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JOIN ONE OF MY UPCOMING OPEN TOURS

My monthly Open Tours are a fun and easy way to explore London’s art and architecture, with a wide choice of venues from the V&A to up-and-coming design districts.

From £15 per person

Click here for booking Private Tours.

21 Feb National Portrait Gallery

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,

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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?

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National Portrait Gallery

4 Mar Kenwood House

Join me for a tour Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath. Not only cosy, the House also contains the most amazing collection of paintings by artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer as well as exquisite Robert Adam furniture, previously in the White House, which Jackie Kennedy sold when she was refurbishing her new home. The House still has the atmosphere of a real family home and there are many interesting stories about the people who lived there.

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Kenwood House

7 Mar Japanese Art at V&A

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.

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Japanese Art at V&A

2 Apr Kings Cross Walk

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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Kings Cross Walk

9 May Barnes Village Walk

Barnes has a genuine village atmosphere with a church dating back to 12C and had a Tudor manor house called Barn Elms House where Queen Elizabeth I’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham lived

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and the land later became the site of a fashionable polo club. The area is filled with charming homes – like The Terrace by The Thames – dating to the early 18C. Another charming part of Barnes is called “Little Chelsea” where workers used to live and now is very popular. There are many traditional local pubs, many of them located by the river. Olympic Cinema has an interesting history associated with a period in the 1960-70s when the world’s most famous rock bands used a recording studio there.

You may want to have lunch afterwards in the Olympic Cafe and Dining Room.

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Barnes Village Walk

14 May Wallace Collection - The Frick of London?

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.

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Wallace Collection - The Frick of London?