Editor's Note: We have a real treat this week - Laura was given an exclusive tour of the newly restored Painted Hall in Greenwich before its re-opening so we're chuffed to bits that she's written up a huge report about it. Please consider subscribing to the Londontopia Magazine as it allows us to commission great articles like this. As reported here recently, The Painted … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Take a First Look at the Beautiful Restored Painted Hall in Greenwich – Re-opening in March!
The world's most exclusive purveyor of luxury teas and France's oldest tea house, Mariage Frères, has opened its first UK tea emporium in Covent Garden. In addition to being a new tea house in London, it also contains a small museum dedicated to tea. I've been waiting for this one as it was supposed to open in September 2018 but, due to delays with its heritage building, … [Read more...] about New in London: Mariage Frères Elegant Tea Room and Museum is Now Open in Covent Garden – We Send Laura Porter to Check it Out!
Following a major £12.6M redevelopment project, The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich has new permanent galleries open from 20 September 2018. 1,000m2 of space in the Museum's East Wing, previously closed to visitors, has been converted to public use adding an additional 40% of gallery space. And just like the rest of the Museum, these galleries are free to visit. The … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Four New Permanent Galleries at the National Maritime Museum – Here’s Our First Look!
For the first time in London for 70 years, the National Gallery is displaying major Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterworks from the Courtauld Gallery, purchased in the 1920s by Samuel Courtauld (1876–1947). These are shown alongside paintings from the National Gallery's own collection which the businessman and philanthropist financed and helped acquire. Courtauld … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: A Look at the Courtauld Impressionists at The National Gallery – From Manet to Cézanne
For ten weeks each summer we get to go inside Buckingham Palace and see the State Rooms while the Queen is away at Balmoral (Scotland). There's also a special exhibition included and this year, to mark the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales, the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace includes a special display of over 100 works of art personally selected by His Royal … [Read more...] about Exhibition Alert: Laura Visits the 2018 Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace – Prince Charles’s Favorites in the Royal Collection
I hope you saw The London Annual 2018 as I had a feature in the magazine about Vote 100 marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which gave most men and some women the vote for the first time. There have been events all year to celebrate this 100 year anniversary but as this is about the right to vote it's fitting that the one you should really want … [Read more...] about Voice & Vote – Women’s Place in Parliament Exhibition at the Palace of Westminster
We all know there are tube train tunnels under London's streets, and we could guess there are some service tunnels for pipes, but it's still always a surprise to head down underground and find enough space for a village to live safely below. And that's what there is at the Clapham South Subterranean Shelter. This deep-level shelter had room for 8,000 people, and it only took … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Exploring Clapham South Subterranean Shelter – Hidden London – From the Blitz to the Windrush
The Royal Academy of Arts is hardly new. In fact, it's celebrating it's 250th anniversary this year. But to mark the occasion the RA has undergone an enormous transformation and expansion. And the new Royal Academy is opening on Saturday 19 May 2018. About The Royal Academy The RA was founded in 1768 by a group of 40 artists and architects who became the first Royal … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: A Look Behind the Scenes of the New Royal Academy of Arts Renovations Opening This Weekend
Yonda – with the slogan 'go Yonda' – is London's only self-drive sightseeing experience. The cars are small Smart cars (two and four-seaters available) installed with an easy-to-follow virtual guide that helps customers navigate London's streets while seeing the sights. Smart Cars The two-seater Smart cars are convertible (so you can really get closer to London weather!) … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Go Yonda Car Tours of London – A Cool New Self-Driving Tour of London
The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden has a new permanent gallery exploring the history of tunneling and a new temporary exhibition about Crossrail opening on 23 March 2018. Both are part of the national programme to celebrate the Year of Engineering 2018. Digging Deeper Gallery On the ground floor of the museum, this new gallery looks at the challenges of … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: New Digger Deeper and Crossrail Secrets Exhibitions at the London Transport Museum
Editor's Note: This article is made up of extracts from the 2018 London Annual Guide to London in 2018 written by London expert Laura Porter. It's a massive article - over 20 print pages - too big to post here in one go. We still have copies of the Annual - you can get them here (we're almost out though so move quickly). But since people are planning trips for 2018, I thought … [Read more...] about Trip Planning: Top 10 Exhibitions To Plan Your 2018 Trips to London Around
Charles I had one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections. For the first time since the 17th century, this landmark exhibition at the Royal Academy has brought together the astounding treasures that changed the taste of the nation. Charles I: King and Collector reunites 140 of the most important works of art, ranging from classical sculptures to Baroque … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Charles I: King and Collector – Royal Academy Exhibition Review – New Exhibition Alert!
