Tuesday 24th April – thirteenth meeting of 2012

This week we had a tour of Mansion House that didn’t start until 2 o’clock so we meet at our usual time at Cannon Street and went for a coffee in The Royal Exchange. The whole ground floor of the building is now a delightful coffee house. Customers are mainly city gents having business meetings in very pleasant surroundings. We had our usual teas and coffees and although expensive, tea was good but latte coffee not particularly hot!!

From here we walked to ‘George and Vulture’ pub. This pub is mentioned in Dickens ‘The Pickwick Papers’ book and is famous for the Dickens connection. Walls were full of Dickens memorabilia, paintings and statues.  It is a real ‘spit and sawdust’ building which is now a thriving restaurant. We choose different main courses but all plumped for ‘bubble and squeak’.  Food was very nice, good friendly service and this was reflected in the rather high price but well worth it.

A rather long circular walk from here, possibly the chatting may have caused this diversion, brought us to Mansion House.  We queued and paid the £4 concession charge and went in the entrance of the house.  Here we were joined by the lady guide.  The tour was really good.  Very informative.  We went into drawing-room, hall, Egyptian drawing-room and banqueting room.  The whole building was renovated in 1990’s to a really high original standard.  The chandeliers were the thing that really made an impression on me.  Every room had one in and in the drawings room they were so beautiful.  The building is very sumptuous, gilt edging, detailed plaster work on walls, decorative carpets, stained glass windows and furniture.  It also has a fine art collection that covers most of the wall space. The banqueting hall was being laid out for an evening function.  It looked magnificent. 

While in the drawing-room the Lady Mayoress came in and spoke to us.  She was lovely and hoped that we were enjoying the tour and also added that she was so lucky to live in such a beautiful home and will be sad to move out!

After the tour we made the short walk to Cannon Street station.  Our train was leaving in three minutes so we quickly got on the platform and started to run but we had to pass eight carriages that were stationary, to get to the four carriages that was our train. The guard blow the whistle, one of our party jump on, then the guard blow the whistle again and closed the doors before anyone else could get on, so we waved our lone traveller off!!  We got the next train available and hopefully some of the group met up with her at London Bridge!

A fabulous day that we all thoroughly enjoyed.  Unfortunately we didn’t spot any ‘celebs’ but an update on last week’s spotting of Paul Martin.  He was spotted again last week at V & A by one of the ladies who stayed on for a while.  He was pacing up and down the corridor learning his lines from his cards, ready for filming but as he was taking a long time she didn’t wait to speak to him!