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London Department Stores – Fenwick of Bond Street

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Location – 63 New Bond Street  London W1S 1RQ

Fenwick  is a small chain of department stores in the United Kingdom. The store’s founder, John James Fenwick was born in Yorkshire and opened the original Fenwick store in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1882.

Originally a type of drapers shop, it did not become a department store until John’s son Fred joined the business in 1890.

Unusually in modern retail, the company is still owned by members  of the founder’s family and has eleven branches in the UK.

In 1891 it opened a store in Bond Street which has expanded and been remodelled up to the present day.

MON-WED 10.00am – 7.00pm

THUR 10.00am – 8.00pm

FRI-SAT 10.00am – 7.00pm

SUN 12 noon – 6.00pm

Quick Store Guide

Floor 3

Weekend Collections, Swimwear, Personal Shopping Suite, Personal Beauty Studio, Affogato Coffee Bar, Ladies Powder Room, Customer Services, Public Telephones, Office Trainers, Baby Changing Facilities, Disabled Toilets,

Floor 2

Designer Collections, Bond & Brook Restaurant, Clarins Skin Spa, Chantecaille Healing Spa, Pure Massage,

Floor 1

International Collections, Agnes b, Joseph, LK Bennett Shoes and Fashion, Kurt Geiger Shoes,

Ground Floor

Lingerie, Handbags, Belts, Hats, Sunglasses, Scarves and Gloves, Jewellery, Hosiery, Gielly Green Hair Bar, Cosmetics and Fragrance, Nails Inc Bar, Blink Brow Bar,

Lower Ground Floor

Childrens, Babywear and Toys, Cards and Wrap, Menswear, Kurt Geiger Men’s Shoes, Carluccio’s Restaurant and Food Shop, Men’s Cloakroom, Disabled Toilets,

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Chinese New Year Parade – Trafalgar Square

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Enter the Dragon

In the bright sunshine on a cold winters day , the crowds began to gather at Trafalgar Square for the start of the Chinese New Year Parade.

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This being the Chinese Year of the Horse bought out some interesting costumes.

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And a large leaning Duck.

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Smiling girls in traditional costumes.

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This year it seemed larger numbers were attracted to the parade which winds it way around London’s Chinatown before coming back to Trafalgar Square for an afternoon of events.

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A Short Guide to the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden

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Royal Opera House main entrance

Location – Bow St, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

The Royal Opera House is one of the premier venues for Ballet and Opera in the UK, it is home to the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera House Orchestra.

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Opera House and Floral Hall

It is the third theatre on the site, the previous two being destroyed by fires in 1808 and 1857. The original theatre on the site was called the Theatre Royal which was financed by John Rich who used the theatre to put on plays, it was not until 1734 that the first ballet was performed and it was a year later that Handel began to perform his opera’s in the theatre.

When the second theatre was built-in 1808 it became famous for the variety of acts that was put on, the famous clown Joseph Grimaldi headlined a number of shows and famous actors of the day played at the theatre, these included William Charles Macready and Edmund Kean.

(c) Theatre Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

‘Macbeth’ at Covent Garden ,Victoria and Albert Museum, 1760s Unknown

In 1847 the theatre was renamed the Royal Italian Opera until it burnt down in 1857 and remained the name of the new theatre until 1892 when it became the Royal Opera House. During the 20th century many of the stars of Opera and Ballet appeared on the stage, although it was used for other purposes during the First and Second World War.

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Inside the Opera House

In the 1960s, the old theatre was showing its age and plans were put in place to refurbish the entire site. These improvements began in the 1980s but it was not until the 1990s that a full 215 million pound refurbishment was undertaken. Part of these changes as the acquisition of other buildings such as the Floral Hall which became part of the complex. When these changes were finished, the Royal Opera House was considered one of the finest in the world but received criticism that it was elitist and the seats were too expensive for ordinary people.

(c) Museum of London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Covent Garden Opera House,  Raymond Wylie, 1961,Museum of London

In response to this criticism the Royal Opera House have made changes to seat pricing to allow a certain amount of cheaper tickets available. Visitors to London who wish to visit the Royal Opera House for a Ballet or Opera will find that the more popular events still have expensive seats but the less popular are more reasonable and a wider range of choices. It is also possible to have a tour of the Opera House or see rehearsals although there is generally some charge.

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Covent Garden Piazza side entrance

To look for events or buy tickets visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Review – Covent Garden Market

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Covent Garden

Location – Covent Garden Piazza,WC2E 8RF

Covent Garden’s name has its origins in the large kitchen garden for the Convent or Abbey of St Peter at Westminster. The size of the site meant that the Monk’s garden was a major provider of fruit and vegetables for London.

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Covent Garden Piazza and Market, London by John Collet 1771–1780 (Museum of London)

 The first record of an actual market was 1654 when traders began to operate in the new Piazza designed by Inigo Jones for the Earl of Bedford. The original market was haphazard and disorganised and in the 18th century was the centre of a disreputable area known for its vice and criminal activity. In the 19th century plans were made to clean up the area and in 1830 Charles Fowler was asked to design a building that would cover and organise the Market. Other buildings were added as the market became famous for its flowers, fruit and vegetables.

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Covent Garden Market, London by Phoebus Levin 1864 (Museum of London)

However in the 1960s, the increasing traffic was causing concern and with redevelopment out of the question a decision was made to relocate the Market on the south side of the river. The central market was then reopened as a shopping area with crafts being sold in the Apple Market, further shopping areas have been developed over the years.

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Another attraction for visitors has been the street entertainment that keeps people entertained in the market and in the Piazza outside. There is a long history of street entertainment in this area, Samuel Pepys in his diary recorded watched a Punch and Judy show here in 1662. Covent Garden has featured in a number of Films, Television and books but probably is most famous as the workplace of Eliza Doolittle in Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion which was adapted into the film My Fair Lady.

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The street entertainers have to be licensed to work in this area and are usually very entertaining, although the tradition of passing the hat around for donations gets a bit tiresome as you wander around. It can get exceptionally busy in the summer months and is the centre of an area of many theatres, pubs and restaurants. There is a range of small quirky shops and stalls but the surrounding colonnades have been taken over by large commercial enterprises including Apple, Dior and Disney shops.

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For more information visit the Covent Garden Market Website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Great London Pubs – Lamb and Flag , Covent Garden

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Lamb and Flag – Covent Garden

Location – 33 Rose St, London WC2E 9EB

The Lamb and Flag tucked away in a backstreet of Covent Garden is a reminder of the areas past reputation as a centre of vice and criminal activities.

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There was a time when the pub was known as the Bucket of Blood because bare fisted fights were held in one of the backrooms. In the alley at the side in 1679, John Dryden the poet was beaten up by a group of men said to be in the pay of the notorious Earl of Rochester who had taken exception to one of Dryden’s pieces of work.
Like many pubs in London,there is claims that Charles Dickens frequented the pub in the 19th century.

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The has been licensed premises on the site since 1623 but the present building has a 19th century front fixed onto a 17th century core.

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The pub had a nice well-worn wooden interior and the low beams only add to the attractive character.
The only drawback to the pub is its popularity, it can get very busy sometimes in the week and often in the summer drinkers stand outside.
Another problem can be finding the pub tucked up a small passageway in the winding streets of Covent Garden, the easiest way to find it is from Garrick Street.

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Garrick Street entrance between Carluccios and Com Viet