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Indulge in a little culture this spring. There are some fascinating exhibitions to be enjoyed all over London, from cats to Dior, Space Odessey to Edward Munch. Enjoy the springtime with family visiting the various events while a resident at any holiday apartments in London. Whatever your interest, there is guaranteed to be an exhibition to enjoy. Lovers of fashion will revel in the designs of Mary Quant and Christian Dior at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Two new exhibitions are opening this spring.
The Work of Mary Quant contains over 200 garments and accessories created by this revolutionary British designer who transformed the way women dressed. A decade earlier, Christian Dior had a similar impact bringing in the New Look in the aftermath of WW2. The narrow waists and vast gathered skirts were almost fairy-like in design, and he became one of the most influential designers of years.
Fancy some art? Then head for the Tate Modern to take a look at the works of Pierre Bonnard, a contemporary of Henri Matisse. Bonnard’s worked from memory, using colour in unconventional ways to capture landscapes and people. Van Gogh is the headline exhibition at Tate Britain, focusing on the way he was inspired by Britain and his influence on British artists. Take the opportunity to see some of his most famous works such as Sunflowers and Starry Night on the Rhone.
You can also read: Big Ben – One of the iconic sights of London
If your preference is for more traditional art styles, then the Royal Academy has an exhibition on Renaissance Nudes, while over at the National Portrait Gallery there is a selection of superb miniatures by Tudor artist Nicholas Hilliard which includes images of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake.
A rare opportunity to see some of the incredible Faberge items held in the Royal Collection including a legendary Faberge egg and wonderful little animals is to be found at the Queen’s Gallery adjacent to Buckingham Palace that is quite near to Presidential Marylebone Mayfair London. Royalty & the Romanovs looks at the links between the British and Russian royal families, and the artwork that resulted from that relationship.
Film buffs will enjoy the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum in Kensington High Street. Best known for his films 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining and Clockwork Orange, the exhibition promises insights into his techniques, how he used London as a location for films as well as the props, costumes and models that helped bring his films to life.And what of those cats? The British Library has an entertaining Cats on the Page exhibition looking at how cats have been portrayed in books and arts. Equally family friendly is the exhibition over at the V&A Museum of Childhood focusing on pirates including Captain Pugwash and Captain Hook.
Big Ben is one of the iconic sights of London. But what exactly is Big Ben? Everyone tends to think of the clock tower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, home of the Houses of Parliament. This is not actually Big Ben! You can hear Big Ben but not see it. Big Ben is the great bell with it's a distinctive sound that announces the hour. For an interesting and exciting tour to the Big Ben, you can choose to stay at any serviced apartments in London and you will love it.
It is a sound that is recognized worldwide. In the Second World War, the chimes were used as a symbol of resistance within Europe. Big Ben is always the focus of New Year celebrations, with radio and TV tuning into its chimes to welcome the New Year. It's chiming also mark Remembrance Day, ringing out at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month as it did at the end of the First World War. Now it marks the time when British people hold a minute’s silence to remember all those who have died in the war.
So where does the name Big Ben come from? No one knows for certain – but it is generally thought to be either Sir Benjamin Hall, the first commissioner of Works at the Houses of Parliament and was involved in the installation of the bell. He was often known in the House as Big Ben. The other theory relates to a popular boxing champion of the time – Benjamin Caunt who was also known as Big Ben.
The tower itself is actually named the Elizabeth Tower. Built in 1859, it is 320 feet high. It is a long walk to the top of the tower. There are no lifts, just 399 winding steps. The clock itself is the largest four-faced clock in the world, with faces that are 7metres in diameter.
You can also read: Inspiring buildings that are among London’s best-kept secrets
Keeping accurate time is the task of the clock specialist. He regularly climbs up to the tower to check the time and momentum of the pendulum. Adjusting the time is done very simply – by using pennies! Only pre-decimal pennies can be used as they are the only ones which have the right weight. Adding one penny to the pile makes the clock gain exactly two-fifths of a second every twenty-four hours.
