A View Of Greenwich By Canaletto

Written by Nika Garrett on .

A View of Greenwich by Canaletto

This article has been written for Dulwich on View.

I’m walking under the Thames through the tunnel that is less than a quarter of a mile long and lies 53 feet below the high water mark. I have spent a long day guiding in Greenwich so I’m taking it easy and making most of the lifts here rather than walking 100 steps downstairs or 88 steps upstairs.

It has been the third time over the last three days that I’m making this journey in attempt to take a photo of Greenwich from the Isle of Dogs on a bright sunny day. The weather has not been very kind. It is 6pm and the sun is out. Finally, I’d like to take a photo of Old Royal Naval College and think for a while what inspired Italian artist Canaletto back in 1750s to paint Greenwich. Right now it happens to be a sort of tea time for all the gulls, all too eager to be fed by tourists and possibly locals and the scene I see is more like from The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. 

The Painted Hall In Old Royal Navy College In Greenwich

Written by Nika Garrett on .

The Painted Hall in Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich

The idea to buy a square foot of the Painted Hall was conceived at the back of my mind half way through the walk that will for long be remembered as a ‘windswept tour in Greenwich’. As I stood my group of visitors against the King Charles Court of Old Royal Naval College to offer them the minimum shelter against yet another gust of wind and rain, I felt deeply sorry for them… Surprisingly, the best wrapped up individual in the Grand Square was George II. You wouldn’t have recognised him easily for all the layers the statute was wearing. Someone did put a crown on his head though.

Braving the weather we stood later waiting for the Time Ball on the Royal Observatory to be hoisted half way up the mast at 12.55, all the way to the top at 12.58 and to be dropped exactly at 1pm – the highlight of the 12 15 guided walk.  Needless to say, the Time Ball was never hoisted that day due to the weather conditions.  The first Time Ball was made of leather and installed in 1833 and it did fall off once on a windy day in 1850s. The one we were hopefully staring at is made of aluminium and replaced the previous one in 1919.

Covent Garden At Christmas

Written by Nika Garrett on .

Covent Garden at Christmas

This post has been written by Cindy Eve from 3 DAYS IN LONDON

Covent Garden at Christmas time in London is abuzz with things to do! An historical site in London, Covent Garden is a mecca for tourists and Londoner's alike at any time of the year and especially at Christmas. 

This year besides the usual events like The Great Xmas Pudding Race, we have the UK's biggest LEGO Advent Calendar. It has been good fun to pop by and see what's in the next box; a delightful selection of scenes. Built by Duncan Titmarsh, the UK's only certified LEGO professional, the advent calendar which measures 5m wide, 3m high and 1 m in depth is made with over 600,000 LEGO bricks, features 30 different coloured bricks, has 24 windows and took 7 weeks to build. A new window opens each day at 4pm to reveal a 3D LEGO surprise. :) Pop along between now and the 24th to see what each window holds.

Discovering The City Of London-Part1

Written by Nika Garrett on .

Discovering The City of London - Part 1

dedicated to my husband Tim

It is unlike me to leave my camera behind at home and venture out to discover streets of London, armed only with my mobile.

I dropped Zuzia off to nursery together with her Halloween Scooby-Doo outfit and then dashed to Lewisham Hospital to see my husband. I got a special permission from a discharge coordinator (quite a mouthful, especially if you have to say it while stressed out) to drop off some things that Tim needed. I'll be coming back to spend a couple of hours with him in the afternoon, that is during visiting hours.

My destination today is St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, one of many churches in the City of London I need to become quite knowledgeable about within months. Instead of opting for the shortest route I find myself attracted by back alleys near St Paul's and I stumble upon a pub that is on my 'to-do list' .

About the lost world...

Written by Nika Garrett on .

About the lost world of riverside inns and what you can do to save one of the last remaining historic pubs in Chelsea! 

I fear the day when a customer will enquire about a tailor-made pub walk in Chelsea. I may have to reply; 'I regret to inform you that there are hardly any historic pubs left in this area of London. I may only offer a 'ghost' pub walk and refer you to old images that show a great number of pubs immortalised by local artists and photographers.

Chelsea was once blessed with many public houses, some with wonderful views across the Thames.  Chelsea riverside with its houses, shops and pubs appear in many paintings and drawings by Walter Greaves and his brother Henry, sons of a waterman and boat operator. The brothers were local artists who ferried Whistler about the river, just like their father once rowed J M W Turner who spent his last years living anonymously at no 119 Cheyne Walk just next door to The Aquatic, the pub that (needless to say) is no longer there.