Tuesday 29th January – third meeting of 2013
Our usual meeting place this week at Charing Cross. Weather not very good, grey sky and rain forecasted but not particular cold. We went to St Martin’s Crypt cafe for a drink and chat and there decided to stick to our orignal plan for a walk. Our cancelled planned visit last week was to the exhibition of Hartnell creations at Fashion and Textile Museum but this closed at the weekend, so we have missed our chance for that!
The walk was from the book that one of our ladies purchased and she was armed with all the details, a 2-mile walked titled ‘Covent Garden’. It started off taking us to Leicester Square and into the very old quaint fascinating Cecil Court which was full of specialised shops dealing in stamps, postcards, maps, cigarette cards and one lovely shops with so much sparkling jewellery in the window it was blinding!!
We then walked through lovely small streets and alley ways which we have never seen before and then crossed Strand to Villiers Street. From here we went down in Embankment Gardens noting York Gate, the only entrance way that is left standing from the building of the embankment and sewage system by Bazalgette in 1870. The walk along Savoy Place was lovely looking at the beautiful architect of The Savoy Hotel. This then lead onto The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy. We went into this beautiful chapel and was surprised by the superb interior design. The man on duty gave us an insight into the life of this chapel. Upkeep is paid for by the Queen and is used regularly for all worshippers and is also used by our and visiting royalty and overseas dignitaries.
Next was Savoy Street across the Strand and through the streets to Covent Garden passing Lyceum, Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum, The Market, Jubilee Hall and of course lovely little quirky shops! Lots of street entertainers and one fascinated me as he seemed to be standing on thin air and apart from a long stick his body was raised 18 inches above ground. I was trying to work it out how he did this and almost lots the group but luckily one called out to me. It was very busy here with tourists and school groups. On through the streets to Seven Dials we passed Neal’s Yard and an enormous water wall clock outside Holland and Barrett which was in the guide book and apparently on the strike of the hour did amazing things. It said five to the hour so we decided to wait but after a few minutes nothing happened so obviously not working. One of our ladies went into shop to ask but was told it had not been working for years! Had it been working I’m sure it would have been amazing!! On the walk to Seven Dials it really proved that we were in Theatreland as we hit the jackpot on celeb spotting seeing Robert Lindsay of Citizen Smith and My Family fame, James Nesbitt of Cold Feet, Murphy’s Law and Jekyll fame and Neill Morrissey of Men Behaving Badly, Boon and Waterloo Road fame. Defiantly our best day for celebs!!
It started raining on our way back to Charing Cross where we got our trains home. This was a very enjoyable walk in a busy part of London full of people and so much atmosphere, the third walk from this book and another great day!