London is a city steeped in tradition, with a vast array of wonderful activities and experiences which hark back to its lengthy past, and leave you feeling nostalgic.
However, the city is also one fascinated by the new and exciting. Recently, these two ideas have started to fuse together, offering a different way to embrace London’s traditions.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of our favourite London experiences which bring a new twist to tradition…
Try a themed Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is one of London’s biggest and best traditions, and now there are more ways than ever before to try it for yourself while staying at Montcalm at the Brewery.
The tradition initially sprang out of the luxurious lifestyles of the British aristocracy, providing a small meal mid-afternoon before a late dinner. It soon spread in popularity, and has long been considered as one of the foremost ways to celebrate a big occasion. In recent years, afternoon tea has seen a dramatic resurgence in popularity – fuelled in part by its growing accessibility at some of the city’s top venues.
Many different restaurants and cafes throughout London provide afternoon tea, which some taking a strictly thematic approach and others sticking to tradition. At The Montcalm, you have the choice between sticking to tradition and enjoying classic sandwiches and cakes with your tea, or instead opting for something more dramatic, such as an Indian afternoon tea or a glass of champagne alongside your cakes.
This is a particularly great event to share with others, and is often gifted as a luxurious experience.
Visit Grant Museum of Zoology
London’s museum culture is world-famous, and with good reason. There are many fantastic finds to discover all over the city, but if you’re looking for something more offbeat, then Grant Museum of Zoology will give you lots to talk about!
It’s the only museum of its kind still remaining in the city, and houses more than 67,000 unique specimens which span the entirety of the Animal Kingdom. First founded in 1827, the Grant Museum of Zoology began life as a teaching space and includes a number of remarkable finds which are each perfectly preserved.
Many of the species which are kept here are now considered to be extinct or endangered, including animals such as the Quagga and the Dodo. The museum relocated to its current space in 2011, in an effort to give each exhibit a little more room.
Today it offers a unique take on the traditional museum which is sure to keep you entertained while enjoying the best London hotel deals.
Take a trip to Eel Pie Island
London is a popular base for day-trippers, as its within easy reach of so many other wonderful locations. If this sounds like something you’re interested in trying, why not also choose an unusual location for your day trip venue?
Eel Pie Island is the perfect place for enjoying a few local adventures, and it is renowned for its links to Britain’s hippie culture of the 1960s and 1970s, whilst still being within easy reach of all the best London hotel offers. Today, the island is still home to a number of artists, and therefore has a particularly creative look and feel. Each house is highly individualistic, and there’s nothing quite as fun as heading out on a boat trip to the island.
There are many different ways to get here, including using rowing boats, leisure cruisers or even a paddle-boarding trip with a group of equally enthusiastic visitors.
The island was once the spot where the Eel Pie Hotel and Resort provided the backdrop to many decadent stories from the British music industry. The venue has since been demolished, but there’s still lots to see and do on and around the island.
Head to Dennis Severs’ House
The great British home is a cultural institution in London, with lots of remarkable architecture all around you. However, one location in particular provides a truly impressive snapshot of life in London throughout the centuries.
At Dennis Severs’ House, you’ll be able to get a glimpse at London living from 1724 right up until the 20th century, with beautifully preserved rooms which follow the changing fortunes of one family.
The house has been kept exactly as it was during each time period, capturing not only the sights but the ambiance of every era. The Dennis Severs’ House was created with the intention to feed the senses, giving visitors the impression that they have just travelled through time for a brief moment.
There’s lots of different ways to experience the venue, including a comprehensive tour which helps uncover some of the stories the house holds. Devised by artist Dennis Severs, the house has been kept in the way that its original occupants would have lived, and attempts to bring each time period to the forefront.
Dennis Severs’ House has been open to the public for around 35 years, during which time it has developed a strong following for its unusual and creative take on British culture, as well as its ability to distil the concept of the home down to its most beautifully straightforward level.
Visit God’s Own Junkyard
Londoners love a good art gallery, and at God’s Own Junkyard, this concept is turned on its head with dramatic results. Its open throughout the week and also includes an on-site cafe, but what really draws people in are the goods on display.
Gods Own Junkyard was founded about 37 years ago by Chris Bracey, who was experimenting with neon artwork. Since then, he has developed a strong cult following in both the UK and the United States, with many of his pieces used in film and television.
Art materials are just as creative, with reclaimed signs and found objects helping to craft new creations. What makes a trip here even more impressive is that everything on display is for sale, so if you feel like adding some neon to your life (or grabbing a gift during your stay) then this is a quirky way to achieve your goal.