Essential Clapham – a pocket guide

Essential Clapham – a pocket guide

Essential London has published 'Essential Clapham' - a pocket guide to this popular area in south-west London.   It's a guide to the history of Clapham and the best cultural, historical and social (e.g. leisure venues, pubs and cafes) sights that you can see and visit today. Showcasing modern-day London-living through 100 pages and 90 original [...]

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 describes 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 of [...]

A self-guided walk in Spitalfields, London

A self-guided walk in Spitalfields, London

Spitalfields is an historic area to the east of the City of London.   Since the 1660's, it has been the traditional first stop for immigrants arriving in London - and has suffered its share of poverty and destitution.   Today, however, the area is a melting pot of the creative industries, street art and bohemian residents.  [...]

Where to watch the Lord Mayor’s Show, 2019

Where to watch the Lord Mayor’s Show, 2019

It’s time to plan your itinerary for the oldest and grandest civic procession in the world, taking place in London on Saturday 9 November 2019.   This is the Lord Mayor’s Show in the City of London.   Knowing the best place to watch the Lord Mayor’s Show will add to your enjoyment! The show can trace [...]

Charles Dickens’ London home – birthplace of his early novels

Charles Dickens’ London home – birthplace of his early novels

At the age of 25, Charles Dickens rented (as was normal practice of the day) a large home in Doughty Street, London.  He did this, just as his writing career (under the pseudonym of ‘Boz’) was taking off.  Dickens lived here happily with his wife, Catherine, and their three children. Charles and Catherine would go [...]

Handel and Hendrix in London

Handel and Hendrix in London

In Brook Street, Mayfair there is an extraordinary couple of houses - turned into a museum.   Numbers 23 and 25 were homes to two musicians 200 years apart; Jimi Hendrix in London and the house of George Frideric Handel! Handel House G F Handel was born in Germany in 1685.   He moved to London age [...]

A short history of Shakespearean theatre in London

A short history of Shakespearean theatre in London

The chances are you’ll come across Shakespeare at least once during your visit to London.  You might even visit the Globe Theatre for a performance.  Here’s a primer on how Shakespearean theatre started in London. Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 and spent the greatest part of his working life in London - living [...]

Chinatown and Chinese New Year in London

Chinatown and Chinese New Year in London

The heart of Chinatown is Gerrard Street.  Here, we have a fusion of Hong Kong and mainland China in the centre of London!    In 2019, Chinese New Year is on 5 February and the main public celebrations will take place on Sunday 10 February.    2019 will be the year of the pig!    [...]

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 [...]