A self-guided walk in Spitalfields, London

A self-guided walk in Spitalfields, London

Spitalfields is in the east end of London and very close to the City of London.   Its been the traditional first stop in Britain for immigrants, going back to the 1600’s, and has had its share of poverty and destitution.   Today, however, the area is a melting pot of the creative industries, street art and [...]

Guide to Belgravia – and its pubs! (Part 2)

Guide to Belgravia – and its pubs! (Part 2)

In the previous post we gave an overview of this historical area.  We continue in this post - and take in the next four pubs! Foreign embassy capital Belgrave Square is home to around twenty foreign embassies; among them Norway, Spain, Germany, Austria, Brunei, Portugal, Bahrain, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico and the Ivory Coast.  In the [...]

Guide to Belgravia – and its pubs! (Part 1)

Guide to Belgravia – and its pubs! (Part 1)

A short history of Belgravia Belgravia is an area in the south west of London known for its concentration of large mansions, wealthy residents and foreign embassies. However, less than 200 years ago the area was a marshy wasteland frequented by vagrants and criminals. How did it make this transformation? In 1677, the 200 acre [...]

Bermondsey to Rotherhithe

Bermondsey to Rotherhithe

Bermondsey is a thriving business and social area on the south side of the River Thames.  It found prominence as the location of Bermondsey Abbey in the middle ages.   The abbey was dissolved during Tudor times and the area developed into the centre of London's leather processing industry.   Many of the street names bear witness to [...]

The Saatchi Gallery in London’s King’s Road

The Saatchi Gallery in London’s King’s Road

The Saatchi gallery is one of London’s premier contemporary art galleries.   It is based in an impressive Grade 2* listed building opened in 1801 as a school for children of soldiers’ widows.   From 1892 it served as the Duke of York’s Military School and in 1911 was re-named the Duke of York’s Barracks and became [...]

The Spirit of Soho – how it evolved, what to see and where to go

The Spirit of Soho – how it evolved, what to see and where to go

Soho is a well-known district of the City of Westminster in London.   This article will describe how Soho evolved into the epicentre of London’s entertainment scene. Soho is thought to take its name from the hunting cries used when it was a royal hunting park belonging to King Henry VIII, who hunted here with members [...]

The home of the Bishops of London – Fulham Palace

The home of the Bishops of London – Fulham Palace

Tucked away in south west London is the home of the Bishops of London since 704 AD.  Set in magnificent grounds close to the River Thames it is a secluded environment that manages to combine places for children to explore, historical interest and a great cafe - all in a country-side setting! Fulham Palace remained the [...]

London Jazz Festival 2018

London Jazz Festival 2018

The London Jazz Festival is in full swing!    We took in the world famous Jeff Watts trio with celebrated guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel on Tuesday evening (main photo).   A great evening of free flowing modern jazz and food at Pizza Express in Soho. The festival continues in London to Sunday 25 November.   The big performers [...]

London’s finest terraced house!

London’s finest terraced house!

Number 44 Berkeley Square is what Nikolaus Pevsner, the architectural critic,  described as London’s finest terraced house.  Since then, the building has housed a famous casino and nightclub. The house was the original location of John Aspinall’s ‘Clermont Club’ (est. 1962) and (at the same time) Mark Birley's ‘Annabels’ - the famous basement nightclub named [...]

The hidden streets of Barcelona; Raval

The hidden streets of Barcelona; Raval

Among the most popular of European city breaks is Barcelona.   Its mild climate, vibrant culture and quick (and inexpensive) flights make it a perfect weekend trip from London. Many visitors are familiar with the popular areas of La Rambla, Place de Catalunya, Park Guell and Diagonal.   But visitors shouldn’t miss the historic area around the [...]