Last week was as busy as ever with a Library themed day out, a sighting of giant ship in a bottle, an evening with the Mayor of London (!), and of course more elephants!
Firstly our Library Day. I designed a day out for some ex colleagues as part of my business offering (It’s Your London) as one of them is a former librarian. We started with champagne and then a leisurely lunch at Shanghai Blues, an elegant Chinese restaurant in
the former St Giles Library in High Holborn. An excellent meal from their set lunch menu. Cabs were required then to take us to Lambeth Palace where they had opened up their library to celebrate it’s 400th anniversary. There were the most amazing books to be seen: an Irish book dated 945 was the oldest; a copy of the Guttenberg Bible the first printed book to reach this country; and, the enormous and fabulous Lambeth Bible dating from 1150. They were all in incredibly good condition, easy to view and accompanied by an informative audio guide. Lambeth Palace itself is a wondeful building dating from 1663 and is the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
After our bit of culture, we walked along the Thames and up Whitehall to take in the sighs like proper tourists do. From there the intrepid explorers set off in search of more theme activities and finished the tour in the Library Bar at the Lanesborough Hotel where the cocktails did not disappoint! The Lanesborough is super luxurious and it’s strange to think it was formerly a hospital until the lease ran out….
A visit to Trafalgar Square to view t
he latest addition to the Fourth Plinth is a must. This time it’s a huge replica of Nelson’s ship The Victory with batik sails to represent the many and complex links between Britain and the continent. It’s really lovely to look at and a very striking addition to the square.
My evening with the Mayor, Boris Johnson, was actually a public meeting for small
business owners in London to ask questions to Boris and a panel, although Boris was clearly the star turn. He is very entertaining and disarmingly funny, even joking about the problems he’s already having with the new government despite them being largely the same party as him! He’s battling for money for London’s infrastructure and that’ll be one to watch. Many questions about Congestion Charging, electric vehicles and money and support for new businesses.
Elephants of cour
se: here are 2 from Trafalgar Square. It should be noted that they do move around so you can never be sure which one will be where!
Bye for now – looking forward to next week,