Each year, the absolutely wonderful Geffrye Museum, the museum of the home, has an exhibition called ‘Christmas Past’. I visited Christmas Past at the Geffrye Museum a couple of years ago and found it to be utterly charming, the perfect panacea to the cold dark days……
Here is a little peek at some of the rooms set out in chronological order. The sets are amazing, each has a storyboard explaining how the parlour and tables would have been set up and why for that particular period.
In the earlier settings you will notice that Christmas trees and decorations were not standard. They were first introduced during the Victorian era by German-born Prince Albert; husband to Queen Victoria, who thought having a tradition from his home would be a good idea.
Holly, Mistletoe and Ivy were also introduced over the years and have now become along with puddings, the now traditional roast with all the trimmings, gifts, tinsel and lights, a staple of Christmas in modern homes.
No booking is required and it’s free to visit, but like most London museums they do depend on visitors donations.
This year’s exhibition opened on 24th November and runs till 3 January 2016 (closed on 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January).
Look out for the Twelfth Night ‘Farewell to Christmas’ event on 6 January at 3:30pm to 5pm…also free, and enjoy the traditional ‘Burning of the Holly and Ivy’. There will be carol singing, stories about Epiphany and a taste of mulled wine and Twelfth Night cake. Please note that this event takes place in the garden, so wrap up warm!
Visit http://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk/whatson/christmas-past/ for more information on the events and details of their address etc. In fact, why not download our FREE 3 Days in London App and keep up to date on this and other events; where it is and how to get there. remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today
Yes!!! The glorious QRB Gloriana takes her place in the Lord Mayor’s Show again for the 3rd year. A wonderful opportunity to see this beautiful craft on the River Thames on Saturday 14th November 2015.
2015 is the 800th anniversary of the Lord Mayor’s Show that began back in 1215 at the time of King John and Magna Carta and hasn’t missed a year since Wellington’s funeral blocked the whole city in 1852 (it which time it was postponed).
When the Lord Mayor’s journey began, London and Westminster were two small towns separated by open countryside and the quickest and safest way to get from one to the other was to travel up the Thames, and for the first few hundred years the Lord Mayor’s Show did just that. Then somewhere along the way the tradition was discontinued, although the Lord Mayor’s Show continued as it has for nigh on 800 years, but on land rather than river.
A few centuries later and inspired by a Canelletto painting, it was decided to built a brand new craft for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012…..and so the the QRB Gloriana was launched.
Since then the Gloriana has featured in the 2012 London Olympics, the Lord Mayor’s Show in 2012, the Tudor Pull in April 2013/2014/2015, the Great River Race 2014 and more recently the Magna Carta celebrations in June 2015 and Open House weekend in September 2015 at the Boat Show in St Katherine Docks, as well as many, many other events on the river.
This year she will once again take to the waves; for the 2015 FLOTILLA, carrying the new Lord Mayor of the City of London, downstream from the City of Westminster to the City of London.
“After several centuries, the Lord Mayor’s flotilla is back in the water having moved from river barges, to horseback to coaches. The new Lord Mayor will travel in QRB Gloriana, the traditional Thames barge made famous in the Jubilee celebrations, with an accompanying procession of 24 traditional Thames boats from London’s livery companies and port authorities.
The Lord Mayor will board QRB Gloriana in Pimlico at 08:30 then the flotilla will make its way downstream, passing under a number of bridges along the way….Vauxhall, Lambeth, Westminster, Waterloo, Blackfriars, London and Tower bridges before finally disembarking at RNR HMS President, just below St Katherine Docks. The journey will take about an hour, and from HMS President the Lord Mayor is carried by car and will reach Mansion House ready to join the procession to the Royal Courts”.
TIMETABLE (please note these are as always with the river approximate times…the tides sometimes move a tad quicker than expected. If you want to see the Gloriana plan on getting to your preferred vantage spot earlier than the times listed below).
08:30: Lord Mayor boards QRB Gloriana at Westminster Boating Base, Pimlico
08:35: Flotilla sets off
09:00 Flotilla reaches Waterloo Bridge
09:20 Flotilla reaches London Bridge
09:25 Tower Bridge opens in salute (this is definitely a must see!!)
09:35 Lord Mayor disembarks at RNR HMS President
Be sure to diarise the date: 14 November 2015 to watch the Lord Mayor’s Flotilla as it processes along the River Thames, once more a feature of the Lord Mayor’s Show.
As mentioned before, 2015 is the 800th anniversary of the Lord Mayor’s Show and will be bigger than ever with 200 ‘floats’ and over 3 and a half miles long: 7,000 people from all over the world in the procession, including 180 horses, 140 vehicles, 70 floats, a vintage steamroller, a Spitfire, a Viking ship, Masai dancers, Taiko drummers, Shaolin kung-fu dancers, a grand piano pulled by bicycles, Napoleon and a tank; and the new City of London Lord Mayor travelling in the golden State Coach. For more information about the Lord Mayor’s Show visit their website.
You can plan on using any number of tube stations, depending from where you would like to watch the procession. Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk
Details of the Lord Mayor’s Show and other events are listed on the 3 Days in London App….so remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today
A few days ago I attended a Band concert at Guildhall.
The band was made up of members from both The Band of The Royal Yeomanry and the HAC Honourable Artillery Company,
who played a wonderful selection of tunes, as well as one of my absolute favourite tunes ‘An English Country Garden’ a song I have loved since I was about 6 years old when my mother brought the 7-single home and played it for my sister and I (yes, I’m that old 😉 ).
