Visit London Blog » somerset house Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:49:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Things To Do Outdoors in London This Summer Wed, 21 May 2014 09:00:54 +0000 The South Bank

Enjoy the great outdoors in London this summer with these top five activities.

1. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a cultural highlight of every London summer. The outdoor, 1,250-seat amphitheatre in London’s beautiful Regent’s Park hosts a varied programme of plays, music and comedy each season including Shakespeare, musicals and newer works. The 2014 season includes a new version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night suitable for all ages from six upwards, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and the return of award-winning production To Kill A Mockingbird. 15 May–13 Sep

Rooftop Film Club

2. Cinema under the stars
Outdoor cinemas have become increasingly popular in London in recent years. From the grande dame of the Film 4 Summer Series at Somerset House to funky newcomers including Rooftop Film Club in Dalston and Peckham and Hot Tub Cinema (yep, you guessed it). There’s also Nomad Cinema, which pops up in parks and squares around London, Luna Cinema, screening films at stately homes in and around London such as Hampton Court Palace and Greenwich Park and the Floating Cinema – located on a canal boat and coming to London’s waterways again this summer.   

Black Sabbath headline British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park

3. Festivals
London is awash with awesome festivals this summer and there’s something for every taste, whether it’s the foodie heaven of Taste of London, one of the many summer music festivals, cultural conglomerations including Southbank’s Festival of Love, and family-friendly outdoor events such as the Mayor’s Thames Festival and the City of London Festival. Can’t decide? Here’s our pick of the Top 5 Summer Festivals

Prudential RideLondon

4. Ride London
London’s world-class festival of all things bike returns for a second year this August. The 2014 Prudential RideLondon will include all of last year’s favourites, of which there are events suitable for everyone from amateur cyclists right up to Wiggins-wannabes. Join the eight-mile Family Ride past some of London’s most iconic attractions or turn up to cheer the pros in the London-Surrey Classic. 9-10 Aug

Thames RIB Experience 5. Ice cream and water play
London has some fantastic lakes and lidos for you to enjoy this summer. Take a look at our list of recommended Lidos and Boating Lakes where you can turn up with your bathers or hire a boat to while away the hours. If you’re after something more adventurous, book yourself a speedboat tour of the Thames on a London RIB, or check out Lee Valley White Water Centre. Want more? Read our guide to action-packed activities for kids in London. Feeling exhausted? Chill out with one of London’s best ice creams!

What’s your top tip for outdoor fun in London this summer? Tell us in the comments below…

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Museums at Night 2014 Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:59:00 +0000

Museums at Night, the annual night-time festival of arts, heritage and culture, will take place between Thursday 15 May and Saturday 17 May this year.

The packed programme sees the UK’s best museums, galleries and public spaces putting on cultural events over the three-day festival. Here’s what to look forward to in London:

Over two nights (15-16 May) the 13 museums along the length of Museum Mile, stretching from Aldwych to Kings Cross, will be opening their doors from 6 to 9pm for pre-booked walking tours run by In Midtown, giving an unprecedented insight into the connections between the various iconic museums.

Following previous years’ success Somerset House will open its doors late for Museums at Night visitors to enjoy exhibitions and displays, including interactive workshops, tours and screenings, all accompanied by live music in the Seamen’s Hall.

The Horniman Museum & Gardens is extending its new family-friendly exhibition Extremes into the night, showing how artists react to extreme environments, with hot music from Zimbabwe, extremely high acrobatics, storytelling by candlelight and film screenings depicting submarine life.

The London Transport Museum is opening late on the Friday for its new exhibition Goodbye Piccadilly – from home front to Western front. Go along to find out the role London buses and bus drivers played during the First World War and how the city prepared for war. There will also be a perfume workshop by Odette Toilette and the opportunity to craft a feathered fascinator with Lulu O’Neil of Slightly Scarlett.

The RAF Museum, Hendon is hosting London-based musical duo Public Service Broadcasting for three exclusive gigs during Museums at Night. Each gig will be hosted in a secret location at the museum, perfect for artists that weave samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material around their electronic set.  Also on the night visitors can help knit a life-sized plane, or dance to the Silent Disco in the shadow of an RAF Lancaster Bomber.

The Royal Artillery Museum is hosting a guided Ghosts of the Royal Arsenal tour. Find out why even battle-hardened soldiers refuse to enter the Academy Building or lock-up the Firepower display alone. There’ll also be bangers and mash and hot cups of tea and coffee to fight off the chill.

