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 (financial district).   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.   However, today the area is a melting pot of the creative industries, street [...]

London’s second ‘City’ – Canary Wharf in Docklands

London’s second ‘City’ – Canary Wharf in Docklands

Canary Wharf is the name of the second financial district for London.   It is situated about three miles to the east of the ‘City of London’ in the former London Docklands.   The addition of Canary Wharf was to provide additional capacity for the ‘City’ – a top-ten world economy, if it were a country in [...]

3 American bars in London you won’t want to miss!

3 American bars in London you won’t want to miss!

American Bar at the Savoy Hotel We’ll start with arguably the most famous of the American bars in London. And one of the earliest to sell ‘American-style’ cocktails to the British public. As you enter the front reception lounge, turn left and head upstairs to the bar. It’s been frequented by all the great and [...]

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, North 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 [...]

Covent Garden – London’s first residential square, a short history

Covent Garden – London’s first residential square, a short history

Covent Garden is home to the world renowned Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet and the London Transport museum – as well as some of the best shopping, food & drink and street entertainment in London! However, have you ever wondered how it started? This post is about the foundation of Covent Garden and, in [...]

Mozart in London – see where he wrote his first symphony, age eight!

Mozart in London – see where he wrote his first symphony, age eight!

The European Tour A short walk from Victoria Railway Station is the smart, cosmopolitan Orange Square in Pimlico. This is the former neighbourhood of the eight year old Mozart in London.  In the square there is a small statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart commemorating this.  In 1764, this was an open area with sheep and donkeys [...]

Somerset House – neoclassical skating!

Somerset House – neoclassical skating!

We joined a tour of Somerset House in central London recently.  Here’s how it went. Somerset House was built by the Duke of Somerset and protector to the young Edward 6th in the later 1500’s – on land occupying a Tudor palace. Subsequently used by the Danish Queen of James 1st but then sadly burned [...]

Regent’s Street lights up!

Regent’s Street lights up!

This year the Regent's Street lights represent ‘The Spirit of Christmas’.  It's a stunning showcase of over 300,000 tiny LED lights - making this the biggest and most spectacular carnival of Christmas lights in the capital. With a bag of roasted chestnuts in hand, there is nothing quite like it to get you in the [...]