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Colorful, diverse, cultural - London #places

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Places can affect us, create a certain atmosphere that remains for a long time, and give us new impressions. What is a city like? Where does this feeling come from, the effect that you feel in the city? In our #places section, we take you to the European capitals – to introduce you to places, personalities, buildings that reflect the city in all its facets. Let’s go to … London!

#places: London


Country: Great Britain
Inhabitants: ca. 8,1 Million
Area:  1.572 km2
Famous Landmark: Tower Bridge

London is a city like no other - colorful, diverse, cultural and ... culinary! House of Parliament, legendary clock tower Big Ben and Westminster Abbey are only a few of the world famous historic landmarks in the third largest city in Europe built along the river Thames. On the other hand new skyscrapers with affectionate nicknames like the Gherkin, Walkie Talkie and Cheesegrater and the London Eye characterize the skyline of London. The Sky Garden of the Walkie Talkie offers a spectacular view of the city.

Facade of the Sir John Soane's Museum
© Sir John Soane’s Museum
Model Room
© Sir John Soane’s Museum

Architecture:

The Sir John Soane Museum is a real treasure chest that many overlook! Therefore it is almost never overcrowded. The organisation of the Museum can at first glance seem crowded and even chaotic but everytime you can discover a lot of new things in the rooms. It is the extraordinary house and museum of the British architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837). He was a dedicated collector of art, architectural fragments and models, books, drawings, and furniture. The most famous item of the collection is probably the sarcophagus of the Egyptian pharaoh, Seti I. Today, Sir John Soane’s Museum occupies three buildings, Nos 12, 13, and 14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Sir John Soane acquired and rebuilt each of these buildings during his lifetime.

Address: 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3BP

Jestico + Whiles and Julian Harrap Architects finished the refurbishment of Sir Joan Soane's Country Home Pitzhanger Manor by March2019. The new gallery is definetely worth a visit. Important structural elements of Soane’s design were reinstated, such as the conservatory demolished in 1901 and the dramatic central roof light which returns Pitzhanger to the silhouette Soane intended. It will house a series of contemporary exhibitions by artists, architects and designers.

Address: PitzhangerManor & Gallery, Mattock Lane, London, W5 5EQ

Another less known and less crowded museum in London is The Wallace Collection. The collection includes works byTizian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Hals and Velàquez. It was privately launched by the Marquess of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace in a London townhose on Manchester Square. The house itself was built by the Duke of Manchester in the 1700s because there was good duck shooting nearby.

After an extensive visit, you can bring your energy level again with a delicious European-style dish in the Wallace Restaurant. The elegant courtyard restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea every day, and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. Once a month, the Wallace Wine Club meets here to learn about wine from experts and to taste a glass or two.

Address: Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN

Courtesy of The Wallace Collection

Restaurants:

Well, the English cuisine itself does not necessarily have the best reputation, but the cosmopolitan city of London is clearly an exception. New food trends are regularly invented here, for which Londoners are ready to queue for a few hours. Classy restaurants can be found next door with street food trucks and the ethnic diversity of the multicultural city is reflected in the culinary offer. There is nothing that does not exist. The Londoners have no problem waiting for a restaurant table. At peak times, waiting times of 30 to 60 minutes are not uncommon. Queuing is part of British culture. No matter where and when, to stand in line and stand neatly in a row stand for politeness.

The Old Bank of England Pub Interior
Ye Olde Mitre Pub Entrance

In addition to the culinary variety, experimentation and the desire for something new, the most classic pubs are an unmistakably part of London. You should not miss typical pub dishes like Sunday Roast, Fish & Chips or Burgers on your London trip. Nice pubs include Ye Olde Mitre in Farringdon and The Old Bank of England. Ye Olde Mitre is one of the oldest pubs in London. Not so easy to find, it is less frequented by tourists but very crowded at after-work-beer-time. The pub is small but has several floors. In the grand old building of The Old Bank of London, which, as the name implies, was home to part of the Bank of England until 1975, you will feel like wealthy Londoners of a distant past. The location on Fleet Street is also the perfect starting point for a pub crawl through the City of London.

Address: Ye Olde Mitre, 1 Ely Court | Ely Place, London EC1N 6SJ

Address: The Old Bank of England, 194 Fleet St, Holborn, London EC4A 2LT

On the ground floor of the Polish Heart Club (Ognisko Polskie) in South Kensington which today hosts a variety of theatrical, musical and other cultural events, an excelent polish restaurant with bar is located. The restaurant has been entirely refurbished in 2013 and serving London’s best Polish cuisine and cocktails. The venue has great decorum without being stuffy and has a large terrace overlooking communal gardens. Rabbit and prune stew with kopytka (potato dumplings, like gnocchi) is one of the famous dishes at Ogniskos. The Queen already dined here.

Address: 55 Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PN, London

Interesting Places:

The entrance to the small courtyard Kingly Court on Carnaby Street is so inconspicuous that most people pass by, but you should not, because inside you can choose between several excellent pubs and dine in a delightful atmosphere on three storeys. The courtyard is open air throughout the summer months and covered in the winter. Kingly Court is also the first place in London to house a public water station as part of the Mayor of London's campaign to rid the capital of polluting single-use plastic water bottles. Since its launch in March 2018, the refill station has saved the use of over 62,000 plastic 500ml bottles.

Address: Carnaby Street, London

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