to jewellery and glass decorative items for the home, to cool ceramics – all created by local craftspeople.

Blue Can Café

A café with character!  Fresh coffees and hot Belgian waffles topped with seasonal fruit, fine flavor syrups, cinnamon sugar, organic yoghurt & cream – all served from a stylish Citroen H Van.


Zara’s Treats

We’re thrilled to have Zara’s treats back with us for a 3rd time!  Visit her stall for a gorgeous selection of handmade foods, including cakes, breads, cupcakes, sauces and sweets.


Just Like Mummy
Something for the little ones – festive face painting, glitter tattoos, nails and hair braiding.

Sunday 27 November

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A Day of Relaxation for the Mind, Body and Spirit at the Mansion

Valentines Mansion offers you the opportunity to explore the realms of the unknown; what better way to start your Halloween! There will be a number of stalls offering alternative healing, a variety of psychic readings as well as an opportunity for some retail therapy.

mbs-posterHere’s what you will find at the fair this Sunday:

Retail Therapy

Browse the stalls offering a variety of products for relaxation and pampering of the mind, body & spirit:

Amazing Himalayan Salt Company
A wonderful collection of Himalayan salt products, including lamps, cooking and bathing salts, tea lights and more.
Find more about The Amazing Himalayan Salt Company here

Kiki’s House Handmade Soaps
Handmade soaps, bath bombs, candles, wax melts.
Find out more about Kiki’s House Handmade Soaps here

Forever Living
A complete range of Aloe Vera based health and beauty products. There will also be the chance to enter a prize draw to win an amazing product plus free sample packs for visitors.

The Babylon Tree
Babylon Tree specialises in natural aromatherapy and herbal products. Find out more here.

Magnetic Wellness
Magnetic jewellery, braclets, rings, necklaces, ankle bracelets, power hearts and water sticks.

Jason Rose Artist
Jason is one of our studio artists and specialises in portrait commissions with a spiritual dimension.
Find out more about Jason Rose here.

The Sage Son
Choose from a variety of crystals, sage, jewellery, salt lamps and other metaphysical goods.
Find out more about The Sage Son here.

Glitzy Shop
Gorgeous jewellery made with Swarovski crystals.
Find out more here.

Magnetix Jewellery by Jo Cowan
A beautiful range of magnetic jewellery for health and wellbeing which can help alleviate aches and pains, arthritis, insomnia, menopause, migraine and much more.

Lovell Natural Soap Company
Gorgeous handmade natural soaps and soy candles.
Find out more here.

Neal’s Yard
Organic health and beauty products.
Find out more here.

Readers, Healers, Mediums & More

Leo Bonomo
Inspirational Clairvoyant Medium and Psychic.
Read more about Leo here.

Metin Hussain
Inspirational medium.
Find out more about Metin here.

Rosie Tarot
Tarot and oracle card reading, as well as crystals, pendulums and drowsing rods.
Find out more about Rosie here.

Helena Smith
Tarot and psychic readings.

Healing Touch Spiritual centre
Angel cards, psychic and tarot readings.
Find out more here.

Paul Gentry
Clairvoyant medium.

Howard Carter
Howard Carters Chair Massage is always popular during our Mind, Body & Spirit Fairs. Choose from a variety of techniques including holistic massage, Indian head massage, reflexology and more. Arrive early to book a slot with Howard.

Sue Breen
Well respected clairvoyant medium.
Find out more about Susan here.

Zeinab Mulla Yoga

Zeinab is a research scientist as well as a yoga teacher. She has always had a strong interest in Health and Wellbeing and has a PhD in Nutrition. More naturally an academic by nature movement was not something that came naturally to her. But when she encountered yoga she knew instantly that it was a different kind of movement. She has been practicing now for nearly decade and her practice continues to bring her joy and amazement.

Zeinab is a graduate of the Yogacampus teacher training Diploma. This is an 18 month course accredited by Yoga Alliance (US) and the Independent Yoga Network (UK). She has also studied with Judith Hanson Lasater and is a qualified level 1 Restorative yoga teacher.

Yoga Style
Zeinab teaches a rhythmic flowing yoga with careful attention given to correct alignment in each posture. The pace can be faster or slower depending on the level of the students. Modifications, options and props are given so all levels are welcome including beginners, post-natal and more experience students. There is an emphasis on linking breath to movement and in using the physical practice as a gateway to turning inwards. Meditation and deeper breathwork (pranayama) are often incorporated.

Free taster yoga and meditation sessions.
10.30 – 10.45 – Gentle Yoga Flow -a gentle series of delightful flowing and freeing movements and stretches
10.50-11.00 – Pranayama (various breathing techniques) and meditation used to increasing vitalty and to still the mind
11.10 – 11.30 – Restorative yoga. Come and relax deeply in a fully supported posture with bolsters, blankets and eye pillows. Restorative yoga switches on the parasympatheictic nervous system, quieting the brain and slowing the heart rate, creating conditions for healing. It restores balance in the body especially where there has been chronic stress

Run again at the flowing times

11.40-11.55 Gentle Yoga Flow
12.00-12.10 Pranayama
12.15- 12.40 Restorative yoga

Run again at the following times:

1.40- 1.55 Gentle flow yoga
2.00- 2.10 Pranayama
2.15—2.40 Restorative yoga

Find out more about Zeinab Mulla Yoga here

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Local Artist in Special Exhibition at the Mansion

Valentines Mansion is proud to be showcasing the talents of a local artist in our Gallery between Sunday 16 and Sunday 30th October. Inspired by her rich heritage and culture, artist Nina Gore’s collection of line art drawings of exotic animals comes together for our latest exhibition.

img_4986After experimenting with henna on hands, the self-taught artist now produces intricate and elaborate free-hand pieces using traditional henna patterns and line work within her art that will simply take your breath away.

Produced using a range of different art forms such as inks, pens and henna on paper and canvas, the distinctive pieces by Nina Gore will come together for the first time in Redbridge for this very special event.  “I’m over the moon to be exhibiting at Valentines Mansion”, commented Nina.  “I always had a passion for art and studied art & design, but even before that I was a natural creative and loved drawing and applying henna on people during weddings.”


“When my youngest daughter started school, I started expanding the roots of my talents.  It gives me great satisfaction when others enjoy my art.  My inspiration comes from my heritage and background, growing up with Bollywood, music, films, dance and just being a free spirit gives me that sense of style in my artwork. Also for me anything around me can inspire me…my moods, the weather, flowers, animals and people.”

As well as viewing the exhibition, visitors will the chance to meet with Nina and see her working on some of her creations.  “Meet the Artist” will take place on Wednesday 26 October, between 1pm and 2pm.

img_4974“My aim is to create modern, affordable art with a traditional feel that appeals to a wide range of buyers from the general public to specialist collectors!”  Nina’s work will be available to purchase – more information available when you visit the Mansion.

Exhibition opening times:

Sunday 16 October, 11am-3pm
Tuesday 18 October, 11am-3pm
Sunday 23-Wednesday 26 October, 11am-3pm

FREE entry

Find out more about Nina Gore here:  http://www.ninagore.com/

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