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Category: London - Hidden Gems

  1. Do You Know Fortnum & Mason has an Ice Cream Parlour?

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    The Parlour at Fornum and Mason

    Fortnum and Mason is world renowned as a luxury grocery shop. However for the discerning visitor, who can manage to drag themselves away from their beautifully presented food hall, they will be rewarded with a delightful treat The Parlour, a traditonal ice cream parlour.

  2. The Wonderpass - Discovering Baker Street's Colourful History

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    The Wonderpass - Baker Street Quarter 

    The Wonderpass is now open. The Marylebone subway, next to Baker Street Tube Station, has been transformed to showcase the area's colourful history and its cultural attractions. In 2014 Baker Street Quarter Partnership, who commissioned the project, approached me to research the timeline for the Wonderpass. When it opened in January 2016, I was very proud to visit and see the results of my research on display.

  3. The Delightful Geffrye Museum's Christmas Past Exhibition

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    Geffyre Museum

    In the 1630s room the table is laid out with sweet dishes 

    Updated with 2016 opening times

    One of my favourite places to visit in London is the Geffrye Museum, located in former eighteenth century almshouses. The Museum is named after Sir Robert Geffrye, a former Lord Mayor of the City of London, at whose bequest the almshouses were built. The Geffrye features eleven period rooms which reflect the styles and fashions of the English middle classes from 1600s to the present day.

    It is worth visiting at any time of the year but it is at its most magical during its annual Christmas Past exhibition when the rooms are transformed and decorated as they would have been for their era. The rooms are laid out sequentially with the earlier rooms tending to have just very simple evergreen decoration.

  4. Great Gardens of London - Gorgeous Gardens You'll Want to Visit

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    Great Gardens of London

    Great Gardens of London by Victoria Summerley, with photos by Hugo Rittson Thomas and Marianne Majerus has just been published by Frances Lincoln. It's a stunning book featuring 30 amazing gardens across the Greater London area, all of which have been beautifully photographed, such as Winfield House, Regent’s Park, which features on its front cover, see above.

  5. Edith Cavell Wreath Laying Ceremony by St Martin in the Fields

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    Edith Cavell Wreath Laying Ceremony

    Nurse Edith Cavell was executed on 12th October 1915, during World War I, for assisting over 200 allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium. There is an annual public wreath laying ceremony that takes place at her memorial, in London, on the anniversary of her death, which is organised by the Cavell Nurses' Trust. The next wreath laying service will be held on Wednesday 12th October 2016 at 10.30am and is free to attend.

  6. Trocadero's Enchanting Arthurian Frieze in Picturehouse Central

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    Trocadero frieze

    On a recent visit to the newly opened Picturehouse Central in the Trocadero Centre, I was delighted to discover this captivating Arthurian themed frieze. After the film I took a few photos, which wasn’t easy, as I was on a moving escalator, but I managed to capture all ten panels.

  7. "This is a Spot Most Beautiful" Eltham Palace's Art Deco Elegance

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    Eltham Palace - Entrance Hall

    Entrance Hall

    Eltham Palace is best known today for its sumptuous art deco interiors created in the 1930s - 1940s when Stephen and Virginia Courthauld resided there. The house however has an amazing history, from medieval manor house and Tudor royal palace to the Courtaulds, which is covered my original blog post.

    Last month I made a long overdue return visit to as this year they have opened five more rooms and this blog is going to focus on its art deco interiors, although at the time this style would have been referred to Moderne, as the term art deco wasn't coined until 1960s. If you think the Entrance Hall looks amazing wait till you see the bathroom. Warning there are rather a lot of photos. 

  8. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Wallpaper at The Goring

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    The Goring

    The Goring is the hotel where in 2011, Catherine Middleton and her family stayed the night before her marriage to Prince William. The other week I visited for afternoon tea with @DawnCorleone which is featured seperately in my Scones of the Month blog. When I entered their Front Hall, I was immediately impressed with their beautiful wallpaper, so much so that when we left the restaurant we went to have a closer look. The Goring's Facebook page states that "The Goring's Front Hall is a destination in itself". DawnC was staying there, as a guest, so was able to tell me more about it, thanks Dawn, and I loved it so much I felt I just had to blog about it.

  9. London Sightseeing Tour on Stanfords Victorian Horse Drawn Omnibus

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    Stanfords Horse Drawn Omnibus

    Left to right:  Basil, Bob and Harney with Tim Wood

    I love exploring London and when I heard that Stanfords, reputedly the world's biggest travel and map bookshop, have just launched a London sightseeing tour by horse drawn Victorian omnibus I just had to check it out. So last night joined by Julie and Carolyn, friends and fellow guides, we were taken for an utterly delightful ride by Basil, Bob and Harney, three magnificent Dutch Warmbloods.

  10. Midsummer Night's Dreaming at the Museum of the Order of St John

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    Museum of the Order of St John Chapter Hall

    Chapter Hall

    Last week I was thrilled to attend  "A Midsummer Day's Dream" Champagne Tea at the Museum of the Order of St John. The museum occupies two historic sites, the  gatehouse which houses the museum's galleries and has a series of stunning rooms and a seperate building which includes the Priory Church and the Norman crypt. The magnificent suite of historic rooms provided the perfect backdrop for a splendid afternoon of Shakespearean entertainment of drama, music and dance and the balmy hot summer weather just addded to the surreal and magical atmosphere.