The Bank of England

If I know people, like I think I know people, then people like free stuff.

A visit to the Bank of England Museum is free and you can learn about Adam Smith, the history of the rise and fall and the rise of the banks. Why not have a go at quantitative easing?

Have you every picked up a bar of gold? The highlight of this visit is picking up a real bar of gold.

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Plan A was get a good strong box,
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and some guns

Vast displays of coins from antiquity.

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And the highlight of the free visit.

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Mr Brown, you forgot this one!
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Freemasons Hall

Home of UGLE (United Grand Lodge of England) since 1775, rebuilt in the Art Deco form in the 1920’s.

Featured in the TV series Spooks, and also you may have seen it used as a venue during Fashion Week.

Small girl standing next to chair to show size of golden chair.
Large ceremonial golden chair.

 

Below is  a picture of a roped-off section where public not allowed to wander into. I don’t think they had an audio guide but all the symbolism, the triangles, the globe, the meteorite striking a pyramid. What does it all mean? They give a tour guide 5 times a day.

 

 

And finally, this is the room featured in Spooks.

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St Dunstan-in-the-East

In one form or another, St Dunstan-in-the-East has been around since 1100. Who would have thought a church blown up in the blitz could be a little place of tranquillity in the city?

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Well used by city-folk on their lunch-breaks.

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Sky garden looming over like an uninvited guest.

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And if you want more info

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The Banqueting House

Turn right at the Houses of Parliament, walk along Whitehall until you get to Horse Guards Parade.

On the opposite side of the road is Banqueting House, the only remaining part of the Whitehall Palace. Designed in 1619 by Inigo Jones.

Here, for six pounds you can lie on a beanbag and stare at the ceiling for your whole lunch break.

Painted around 1636, by the Flemish painter, Sir Paul Rubens, now remains his only in-situ ceiling paining.  After a mix up on the measurements (length of a foot is different in Belgium) it was cut to size by Inigo and Rubens’ apprentice. The artist never did see his work.

You also get an audio guide.

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Yes it really is opposite Horse Guards Parade.

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Westland London – Dealers in architectural antiques

Westland London: St Michael’s Church, Leonard St, London EC2A 4QX, United Kingdom
Nearest Tube: Old Street
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 9:00am – 5:30 pm, Fri-Sat: 10am-5pm, Sunday: Closed
(check website to confirm details)
Website            Location

 

Think Dickensian. Think Downton Abbey. Think Titanic. It’s all here, rooms and rooms of treasures from past times rescued and restored at Westland’s in the befitting environment of St Michael’s Church, London.

Westland’s are dealers in antiques and architectural antiques established over 40 years ago by the late Geoff Westland. Its London base is at St Michael’s Church, worth a visit in itself, houses many fascinating antiques for sale.  All items are displayed as if on a stage or the set of a film as you walk from scene to scene.

A wooden aeroplane propeller, a ship’s wheel, an art deco chandelier, bells from an old church that is no more. So many fireplaces in wood, metal, marble crafted a hundred years ago. Majestic garden statues, looking like great fallen movie stars, waiting for the next chapter in their lives. Around  every corner another story awaits.

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Truly a gem in the heart of London. If you are a daydreamer or want to buy something unique for your home, with provenance, then step back in time and visit Westland London. 

Follow link to website to read more about Westland, its history and view catalogues.

Website

National Gallery – The Sunflowers

Blow away those winter blues and visit room 45 of The National Gallery.

See paintings by Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin, Rousseau, Toulouse – Lautrec.

So, what are your plans for lunch today?

The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN.
Website: http:/www.nationalgallery.org.uk
Cost: Free

See this link for paintings in Room 45.

Why not download an audio tour from here, provided by the National Gallery, includes Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

HMS President

Take a winter’s walk along the Southbank to the Oxo Tower and prepare to be  dazzled.

HMS President (1918), one of only three remaining WW1 warships, has received a makeover by artist Tobias Rehberger in homage to the Dazzle Ships of the First World War.

The Ship will be docked on Victoria Embankment until January 2016.

Website: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions
Location: Best view is from Oxo Tower on Southbank

Jerwood Space

Jerwood Space is lunch and a break. The art gallery has different exhibitions on during the year along with Cafe 171 providing healthy meals from seasonal ingredients at a reasonable price.

I recently went along to see Photoworks Award 2015 and Luke McCreedie’s work “Be in the air, but not be air, be in the no air” And that is quite fitting because I couldn’t find it. Eventually found it in the cafe area.

Jerwood Space
171 Union St, London SE1 0LN
Jerwood Space:http://www.jerwoodspace.co.uk/
What’s on: http://www.jerwoodvisualarts.org
Cafe 171 Menu: http://www.cafe171.co.uk/cafe-menus.html

Imperial War Museum – London

If you want to learn something new today, then visit The Imperial War Museum.

From Spitfires to espionage, The Great War to The Gulf War. First hand testimonies from men, women and children who lived through the wars as well as an insight into the political landscape of the time leading up to war.

The IWM is not as big as Natural History Museum, for example, but more than can be take in in one lunch break. You could wander around in an hour looking at the major artefacts or I would plan 3 trips covering one floor at a time.

Why not buy an excellent  guide book for £5 and plan your trips? The proceeds go to the museum.


Imperial War Museum
Location:Lambeth Rd, London SE1 6HZ
Website: http://www.iwm.org.uk
Cost: Free

Currently there’s an additional exhibition of photographs taken by war photographer Lee Miller – A Woman’s War. The cost of this is £10, or free for members.

Sky Garden , 20 Fenchurch Street

Some people call this building the “Walkie Talkie”, others the  “Walkie Scorchie” but one thing is for sure, 20 Fenchurch Street has the most amazing views of London.

And the Sky Garden is just that, tropics in the sky , 37 floors up.
Well worth a visit, very relaxing. I spent about 45 minutes here, but could have done in less if time was an issue. I hear they have a yoga class at 6 am.

Tickets must be booked in advance, there is no charge, but you must bring ID.

Sky Garden
20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 4BA
http://20fenchurchstreet.co.uk/sky-garden.html
Cost: Free
Note: Book in Advance