188-196 Regent Street London, United Kingdom London W1B 5BT 0871 704 1977
Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world and one of the world's best-known retailers of toys. Founded by William Hamley as "Noah's Ark" in High Holborn, London, in 1760, it moved to its current site on Regent Street in 1881. This flagship store is set over seven floors, with more than 50,000 toys on sale. It is considered one of the city's prominent tourist attractions, receiving around five million visitors each year. The chain has ten other outlets in the United Kingdom and nearly 50 franchises worldwide.Hamleys was bought by the Icelandic investment company Baugur Group in 2003 but was taken over by Baugur's main investor, Landsbanki, when the group defaulted. In 2012, the French toy retailer Groupe Ludendo bought the business for £60 million. In 2015 it was reported that Groupe Ludendo was negotiating the sale of Hamleys, possibly to a Hong Kong company owned by a relative of the owner of department store House of Fraser. Subsequently, it was sold to the Chinese footwear company C.banner for an estimated $154 million.HistoryHamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world. It is named after William Hamley, who founded a toy shop called "Noah's Ark" at No. 231 High Holborn, London, in 1760. Ownership of the shop passed through the family, and by the time it was operated by Hamley's grandsons in 1837, the store had become famous, counting royalty and nobility among its customers.
St James's Palace is the official residence of the sovereign and the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, although no longer the principal residence of the monarch, it is the ceremonial meeting place of the Accession Council and the London residence of several members of the royal family.Built by Henry VIII on the site of a leper hospital dedicated to Saint James the Less, the palace was secondary in importance to the Palace of Whitehall for most Tudor and Stuart monarchs. The palace increased in importance during the reigns of the early Georgian monarchy, but was displaced by Buckingham Palace in the late-18th and early-19th centuries. After decades of being used increasingly for only formal occasions, the move was formalised by Queen Victoria in 1837. Today the palace houses a number of official offices, societies and collections and all ambassadors and high commissioners to the United Kingdom are still accredited to the Court of St James's.Mainly built between 1531 and 1536 in red-brick, the palace's architecture is primarily Tudor in style. A fire in 1809 destroyed parts of the structure, including the monarch's private apartments, which were never replaced. Some 17th-century interiors survive, but most were remodelled in the 19th century.
Bridgewater House, Westminster Distance: 0.6 miTourist Information 14 Cleveland Row London, United Kingdom SW1A 1
Bridgewater House is a townhouse located at 14 Cleveland Row in the St James's area of London, England. It is a Grade I listed building.HistoryThe earliest known house on the site was Berkshire House, built in about 1626-27 for Thomas Howard, second son of the Earl of Suffolk and Master of the Horse to Charles I of England when he was Prince of Wales. Howard was later created Earl of Berkshire.After being occupied by Parliamentarian troops in the English Civil War, used for the Portuguese Embassy, and lived in by Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, the house was lived in by Charles II's mistress Barbara Villiers, who was made Duchess of Cleveland in 1670, following which the house was known as Cleveland House. She refaced the old house and added new wings. After being owned for some years by a speculator, the house was sold in 1700 to John Egerton, 3rd Earl of Bridgewater, after which it passed by inheritance until 1948.Cleveland House was re-designed in the Palazzo style by Sir Charles Barry in 1840. The rebuilding was completed and renamed in 1854 for Lord Ellesmere, heir of the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. It is built in Bath stone with a slate roof in three storeys with a basement.
The Queen's Chapel is a chapel in central London, England, that was designed by Inigo Jones and built between 1623 and 1625 as an external adjunct to St. James's Palace for Roman Catholic queen Henrietta Maria. It is one of the facilities of the British monarch's personal religious establishment, the Chapel Royal, and should not be confused with the 1540 building known as the Chapel Royal within the palace and just across Marlborough road.HistoryIt was built as a Roman Catholic chapel at a time when the construction of Catholic churches was prohibited in England, and was used by Charles I's Catholic queen Henrietta Maria. From the 1690s it was used by Continental Protestant courtiers. It was built as an integral part of St James's Palace, but when the adjacent private apartments burned down in 1809 they were not replaced and in 1856-57 Marlborough Road was built between the palace and the Queen's Chapel. The result is that physically the chapel now appears to be more part of the Marlborough House complex than of St James's Palace. It became a Chapel Royal again in 1938.Having been taken from the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park, the body of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother lay at the Queen's Chapel for several days during the preparations for her lying-in-state in Westminster Hall before her ceremonial funeral.
