Tired of London, Tired of Life - One thing a day to do in London

A website about things to do in London

21 October 2014

Wander in Margravine Cemetery

Whilst undertaking the excellent Treasure Quest around the Hammersmith at the weekend, your author had an opportunity to spend some time in Margravine Cemetery, a Victorian cemetery opened in 1868 on what was then Fulham Fields, an area of semi-urban market gardens and orchards.

The cemetery continued to be used until 1951, when it was closed to new burials and was officially designated a 16½ acre 'Garden of Rest', and today it serves as both a public park and a memorial to those who were buried here over more than eighty years,

For more, see http://margravinecemetery.org.uk/

20 October 2014

Buy books at the Barnes Bookshop

Your author is currently in the middle of a month-long stay in West London, where things are different to the real world. Last week, during a trip to Barnes, discoveries included a charity shop where a pair of shoes cost £99, a church which is closed on a Sunday, a very smart looking cinema and the Barnes Bookshop, a small shop owned by Isla Dawes, who also owns bookshops in Kew and Sheen.

The Barnes Bookshop is on two floors with its bright basement a treasure trove for the browser, and plenty of books and gifts on the ground floor for those who don't like stairs.

For more, see http://www.barnesbookshop.co.uk/

18 September 2014

Go on holiday

Tired of London, Tired of Life is away. Here are some things to do until it returns:

Or buy one of these great books:

For further ideas, try:
See you in October.

17 September 2014

Join the Paraiso School of Samba

Fresh from their win at this year's Notting Hill Carnival, the Paraiso School of Samba are looking for new members to join their band, and are holding beginners classes in drumming and dancing to encourage them. Weekly classes offer the chance to learn Samba  dancing alongside those who performed at the Olympic Stadium during the 2012 Games, and drumming classes are also available from the end of the month.

Your author previously played in two Notting Hill Carnivals with Paraiso, starting out in a series of classes just like these. They can be great fun, and help you to meet an interesting and mixed crowd from all over the world, including those who grew up in Brazil like Paraiso founder, Henrique da Silva.

For more see http://www.paraisosamba.co.uk/

16 September 2014

Walk Keats' Fleet

As part of the 'Totally Thames' Festival, literary walker and Curiocity bod Henry Eliot is leading a guided walk today, Thursday and Friday, themed around John Keats and the River Fleet, beginning at St Paul's Cathedral, and proceeding to the heights of Hampstead Heath.

Henry is an event-creator of strong pedigree, so it promises to be very interesting, tracing Keats' life along the length of the Thames tributary, beginning close to his birthplace in the City and ending at his famous London home, Keats House in Hampstead, reading the man's poetry along the way, with tickets just £8, including entry to Keats House, which is usually £5.50.

For more, see http://totallythames.org/events/info/keats-fleet

15 September 2014

Eat at Lardo

Sure, pizza restaurants in high-ceilinged converted industrial buildings are about as common in modern Hackney as fixed-wheel craft beards, but your author had a fine lunch at Lardo on Richmond Road yesterday as he awaited the approach of the Hackney One Carnival Parade, and it felt worth a mention.

Though Lardo takes its name from a cured cut of pig fatback, and meats are a speciality, there is also plenty for vegetarians, and your author's dining partner yesterday is a vegetarian chef who described her meal as one of the best in recent memory.

For more, http://www.lardo.co.uk/

^Picture © Stephen Barber used under a Creative Commons license^

14 September 2014

Attend the Hackney One Carnival

The Hackney One Carnival returns to the streets of Hackney today with music and dancing from 12 noon to 8pm. A carnival procession will leave Ridley Road at 2pm and follow a circular route via Dalston Lane, Richmond Road, Hackney Town Hall and Narrow Way, and back to Ridley Road, with music and bright costumes the order of the day.

We are told to expect 800 performers, including Paraiso School of Samba, Pantonic Steel Ochestra, Unity, Urban Touch, and groups from Shacklewell primary school and Our Lady’s Convent High School.

For more, see http://www.hackney.gov.uk/carnival.htm

13 September 2014

Visit a Cabbies' Shelter

The annual Heritage Open Days event is the rest of the country's equivalent of next weekend's Open House London, but does occasionally feature some London highlights and this year's event features special openings of the green Cabbies' shelters at Embankment, Temple and St John's Wood.

