Tuesday 10th July 2012 – 23rd meeting of 2012

We had planned this week to venture outside London and visit Windsor but after hearing on the morning news that the Olympic torch would be at Windsor and that the Queen would be there to greet it, we decided to abandon that plan as it would be so busy there. When we met at Charing Cross we went over to the Crypt in St Martin’s for a coffee, chat and decide on plan B.

Over coffee we agreed to go to Guildhall to see an exhibition entitled ‘Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker’ celebrating 850 years of London Livery Company Treasures. We took the District underground to Mansion House.

We had planned to have lunch at Windsor so before going to Guildhall we went to One New Change at St Paul’s for lunch. This building has been open for about 2 years and is a really good shopping/eating/meeting place. It has a fabulous glass lift that takes you to the top 6th floor where you have a marvellous view of London with St Paul’s directing in front of you. We took the lift and spent quite some time looking at the view. The Shard looks magnificent and really makes its mark on the sky line. The large photo of the royal family that was put on Butler’s Wharf for the Diamond Jubilee Flotilla was still there and looked fabulous.  I would say that it is worth a ride in the glass lift to look at the view as I think it is one of the best ways to see this part of London.

We went down to Caffe Concerto restaurant for lunch.  We have been there before so knew we would enjoy a lunch time meal there again. 

From here we walked to Guildhall, put our bags through the x-ray machine, purchased our tickets and had a cheerful conversation with a friendly security guard.  Entry into Guildhall is free but for the special exhibition the fee was £3 concession, £5 adult.

The exhibition is set in three rooms and has many exhibits, illuminated manuscripts, silver and gold ware, clothing, saddles to name a few.  The exhibits on display are from the time of the first guild until the present day.  I particularly liked a large gold and silver dish which was made by Goldsmiths Guild to commemorate the millennium.  Around the edge it depicted 85 of the buildings of the City.  There were exhibits from all of the Guilds and many commissioned pieces.  Another striking exhibit was a tower made of pens knives, with a central column and the blades sticking out in a very uniform way.  This looked to me like a very modern piece but was in fact made in 180’s.

This was a very good exhibition and we had a very pleasant day.  We all agreed that we had made a good decision by avoiding Windsor and staying in London!  We made our way back to Charing Cross for our trains home and although later than usual we still managed to avoid rush hour!