Embassy of Japan, London Distance: 0.6 miTourist Information Hell on Earth for Dolphins London, United Kingdom
The Embassy of Japan in London is the diplomatic mission of Japan in the United Kingdom. It occupies a large Victorian building on Piccadilly opposite Green Park, which is Grade II listed.
The Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London (officially the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia) (السفارة السعودية الملكية في لندن) is the diplomatic mission of Saudi Arabia in the United Kingdom. Saudi Arabia also maintains a Defence Attaché’s Office at 26 Queen's Gate, South Kensington, a Diplomatic Office of the Cultural Bureau at 630 Chiswick High Road, Gunnersbury, a Medical Section at 60 Queen Anne Street, Marylebone, a Commercial Section at 15/16 Queen Street, Mayfair, an Islamic Affairs Section at 2nd Floor, Park Lorne, 111 Park Road, Lisson Grove and an Information Section at 18 Seymour Street, Marylebone.The embassy is situated in Crewe House, a detached mansion designed and constructed by Edward Sheppard in 1730, set in its own grounds. Built in the Georgian style, it is a Grade II* listed building. The house was considerably altered in the late 18th and early 19th-century. Much of its neo-classical interior dates from the early 19th-century, and some of Shepard's original plasterwork ceilings may survive.
St James's Church, Piccadilly, also known as St James's Church, Westminster, and St James-in-the-Fields, is an Anglican church on Piccadilly in the centre of London, United Kingdom. The church was designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren.The church is built of red brick with Portland stone dressings. Its interior has galleries on three sides supported by square pillars, and the nave has a barrel vault supported by Corinthian columns. The carved marble font and limewood reredos are both notable examples of the work of Grinling Gibbons.HistoryIn 1662, Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans, was granted land for residential development on what was then the outskirts of London. He set aside land for the building of a parish church and churchyard on the south side of what is now Piccadilly. Christopher Wren was appointed the architect in 1672 and the church was consecrated on 13 July 1684 by Henry Compton, the Bishop of London. In 1685 the parish of St James was created for the church.
Albany (London) Distance: 0.3 miTourist Information Albany Courtyard, Piccadilly London, United Kingdom W1J 0DS
The Albany, or simply Albany, is an apartment complex in Piccadilly, London.BuildingThe Albany was built in 1770–74 by Sir William Chambers for the newly created 1st Viscount Melbourne as Melbourne House. It is a three-storey mansion, seven bays (windows) wide, with a pair of service wings flanking a front courtyard. In 1791, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany abandoned Dover House, Whitehall (now a government office), and took up residence. In 1802 the Duke in turn gave up the house and it was converted by Henry Holland into 69 bachelor apartments (known as "sets"). This was achieved by subdividing the main block and its two service wings, and by adding two new parallel long buildings covering most of the garden, running as far as a new rear gate building on Burlington Gardens. Holland's new buildings of 1802-3 flank a covered walkway supported on thin iron columns and with an upswept roof. The blocks are white painted render in a simpler Regency style than Chambers' work. Most sets are accessed off common staircases without doors, like Oxbridge colleges and the Inns of Court.HistorySince its conversion, the Albany has been a prestigious set of bachelor apartments in London. The residents have included such famous names as the poet Lord Byron and the future Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, and numerous members of the aristocracy.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, also known as Farm Street Church, is a Roman Catholic parish church run by the Society of Jesus in Mayfair, central London. Its main entrance is in Farm Street, though it can also be accessed from the adjacent Mount Street Gardens. Sir Simon Jenkins, in his book England's Thousand Best Churches, describes the church as "Gothic Revival at its most sumptuous".
