With a museum, a café and extensive walled gardens, there’s plenty to do in Fulham for all the family in one convenient location. If you’re looking for things to do to alleviate boredom at the weekends or on school holidays then look no further than Fulham Palace.
Botanical gardens of sheer beauty
Fulham Palace was the summer home of the bishops of London from 704 until 1975. This grand and imposing house has been improved and extending down the centuries, alterations which are reflected in the multiple period styles of the building’s architecture. A superb botanical garden which was begun in the 17th century remains one of palace’s most enticing features. The popular garden walks take visitors past a multitude of trees and shrubs collected from abroad, particularly America. During WWII space was set aside for allotments as part of the “grow yourself to victory” ideology. To this day the people of Fulham still grow food on these allotments.
The gardens of Fulham Palace had a set back in the early 1600s when the residing bishop took to hacking away at the trees. Not everyone was impressed by this act with Sir Francis Bacon, a notable gardener of the time, referred to the bishop as a “Good expounder of dark places”. Even in the Middle Ages there were people who cared deeply about conservation and nature.
If you’re looking for a night of sensational music, poetry and words performed by a legendary artist then you’ll be interested to hear that the ‘Queen of Punk’ will appear at London’s Cadogan Hall for an evening of poetry and music.
For 35 years Patti Smith has thrilled us with her primal rock and roll and her hard-hitting yet beguiling prose. For one night only Patti will be performing in London alongside her son, Jackson Smith and her long-term collaborator,Tony Shanahan. She will take questions from the audience, so you have a question you’d like to ask the highly influential American singer, now is your chance.
It was with her début album ‘Horses’ in 1975 that Patti began to gain notoriety, becoming an influential component of the New York punk rock movement. ‘Easter’ was another prestigious album for Patti, which featured the classic hit “Because the Night”.
This legendary track was co-written with Bruce Springsteen. In the eighties Patti married and had her first child, Jackson, who will appear with her at the Cadogan Hall this coming February. Jackson married the White Stripes’ drummer, Meg White in 2009.
Patti has known a great deal of sadness in her life. Her husband Fred (Sonic) Smith, the former MC5 guitarist, died of a heart attack in 1994 and just a month later, her brother Todd died unexpectedly, also of a heart attack. She was persuaded in her darkest hours to get back on the road again by the likes of Michael Stipe of REM and the American poet Allen Ginsberg, who is a good friend of Patti’s.
Spa days are beginning to be one of the great social trends of the 21st century, as can be seen by the many blogs, tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts of our fellow Londoners taking a break from their hectic city life to indulge in a bit of pampering. This may be a current obsession, but the root of a spa day will forever come from the bath houses of ancient Rome and Greece.
Back then, only the very wealthy would be able to own their own private bath house, so men from all social classes would meet at a public bath house to exercise in the adjacent gymnasium, enjoy a sauna session and bathe in the heated pools. Of course, personal hygiene was the main reason for the long afternoons men spent pampering themselves, but it was also largely a social activity, for men and women to separately bond with others in their community. The Romans found spas so essential that they built many in England, most famously in Bath, but also for the benefit of their soldiers at Hadrian’s Wall on the border of Scotland.
Fast forward to the present and it seems that women are beginning to enjoy the benefits of a spa day, more so than men. The theme of bonding with friends and family at the spa remains a key aspect of a Spa day and at Blue Harbour Health Club and Spa we love to see groups of ladies coming to celebrate a birthday, a pregnancy or simply for a relaxing catch up.
What makes the day so special for our spa day ladies? It could be our friendly service, beautifully heated pool and wet spa areas or luxurious amenities. But sharing the experience with a loved one is what will undoubtedly continue to increase the popularity of spa days for years to come.
Until next week…
Chelsea is synonymous with affluence, style, fashion and sophistication. Much of the desirable connotations of this chic West London suburb stem from its exquisite range of shops. From arty upcycled items to cool vintage fashion, designer ties to quirky curios, if you’re looking for a unique keepsake of your trip to London, look no further than Chelsea. Here’s the best boutiques in Chelsea.
Lulu Guinness, 3 Ellis Street
If you’re into handbags then you simply can’t leave London without visiting Lulu Guinness. From bags embellished with tiny beads and flowers, to bags that are so unusual they look more like work a of art, this fantastically arty boutique sells handbags guaranteed to turn heads for every occasion.
Rough Trade West, 130 Talbot Road
If your quest to locate a super rare record has been unsuccessful so far then it’s very possible that you might find what you’re looking for in Chelsea’s Rough Trade West. Known for its exceptional collection of rare music, Rough Trade is the place to head to if you’re looking for music that’s certainly not deemed as mainstream. Although be warned, the row upon row of LPs of almost every genre and artist stretching back decades, it’s quite possible to spend hours browsing through Rough Trades’ collections.
Baker & Spice, 47 Denyer Street
All this shopping for handbags and ultra-rare LPs is hungry work and to get a true taste of affluent Chelsea make your way to Baker & Spice on Denyer Street. So renowned has this highly expensive bakery become for creating some of the best bread and pastry in London that it is regularly used by many of the capital’s best chefs.
Set within Chelsea Harbour’s quiet surroundings, the Wyndham Grand London is the perfect location for a romantic get-away, and management is pleased to announce that thanks to their Valentine’s Day Special, you and your loved one have the opportunity to make this day truly unforgettable by adding a touch of five-star luxury to the romance.
With special rates for either just dining at The Wyndham Grand Chelsea Harbour or staying with us in one of our luxury suites, Valentine’s Day 2014 in London will be an eventful and romantic experience.
The Wyndham Grand London Valentine’s Day Special
Enjoy spectacular views over the glittering harbour scenery from your River or Marina View suite, while sipping wine, nibbling delicious truffles and indulging in the delights of strawberries dipped into fine chocolate.