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Winter Tips from Victoria

Explore London with One Aldwych Curator, Victoria Broackes

1 - st paul's Church

Known as the Actors church in Covent Garden, this beautiful building, designed by Inigo Jones, has a very small but rather lovely garden. In an area where gardens are hard to come by and with loads of seats, it's the perfect place for a moment of calm away from the hustle and bustle.

2 - Penhaligon's

The perfumier in Covent Garden is another local landmark, a survivor since 1870, and it’s a place where the staff are as happy for you to look around and ask questions, as they are to sell you things.

3 - Royal Courts of Justice

One other local area to mention is the walk through the law courts which you can start a stone’s throw from One Aldwych at the Royal Courts of Justice on Fleet Street, and wind north through the Inns of Court tiny medieval streets all the way to Gray’s Inn/ Theobald’s Row – follow the ‘yards’, Bell yard and Star yard. It really is an incredible and historic area like nothing else in London, and easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there.

4 - The Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House, also known just as ‘Covent Garden’ which is where it is, is just round the corner from One Aldwych. If you don’t want to go to a performance but do want to have a look around the magnificent building that dates from the 19th Century but was extensively and beautifully updated in the 1990s, they have an amazing array of tours. I’ve done the backstage one that takes you front of house and behind the scenes, but there are many options, including one to see their costume makers.

5 - Handel Hendrix House

Not far away, in Brook Street, close to Bond Street tube is this extraordinary house museum where separated by a wall and more than 200 years, two of the world’s greatest musicians lived next door to each other – Frederic Handel and Jimi Hendrix. It has just completed 3 years of extensive restoration, putting Handel’s home – for 32 years – back as close as possible to how it was when he lived there, and Jimi’s flat upstairs has been recreated fabulously. This would be worth it for either one of them, but to have both makes it unmissable.

6 - two temple place

3. Heading east on Victoria Embankment,via Temple, you will find Two Temple Place which is a fabulous hidden gem of a neo-Gothic house and sometimes exhibition venue, commissioned by and built for William Waldorf Astor in the 1890s. There are exhibitions held there regularly, but also guided tours of the house of Astor who when he emigrated to England from America in 1891 was the richest man in the world.

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