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Links between London & India

London’s links with India

London’s links with India are being celebrated this autumn.  New exhibitions as well as the launch of a film about Queen Victoria and her Indian Secretary highlight these historic links.

Out on East London, the Museum of Docklands has some fascinating displays showing how London became the major port of Victoria’s Empire, creating the gateway through which trade with India developed.

Not too far from elegant Presidential Marylebone Mayfair, The British Museum is staging a special virtual pilgrimage on India’s Great Shrine of Amarvaveti within its Asahi Shimbun Display rooms.  Later this year, it will be reopening a South Asian permanent gallery which features a new display telling the story of India from pre-history to the present day.

Over at the Science Museum in South Kensington, the Illuminating India season offers a fascinating look into photography in India from the nineteenth century to the present day, as well as a look at celebrating scientific thought and innovation in India.  The neighboring Natural History Museum has a stunning collection of Indian art showing animals and flowers commissioned by officials working for the East India Company during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For richer experience, try booking serviced apartments Central London to avoid spending fare on travelling.

Not to be forgotten is the V&A museum with its extensive collections of furniture and artifacts from India. One of its most famous objects is the unusual Ipu’s Tiger. This almost life-size semi-automation shows a tiger mauling a European soldier.

These three Kensington based museums were the initiative of Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert who was intent on making knowledge about the world around us more widely available.  The V&A museum was opened by Queen Victoria after his death.

Queen Victoria was fascinated with India. Her home at Cowes on the Isle of Wight contains some amazing Indian decorated rooms.  She is closely linked to many places in London such as Kensington Palace where she was born. This is reflected in the exhibition Victoria Revealed, based on her journals.  It is a fascinating, intimate account of her life.  She was crowned at Westminster Abbey, and lived at Buckingham Palace.  Windsor Castle just a short distance out of London was one of her favourite homes.  All of these locations would have been well known to her Indian Secretary, Abdul Karim.

Yet none were used for the location filming of Victoria & Abdul.  Instead, book any of the Aparthotels London and take a look at Ham House in Richmond, which was one of the settings used for filming.  An amazing place, it is a very imposing place – and even has the reputation of being haunted.  The sound of footsteps and the scent of roses have been known to occur unexpectedly around the house.

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A guide to Tate Gallery, London

Tate Museum London

Visiting the Tate Gallery is one of the key destinations for many art loving visitors staying potentially in one of the fantastic serviced apartments London.  It is easy to see why. The Tate has a world renowned collection of British and contemporary art so whatever your taste in art, there is guaranteed to be something to suit everyone.

Split across two sites in London, the Tate is one of the oldest art galleries in the UK.  It first opened in 1897, in a classically styled building in Chelsea.  This building is now known as Tate Britain and contains an incredible selection of works by British artists from 1500 AD onwards.  The Clore Gallery houses some of the most spectacular works by Joseph Mallard William Turner, who is often described as the father of modern art.  Among the art works by Turner that are on display are the spectacular scenes around London as well as The Shipwreck, Snowstorm, Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps. In addition, for travelers there are many 4 star Aparthotels London to choose from, which offer a luxury base for your trip.  

The Tate’s second site is very different in every way. This is Tate Modern, located at the former Bankside Power Station just across the River Thames from St Paul’s Cathedral.  Over 40 million people have visited Tate Modern since it opened in May 2000.  Many of the artists displayed here are very controversial and have included Tracey Ermin and Damien Hirst. There is a constantly changing programme of exhibitions, and not all relate to British Art. For example, during the autumn of 2017, there are exhibitions being held relating to Modigliani and Red Star over Russia – a revolution in Visual Culture under Stalin while in 2018, the headline exhibition focuses on Pablo Picasso.

