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Book Review – London Explored: by Peter Dazeley and Mark Daly (Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd)

From the authors of the very successful Unseen London, London Uncovered, we have London Explored, a new book that explores some of London’s lesser known institutions, buildings, homes, shops, museums and attractions, together with new perspectives of well known and well visited locations across the capital. Award winning photographer Peter Dazeley and writer Mark Daly illustrate and tell some of the remarkable stories behind more than sixty of the capital’s most fascinating locations.

Clermont Casino staircase ©Peter Dazeley – Photographs from Peter Dazeley’s book, London Explored.

The various sections of the book are divided into geographical areas including Westminster & West End, West London, Looking East, Further Afield, South of the River, and the City & Clerkenwell.

The Powder Room at Annabels ©Peter Dazeley – Photographs from Peter Dazeley’s book, London Explored.

The section on Westminster & West End begins with a trip to the upmarket Annabel’s nightclub and private members club in Berkeley Square. It is safe to say the décor in the club is not understated with almost every surface populated by wild and exotic animals and plants. This garish wonderland finds it bizarreness reaching the upper limits in the Ladies powder room.

Libertys Exterior ©Peter Dazeley – Photographs from Peter Dazeley’s book, London Explored.

From the ridiculous to the sublime with a trip to John Snow Water Pump and Tower Lifeboat Station which celebrate the saving of lives. Other highlights of this section is the Art and Craft splendour of the Liberty department store, the great monolith to transport which is 55 Broadway, the eccentric Grant Museum of Zoology and the inner workings of master gunmakers, James Purdey & Sons Ltd.

Ace Cafe Reunion Weekend ©Peter Dazeley – Photographs from Peter Dazeley’s book, London Explored.

West London takes the reader into the often strange history of the Natural History Museum, the mysterious Windrush Car Storage, stopping for a drink at Fuller’s Griffin Brewery and Sipsmith Distillery, consumerism delight at the Museum of Brands and motorbiker’s mecca The Ace Cafe.

Gods Own Junk Yard ©Peter Dazeley – Photographs from Peter Dazeley’s book, London Explored.

Looking East explores the old with House Mill and the Old Royal Naval College and the new with the neon heaven of God’s Own Junkyard and the hip Strongroom Studios.

Garricks Temple to Shakespeare ©Peter Dazeley – Photographs from Peter Dazeley’s book, London Explored.

Further Afield moves beyond Central London to some of the delights of suburbia, literary figures are referenced by Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare, Keats House and Pope’s Grotto. Discover the story of The Metropolitan Police Historic Vehicle Collection and wallow in wartime nostalgia at the Biggin Hill Heritage Hanger.

Raqib Shaw, The Salon, at the Sausage Factory ©Peter Dazeley – Photographs from Peter Dazeley’s book, London Explored.

The section entitled South of the River ranges from the sporting history of the Kia Oval, the strange story of the OXO tower, the unusual London Sewing Machine Museum, the quirky Raqib Shaw’s Sausage Factory and the remarkable and largely unknown Crystal Palace Subway.

Interior of Lloyds ©Peter Dazeley – Photographs from Peter Dazeley’s book, London Explored.

The City & Clerkenwell visits some of the grand attractions of the City of London like St Paul’s Cathedral, Guildhall Yard, Lloyd’s of London and Leadenhall Market. The journalist’s favourite watering hole, El Vino, new attraction London Mithraeum and the grand Drapers Hall also make an appearance.

The Dome St Pauls Cathederal ©Peter Dazeley – Photographs from Peter Dazeley’s book, London Explored.

After the recent lockdowns, this is the type of book that inspires its readers to put on their walking boots and get back into the capital and look again at old favourite locations and discover some of the exciting new locations featured in the book.

The quest for the hidden or unusual locations in the capital has become a a growing genre in London books in recent years but what sets this book apart from its many rivals are the stunning and lavish photographs of Peter Dazeley and the entertaining informative text from Mark Daly. This attractive and fascinating book will appeal to Londoners and visitors who like to look beyond the main attractions and find those strange, unusual, beautiful and historic locations that make London a city that endlessly delights and surprises.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and to buy book, visit the Publishers website here

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