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Welltravbrit's London Sojourn - An Ongoing Trip Report

Welltravbrit's London Sojourn - An Ongoing Trip Report

Old Jun 10th, 2015, 03:39 PM
  #221  
 
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Putting 18 Stafford Terrace on my list for spring & enjoying the website, I noticed this at the bottom of the homepage:

Closed for housekeeping:
15 June - 4 Sept 2015.

I guess it'll look nice in the spring but for summer visitors, it seems an odd time to close.
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Old Jun 10th, 2015, 03:58 PM
  #222  
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Yes, its interesting and in all the other details I failed to note the closing, thanks for adding this MmePerdu. Someone on the tour asked about it and they said that they see a fall in visitors over the summer but have experienced more people coming over the winter. I think this may be because it's a predominantly British crowd who may be out of town in the summer months. Also she noted that they like to give the house a break and that they need to schedule holidays for the staff.
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Old Jun 10th, 2015, 04:24 PM
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I'll put my money on giving the house a break, and also betting that high traffic in summer is the reason rather than the opposite. It makes sense from a conservator's point of view but, still, a disappointment for some.
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Old Jun 11th, 2015, 11:38 AM
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Dang! I was ready to add that house to my list.
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Old Jun 12th, 2015, 07:52 AM
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Oooh! I just received confirmation of our lunch reservation at Temple Hall on the 25th!

Sorry for the hijack, wtb, but annhig recommended that for my next trip.
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Old Jun 12th, 2015, 09:19 AM
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That's great, LBC. I hoe you have a great time. if the weather's nice, don't forget to go and look at the Inner Temple Gardens [about 100 yards from Middle Temple Hall in the direction of the Temple Church, just ask someone if you can't find it] - they should be looking beautiful at this time of year.

And Temple Church is also worth going to visit.

Here's a link you might enjoy:

http://www.gardenvisit.com/garden/in...temple_gardens
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Old Jun 12th, 2015, 03:41 PM
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Hope you enjoy lunch at the Middle Temple, we ate in one of the Inns of Court years ago with the sibling who is a legal eagle. I agree with annhig do check out the Temple church and if you have time the Soane Museum too.

THEATRE

OK this week we were at a couple of things, Beaux Stratagem at the National, a restoration romp. Good production value and well acted, typical for the National. Last night we were at the Barbican for Waiting for Godot which is being put on as part of the Beckett Festival. IT's a highly recommended production put on my Andrew Upton from Australia. It's very well done and is funny and disturbing at the same time.

Tomorrow we are heading to the National for a backstage tour, if you have Amex keep an eye on the site as they offer these tours for free for cardmembers so it's worth checking out.

Today we had a crazily busy day which started with breakfast at the ROCHELLE CANTEEN, what a fabulous place right on Arnold Circus. There's a lovely walled garden and all I know is that we need to come back for lunch. If you want to come you will need to book as the whole place is very popular. It is extremely charming and another hidden gem. They have put a sandwich board outside but you need to ring the bell to be let in.

At lunchtime we went to 575 WANDSWORTH RD (a National Trust property in south London). You have to book a while in advance (one month plus )but it's a fascinating place.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/575-wandsworth-road/

IT's difficult to describe but it's a small terraced house that was completely redone with a very particular aesthetic. The owner, a Kenyan man who was trained as an architect and artist and took an MPhil in mathematics for fun, covered the entire place in hand carved fretwork. IT is completely different from anything else you've seen and its a real work of folk art. What is great about it is that, like 18 Stafford Terrace, the house is almost entirely as it was left and it really feels alive. The whole place has character and feels so much more vivid than so many historical sites which are often some form of recreation.

Afterwards I headed to the FOUNDLING MUSEUM it's located on Brunswick Sq which is very lovely and the history is fascinating. This was a charitable institution set up to raise children given up by their impoverished mothers. It was supported by a number of prominent artists and musicians including Hogarth, Reynolds and Handel. Most significant for me were the tokens left with the children to be used a reclaim them, they are heartbreaking.

Everything heer is a recreation dating to 1937. I enjoyed my visit and it is interesting but not for those on their first visit to London as it is not an unmissable site in my opinion, though I do like the museum's location close to Lamb's Conduit, one go my favorite London streets. After all this I had a crazy night with a friend who was in town, drinks at the Gore in Kensington and dinner at Dishoom in Shoreditch.
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Old Jun 14th, 2015, 01:25 AM
  #228  
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If you needed confirmation that I'm hitting every small museum in London here is my blogpost on the FAN MUSEUM in Greenwich, yet another place on my Art Fund card

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...greenwich.html

I have to say I loved this place, it's a small museum but the exhibit was exquisite and fans really are much more interesting than you might imagine. I'd seen a small exhibit of Gilded Age fans at the Museum of the City of New York last spring but this was a more extensive collection and a special show of fans from the same period., though this being Europe they were described as belle Epoque fans.

They change the exhibit every three months so it seems like a place that's worth returning to.
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Old Jun 14th, 2015, 02:45 AM
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Yesterday I had a great day at the OPEN GARDEN WEEKEND. I started out late (no surprise there) but had a great afternoon walking through the streets and mews of Kensington and Chelsea.