Lumiere London brought over fifty light installations to six areas of central London for the UK's largest light festival. (But you knew that already, surely, as you saw my Lumiere London preview, didn't you?) I went out on the first night to see the fun. Something to Compare As we had Lumiere London here in 2016 Londoners were able to make a comparison. Last time it … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Lumiere London Review – Was It Worth It? Yes, Yes It Was.
In London later this week? This you're in for a treat. Lumiere London was last here in January 2016 and everyone is really looking forward to it returning this month. Even though I live in London, last time I booked a hotel stay in central London so I could walk to see a lot of the lights but this year I'll be travelling in from home (zone 3) so I'll need to do a lot more … [Read more...] about Lumiere London 2018 – The Incredible Festival of Lights Returns to London – Preview
After over a decade of austere Cromwellian rule, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 led to a resurgence of the arts in England. The court of Charles II became the centre for the patronage of leading artists and the collecting of great works of art. This served not only as decoration for the royal apartments but also as a means of glorifying the restored monarchy and … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: New Exhibition Report – Charles II: Art and Power at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
It has been twenty years since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the UK (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was published in the US a year later - see more below). Twenty years of Harry Potter had to be marked in a memorable way and this British Library exhibition is able to be high brow enough for such a prestigious location while also being … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Laura Visits Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library – New 20th Anniversary Harry Potter Exhibition
Mail Rail is London's newest subterranean heritage attraction. Open from 4 September 2017; the disused postal railway tunnels have been brought back to life as a visitor ride for the first time in their 100 year history. This miniature railway was the world's first driverless, electric railway and was never intended for passengers. While The Postal Museum opened on 28 … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Exploring London’s Newest Museum – The Secret Mail Rail and The Postal Museum
Sherlock Holmes is a London icon so it is fitting that this exhibition is at the Museum of London. 'The man who lived and will never die' is based on a similar observation made by Orson Welles in 1938. This is the most comprehensive exhibition about the world’s most famous fictional consulting detective in over 60 years. (There was a public display about Sherlock … [Read more...] about Londontopia Exclusive: Laura Porter Explores the New Sherlock Holmes Exhibition at the Museum of London “The man who lived and will never die”
This is the first major exhibition to survey the achievements of JMW Turner (1775-1851) during his final period (1835-50) when he was 60 to 75 years old. The exhibition reassesses Turner's extraordinary body of work during this period which often received open and hostile criticism. 60 years old was considered the time marker for the onset of senility. We have to remember … [Read more...] about Laura’s London: Laura Gets an Exclusive Early Look at the New Late Turner Tate Britain Exhibition
When I first heard about this I knew I had to try it. I don't know why it hadn't been thought of before: combining a love of tea and cakes with the adoration of the old London Routemaster bus into a London Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. BB Bakery have a bakery in Covent Garden and started the BB Afternoon Tea Bus Tour in April 2014. I tried the tour when it was still relatively new … [Read more...] about File This For Your Next Trip to London: Take Afternoon Tea On a Vintage Routemaster London Bus As it Tours London – Review Inside
Even before WWI ended, in 1917 the Imperial War Museum was being established by the British government as a way to ensure the war was not forgotten and to chronicle the war "to end all wars". The museum moved to its current home in 1936, on the site of the notorious Bedlam Hospital/Asylum that was here from 1810 to 1930. The flagship of the Imperial War Museum's five … [Read more...] about London Alert: Imperial War Museum London Reopens Tomorrow and We Have a Moving First Look at the WWI Centenary Redevelopment