The Bell is massive. This was the biggest bell ever to be cast in England. It weighs 13.7 tonnes and is 2.2 meters high. A hammer strikes the bell on its outside rim to sound the hour.
Tours of the Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben are currently suspended while restoration work on the Tower is underway. The next tours are likely to be in 2020 – and anyone planning to take those tours will have to book well in advance as only a limited number of tours take place each week, and space is very limited. Most visitors prefer staying at any of the London aparthotels, simply because there is just so much to see and do in this wonderful city.
Exploring London’s rooftop bars can be quite an experience. This is where you can relax with a drink while enjoying some of the best views across London’s skyline. Our guide to the most effective rooftop bars in London reveals all, whether or not that is for unerect back once there is not a cloud within the sky or drinking beneath the celebrities at one amongst the city's most legendary rooftop bars. But in order to enjoy to the fullest, you might need to check out for some best serviced apartments in Central London.
Kensington Roof Gardens in West London are definitely the best known, simply because of their incredible garden. This is where you can see flamingoes strolling around a garden, relax under mature trees or watch a stream trickle by. This is a very popular venue, and you usually have to book in advance.
From the oldest to one of the newest – Pergola on the Roof is situated at the Television Centre in Wood Lane W12. It has had rave reviews for its food and ambiance ever since it opened earlier this year. Even winter will not prove a deterrent to enjoying this pretty location. A special windproof, snow proof and the waterproof dome will cover the site. Throughout the winter, extra effects will be added to create a Nordic style forest experience with winter flowers, holly, and ivy.
Not far away is the Lyric Hammersmith Rooftop bar. Best reserve a table here as it has quite a reputation. A delightful roof garden makes it easy to relax in style while enjoying drinks and modern British food. A pretty pergola provides a refuge in colder weather, yet you can still look down upon the fountains far below in Lyric Square. It is quite simply, an oasis of pleasure.
You can also read: Spectacular Alice in Wonderland Attractions in London
Traveling up to North London The Big Chill House and The Driver is quite close together, while The Lock Tavern in Camden is a popular venue with London’s creative talents. It often hosts rooftop events, especially musical ones with many big names appearing. Always check out the latest list of musical talent before venturing up to Camden Lock, as some nights can be fully booked out some time in advance. Also in Camden is Proud – a burlesque bar and club located in a former horse hospital! The seven exclusive horse stables offer VIP seating, but there is still space for others out on the rooftop.
The Red Lion at Hoxton is a very vibrant rooftop bar. It is also a ‘cool’ place to be. Sit back and relax in style on the loungers and sofas while eating pizza and trying the latest drinks. It attracts a mixed crowd, including many of the creative types who live in this area.
Gastropub The Castle at Islington has a pretty roof terrace which makes a lovely setting for an evening out. This is a location with a history since it was here that the notorious Hatton Garden jewelry raid was plotted! Close by is the Vivo, an Italian bar with a superb, stylish roof terrace. Expect lots of wood, cool stone, and natural materials when you visit here.
Faltering Fullback in Finsbury Park is a hidden gem. It takes a little finding as it is hidden away on a leafy street, but is well worth the effort. Four floors of decking make an unusual rooftop experience within a small area. Alternatively, try the Abbey Tavern in Kentish Town for a friendly local experience.
The above-mentioned rooftop bars are one of the most visited by tourists and Londoners. While a resident at any of the luxury serviced apartments near Mayfair in London, take your time and pay a visit for an awesome and fun experience.
A magical nanny who drifts down from the sky using an umbrella then proceeds to transform unhappy households is bringing London alive to countless children and adults alike. Why not follow in the footsteps of Mary Poppins around London?
Mary Poppins and London are inextricably linked together. The author of Mary Poppins, PL Travers, lived in London all her life, and if you go to 50 Smith Street in Chelsea there is a blue plaque on the house in which she lived. Many of the iconic scenes in both Mary Poppins films used real-life locations in London.
