BLS - 2022 Visit - London
Day 1 – Arrival
After an early flight from Luxembourg, a visit to the Guild of Armourers and Brasiers Hall, home of The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Armourers’ Guild was established in 1322; it received a Royal Charter in 1453.
The first visit of the tour was to the Guild of the Armourers . We were hosted by Peter Bateman, Clerk of the Guild. Following a very welcome breakfast we give a fascinating talk about the history and functioning of the Guild, a perfect intro to our London visit.
Day 1 – Afternoon
Following the first visit of the day we took in London Mithraeum . A recently discovered Roman temple dedicated to the god Mithras and demonstrating how the Roman presence goes back 2000 years.
The day continued to an afternoon spent at the Victoria and Albert Museum, seeing some of the highlights of the collection and a visit the current temporary exhibition “Exploring masculinities” an expose of trends in mens fashion over the centuries
Our day concluded with a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Day 2 – Morning (literally)
On Thursday evening we learnt of the sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, which left some uncertainty about the day’s plans, fortunately although our lunch at Middle Temple was cancelled Sir Nicholas Forwood, our patron, was able to reschedule our visit which importantly included the opportunity to attend a service of remembrance in Temple Church, a truly moving moment and our first time singing God save the King.
Day 2 – Afternoon
Friday took us to a backstage tour of Covent Garden Opera House ( no photos allowed) some the visited the lesser known St Paul’s church Covent Garden- the Actors church
However the highlight of the day was a visit to Buckingham palace where we were able to see the floral tributes left by the public and despite the rain was an opportunity we all appreciated.
Day 3 – Morning
The group visit to Sipsmith of London gin fame.
The visit included a tour of the distillery, a talk about the history of gin and the Sipsmith brand all accompanied by a rather special gin tasting.
Day 3 – Afternoon
On day three in the afternoon the group was treated to a private tour of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis grounds .
A real sense of tennis’s history starting in front of the Fred Perry statue in front of Centre Court
We were shown behind the scenes, including the press gallery where we saw where post match interviews are conducted
The museum was full of treasures showing the development of the sport and of course the museum shop was a must.
In the evening a reception at the Luxembourg Embassy hosted by Ambassador Georges Friden, which was followed by a joint dinner with our sister organisation, The Luxembourg Society London, held at the Oxford and Cambridge Club.
Day 4 – Morning
Private tour of the Wallace Collection with its extensive collection of the decorative arts.
Day 4 – Afternoon
A visit to the Wallace Collection temporary exhibition entitled “Walt Disney- the animation of French Decorative Arts”
A few of the items which provided inspiration to Walt Disney, an unexpected discovery.