London’s 5 most historic five-star hotels

London’s 5 most historic five-star hotels

Here are London’s 5 most historic five-star hotels, in date-of-opening order. If your budget doesn’t stretch to an overnight stay, settle for a coffee in the public lounge! London’s first hotel built in 1837 with numerous historical associations - not least being the location for the first successful telephone call in London by Alexander Graham [...]

The must-see exhibits at the British Museum (part 2)

The must-see exhibits at the British Museum (part 2)

Welcome to part two of the ‘Must-see exhibits at the British Museum'!    Part one, published recently, explored the ground floor galleries.    Part two starts in Room 61 and will work clockwise around the entire first floor. Room 61 Here we find artefacts from the tomb of a senior (and very successful!) ‘financial book-keeper’ [...]

The world’s first long distance railway

The world’s first long distance railway

Euston Station in London is the terminus of the world’s first long distance inter-city railway. Completed in 1837, the station was the most southern point of the London and Birmingham Railway line. The line was the brainchild of railway pioneers George and Robert Stephenson and the station was designed by the renowned Philip Hardwick. The [...]

London’s oldest shopping mall – the Royal Opera Arcade

London’s oldest shopping mall – the Royal Opera Arcade

Completed in 1816, the Royal Opera Arcade predates it’s better known cousin, Burlington Arcade in Piccadilly, by three years. For the wealthy, it symbolised the dawn of shopping as a leisure pursuit - and no longer a chore undertaken by staff. The Regency period shopfronts were designed by one of London’s most famous architects; John [...]

Wellington Arch – an historic monument and panoramic roof terrace

Wellington Arch – an historic monument and panoramic roof terrace

Completed in 1830 to commemorate British victory in the Napoleonic Wars and subsequent peace with France, the Wellington Arch stands on a island at the bottom of Park Lane. The monument has a unique roof terrace giving a bird’s-eye view of Buckingham Palace Garden, Green Park, Park Lane and Knightsbridge! Originally, the arch was topped [...]

The shopfronts of Brick Lane, Spitalfields

The shopfronts of Brick Lane, Spitalfields

Brick Lane, in London's East End, is an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, market stalls and street art installations. Here are a few shots taken in late 2021. (Nearest tube station: Aldgate East).

London’s best districts – Clapham (part 2)

London’s best districts – Clapham (part 2)

Part 2: Monuments, places of worship, Clapham at war - and essential pubs and cafes! Monuments, statues and markers Boundary markers, dotted throughout Clapham, are parish boundary markers delineating Clapham from Wandsworth and Battersea. The history of Clapham’s local government is beyond the scope of this short book, but here are the basics from the [...]

London’s best districts – Clapham (part 1)

London’s best districts – Clapham (part 1)

This is part one of a two-part article on one of London’s best places to live. The article covers the sights to see in Clapham, South West London. You’ll discover compelling facts about the area, its residents and renowned architecture. Plus, an awesome selection of pubs and cafes to visit! Introduction Clapham is perhaps best [...]

Trade and the British Empire

Trade and the British Empire

The foundations of empire At the dawn of World War I, Britain ruled over a quarter of the world’s land mass, comprising over four hundred million subjects belonging to an empire with, broadly, four types of British rule. Firstly, the five settler colonies or ‘Dominions’ of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland. These [...]

A Mayfair pub walk

A Mayfair pub walk

Here is a pub-walk through one of London's most historical and well-heeled residential areas. Mayfair, named after its raucous annual fair, was purpose-built during the mid to late-1700's.   Many wealthy residents moved here from Soho - where they had lived after the devastating Great Fire of London of 1666. Sir Richard Grosvenor engaged Thomas Barlow [...]