The Imperial Hotel

We had a great start to the New Year at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool, we went on a Heritage tour of this majestic Victorian hotel finding out about its history and enjoying a lovely afternoon tea. As a special treat for 2017 I also enjoyed their famous “Mayflower Spirit” cocktail in the No. 10 bar after the tour had finished.


I applied a thin layer of Parchment acrylic paint to the page using a baby wipe. Once it had dried I added strips of tissue paper which had a lovely holly design; it reminded me of the luxurious silken wallpapers at the hotel. I arranged the tissue strips so they looked like the panels we saw in many of the rooms whilst on our tour and used a UHU Stic to stick them down.  Next I stamped ornate picture frames using black Archival Ink to depict the beautiful plaster work, pictures and mirrors found at the hotel. I stamped the frame onto some of the holly tissue paper, then fussy cut the centre oval and added it to the centre of the frames I had stamped on the page using a UHU Stic. I collected a variety of booklets, leaflets and postcards from the hotel reception during our visit and used these as part of my design. I cut the images out with Fun Cut scissors to give them a serrated edge and used a Cold Grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker along the edge to give them more definition, then stuck them to the page with a UHU Stic or double-sided foam tape. For the palm tree I stamped the image onto the back of one of the postcards from the hotel using Archival Ink. I also saved the tea bag tags from the green tea we had as part of our afternoon tea and added them to finish the page.


The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, opened in 1867 and is situated on the North Promenade seafront and enjoys spectacular views over the beach and sea. The hotel retains the opulence and glamour of its Victorian heyday, and has welcomed a host of famous guests including Charles Dickens, Sir Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire, The Beatles, Princess Margaret and Princess Anne.


The Churchill Room was named to honour the many visits Sir Winston Churchill made to the Imperial when he was prime minister and leader of the Conservative party. The room is much the same as the old photograph, although with one surprise. Recently, the photograph pictured has come to light and it shows a magnificent stained glass domed ceiling in the room. Exploratory holes were drilled into the current ceiling to discover that the stained glass ceiling is still there, although it’s not in great condition and is estimated to cost over a million pounds to restore.


The Grill Room is now the Louis XVI Function Room and has the most beautiful plaster work, wall coverings, mirrors and chandeliers.


The Palm Court is now the Dining Room and looks very elegant especially with the beautiful dome chandeliers. In Victorian times, palm trees were considered very exotic and a demonstration of wealth.


The Ballroom now called the Washington Suite has one of the best dance floors in Blackpool and the most wonderful plaster work of cherubs, flowers and sea creatures. The National Dance Championships have been held in Blackpool since 1920 and the Imperial Hotel is very popular with competitors as they can practice on the dance floor before heading off to the competition.


Recently the hotel discovered that a room used for storage of employee files was once an impressive suite of Russian, Turkish and seawater plunge baths which were built in 1901, but had been plastered over and hidden. They are slowly being restored in conjunction with the Blackpool Civic Trust. In the photo (above) you can see that the magnificent tiles were painted and then plastered over and part of this has now been removed to reveal the original tiles once more.

The original glass-roofed billiard room retains its stained glass canopy but has been turned into a bar and named No. 10 after all the UK prime ministers who have stayed at the Imperial whilst in office.


During the tour we found out about the Head Cocktail Bartender who had won a national competition to invent a new cocktail in the 1950’s, so we had to try one.  It was one of those all shots and no mixer cocktails, and was delicious and very warming! I’m saying a big “cheers” to the T-Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day!


Not forgetting our lovely afternoon tea served on beautiful fine china. We choose green tea to accompany the finger sandwiches with traditional fillings of ham and mustard, egg and cress and smoked salmon with cucumber, Victoria sponge, strawberry Eton Mess, chocolate delice, mini lemon tart and warm fruit scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream. I’m sorry, but it looked and tasted so yummy that we tucked in before we remembered to take a photo.