The National Portrait Gallery is hosting a special dance performance on 16 May from the English National Ballet, inspired by David Jones’ seminal World War I poem In Parenthesis.

Pandemonium Theatre will stage the macabre Theatre of Blood, Dance of Death, Drink of Life, a reinterpretation of Hecuba and Titus Andronicus, in the underground chamber at the Brunel Museum, where six men died and Brunel nearly drowned. There will also be tango and dance workshops and cocktails at the roof top pop-up Midnight Apothecary bar.

Head over to the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology for an evening of intrigue and subterfuge as visitors must solve clues across the museum to crack the UCL Museum murder mystery. As well as a prize for the team who solves the case, there are prizes for the best dressed detectives, with a drinks reception in The Grant Museum.

You can also create your own political slogan under the expert guidance of Kelvyn Smith, aka Mr Smith, at the William Morris Gallery. Or lift a genuine gold bar weighing 13kg during a rare opportunity to visit the Bank of England Museum after hours.

If all of that just sounds exhausting then join in The Big Power Nap on Friday 16 May at the Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre. The Undercroft gallery – ruins of London’s Roman Amphitheatre – will be converted into a 2000 year old chill-out zone with ambient sounds and a roving masseuse on hand to provide a relaxing break from London life.

Other nap-spaces include the popular Dino Snores at the Natural History Museum, where you can bed in for a mix of music, art, science and cinema, and Kensington Palace is opening its doors late for a Museums at Night sleepover for children aged 7 to 11.

The Museums at Night event programme is always being updated, so to keep on top of all the amazing things going on visit or follow @MuseumsatNight and #MatN2014 on Twitter. The BBC will also be covering the event in various capacities across the three days.

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London Fashion Week: Fashion Exhibitions in London Mon, 10 Feb 2014 09:00:25 +0000 From The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. Kylie Minogue, 2008. William Baker. The Surrealists collection, “Médée” gown Haute couture fall/winter 2006–2007 © 2008, Darenote Ltd. All rights reserved

The capital is gearing up for the start of London Fashion Week which begins on Thursday. But it’s not the only display of fashion finery in town.

Learn about fashion’s icons and see their fabulous designs at these fashion-forward exhibitions.

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at Somerset House

Explore the amazing life and wardrobe of Isabella Blow, the legendary fashion director who is credited with discovering and nurturing the likes of designers Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Hussein Chalayan, as well as models Sophie Dahl and Stella Tennant. Try to tie in your visit to Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! with one of the special related events, be it a free tour or the documentary about ‘the empress of fashion’ Diana Vreeland. Until 2 Mar

The Cloth. Photo credit: Anita Cobin. From the V&A exhibition Club to Catwalk

Club to Catwalk at the V&A

Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s closes bang in the middle of LFW (on 16 Feb), so if you haven’t been yet, don’t miss your chance! This popping exhibition explores the creative explosion of London fashion during the 80s, and the influence of club styles such as New Romantic and High Camp. See outfits worn by Adam Ant and Leigh Bowery, and discover the bold, experimental new looks being conjured by the bright young designers of the day, such as Betty Jackson, Katharine Hamnett and John Galliano. Until 16 Feb

Dress worn by Princess Margaret

Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace

The changing styles of British fashion are brilliantly illustrated through Fashion Rules, an exhibition of rare dresses once worn by Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales. Spot the nipped-in waist of the buoyant 1950s, the short hemlines of the defiant 1960s, the sparkles and shoulder pads of the outrageous 1980s – the Royals knew the fashion of the day, and made sure they followed it! Entry to the exhibition is included in admission to Kensington Palace, so save enough time to explore this remarkable building – we can’t guarantee you’ll bump into Wills, Kate and George though (even if they do live there!). Until 2015

Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol at the Fashion & Textile Museum

Fabulous fashion would be nothing without fabulous textiles. In Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol, the Fashion  & Textile Museum explores the history of 20th century art in textiles – featuring more than 200 rare pieces (many of which have never been seen before) by Salvador Dalí, Barbara Hepworth, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, among others. See how artistic movements such as Cubism and Pop Art influences textile designs, and how the public engaged with modern art through their clothing and home furnishings. Until 17 May