Not everyone comes to the Tate Modern for its art. It is also well known for its dining experiences as its ninth floor restaurant provides gourmet cuisine accompanied by stunning views of the Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Sited in the centre of London and not too far from beautiful Presidential Marylebone Mayfair is Tate Modern is easy to reach as it is within walking distance of the South Bank Centre, St Paul’s Cathedral and many other popular attractions. Combining it with a visit to Tate Britain is slightly more difficult, given the distance between the two.  Fortunately, there is an answer.  Visitors can combine a visit to both London sites by using the Tate RB2 Boat service.  

The Tate Boat runs every 40 minutes during gallery times and you can buy tickets on line, from a self serve kiosk at the Tate Pier, or use an Oyster card.  Only children under 5 travel for free.  Using the Tate Boat makes travelling between the two sites quick and easy, while enjoying fantastic views of many of the famous riverside landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament.


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Best Gin Bars in London

Best Gin Bars in London

Fashionable and innovative, Gin has become one of the most popular drinks in London making Gin Palaces the place to be. These are not places where there is just one or two gins on offer – instead there may be a hundred or more, plus countless different types of tonic you can try while a resident at one of the best Aparthotels London. We take a look at some of the most popular locations to enjoy a gin or two.

The Gin Bar, High Holborn

Choosing your drink is definitely hard when you visit The Gin Bar. Just where do you start? On offer is London’s largest collection of Gin’s with more than 500 different Gins and 30 tonics creating over 14,000 possible combinations! There are also gin cocktails on offer.  Try international brands as well as local specialities, as well as a selection of wines, beers and spirits.  The brightly coloured bottles positively glow above the distinctive copper-topped Gin Bar.  Stylish and spacious, this is a very sophisticated yet friendly destination. In addition, if you want to get the feel of home away from home then choose to stay in serviced apartments London that cost less than that of a hotel stay.

Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour, Covent Garden

Fancy something a little old-world? Then head for Mr Fogg’s in Covent Garden which describes itself as ‘the gin parlour of the eccentric British adventurer’.  Stroll up the stairs and turn back the clock to a much earlier era. You can even feel as though Phileas Fogg himself might venture forth on his adventures around the world.  The elaborately draped curtains, the austere portraits and cupboard like bar possessing all manner of tempting drawers.   Try some Victorian sweet and savoury delicacies alongside over 300 gins, 15 tonics and complimenting botanicals.  Perhaps you want a Gin Safari?  Then try one of their special master classes held in Aunt Gertrude’s Gin Parlour involving a tutored tasting of different gins.

C.O.L.D Blackfriars.

Plush leather seating, and American speakeasy style await you at the City of London Distillery (C.O.L.D), Blackfriars. Watch the gin bubbling away as it distills in the large copper stills, and try a gin-heavy cocktail involving some of the 180 gins sold here.  Book a tour of the distillery and find out how Gin is made. How about distilling your very own bottle of gin? The Gin Lab allows you to design and distill some gin to your own personal recipe, creating a bottle to take away with you.

Whistling Shop, Shoreditch

If you prefer something a little more atmospheric, then book a stay at the Presidential Marylebone Mayfair and head over to the Whistling Shop in Worship Street, Shoreditch. Dark and lit by an indoor street lamp, this is definitely one of the most atmospheric bars in the city.  In fact, it feels like you have stepped into an old style Victorian gin palace.  Themed around an atlas, the drinks menu allows you to plot a course through the history and geography of global drinking while enjoying some traditional British food. Look out for the cocktail lab with its crazy instruments used to make up unusual infused gin potions.

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Enter the World of Harry Potter

Enter the World of Harry Potter

Amazingly, it has been 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was published.  Since then, Harry Potter has become a world wide phenomenon and the films still grab you imagination and draw you into the story.  It is a world that enchants everyone, young and old.

Not surprisingly, Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. Book a stay in Serviced Apartments Marylebone and buy tickets in advance because they go very quickly.  You have to book a specific time slot to enter the Studio Tour, but once through the Great Hall, you can explore at your leisure.

