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6 Jun (English) Albertopolis - Prince Albert's vision

(English) Prince Albert had a grand vision for the area of South Kensington. The idea was that it would be a centre for culture and education. The 1851 Great Exhibition was held in a gigantic, purpose-built, glass palace erected in Hyde Park kick-started the project. It was a huge success

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and raised enough money for the foundations of Victoria & Albert Museum, then followed Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall and many other monuments. Sadly Prince Albert died very young, but he will be forever remembered with the beautiful memorial commissioned by Queen Victoria. In 2019 the bicentenary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, both born in 1819, is celebrated. We will commemorate their birthdays with a walk  starting in the Victoria & Albert Museum and ending in Hyde Park.

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(English) Albertopolis - Prince Albert's vision

5 Sep (English) Nine Elms Walk

(English) An architectural walk in the new exciting area emerging around Vauxhall and Nine Elms, just opposite Westminster and Chelsea. We will see Damian Hirst’s luxurious Newport Street Gallery, Terry Farrell’s MI6 building often featured in James Bond films, the new £1 billion American embassy and the iconic Battersea Power Station. It is definitely becoming a “happening place” including various restaurants under the refurbished railway arches and two new tube stations.

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(English) Nine Elms Walk

20 Sep (English) London Design Festival at V&A

(English) The annual London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world. The V&A is the festival hub and throughout the museum we will see a range of specially commissioned installations.

Maybe followed by a meal in V&A’s original Victorian restaurant or the new Membership Room designed by Carmody Groarke?

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(English) London Design Festival at V&A

17 Oct (English) Kings Cross

(English) The Kings Cross area seems to really have come alive. From having been a seedy ‘no-go’ part of London it  is now an interesting mix of restored Victorian Gasholders and modern buildings,
many with big roof gardens.

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The Coal Drops Yard was designed by Thomas Heatherwick and consists of two converted 19C coal warehouses that touch each other – and hence the nickname ‘The Kiss’. A former granary has become the home of the prestigious Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design. There are canals and new gardens. Definitely a new place worth a visit.

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(English) Kings Cross

2 Nov (English) Hackney Wick

(English) The East End based Hackney Wick is a vibrant area full of old factories some of them turned into artist studios, small breweries and a fringe theatre. The dilapidated buildings are covered in ever changing street art. During the weekends there are pop-up cafés and bars where you can sit in deckchairs on top of barges on the canal. It is an interesting location adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with its many projects such as V&A East in the pipeline.

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(English) Hackney Wick

5 Dec (English) Christmas Evening Walk in Mayfair

(English) The Mayfair and St James’s area is full of history going back to the time when Charles I made St James’s Palace his primary residence and the glamorous court and fashionable people followed him. During the reign of the fun-loving Charles II many exclusive shops were established.

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Some shops in St James’s Street, such as Berry Bros. & Rudd, wine merchants and vintners to the Queen, and Lock & Co, hat-makers and inventors of the bowler hat, have been there for more than 300 years.

Berkeley Square is filled with mid-18C aristocratic town houses that were lived in by famous people such as Clive of India and Sir Winston Churchill. No 50 Berkeley Square had the reputation in Victorian times as London’s most haunted house. No 44 housed the famous night club Annabel’s that closed, only to be reincarnated two doors down in a totally different style.

Maybe followed by one of Duke’s famous Dry Martinis or a drink in the American Bar of The Stafford?

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(English) Christmas Evening Walk in Mayfair