The Anatomy of a Suit at Museum of London

What makes a suit? Find out in the Museum of London’s free exhibition The Anatomy of a Suit. The museum’s experts have dissected a selection of retro suit jackets, picked up from London markets, to discover the engineering that lies within. Find out how clever tailoring and design can change the shape of the wearer’s body, and discover the trade secrets of the nimble-fingered tailor. Until 1 Jun

Paul Smith in his office. Courtesy of the Design Museum

Hello, My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum

The Design Museum is celebrating the world and work of Paul Smith, acclaimed British fashion designer. In Hello, My Name is Paul Smith you can find out how his quintessentially British label began in Nottingham and went on to become one of the leading brands in the world – plus discover what’s next in store. Until 22 Jun

COMING SOON: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier at the Barbican

Ok, so it doesn’t start until April but we had to give a mention to this very exciting exhibition coming to the Barbican. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is the first major exhibition devoted to the acclaimed French couturier, and features more than 180 cutting-edge couture and ready-to-wear garments, including Madonna’s infamous conical bra and corsets, stage costumes designed for Kylie Minogue and pieces created for the films of Pedro Almodóvar and Luc Besson‘s The Fifth Element. There’ll also be footage of catwalk shows, concerts, music videos, dance performances and Gaultier’s cult television show Eurotrash. Book now! 9 Apr to 17 Aug

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Best Bus Routes for Sightseeing in London Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:00:35 +0000

London’s famous double-decker buses are an ideal way to see the city if you’re on a budget. Buy a Travelcard for the day and take a self-guided city tour on London’s best bus routes. These four cover most of the major sights in the city. Their routes are described from west to east and the return journey passes the same sights in reverse.

Number 74
Starting in Putney, this route travels past London’s museums hub in South Kensington where the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum sit side by side. It then passes luxury department store Harrods and the boundary of one of London’s largest green spaces at Hyde Park Corner. You can catch a glimpse of The Dorchester hotel just after, followed by the famous haunt of public rhetoric – Speaker’s Corner at Marble Arch. The final stop is Baker Street, home to both the Madame Tussauds wax figure museum and the Sherlock Holmes Museum, at the site of the fictional detective’s residence.

Number 9
The number 9 is one of only two routes operating the old-style Routemaster buses on part of its route. Leaving from Hammersmith, it passes Kensington Palace (you’ll have to get off to see it) followed by the beautiful Royal Albert Hall and the monument to Queen Victoria’s husband which sits opposite it. Like the number 74, the 9 passes the museums in Kensington, Harrods and Hyde Park corner. It takes a different route afterwards to visit St James’s Palace, Trafalgar Square, The Savoy hotel and arts and cultural centre Somerset House.

Number RV1
The RV1 is a favourite route for us here at VL Towers! Despite being a single decker, it still passes through some of the best parts of London, giving you a great cultural tour of the city. Soak up some shops and street theatre at Covent Garden before taking the RV1. Hopping on it will take you to the South Bank where you’ll see the London Eye and Royal Festival Hall. The London Bridge stop is metres from the London Dungeon and City Hall is the next sight on the route, which crosses Tower Bridge to finish up at the Tower of London.

Number 24
The 24 sets off from Camden Town which offers alternative fashion and food. The bus then heads to the more mainstream Leicester Square in the centre, calling in at Trafalgar Square and Horse Guards Parade. The political heart of London is next as the bus passes Parliament Square where you’ll find Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, as well as the nearby Westminster Abbey where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married in 2011. The final site is the city’s policing headquarters at the iconic New Scotland Yard building.

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Five of the Best: Festive London Ice Rinks Thu, 21 Nov 2013 09:22:53 +0000 Winter’s here so it’s time to wrap up warm, get your skates on and soak up the festive atmosphere at one of London’s gorgeous open-air ice rinks.

London Eye – Eyeskate

When? 27 November – 5 January 2014.

Why go? Situated on the festive South Bank and overlooked by one of London’s most iconic landmarks, this ice-rink has plenty of wow-factor. No need to book.

Drink: Tea and coffee at the Zen Café, which can be found inside the London Eye ticket office.

Eat: Snacks, sandwiches and cakes.

Price: From £9.45 for adults and £6.75 for children.

Broadgate Ice Rink

Broadgate Ice Rink

When: Until 27 February 2014

Why go? Nestled in the heart of the city, London’s longest-running ice rink runs hourly skating sessions from 10am until 9pm. No need to book.

Drink: Craft beers and tasty cocktails.

