Westminster and comedy

I had the pleasure of a second half day with my It’s Your London client (see last week’s blog for part one) and we had another jam packed few hours together! We started with Westminster Cathedral, just a week ahead of the Pope’s arrival next week. The mosaics are amazing and it is a very impressive building with its Byzantine design which is so unusual for London as you can see in the photo. We then did the classic walk by of Houses Parliament, Parliament Square, Downing Street, Horse Guards Parade with the Changing of the Guard thrown in. The Changing of the Guard is an impressive sight especially as my visitor loves horses so here’s a shot of them. Then a stroll through St James’s Park with a coffee on the roof of the Inn the Park, finishing up with a visit to Buckingham Palace. The tour around the Queen‘s House is well worth it and as they say on the audio guide – a rare chance to see inside the house of a working monarch. She was on her holidays in Scotland so we could walk around the sumptuous state rooms and have a coffee in the cafe in the magnificent and huge gardens. The cafe staff have an extraordinary attention to detail and I couldn’t resist taking this photo of coffee and cake Buck House style – the chocolate on the top of the cappuccino was in the shape of a crown which made us laugh and realise it was no ordinary cafe!

I was lucky enough to get tickets to see the great comedian Jason Byrne recording a radio at BBC Broadcasting House. We were very close to the stage and it was very funny – both the recorded sections and the warm up and ad libs. Broadcasting House is where the BBC started and is undergoing major changes at the moment with a new wing being added to house all the news and world service staff. The iconic main building has been cleaned up and looks great with its Eric Gill statue on the front and its fine art deco lines. The church of All Souls next door looks amazing day or night and here’s a night photo to go with the Broadcasting House one.


I went to my first London Bloggers MeetUp where a bunch of fellow bloggers get together in a pub to talk about the fun of blogging and meet other fans. This month there were some good folk from PR agencies to put their side of the story. Some of these good bloggers post something everyday so I felt rather an amateur with my weekly efforts!


Only 1 year 318 days to go to the Olympics! Must go to visit the main site again soon. So much to get to see in London – never enough time…
Bye for now,

Autumn colours, blue skies and sunshine

What a beautiful autumn we are having! September and October have been a delight and with the odd day’s exception, we’ve had sun and warmth beyond the season’s norm.

This Sunday in Hyde Park was wonderful and I’ve attached a photo to show the autumnal colours with a group of horse riders from the local riding school and one of the Serpentine lake at its best. It was the kind of day which you just want to hang on to as you feel winter approaching. Our clocks went back this weekend so we are now back on GMT which means darker afternoons and very soon it will be much colder.



After last week’s art fest, only one visit to report this week – to the Wallace Collection to see Damien Hirst’s new paintings called ‘No Love Lost’ . Very blue with skulls, lines and ashtrays so work that out if you can. The Wallace Collection has wonderful art, furniture, ceramics and armour and, as important to some, a lovely courtyard restaurant where we had a late breakfast to sustain us on our visit.


A couple of restaurant visits to report – one to The Criterion in Picadilly Circus which must be one of the most stunning dining rooms in London with it’s gold mosaic ceiling and marbled walls and welcoming bar. They call it neo-Byzantine and they’ve been serving dinners to everyone from Suffragettes to Arthur Conan Doyle for over 100 years. We also had a meal at Vasco & Piero’s Pavilion as Michael Palin recommended it and I believe every word he says! A good Italian meal was had but I prefer the Criterion as surroundings are very important to me and it’s hard to beat theirs.




I had a good afternoon exploring pubs in Victoria but all in the line of business as I have some Americans coming in today and they wanted to eat in a ‘proper pub’ ahead of their evening’s show in Victoria. It’s not an area with that much to offer but I’ve chosen 2 and will talk them through which style their prefer and report back on which one we go to next week! I took the opportunity of being in the area to revisit Westminster Cathedral, the home of Roman Catholic church in the UK. It’s a wonderful building and continued the neo Byzantine theme this week with its golden mosaics which are unfinished as they want each generation to add to the building. Dating from the turn of the last century it also has fine sculptures by Eric Gill and have a look at the photo of the exterior.


Off to meet my Americans so bye for now.