What would Senior Programs Coordinator Sara Dennis do with a free hour in London? Find out in this week’s “Live Like A Local” post!
As a local with an extra free hour in London, there are quite a few places I could while away some time…
My first choice would be to go to the department store, Liberty (Gt. Marlborough Street, off Regent Street). It’s just a beautiful shop that is a delight to wander through, whether you are looking to buy something, or no. If you are planning to shop, it’s a very good place to find souvenirs and presents for your friends and family. The shop was established in 1875, but the main mock-Tudor building was built in 1924 and remains an icon among London stores. It was built using timber from two ships, in the half-timbered style of the Elizabethan age. I imagine many overseas visitors think it is a much older building.
My second choice would be to go to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. What can I say? It has possibly the world’s finest collection of (mainly old) masters, and it’s free! You can walk in and spend an hour in front of one painting, or 100.
My final choice would be the Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square. This is on the site of Thomas Coram’s Foundling Hospital, set up in 1740 as a home for London’s unwanted babies and children. It became one of the first charities, supported by Handel and Hogarth, among many others. It was an extremely fashionable venue, visited by the great and the wealthy. Now, as a museum, the exhibits there range from many fine paintings by English masters such as Gainsborough and Reynolds, to the pitiful “treasures” that were left by the children’s mothers as mementos of their families.
~Sara Dennis, ACCENT London