Somerset House, originally a Tudor Palace, has been home to Elizabeth I, the Navy and the Royal Academy of Art. It has seen routs and masquerades, and has fallen into ruin – ‘…the haunt of spectres…magicians and murderers.’
The free tour gives an excellent overview of it’s extraordinary history.
It was fascinating to visit the lightwells – underground alleyways visible from the courtyard – and the ‘Dead Room’, with it’s Catholic gravestones.
Easy to see why Somerset House is used by film crews as an atmospheric London location.
The Courtyard is a fantastic space, unique in London. The East wing is home to an eatery, and very fine place for a cup of tea. (more…)
Kings Cross Station has had an facelift. The concourse to the west now has a stunning vaulted ceiling and mezzanine floor, and is home to several new places to eat and shops, including Patisserie Valerie, Kiehls and the excellent Watermark books.
I pop into Leon for a cuppa. I have always loved this London chain and have use the original Carnaby Street branch for years.
There is a large room at the back with high ceilings, and the decor is artfully done, with exposed piping, bare brickwork, mismatched chairs and some wonderful retro lighting. It is certainly a step up from the (more…)
Finding myself in Holborn one evening, caught in a shower without an umbrella. A bit damp, sore feet and slightly peckish. In need of a cuppa and some sustenance. I cut across Sicilian Avenue heading to bus stop, but saw – Orchard – Vegetarian Kitchen and Grocer! The goddess of teatime is smiling on me!
A warm welcome, and minutes later, a pot of green tea! I had intended to stay just (more…)