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London is Hong Kong's representation in the United Kingdom. As a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong does not have an embassy.The office is located at 18 Bedford Square in the City of Westminster in central London; the building also houses the London office of the London Representative Office of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. It was previously located at 6 Grafton Street..The current Director-General of the office is Priscilla To, who reports to the Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic & Trade Affairs to the European Union, Brussels ETO.The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Act 1996 enacted by UK's Parliament conferred a number of personal immunity and tax privileges on HKETO London. When Hong Kong was under British administration, the office was known as the Hong Kong Government Office and was headed by a Commissioner.Apart from the UK, HKETO London is also responsible for maintaining ties with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia and Sweden.
The Odeon West End, from 1930 to 1988 known as Leicester Square Theatre, was a cinema on the south side of Leicester Square, London. It contained two screens—screen 1 seats 500 and screen 2 seats 832. It was often used for smaller film premieres, and hosted the annual BFI London Film Festival. The building is opposite the much larger flagship Odeon Leicester Square.Odeon Cinemas sold the building to three Irish investors in 2006, though continued to lease it. In 2012 it was bought by the Radisson Edwardian hotel group and closed as a cinema on 1 January 2015, ahead of planned redevelopment as a luxury hotel.HistoryThe Odeon was built in 1930 as the Leicester Square Theatre, a name it largely remained with until 1988. The theatre was built as a cine-variety venue for Jack Buchanan - a penthouse apartment was housed on the roof for the star - and showcased both film and short variety performances, before going over to film on a more permanent basis. A large single screen was housed in an ornate, three-tiered auditorium.It was sold to J. Arthur Rank in 1937 and became Rank's first cinema, although not named Odeon for many years to come.The cinema was modernised in 1968 into a much blander shell, based around a remodelled stalls and single circle. In 1988 it was changed into a two-screen venue (Screen 1 in the former circle and Screen 2 in the stalls) and renamed Odeon West End.The site was sold by Odeon Cinemas to three Irish investors in February 2006, though continued to operate as part of the Odeon chain. Ownership subsequently passed to the Irish National Asset Management Agency and in 2012 it was sold to the Radisson Edwardian hotel company.
The Comedy Store Distance: 0.4 miTourist Information 7 Oxendon St Hackney, United Kingdom SW1Y 4EE
The Comedy Store is a comedy club located in Soho, London, England, opened in 1979 by Don Ward and Peter Rosengard.It was named after The Comedy Store club in the United States, which Rosengard had visited the previous year. Starting out above a strip club, in 1982 they moved to Leicester Square at a premises they were able to take over formally in 1985.The club was the focus of the "alternative comedy" boom in the early 1980s and helped start the careers of many comedians, including Paul Merton, French & Saunders, Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Ben Elton, Mark Thomas, Andrew Bailey, Pat Condell and John Sparkes.In October 1985, an improvisational group called The Comedy Store Players was formed, consisting of Mike Myers, Neil Mullarkey, Kit Hollerbach, Dave Cohen and Paul Merton. The group has had several lineup changes over the years, and now features a rotating team of Neil Mullarkey, Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence, Richard Vranch (a comedy improviser who also plays piano), Jim Sweeney, Lee Simpson and Andy Smart, together with frequent guest appearances. Several of The Comedy Store Players appeared on the BBC Radio 4 and Channel 4 comedy game show Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
The Apollo Theatre is a Grade II listed West End theatre, on Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster, in central London. Designed by the architect Lewin Sharp for owner Henry Lowenfeld, it became the fourth legitimate theatre to be constructed on the street when it opened its doors on 21 February 1901, with the American musical comedy The Belle of Bohemia.HistoryConstructionBecause Henry Lowenfeld had bought land on the newly created Shaftesbury Avenue at the turn of the 20th century – next door to the Lyric Theatre which opened in 1888 – the Apollo is one of the few theatres in London to be freehold.The only complete theatre design of architect Lewin Sharp, the Apollo was specifically designed for musical theatre and named after the Greek god of the arts and leader of the muses. Constructed by builder Walter Wallis of plain London brick in keeping with the neighbouring streets, the front piece is in the Renaissance style with sculpted stone fascia by T. Simpson. The structure encloses a four-level auditorium, with three cantilevered balconies and a first floor central loggia, decorated in the Louis XIV Style by Hubert van Hooydonk. In keeping with then European style, each level has its own foyer and promenade.