Remember the song ‘Feed the Birds’ sung by Julie Andrews? It was filmed on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. Stop for a while in the adjacent gardens and admire the beauty of the building, or go inside and climb the massive dome – and of course, feed the birds on the steps of St Paul’s!
Search for a luxurious stay at any of the luxury serviced apartments near Marylebone and stroll a little further into the city of London and find the Bank of England where Mr. Banks worked. It even has its own museum of money that you can visit.
Chimney sweep Bert and Lamplighter Jack were both cockneys – which means they were born within the sound of Bow Bells. Visit the church of St Mary-le-Bow on Cheapside. Built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666, this church is part of a very special London tradition – only people who are born within the sound of Bow Bells can be described as a true Cockney.
You can choose to stay at any of the self catering apartments near Regents Park in London and pay a visit to Mary Poppins who took the children on an enchanted Jolly Holiday. This is also where they later went flying a kite. Listen out for the roars and growls in the distance – London Zoo only a short distance away. Or head for the lake and feed the beautiful snow-white swans. Further north in Hampstead in Admiral’s Walk is a very unusual house – but one instantly recognizable to Mary Poppins fans. An eccentric white painted building has a main deck & quarter deck to the roof resembling the stern of a ship.
Other filming locations used in the latest movie include scenes along the Mall and Constitution Hill where Mary Poppins and the children rode a very unusual bike and Threadneedle Street in the city of London.
Fancy a Mary Poppins experience to complete your day? Then head for the Aqua Shard restaurant which has launched a Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea complete with crumpets, finger sandwiches, and irresistible little cakes, it is served on a special tea stand with an umbrella on top, and silver booted feet below!
Battling for Britain, trying to avoid pirates, deal with superheroes, Harry Potter or Sherlock Holmes; choosing an escape game in London is not easy. The sheer challenge of pitting your wits against the ever-ticking clock and trying to solve enigmatic clues is irresistible. While a resident at serviced apartments Marylebone, enjoy Escape games that are becoming one of the most popular activities for small groups. It provides a fantastic way to spend an hour with friends and experience something memorable, and different.
There are countless escape rooms operating in London, which means you never have far to go to find a new challenge. Locations include Oxford Street, Bermondsey, London Bridge, Holloway, Angel, Pentonville, Battersea, Moorgate and the City of London itself.
Harry Potter fans are immediately drawn to the challenge of graduating from the School Witchcraft and Wizardry, proving that you really are a true witch or wizard in just one hour within the heart of the City of London. Coping with a variety of runes, potions, and spells will challenge you to the utmost. Only the very best will succeed. Not surprisingly, it is very popular and needs to be booked well in advance.
Perhaps you prefer to step down below busy Oxford Street and try to solve Da Vinci’s locks and decipher codes at Escape Land. Alternatively, you can try to solve mind-bending tasks in Professor Oxford’s Experiment – you may possibly escape in time!
Step back in time to the dark days of World War II at Escape Plan down at the Elephant and Castle in South London. Captured by the Nazis, you have to escape a prison camp by following a trail of clues left by the only prisoner ever to successfully escape its perimeter. Another wartime experience is offered by Mission Breakout near Trafalgar Square – not only is it located deep underground in a former tube station, but corridors are pumped with dry ice the moment you enter making it incredibly atmospheric.
Holloway is well known for its prison, but inventive puzzle solvers may manage to escape the Inside Out Escape Room. You really have to be good at codes to solve the puzzles and find the passwords to break free. Choose from Sherlock Holmes or a CSI themed room.
Fancy something eerie and immersive? Modern Fables in South Bermondsey may be the ideal choice. Black and white films flicker over candlelit rooms in a darkened warehouse as you head for the Escapist bar to help out due to the owner’s disappearance. Can you survive?
So, don’t lose your precious time, plan your visit to London this Christmas 2018 and stay at any of the serviced apartments in Central London and enjoy a blasting experience in the city with friends and family.
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