After a most enjoyable evening assisted by a wonderfully mild and balmy summer evening, the concert ended with the National Anthem ‘God Save the Queen’, I recall as a younger me, before SA became a Republic, having to stand at the cinema prior to the start of the film and sing the anthem….now I live here and get to see the Queen.
The Band of The Royal Yeomanry was formed in 1961, but can trace their history back to 1548 with the raising of the Inns of Court Regiment. Following amalgamation with The City of London Yeomanry and further reorganisation of the Territorial Army in 1967, the band became the Royal Yeomanry. They have maintained their distinctive ceremonial uniform. They were recently granted ‘State Band’ status which enables them to undertake State Ceremonial Public Duties at Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Windsor Palace.
In recent years the band has performed as far afield as North America, Africa, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong. More recently the band represented the Army Reserve and provided musical support to WW2 commemorative events in Normandy in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and international heads of State.
I’ve uploaded a video of the finale of the evening; the National Anthem ‘God Save The Queen’ for your enjoyment
I’ll add a fuller video shortly with snippets from the evening. Further scenes from the evening
For more information about this event (for 2016) and many other events in London remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today
A couple of months ago I read about the new food market held in Guildhall Yard, so obviously I had to visit and find out more for myself, so on Thursday last week I headed into London for my usual walkabout and also to visit the market.
Guildhall Yard and surrounding area is one of my favourite places in the City of London so a visit is always a pleasure. The market is made up of 20 stalls offering a wide range of products from delicious food to beautiful and quirky arts and crafts.
I meander around the stalls till the aroma of freshly cooked dumplings assailed my olifactory senses….LOL The Korean stall had a wonderful selection of traditional foods on offer, but I resisted temptation and ordered 6 freshly deep-fried vegetarian dumplings….oh my word they were delicious. I can so recommend them for a delicious snack.
After that I had a look around at the craft stalls and ignored the cake stalls……they all looked way to yummy. In all a great venue for something different. I believe that there will be anther 3 markets in 2015 and who knows, perhaps they’ll become a regular feature!
The next market is Thursday 10th September so be sure to look out for it. I have uploaded the information to the 3 Days in London App so be sure to download our FREE app and keep up to date with this and other events in London. If you do happen to attend the next market be sure to leave me a comment and tell me what you think of it. remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today
A few days ago I reached a milestone birthday….the level of which I won’t go into details but suffice it to say it deserved a special celebration….my daughter came through with an amazing gift; a flight over London in The London Helicopter. Just awesome!!!
Flying with the London helicopter had been #1 on my wish list for ever such a long time and I never imagined that this was the birthday surprise. I had planned on being in London for Changing the Guard on the Queen’s birthday on 21 April, so figured I would book myself into a hostel in London for the night before my birthday as well…at which stage I still had no idea I was going on the helicopter….instead my daughter booked us a room in a hotel….which ironically turned out to be right next to the helipad……and as we arrived a helicopter was taking off, causing much excitement for me, and panic for her!! Especially when I immediately uploaded an image to facebook!! LOL
Had I guessed the surprise? Would I guess the surprise?…but no, it just didn’t enter my head that that was what she had planned. So, before someone on facebook spilled the beans, and before she spilled the beans…as soon as we had checked in she took me downstairs, stood me in front of the sign for The London Helicopter and gave me my voucher. I was thrilled to bits when I opened the envelope and realised that OMG!!!! we were going in the helicopter the very next day! In truth I was crying, laughing and jumping up and down all at the same time!!!
The 23rd, my birthday, dawned grey and cold, but by 11am the sun broke through and by the time of our flight at 1pm the sky was clear. I was chewing at the bit waiting for the time of take-off, we had breakfast and then headed over…way too early, but I was too excited to wait. We checked in, watched the safety video, slung on our safety harnesses, and cameras in hand we watched the helicopter land. Then without further ado we were ushered through the door onto the helipad, waved over and running beneath the rotors spinning above our heads, suddenly we were on board and ready for take-off. Of course I had to cause a bit of consternation…I dropped my camera under the seat and couldn’t retrieve it, so the pilot had to get the landing dude to come over and fish it out for me LOL….can’t take me anywhere!!
The flight was amazing. I adore London and to see the familiar landmarks, those many many places that I love so much, and to fly along above the River Thames was truly awesome.
We flew from Battersea to Greenwich, flying high over the city, spotting landmarks and familiar places, seeing the layout of the city, the green spaces, the many top attractions, and then back again. I was lucky enough to have a window seat so got to see all the landmarks going downstream and all the landmarks going upstream. Great views all round.
London from the air is just amazing. The whole flight was great and although it was the length of time it was meant to be, it was over in a flash…it seems like 5 minutes rather than the 20 minute flight we were booked on….it was over way too quickly for me. I actually said to the chap at reception “couldn’t the pilot fly any slower?”…his reply…”If he did, you would fall out the sky!” Uhhmm right! well then
The young man at reception was lovely, the ground flight attendants were friendly and the pilot was informative. Not at any stage at all during take-off, the flight, or landing did I feel unsafe or afraid. Fortunately for me I have no fear of heights and the higher the better in my opinion….I’m also a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of the flight.
Although we flew quite high, and personally I would have preferred to fly at a lower level, my favourite view was of The Shard, simply because it looked so amazing; quite surreal and almost an optical illusion….
I managed to record most of the flight…except when I was fiddling with my camera….I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I did
Click here to find out more about The London Helicopter and go for a ride…..I for one can highly recommend it…..I am most certainly planning a 2nd trip and probably a 3rd…..It’s not cheap by any means, but as value for money….it was to me, worth it’s weight in gold. I am so planning to go again and again……as often as possible 😉
For other ideas of place to visit and things to do in London remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today