The Gielgud Theatre is a West End theatre, located on Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster, London, at the corner of Rupert Street. The house currently has 986 seats on three levels.The theatre was designed by W.G.R. Sprague and opened on 27 December 1906 as the Hicks Theatre, named after Seymour Hicks, for whom it was built. The first play at the theatre was a hit musical called The Beauty of Bath co-written by Hicks. Another big success was A Waltz Dream in 1908. In 1909, the American impresario Charles Frohman became manager of the theatre and renamed the house the Globe Theatre – a name that it retained for 85 years. Call It a Day opened in 1935 and ran for 509 performances, a long run for the slow inter-war years. There's a Girl in My Soup, opening in 1966, ran for almost three years, a record for the theatre that was not surpassed until Daisy Pulls It Off opened in April 1983 to run for 1,180 performances, the theatre's longest run. In 1987 Peter Shaffer's play Lettice and Lovage opened, starring Maggie Smith, and became a hit.The Globe's theatre cat, named Beerbohm, became famous enough to receive a front page obituary in the theatrical publication, The Stage in 1995. Refurbished in 1987, the theatre has since presented several Alan Ayckbourn premieres, including Man of the Moment (1990), as well as a notable revival of An Ideal Husband in 1992. During reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe theatre on the South Bank, in 1994 the theatre was renamed the Gielgud Theatre in honour of John Gielgud. Another refurbishment was completed in 2008.
Gimpel Fils is a London art gallery based at 30 Davies Street in Westminster just off Grosvenor Square. The gallery was founded by Charles and Peter Gimpel, sons of the celebrated Parisian art dealer, René Gimpel, author of the Diary of an Art Dealer. Throughout its history it has maintained a commitment to contemporary British and International art.
The Savile Club is a traditional London gentlemen's club founded in 1868. Though located somewhat out of the way from the main centre of London's gentlemen's clubs, closer to the residences of Mayfair than the clubs of Pall Mall and St James's Street, it still contains prominent names among its members. It was originally formed after a division of opinion within the old Eclectic Club as to whether to accept an offer of rooms by the Medical Club and cease to be simply a "night club" (in its 19th-century sense).Changing premisesInitially calling itself the New Club, it grew rapidly, outgrowing its first floor rooms overlooking Trafalgar Square at 9 Spring Gardens and moving to the second floor. It then moved to 15 Savile Row in 1871, where it changed its name to the Savile Club, before lack of space forced the club to move again in 1882, this time to 107 Piccadilly, a building owned by Lord Rosebery. With its views over Green Park it was described by the members as the "ideal clubhouse". However, after 50 years' residence, demolition of the building next door to create the Park Lane Hotel caused the old clubhouse such structural problems that, in 1927, the club moved to its present home at 69 Brook Street, part of the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair. This was the former home of "Loulou" Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt, a Liberal cabinet minister who had taken his life on the premises to avert a scandal when his double life as a paedophile and sex offender was in danger of being uncovered. The building, a combination of Nos 69 and 71 Brook Street, owes its extravagant dix-huitième interior to Walter Burns, the brother-in-law of financier J.P. Morgan, who adapted it for his wife Fanny to entertain in suitable style. It thus includes an elegant hall, a grand staircase and a lavish ballroom.
Welcome to Lancashire Court
Tucked away behind the bustling streets of shoppers on New Bond Street lies a hidden treasure waiting to be explored.
Lancashire Court is a uniquely charming haven offering visitors a sampling of some of London's finest restaurants, bars and stores.
Whether browsing the shops by day, or sampling the indulgent delights by night, Lancashire Court provides the perfect setting for any occasion.
The Regent Hall is a Salvation Army centre on London's Oxford Street. It is one of the oldest centres in London having been founded by the founder of the army, William Booth in 1882. The church is known across the world as the "Rink", because it was formerly a skating rink.The hall is known for its music, both for its own brass band which tours internationally, and as a venue for visiting artists.The present officers are Majors Graham and Dawn Mizon, who succeeded Major Ray and Major Pat Brown. in 2012.