As this page tells the story of our visit to this magnificent old hotel, I’m very pleased to join Erica from BioArtGal who is hosting January’s theme of “Tell me a Story” over at Art Journal Journey.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Crafter’s Companion Vintage Collection Acrylic Stamp (Floral Sentiments VF-ST-PSENT)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Aldi The Night Before Christmas Range (Printed Tissue)
  • The Imperial Hotel history booklet, postcard and leaflets
  • Fun Cut scissors
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

The Swan Hotel

The Swan Hotel in Arundel has been a place of much happiness over the years; we have been to this pub for lunch a number of times with both family and friends! This page marks our most recent visit which was last month.


I stamped the swan, heart and star images onto the page using embossing ink and covered them with white embossing powder making sure they were completely covered.  Then I shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the page against the table to make sure I’ve removed any stray powder. Once the excess powder was safely returned to its container, I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. I applied Tea Dye and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks over the page using a blending tool, which revealed the embossed images beautifully. On the outside of the hotel building were pretty window boxes full of pansies, so I added pansy rub-on transfers to the page. I fussy cut some vintage tableware from a selection of Victorian images from a gift bag I had kept to recycle and also beer glasses from an old magazine. The Swan Hotel logo is from a takeaway menu which I collected during our visit, I edged it with a black Sharpie marker and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. I included a chalkboard tag as the pub has lots of chalkboard style signs; I stamped the name of the beer that we enjoyed on tissue paper using Archival Ink, then I stuck it to the tag using a UHU Stic and outlined it with a Uniball white gel pen, drawing a couple of flames to match the beer pump design. I stuck on the paper stars and the family, laughter and happiness words which are stickers, as they remind me of our time there. To finish I added white snowflake stickers as we visited during winter months while they were serving winter ale.

As this page tells the story of our visit and lunch, I’m very pleased to be able to join Erica from BioArtGal who is hosting Art Journal Journey’s January theme “Tell me a Story”.


Here we are walking along the River Arun, there are wonderful views of Arundel castle and the South Downs. I am sure Sophie the dog would agree we certainly walked up an appetite so we headed to the pub for lunch.


The Swan Hotel dates back to 1759, when it was built facing the bustling Arundel Town Quay and served the thirsty seafarers, shipwrights and dock employees. This Georgian building looks much the same as it did at the end of the 18th century.


The outside of the building is always beautifully adorned with window boxes and baskets. They looked so pretty with the winter seasonal bedding, especially the pansies which were bright and cheerful!


The bar itself is very welcoming and being a Fuller’s (brewery) pub it always has a selection of great cask conditioned ales on offer, as well as wines, spirits, hot drinks and even winter specialities of spiced cider and mulled wine.


We enjoyed a pint of Firecracker, which is a delicious seasonal ale brewed with warming winter spices. I’m saying a big hello to the T-Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day! There are also lots of signs in the pub which link to drinks that some of you may like. Take a look at the above photo again, behind the beer pump, at the large selection of teas available.


And not forgetting the coffee lovers too, I didn’t know there were so many different types to choose from!


We also enjoyed a glass of water with fresh lemon, which you can just help yourself to. They even had oranges for you to takeaway and dog biscuits for our four legged friends!


I just remembered to take a photo of our lunch before it was all gone – the Southern Fried Chicken Burger served on a toasted brioche bun with mayo, tomato, gherkin, onion, gem lettuce, coleslaw and hand cut chips (fries) and an extra side order of sweet potato fries was so yummy!


I loved the signs on the toilet (restroom) doors so much that I used the lovely green colour on my journal page. Being a Lady or a Knight for the day was such fun and ties into nearby Arundel Castle wonderfully.

As some of you may know after our lunch we had a lovely time exploring the town too, so if you want to know more about Arundel and see more of the town, then take a look at my post Welcome to Arundel!

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Dovecraft Premium Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque DP100)
  • Papermania Urban Stamps 5×5 easy cling stamp set (12 Days of Christmas – Icons PMA 907909)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamps (WDW Alpha Stamp DCVW0030)
  • Studio Light Creative with Chalk (EASYCH465)
  • Home Bargains (Wall Stickers 16221)
  • Takeaway Menu – The Swan Hotel
  • Recycled Victorian design paper bag
  • Beer magazine
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Pretty Pansies SM Box Design #LAN2001 RUB-ON)
  • UHU Stic