Eat: BAR BBQ on Ice serves up hot treats from a charcoal grill and wood-burning oven: think miniature burgers and spicy beans.

Price: £12.50 for adults; £8.50 for children.


Somerset House Ice Rink

When: Until 5 January 2014

Why go? Sited in Somerset House’s glorious 18th-century courtyard, this ice rink’s setting is spectacular. After dark, skate to a live soundtrack spun by some of the world’s top DJs at dedicated Club Nights, or hear festive tunes on Tuesday nights. The Somerset Penguin Club offers training space to newbies under the age of eight. There’s also a skate school for adult beginners.

Drink: Mulled wine, hot chocolate and cocktails.

Eat: Overlooking the rink is Tom’s Skate Lounge which offers a delicious winter menu, devised by Michelin-starred chef Tom Aitkens. Warm up with hot soup, sandwiches and Yuletride treats including mince pies and toffee apples.

Price: From £7.50.


Natural History Museum Ice Rink

When: Until 5 January

Why go? Set amongst the backdrop of one of London’s most famous museums, this 1000sqm ice rink can be found beneath 76,000 fairy lights. And if that wasn’t festive enough, the rink also has a Christmas tree at its centre. Warm up in the Natural History Museum after your skating session.

Drink: Creative cocktails and warming drinks, including mulled wine and hot chocolate.

Eat: Sumptuous snacks in the Café Bar which overlooks the rink.

Price: From £8.


Ice at the Tower – Tower of London Ice Rink

When: Until 5 January 2014.

Why go? Located in the moat of this magnificent ancient fortress, a skating session at the Tower of London ice rink is a must for history buffs. Brilliantly illuminated after dark, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic evening skate.

Drink: Hot chocolate, coffee, tea, mulled wine, beer or champagne at the Ice Bar & Café which overlooks the ice rink.

Eat: Festive snacks.

Price: From £11.50 for adults, £9 for children.

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What’s On This Weekend: 9-10 November 2013 Mon, 04 Nov 2013 10:00:15 +0000

From The Lord Mayor’s Show to the Regent Street Christmas Lights Switch On, there are loads of exciting events taking place in London this weekend!

The Lord Mayor’s Show and Fireworks

Not only does the City of London have a new Lord Mayor (who will preside over the City for one year), but for only the second time in its long history, the Lord Mayor is a woman. Fiona Woolf will celebrate her election with the traditional Lord Mayor’s parade from Guildhall to the Royal Courts of Justice, where she will swear an oath of loyalty to The Queen before setting off on the return journey. The parade, which features colourful floats from a wide variety of City institutions, commences at 11am and starts its return journey at 1pm. For full details on the route and timings, visit the website. Early risers can also watch the Lord Mayor’s flotilla, which sets off in the QRB Gloriana from Westminster at 8.30am. The day’s events will culminate in a spectacular firework dsplay at 5pm – see our guide for tips on where to stand. 9 Nov

Fortnum and Mason St Pancras opens

For the first time in 307 years, a new Fortnum and Mason shop will be opening in London. Situated in St Pancras International station, the mini version of Piccadilly‘s most famous shop will feature a selection of their best-loved treats as well as a chance to relax in the tea salon. From 8 Nov

The Nordic Ja Ja Ja festival

Head to the Camden Roundhouse for a lively festival of Nordic culture. The first ever Ja Ja Ja Festival features the region’s music, film, art, and of course cuisine. There will even be a Nordic Fika! Day tickets are £25, or you can get a weekend pass for £40. 8-9 Nov

Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War

It’s almost 100 years since the start of the First World War, and with Rememberance Sunday this weekend it’s a perfect time to see Stanley Spencer’s poignant depictions of war at Somerset House. The large-scale paintings are scenes from the artist’s own wartime experiences and evoke the sometimes surprising ordinariness of wartime life and the domestic tasks in which Spencer found solace. This is a rare chance to see the paintings outside of their usual home at the National Trust’s Sandham Memorial Chapel. Admission is free. Until 26 Jan

Georgians Revealed: Life, Style and the Making of Modern Britain at the British Library

Whether you believe they were decorous or riotous, you can’t deny that the Georgians left a significant mark on London and British culture. This new exhibition explores Georgian life through their everyday objects, and charts the rise of fashion, celebrity and conspicuous consumption, as well as the rise of the arts and information. You can see unique items from the Library’s archive, including rare books and maps, as well as loaned objects and artwork. Tickets are £9 for adults. Until 11 Mar

The Regent Street Christmas Lights

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, and you can get into the early festive spirit at the official switching on of the Regent Street Christmas lights. As well as the lights, which are themed around new animated film Mr. Peabody and Sherman, you can see performances by Leona Lewis, Passenger and Eliza Doolittle. The event is free. 9 Nov

More London events


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What’s On This Weekend: 20-22 September 2013 Mon, 16 Sep 2013 09:09:35 +0000

Indulge your aesthetic senses this weekend – browse the latest fashions, see a fabulous selection of ceramics or explore London’s finest buildings.

