Showing posts with label Palaces of London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palaces of London. Show all posts

Saturday, 21 November 2009

My Top Eleven Things to Do in London for Free

1. Art Galleries
London has some of the best art on the planet.The Tate Modern focuses on contemporary art while Tate Britaindisplays British Art from the sixteenth century to the present day.Other major London art galleries include the The National Portrait Gallery,The National Gallery,both in Trafalgar Square.I would also recommend, The Wallace Collection,which is a great respite after a hectic day of shopping on Oxford Street. And remember,many musuems and galleries are open late on Friday night.

2.London Museums
Visit and enjoy many of the London museums which happened to be free.
These Museums not only are free,they offer a great way to see world class art, sculptures.In Kensington you can hit three museums in one afternoon on musuem row:
The Victoria and Albert Museum,
The Natural History Museum,
and The Science Museum .

At The British Museumin Russel Square one
can see Egyptian mummies,ancient Roman,Greek and Oriental artifacts, Elgin marbles(involved in an ongoing cultural tug-of-war between the British and Greek Governments),and the Rosetta Stone(the key to translating hieroglyphics).Much of it was stolen from other countries.Not only is it the oldest museum in the world but, since its inception in 1753, the institution has managed to build an unrivalled collection of exhibits from the ancient world, many of them gifts from wealthy collectors.

3.London Churches
You can see insideWestminster Abbey
for free.The Abbey never charges people who want to worship but they rely on admission fees from visitors to cover running costs. Evensong is the most beautiful of services where the Abbey choir sings. The Choristers of the Choir are educated at Westminster Abbey Choir School and are all extremely talented. Evensong is at 5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, plus at 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

American Girl Will Show You London Tour
Chuck Lankford on The American Tour of Westminster Abbey

You can also enter St.Pauls Cathedral
to see the Choral Evensong. Like Westminster Abbey, it ususally starts at 5:00pm Monday thru Friday, and it's free! Also, The Brompton Oratory has free concerts.The choir has appeared in award-winning recordings on DG Archiv and frequently sings for productions of the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Enjoy beautiful polyphonic music and Gregorian chants while sitting in resplendent baroque Italian architecture.

4. Royal Parks
There are often free talks and guided walks in the royal parks so do check the What's On section of the Royal Parks website.Royal Historic Parks. There are 8 park. St. James Park. Regent's Park. Hyde Park. Kensingston Gardens. Bushy Park. Greenwich Park. Green Park. They often have wonderful walks and events that are free.

5.Changing of the Guard
No visit to London is complete without seeing this military tradition. The Queen's Guard in London changes in the Forecourt inside the gates of Buckingham Palace at 11.30am every day in the summer and every other day in the winter. Get there early and view the spectacle from outside the front gates.

6. South Bank
It really is amazing how many London landmarks you can see along this stretch of the River Thames including The ship theHMS Belfast,
Tate Modern, Shakespeare Globe Theater, and so much more.

7. Street Performers
The West Piazza of Covent Garden Market has street performers to entertain you every day.Covent Garden has live singers from The Royal Opera House and classical musicians. (All performers have a license and have gone on an audtion).Grab a hot cocoa or glass of wine, sit on the piazza and voila there you have entertainment for an afternoon and evening.You will find more street performers at the weekend along the South Bank, particularly outside the National Theater.

8.London Markets
London is well-known for its popular street markets. The most popular are Camden Market and Portobello Market, following closely by Greenwich Market. Find out about these markets and more:

London Street Market's
Camden Market
Portobello Market
Greenwich Market
Old Spitalfields Market
Brick Lane Market(Sundays only)
Petticoat Lane Market
Picadilly Market
Columbia Flower Market (Sunday mornings only)
Borough Market

9. Libraries
Many of the London Libaries are free. When you got the site seeing blues, check out your local London library and just relax among the books. Get a library card and then you can check your internet for free. But, the best library of them all, and probably the best library on the planet is The British Library.They care the biggest collection of the world of Jewish, Christian and Muslim books. Check out Shakespeare's original folios.See The Magna Carta. Find out how different people were effected by the Magna Carta.

10.Free Entertainment

St. Martin in the Fields Church offers free Concerts on Monday, Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 pm. It's very relaxing, just to sit back and relax and her a Brandenburgh Concert or Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Also, there are inexpensive concerts in the evening where you can hear French cafe music or live jazz. Usually it's quite inexpensive and tickets are usually £10.

You may also attend a Lunchtime Recitals at the The Royal Opera Houseat 1 pm. The tickets need to be confirmed 9 days before the show.And, can be bought online at It's a great way to spend an afternoon and take a break from your work day, or if you want to relax and hear some beautiful music.


You can't go inside the Tower Bridge for free, but you can look at it for free.
London Bridge was originally the only crossing for the Thames. As London grew, so more bridges were added, although these were all built to the west of London Bridge, since the area east of London Bridge had become a busy port.