The 60 original shelters were originally constructed between 1875 and 1914, by the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund and still provide tea, meals and places to socialise between fares for black cab license holders. The openings today feature work by three artists specially commissioned to create works inspired by them, including Kathy Prendergast's map of the knowledge, produced in collaboration with A-Z Maps.

For more, see http://cabbiesshelters.org/programme/

12 September 2014

Sit in Hilly Fields Stone Circle

Found just south of the top of Hilly Fields, Brockley's green hill which rises 175 feet above sea level, the Hilly Fields Stones are not an ancient stone circle, placed as they by The Brockley Society to celebrate the millennium and create a sundial for the park.

Brockley Central tells us that the twelve 400-million-year-old granite boulders were brought from Mount Struie, near Inverness and the two taller stones are known as St Norbert’s Gate are cut from Caithness flagstone, quarried close to Wick in Scotland's far north, as is the circle's central horizontal flagstone.

For more, see http://brockleycentral.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/a-history-of-brockley-part-9-hilly.html

11 September 2014

Walk the Cray Riverway

A peaceful little path on along the furthest edges of London, the Cray Riverway is a waymarked walk following the River Cray for ten miles in the London Borough of Bexley, stretching from Foots Cray Meadows near Sidcup to the point where the Cray meets the River Darent just east of Crayford, before they both flow into the Thames

En route, the path takes in river meadows, woodland, parks and formal gardens and is especially beautiful at this time of year, when the autumn sunshine shows its face.

For more, see http://www.bexley.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3222

10 September 2014

Visit the Stables Gallery at Hall Place & Gardens

There are only four days until Bexley Arts Trust's open art and sculpture exhibition at the Stables Gallery at Hall Place & Gardens finishes, but that still gives you plenty of time to pop in. The Gallery, situated in the former stables of the Grade I listed Tudor manor house in Bexley, was opened in 2008 and provides a showcase for local arts and other exhibitions.

The art on show if of admirable quality, and if anything takes your fancy most works are available to buy, so you could be taking them home and enjoying them forever on your wall.

For more, see http://www.bexleyartstrust.co.uk/2.html

9 September 2014

Wave goodbye to the Tall Ships

It's the final day of the Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, and the ships will begin leaving around noon, after gathering at Deptford and then joining a Parade of Sail along the Thames towards Tilbury from around 1.30pm.

It's been a great few days, with fireworks every night, beautiful boats on the river and plenty of people smiling. Let's hope they come back soon.

For more, see http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/tallships/paradeofsail

8 September 2014

Seek the remains of Richmond Palace

Constructed around 1501 by Henry VII of England, Richmond Palace was occupied by royalty until 1649, when it was sold following the execution of Charles I, and subsequently demolished. As a result very little of the Palace remains, but some elements such as the original Palace Gatehouse and the Wardrobe are still visible.

From Richmond Green it is possible to walk through the arch of the Palace Gatehouse, which remains along with the Wardrobe. Through the Gatehouse is Old Palace Yard, a peaceful spot which is home to grand private houses including the Trumpeters House, built in the early 18th century.

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Palace

^Picture © Jim Linwood used under a Creative Commons license^

7 September 2014

Attend the Brockley Front Garden Sale

Your author took a cycle up to Hilly Fields in Brockley yesterday lunchtime, and when cycling through the Brockley Conversation Area was surprised to find many residents flogging their wares in front of their houses. After stopping to buy a new piggy bank, it was revealed that this was a coordinated effort by the Brockley Society, who had managed to encourage more than 100 houses to take part.

The Coordinated Brockley Front Garden Sale continues today from 11am – 4pm, with plenty of bargains and a great chance to meet chatty Londoners and learn about their lives.

For more, see http://www.brockleysociety.org.uk/item/38-front-garden-2014

6 September 2014

Watch fireworks over Royal Arsenal, Woolwich

The Tall Ships Festival is now in full flow in Greenwich and Woolwich, and after two nights of fireworks over the river in Greenwich, tonight attention switches to the Royal Arsenal in Woolwih, where visitors are promised a bandstand music extravaganza from 6.30pm and then fireworks at 9.45pm.

Elssewhere, there will be a traditional ships river parade in Greenwich from 12-2pm and ship visits in Greenwich and on the Greenwich Peninsula all day.

For more, see http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/tallships