Ceramics in the City at the Geffrye Museum

Visit the acclaimed Geffrye Museum of the Home to browse a great range of ceramics, crafted by more than 50 talented ceramicists. Not only can you admire the wide range of styles and materials, but all of the works are also available to buy. The show is free to enter and there are also free workshops and demonstrations for families. 20-22 Sep

Vodafone London Fashion Weekend

Experience the excitement of London Fashion Week at the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend, a public-facing shopping experience that features fashion shows, pop-up shops, and exclusive opportunities to shape your style. The event is based in the exquisite Somerset House, and tickets start from £18. 19-22 Sep

Open House London 2013

Open House London is a fantastic annual event in which some of London’s most fascinating venues throw their doors open to the public. You can stroll around London landmarks such as Battersea Power Station, Mansion House and the Gherkin, as well as lesser-known but equally beautiful edifices all over the city. Best of all, entry is free. For a full programme, as well as details on which venues need to be booked in advance, visit the Open House website. 21-22 Sep

Dark Circus Party

Head to the Bloomsbury Ballroom for a darkly entertaining evening courtesy of speakeasy bar Bourne and Hollingsworth.

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Not for the faint-hearted, the Dark Circus Party features delicious cocktails, a seductive atmosphere and scintillating entertainment from an eclectic range of circus performers. For more information and tickets (£20) visit the event website. 21 Sep

The Tour of Britain Finale

Stand on Whitehall to see the thrilling finish of the Tour of Britain, the eight-day cycle race that culminates in London on 22 September. Now in its 20th year, the race takes cyclists past many of the most beautiful parts of England in eight separate stages, the last of which is a loop around the centre of London that finishes by the Houses of Parliament. 22 Sep

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What’s On This Weekend: 5-7 July 2013 Mon, 01 Jul 2013 09:00:46 +0000 In case you hadn’t noticed that summer is upon us, this weekend’s amazing series of festivals should get you in a sunny mood – whatever the weather!

Barclaycard British Summer Time at Hyde Park

Head to Hyde Park for two weekends of fantastic music, featuring sets from the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez and many more. As well as a world class line-up of music every evening at weekends, you can also enjoy live comedy, film, sport and much more during the week, which is centred around three fun festival areas within the park. Tickets to music events start from £55, and you can find out more programme details on our event page. 5 – 14 Jul  

Carnaby Sound

London’s iconic Carnaby Street hosts Carnaby Sound, a free one-day music festival this Saturday, as part of its year-long celebration of music. More than 15 live bands will be playing throughout the area, covering all the musical genres that have made Carnaby so famous – everything from blues and jazz to mod, urban and rock. The main stage will be on the  Liberty department store roof, but music, giveaways, exhibitions and much more will be happening all over the area throughout the day. The festival takes place between 12pm – 7pm. 6 Jul

Summer Streets on Regent Street

Love shopping but hate the traffic that separates you from your favourite shops? Head to Regent Street on Sundays for the next four weeks, where the roads will be pedestrianised as part of the Summer Streets programme. Between 10am to 7pm every Sunday in July, Regent Street will become a traffic-free environment that hosts installations, entertainment, live music and – of course – unparalleled shopping opportunities! Shops are typically open from 12pm to 6pm. Until 28 Jul  

elBulli: Ferran Adrià and The Art of Food at Somerset House 

There are few more famous names in the culinary world than elBulli, or indeed Ferran Adrià – the renowned Spanish chef who transformed it into the globe’s premier destination for molecular gastronomy. You can now get closer to the world of elBulli than ever before, thanks to this fascinating new exhibtion at Somerset House, which takes you behind the scenes of the restaurant and explains how Adrià’s unique dishes went from concept to delicious reality. Tickets are £10. 5 Jul – 29 Sep