I stopped first at the Ismaili Center right next to the V&A to see their classical Persian garden on the roof. It's a small garden but was interesting to see and they brought us down to the prayer and then the social halls below. Afterwards I visited a number of private squares. I started the day with house envy and ended with house AND garden envy. I particularly loved the houses which back directly onto the squares. It was also interesting to hear about how these private squares are funded through a tax the home owners pay that is collected through the council and then redistributed to the committee that oversees the garden maintenance. Apparently some homes pay two taxes if they face two squares, lucky them I thought!

The area I was exploring was astonishingly French and clearly a lot of French expatriates have settled here. Apparently it's close to the Lycée and the Institute Francais.

CARLYLE'S HOUSE (National Trust) in Cheyne Row was my final garden stop. It is just the most delightful place, calm, elegant and historically interesting. It's always a pleasure to roam around this part of town I loved both the interiors and the insight it gives you into the intellectual life in London in the late nineteenth century. So many people came here to visit Carlyle (including Dickens, Thackeray, Ruskin etc.) and for me this is FAR more interesting than the Dicken's house. It's a fabulous literary shrine and they encourage you to sit down and read any of the large number of books they have. This is certainly somewhere I'll be coming back to.

NATIONAL THEATRE - we were here for a backstage tour which was free through American Express. I highly recommend this if you're a keen theatre goer and are familiar with the National Theatre. The spaces behind the stage are enormous and it's fascinating to hear about the different devices they have including multistory lifts built under the stage floor. We were particularly interested as the building as it's designed by the same architect who designed the apartment we are staying in.
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Old Jun 14th, 2015, 02:52 AM
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I'm another fan of Lambs Conduit Street. The Lamb is a wonderful pub with its beautiful snob screens and the street houses Perseohone Books, one of my favourite book shops
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Old Jun 14th, 2015, 03:04 AM
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Glad you're still following along, I love Persephone Books too. Here's a link for anyone who is unfamiliar with them. They specialize in reissuing works by women's authors. it's a great destination in itself.

https://www.persephonebooks.co.uk

I always note the afterwork crowds outside the Lamb but have never been in, thanks for the recommendation.
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Old Jun 14th, 2015, 04:26 AM
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WTB, what a great trip report. So many small museums that I hadn't even heard off.

Isn't Leighton House fabulous. I also love Holland Park. There's opera there in the summer.
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Old Jun 14th, 2015, 01:58 PM
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Tulips - Glad you are enjoying it, I think the thread may be getting a little too long for anyone to make sense of it. It may be time to start a new one or perhaps when I get home I'll write up a quick summary with lots of links.

I do love Leighton House and it would be lovely to make it to the opera in Holland Park sometime.

Today we had a great time with a friend who is staying with us, we took one of the Hidden London walking guides and did a tour around Islington which I don't know well, lots of squares and some interesting modernist social
housing including Bevin Court which was originally going to be Lenin Court but was renamed when it was finished after the war and the Russians were no longer our allies.

WE had a wonderful meal at the PIG AND BUTCHER on Liverpool Rd which had excellent food, I highly recommend it for a traditional English Sunday lunch as they butcher all their own meat.
http://www.thepigandbutcher.co.uk

Our walk ended at the ESTORICK COLLECTION

http://www.estorickcollection.com

It's a great small art museum with a an interesting collection of Italian Futurist Art. We saw a Futurists exhibit at the Guggenheim a few years ago which was a good introduction. They also had a small Modigliani exhibit, mainly drawings.
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Old Jun 15th, 2015, 06:34 AM
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Thank you for the link, annhig. We are definitely seeing the gardens - good weather or not. (I am looking forward to flowers this trip since I usually see snow in London ) And I had also planned on the Temple Church. Sloane museum if we have time.

Really loving this, wtb, so never too long. Lots of great info for future trips as well.
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Old Jun 15th, 2015, 07:36 AM
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that's great LCB. I only get to see them when I see the pictures in the Inner Temple magazine!
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Old Jun 15th, 2015, 10:40 AM
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On the subject of Persephone Books, I know other bookshops in the area but didn't know that one. I'm now going through their offerings and see one that's particularly pertinent to your visit to Carlyle's House on Cheyne Row, 'The Carlyles at Home'.

https://www.persephonebooks.co.uk/th...s-at-home.html

Thank you for the link. The shop is on my "definite" list for next visit. And the house, as well, which I've walked past but never gone in.
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Old Jun 15th, 2015, 10:41 AM
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Glad this is still useful, I spent the day blogging so I appreciate the encouragement LCB.
I hope the good weather continues and you see lots of gardens@
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Old Jun 16th, 2015, 02:08 AM
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Mme Perdu - We were posting at the same time and I didn't see your reply. Thanks for the suggestion of the book on the Carlyle's it looks fascinating. I read several excerpts from Jane Carlyle's letters while visiting the house and she was both incisive and witty.
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Old Jun 16th, 2015, 03:27 AM
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In general I'm forgiving of my own hastily written, slapdash scawl, but I just can't bear my grammatical mistake above.
Of course I meant "book on the Carlyles".
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Old Jun 17th, 2015, 01:29 AM
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Just posted a blog post on Chiswick House which is a lovely Palladian villa that's easy to find from the Tube. I very much enjoyed my visit last month. The architecture and the gardens are quite lovely. Lots of photos and more details...

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...ick-house.html
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