American Girl(that's me),Will Show You London Tour

Lee Howard on The American Tour of Tower Bridge

Schedules for Events in London:

St. Martin in the Fields Concert Schedule

Changing of the Guard
Westminster Abbey Music and Choir Schedule
St.Paul's Choral SongSchedule
The Brompton Oratory Choir Schedule
London Market Schedule
For More Free Things to do in London

One of the few things I do in life is give TOURS OF LONDON,
American Girl Will Show You London

-How to be A Romantic Romeo on a Date
- Green London
- Ghosts of London Walking Tour
-What to do if your in London for awhile and have seen all the major sites

Monday, 26 January 2009

Kensington Palace - To Deb or not to Deb?

Recently, I went to Kensington Palace to view the last debutantes exhibition.
The exhibit takes visitors on a journey into the glamorous and alluring world of the debutante with a new exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the last court presentations. The last debutantes were presented to the Queen at Buckingham Palace in March 1958. After making their curtesies, some cheeky debs stole palace teaspoons to take home as souvenirs.

The main aim of the debutante was to acquire and secure a weathy husband.
A debutante would go out into the world and attend a series of balls and parties for a season and other high society functions to attract an affluent man for the purpose of marriage.

To Deb or not to Deb? How does being a debutante hold up in today's modern world?Have expectations of men and women changed since the 1950's? In the exhibit, their was a multimedia video interviewing young Drama students from Charles Catholic Sixth Form College. In their video they reflect on their own experiences in comparison to the young debutantes of 1958. Unlike the debutantes, most girls want to work and be independent of a man. Most of the young women in the interview, stated strongly that it was highly imperative for their success to go to college and to have careers. They feel that their role as wife and mother were secondary to that of having a career and making something of themselves. In addition, that depending on a man to provide meaning and a sense of purpose was considered old fashioned and outdated.

After many young womens parents were paying fees to pretend to be a debutante, Finally, Lord Chamberlain claimed the end of a dying and outdated tradition and that was the end of the Debutante as we know it.

For more blogs by Sabrina Bravissimo



Royal Historical Palaces

What should visitors expect?
The last debutantes exhibition will draw visitors into the world of the debutante.

Visitors experienced the bewildering rules of etiquette, dizzying schedule of presentations, cocktail parties and dances and they will have the chance to be schooled in the art of the perfect curtsey.

The glamorous gowns of some of the last ‘debs’ were displayed alongside photographs and personal memories, creating an evocative multimedia experience.

The exhibition will capture the spirit of a world in transition in which the status of the upper classes became a subject of fierce debate. With the diminishing spectre of world war, independence in the colonies and cultural revolution around the corner, the debutantes’ days were numbered.

Against a mix of ceremony and indulgence, the exhibition illustrates the social unrest, political activism and teenage culture that set the scene of change in Britain during the summer of 1958: the year of the last debutantes.

Fashionable afternoon dresses and ball gowns, including stunning examples of couture by Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain, as well as accessories worn by some of the ‘debs’ during the final Season of 1958 will be displayed in this multimedia exhibition which tells their stories against the backdrop of dramatic social change that heralded the arrival of the swinging sixties.


In the United Kingdom, until 1958 debutantes were presented at court at the start of the social season. Only ladies who had already been presented were entitled to present another lady, which ensured the social exclusivity of the privilege. Most women were presented by their own mothers, but this would not be possible if their own mother had not been presented, or was dead or absent from Court for any other reason. Hence, it was possible to be presented, instead, by another eligible woman, provided she personally knew and could vouch for the lady being presented. As well as debutantes properly so called, older women and married women who had not previously been presented could be presented at Court. A mother-in-law might, for example, present her new daughter-in-law.

The presentation, to the reigning monarch, followed an elaborate ritual, and the debutante was required to wear distinctive formal court dress. In particular, they were required either to carry feathers (usually in the form of an ostrich feather fan), or to wear feathers as part of their headdress. [1]

Queen Elizabeth II abolished the ceremony of presentation at Court of debutantes in 1958. Attempts were made to keep the tradition going by organising a series of parties for young girls who might otherwise have been presented at Court in their first season (to which suitable young men were also invited). However, the withdrawal of royal patronage made these occasions increasingly insignificant, and scarcely distinguishable from any other part of the social season.

However, the expression "debutante" or "deb" for short continues to be used, especially in the press, to refer to young girls of marriageable age who participate in a semi-public upper class social scene. The expression "deb's delight" is applied to good looking unmarried young men from similar backgrounds.


Friday, 23 January 2009

Hampton Court Palace and Gardens

Picture 053
Picture 053,
originally uploaded by Sabrina Bravissimo.

Recently, I went to the Hampton Court Palace with my friend Aaron. I became a member of theRoyal Historic Palaces,which includes entry to all the grand palaces in London,plus the privlige of being invited to events unbeknownst to the public.The Five Great Royal Palaces are Kensington Palace,Tower of London, Banqueting House,Kew Gardens, and Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Palace,was the home of Henry VIII, and his
six wives, that's right, six wives. King Henry VIII was desperate to
get an heir for throne, so he fought tooth and nail to get a proper wife
to bear him the proper male heir. Since, in those times it was deemed that only men could rule properly. The irony of it all, was that his daughter, Elizabeth ended up being the finest and most powerful monarch. England prospered and became very powerful and rich under her reign. Unfortunately, her mother Anne Boelyn was beheaded.

Stay Tuned for more LONDON DIARIES


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