(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.Read More...
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?
(English) The famous C18th architect Robert Adam was asked to glorify an early C17th country house off Hampstead Heath. The result is an elegant, neo-classical villa with all the attributes of “grand living” in the C18th. It is filled with outstanding pictures by famous artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer and top class furniture, some formerly in The White House. The house still has the atmosphere of a real family home and there are many interesting stories about the people who lived there.Read More...
On the tour around the house we will see The Library, also called “The Great Room”, inspired by domestic architecture at Pompeii and Herculaneum and often considered to be Robert Adam’s masterpiece. In the upstairs bedrooms we will see the exquisite collection of Tudor and Stuart portraits from the Suffolk Collection donated to Kenwood House.
You might want to end the tour with a walk in the lovely garden, then have lunch or afternoon tea in the charming Brew House Café that has both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
(English) The famous gallery at the V&A is probably the best place in the world for fabulous jewellery. We will see beautiful pieces such as the ‘Armada Jewel’ possibly a gift from Elizabeth I, Cartier’s ‘Tutti-Frutti’ bandeau bought by Lady Mountbatten and learn about some illustrious owners like the Marchioness of Londonderry seen/depicted in a painting outside the gallery literally bedecked in gem stones, some of which are on display.Read More...
Maybe followed by an expresso in the V&A Members’ Room designed by Carmody Groarke and with a view of Amanda Levete Architects Exhibition Road entrance, entirely covered in porcelain tiles.
(English) Sometimes described as the ‘hidden jewel’ of London’s art galleries, The Wallace Collection is one of the world’s finest private collections of art. February is Open Furniture month which means we will be able to see the exquisite interiors of furniture by famous makers like Jean-Henri Riesener. We will also look at Sèvres porcelain, and works by French painters François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard (whose ‘The Swing’ is perhaps the most famous painting in the collection). Pleasure being the key principle for the 4th Marquis, you may feel inspired to enjoy champagne and oysters at Selfridges after the tour.
(English) We will take a journey through British history via portraits, starting with the fabulous Ditchley portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and ending with the stimulating work by contemporary artists such as Marc Quinn and Sam Taylor-Johnson.
The National Portrait Gallery is an ideal place to get to know great British personalities,Read More...
to gain an understanding of why the portraits were selected and why these individuals were considered important at the time. It is also interesting to learn how the technique and purpose of portraiture and collecting have changed over time, reflecting the attitudes of today.
The visit is particularly atmospheric and romantic if done at night. Why not conclude with a glass of champagne in the fabulous rooftop restaurant?
(English) Towards the end of the C19th, when Japan emerged from a 200-year-long slumber, everyone – especially artists – was transfixed by what they saw. The tour explores the treasures of Oriental art and design; exquisitely dyed and embroidered silk kimonos; the charming and intricate work found on netsuke and inro; and the Mazarin Chest, the V&A’s most important lacquer treasure, made with incredible technique and skill.
(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.
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.