There is a tremendous amount to see at the Studio Tour and it can easily occupy visitors all day.  This is a very special site since it is the only one in the world where you can see the original film sets – as well as the original red steam locomotive which pulled the Hogwarts Express across the countryside en route to Hogwarts.  All the props on display are original, having been made for use during the films. Take a close look at the real entrance to the Chamber of Secrets and watch the snakes slither along slotted tracks as the intricately carved door opens.

One of the most enchanting displays is the exquisite detailed scale model of Hogwarts made for use in the filming.  Enhanced digitally it was the scene of many stunning action shots within the films.

Other delights in store include the Forbidden Forest complete with Aragog the spider and his spiderlings, and the Knight Bus ready for another madcap journey through London.  You can explore the Great Hall, and see inside Dumbledore’s Study, Harry & Ron’s Bedroom, the gloomy classroom that housed Professor Snape’s potions lessons and discover the fun of Diagon Alley complete with all the famous shops like Ollivanders, the Weasley Joke Shop and the Goblin bank.  

Want to discover the secrets of green screen filming while a resident at Presidential Marylebone Mayfair?  This is the perfect place to do so.  Choose your robe (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin or Ravenclaw) then hop on a broom and fly!  The broomsticks truly twist and turn, leaving you hanging on tightly. The resultant photographs portray you flying across the sky over Hogwarts lake, through London traffic or across the mountains.  

If you’ve booked a few days in the capital, potentially in one of the beautiful Serviced Apartments Mayfair, this is definitely a fascinating place to explore, and one that will definitely keep you busy and interested throughout your visit.  It is guaranteed to provide some incredible memories that will never be forgotten.  

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Visiting Kew Palace, London

Kew Palace London

Kew Palace is one of England lesser known royal residences, but it is definitely worth a visit.  In fact, a trip out to Kew is a wonderful way to enjoy a hot summers day in London. Also, there is a large selection to choose from cheap to luxury Aparthotels London in close proximity.

The journey takes less than half an hour using London Transport and it brings out into vistas of green lawns, beautiful parkland and sweetly smelling flowers.  Kew Palace is situated within one of the world’s greatest Botanical Gardens with some trees dating back centuries.  

Kew Palace has been unoccupied since the last royal residents left it back in the early nineteenth century.  It makes a wonderful snapshot of life in a royal palace in Georgian England.  The Royal kitchens have only recently been reopened to the public and are really impressive. Highlight of the complex is definitely the great kitchen itself as it contains a massive roasting range, charcoal grill and pastry oven.  Its quietness now bears little resemblance to the sheer scale of activity, and number of people who would have been employed here in Georgian times.  There are also several preparation rooms where staff would have spent hours chopping vegetables and cleaning pots and pans.  Yet more rooms acted as offices and the spice cupboard in which expensive spices would have been kept under lock and key.

During summer evenings, it is sometimes possible to book a special evening tour of the Palace which takes you into a maze of hidden cellars, spooky attics while hearing more about the lives of the people who lived here. Visitors often seek nearby self catering apartments London which offer a luxury base to their trip.

The fact that Kew Palace gardens have become a world treasure house of plants makes it a pleasant memorial to the King who lived here, as he too loved plants.  

You can stroll for miles amid the parkland, investigating the many delights to be found here.  A tall Chinese pagoda sits among the trees at the far end of the gardens. Climbing up a long stairway elsewhere in the grounds will take you high into the tree tops for a stroll along a birds eye walkway. You do need a good head for heights as you are over 18m off the ground!  Coming back down to earth, you then promptly descend underground to discover the secrets of the soil that helps plants grow and develop.

Also, worth visiting while at Kew is the Hive.  Standing seventeen meters high, the translucent sides are built to recreate a beehive.  Walking inside, you are surrounded by constantly changing sounds and light giving you an insight into the busy life of bees.

When tired of exploration, there are cafes and places to relax making this a perfect place for a lengthy day out from London. As for accommodation, Presidential Marylebone Mayfair is definitely the right destination every time you are coming to London.




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Studio Apartment

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Presidential studio

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  • Fully Equipped kitchen


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