Silly Sports Day at the Queen of Hoxton

QOH No Sweat © Tom Wholohan

Do you and four friends think you have what it takes to be crowned sporting champions? Head to popular Shoreditch pub the Queen of Hoxton to test your mettle: you’ll be pitted against other teams in events such as beer pong, speed foosball and limbo! As well as the chance to be crowned champions, you can enjoy a BBQ on the terrace, DJ music and lots of other sports day fun. Entry for a team of 5 is £50. 6 Jul

Truck Stop, Woodwharf 

Experience phenomenal street food at Truck Stop, which brings more than 20 of the UK’s best food trucks to Woodwharf in London’s docklands. Not only can you buy tasty meals at the likes of Mother Clucker, Spit & Roast and Baba G, but you can also enjoy a locally-produced tipple at one of the many bars. Entry is £10, which includes 10 truck stop dollars for you to spend. 4-5 Jul

More London events

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Visiting the Past: The Paintings of John O’Connor Mon, 24 Jun 2013 11:20:06 +0000 John O’Connor is a relatively unknown artist who was born 12 August 1830, and whose paintings are among the most popular at the Museum of London.

Here we see the Gothic spires of St Pancras, now home of the Eurostar, rising towards a glorious sunset. They tower above the busy crowded thoroughfare of Pentonville Road, filled with workers hurrying home, sandwich board men and omnibuses. A pile of debris bottom right indicates the rubbish which can pile up in everyday life, as opposed to the majesty of the wealth and prosperity of business and technology exemplified by the railways.

O’Connor was an Irishman who trained as a theatre set painter and came to London to work in the highly lucrative theatres painting set designs. His eye for colour and his harmonious designs demonstrate this background.

The Museum of London also has another very popular oil called The Embankment which shows the view from the terrace of Somerset House looking down river to St Paul’s Cathedral and Blackfriars Bridge.

A guest post by Pat Hardy, Curator of Paintings, Prints and Drawings at the Museum of London. More Visiting the Past next week

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What’s On This Weekend: 19-21 April 2013 Mon, 15 Apr 2013 09:30:39 +0000 It’s another action-packed weekend in London, particularly for the 30,000 people who’ll be running past the city’s major landmarks during the London Marathon!

Orpheus at Battersea Arts Centre

See an innovative take on the Orpheus myth at Battersea Arts Centre, staged by award-winning company Little Bulb Theatre. The haunting tale has been transposed to 1930s Paris, where Orpehus and Eurydice play out their doomed love story to a Hot Club jazz soundtrack. Performances will be accompanied by live musical interludes and late night dancing on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are £10. 16 Apr-11 May

The Mayor of London’s Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square

In celebration of St George’s Day, the commemoration of England’s patron saint which takes place on 23 April, the Mayor of London is laying on traditional entertainment and cuisine in Trafalgar Square. Given St George’s Day’s 13th century origins as a day

of feasting, the main attraction of this fun family event will be food: you can enjoy delicious free tastings, purchase a variety of treats to nibble in the banqueting area and watch live cookery demonstrations. There will also be a packed programme of entertainment provided by top London performers. 20 Apr

2013 Virgin London Marathon

Catch the incredible atmosphere of the Virgin London Marathon this Sunday, when more than 30,000 people will be running 26.2 miles through London. Participants, many of whom are raising money for their favourite charity, will race from Greenwich Park to Buckingham Palace, taking in sights such as the London Eye, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf along the way. Spectators watch at all points of the route and can enjoy the colourful costumes of many runners as well as the bonhomie among the crowd. 21 Apr

Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Festival at Somerset House

Returning for a fourth year, the Pick Me Up festival brings the best of the graphic arts to the Embankment Galleries of Somerset House. Not only can you see – and purchase – a diverse mix of works by top artists, but there are also lots of events and workshops to entertain and inspire. This weekend it’s Children’s Choice Weekend, wherein kids can model Shaun the Sheep with Aardman animators, attend a Gruffalo illustration workshop with Axel Scheffler and much more. Tickets start at £8. 18-28 Apr

Floriculture – Flowers, Love and Money at the Garden Museum

Head to one of London’s best small museums for this fascinating exhibition on the art of floristry. Exploring the inspiration of cut flowers to painters and their symbolism in many aspects of life, it stretches from the origins of the Covent Garden flower market to the present day. Admission is £7.50 for adults. Until Apr 28

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