To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of World/War I, 10,000 flames were lit nightly for eight nights in the moat surrounding the Tower of London. Beyond the Deepening Shadow is a public project designed to commemorate the lives of the fallen. A moving choral sound track also accompanied the flames and provided a somber setting as residents walked the full circle of the tower in order to take it all in.
Built in the late 1800’s, London’s iconic Tower Bridge is busy at all hours of the day and night. In advance of the 2012 London Olympics, the bridge received a new face lift as all the old paint was removed and the bridge was repainted in shades of blue and white. The Tower Bridge is near the Tower of London and both can be visited together.
London is well known for its theater scene. At any one time there can be over 40 productions to choose from. And, just like in New York, you can get good, last minute, inexpensive seats at a range of popular shows. There are a number of outlets that provide cheap tickets. I went through Encore Tickets and scored a third row seat for the musical Kinky Boots for about $35. As expected, the quality of the production was fantastic. And the best part was that I was able to take the Underground and was back at my hotel in about 20 minutes. No parking or driving hassles – just a lovely and relaxing evening out. An experience I highly recommend.
This row of five red phone boxes in Broad Court in Covent Garden, London are an Instagram staple. But what you don’t often see in the photos is the lovely bronze ballerina statue that sits right in front of them. The statue is by Italian artist Enzo Plazzota and celebrates the nearby Opera House and School of Ballet. Personally, I think the statue adds to the photo.
The stairway of the beautifully restored St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London looks like something out of a Harry Potter movie. That is actually somewhat fitting since the hotel is across the street from Kings Cross Station and the fabled platform 9 3/4. More important, for the muggle traveler, the hotel is also next door to the St. Pancras train station which makes it a convenient luxury resting spot for those taking the Eurostar train to the continent. Regardless of whether you stay there or not, this historic hotel and its grand Gothic interior is a beautiful visit.
I happened upon this art installation at Gloucester Underground Station just by chance. My hotel was just across the street so this was the station that I was coming to and going from for a few days in London. A little bit of Google research told me that this bit of egg-centric art is called “my name is lettie eggsyrub” by British artist Heather Phillipson, and was only recently installed in June, 2018. This work is one of a number of decorative installations that are part of the Art on the Underground projects which are designed to “enrich the journeys of millions on the Tube every day”. Apparently “for this commission she [Ms. Phillipson] focused on the egg as an object of reproduction, subject to human interference.” And here I though it was a reference to good breakfast restaurants in the area – shows you what I know. Now I am on a mission to find more London Underground art.
I had the opportunity to indulge in my Chihuly obsession again – this time at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This large chandelier hangs in the entrance of the Museum’s rotunda and is the first major piece in the collection that all visitors see when they walk in.
Exotic destination, quirky sleuths and twisting story lines are all hallmarks of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novels. Her most famous story undoubtedly has to be “Murder on the Orient Express” which takes place on the luxurious and legendary train traveling from Istanbul to London. That same elegant train experience and legendary service can now be experienced again on the fully restored Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Continue reading “Luxury Without Murder on the Orient Express”