apartments in London

London Jazz Festival: New Orleans Comes to Town!

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London Jazz Festival – Image © Nokonoko

For 10 days in November, London swings and gyrates to the strains of a scintillating medley of international jazz.  The annual London Jazz Festival offers an exciting menu of jazz performances from around the world.  World-renowned jazz instrumentalists and vocalists will flock to the capital to perform in a city which delights in music and performance.  Venues across the capital will be hosting over 250 gigs featuring some of the brightest international stars in the jazz business.  From the Barbican in the City, to Kings Cross station and neighbourhood pubs, to the splendours of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich strains of trumpet, piano, jazz and soul will be the dominant melody.

London Jazz Festival – Image © View from 5’2”

The 2012 festival (9 – 18 November) offers a multi-faceted programme including Imelda May at the curtain-raising opening Barbican concert; jazz-soul diva Juliet Roberts; Byron Wallen, innovative trumpeter and Oren Marshall, acoustic and electric tuba player together exploring the brass tradition legacy; pianist Tigran Hamasyan with his fusion of jazz and Armenian folk, and innovative French/Serbian pianist Bojan Z and singer songwriter Amira with their hybrid of Balkan music and jazz.

Originally part of the Camden Arts fest, the Jazz Festival became a solo feature in 1992.  Since then it has forged a high profile as London’s premier jazz event.  Its history is impressive having hosted Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra’s first ever concert.  Wayne Shorter’s festival appearance was another London first.   Today the Festival offers jazz of a variety and quality to rival New Orlean’s Bourbon Street.  Visit www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk for the full programme of free and ticketed events.

London Jazz Festival – Image © Photographer695

So if you’re a jazz aficionado, a November booking for a London Loving Apartment is a MUST.  Wherever you choose to stay, a jazz venue will surely be around the corner.  Enjoy, and as they say, let the trumpets sound

Turn again, Turn again, Dick Whittington . . .

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This immortal line is from a pantomime version of the well-known fairy tale, Dick Whittington and his Cat.  Dick did indeed turn back to London town, only to find fame and fortune as Lord Mayor of London.

Today the Lord Mayor of London’s annual election is in its way no less theatrical.  A display of traditional English pageantry, complete with fur-clad capes, gold chains of office, mace and sword-bearing Esquires and attendant City Livery company members will gather this year on 1st October at the City’s Guildhall to elect the next Lord Mayor.  Elected by the Court of Alderman, representing the City’s twenty-five wards, the new Lord Mayor will look forward to a year’s term of office where he can expect to meet over 10,000 people, to travel abroad for over 90 days and to make over 800 speeches.  His official residence is the Mansion House, an imposing 18th century Palladian style building in the City’s very heart, opposite the Bank of England and at the junction of original Roman roads criss-crossing London.

A title steeped in history, the first Lord Mayor took office in 1189 marking London’s emergence as an important trading centre.  The role today still reflects London’s global status, as the Lord Mayor’s “job” (unpaid and apolitical) is primarily to be an international ambassador for all UK-based financial institutions and professional services.  The role is separate from but complementary to that of the Mayor of (Greater) London, Boris Johnson.

But if the election was a colourful pageant, just wait to hear about the celebration for the Lord Mayor’s inauguration.  The Lord Mayor’s Show is certainly an event to be in London for!  This year the world’s largest parade of its kind will take place on Saturday 10th November.  Featuring around 6,000 participants from businesses, schools, Livery companies and charities, with over 60 floats, 20 marching bands and carriages, the procession will be like the pages of a fantastically illustrated history book. Commencing at 11 am with a flypast, the procession will wend its way around the Square Mile from the Mansion House.  En route, the new Lord Mayor will pause at St Paul’s Cathedral to be blessed before proceeding to the Royal Courts of Justice to swear an Oath of Allegiance before the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls.  The procession itself ends at 2.30 pm but the day finally concludes with a magnificent water-borne firework display.

The Procession is free to watch with the best vantage points likely to be around Queen Victoria Street and Fleet Street.  But get there early because the crowds gather quickly to see this annual spectacle.  The City is en fête for the entire day with free City guided walks, opportunities to visit the Guildhall museum, St Paul’s Cathedral or the absorbing Museum of London.

This is English pageantry at its best, so book your Loving Apartment NOW for a late Autumn trip to London to see the Show and perhaps do some early Christmas shopping.  Go on – spoil yourselves!

Want to Book an Olympic London Apartment?

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With the start of the thrilling London 2012 Olympic Games getting closer and closer, those lucky enough to have tickets to the events might like to take the opportunity to combine it with an exciting London apartment city break. Whether you’ re the holder of a ticket for the Opening Ceremony, the diving, cycling, equestrian jumping, beach volleyball or any one of the amazing sporting events taking place, after the excitement of the day what better place to relax and reflect than a comfortable, convenient London apartment?

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Everyone has heard about the Olympic Park at Stratford but did you know that there are many other London venues for specific sports events. Earls Court, in West central London is home to the Volleyball events. Also close to other famous museums such as the Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science museum. The Earls Court Exhibition centre is used throughout the year for shows, and events.

Greenwich Park is usually a haven of tranquillity in the urban centre of London, however is being transformed during the London 2012 games for the equestrian events.   Right by the River Thames in South East central London this area is great for exploring the historic East London and City of London.

Hyde Park will be hosting two exhausting events – the Triathlon and Marathon Swimming. Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London, popular with Londoners and tourists alike it is a great place to sit with a picnic, stroll by the Serpentine, check out the contemporary art in the Serpentine Gallery, or listen to the opinions of the orators at Speakers Corner.

The famous Mall, leading from Admiralty Arch to Buckingham Palace will be on the route for the Olympic and Paralympic Marathon, Road Cycling and Race Walk. What’s even better is that Marathon events are free, so do not delay, book a London apartment and spend some time on The Mall, admiring the stamina and determination of the athletes competing in these events.

Lords Cricket Ground, the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club will be temporarily taken over by the competing Archery teams. Howzat! The Royal Artillery Barracks, fittingly, will host the Shooting, Paralympic Shooting and Paralympic Archery. Wembley Arena in North West London will see the Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics competitors battle it out for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.

Talking of Wembley, the Games would not be complete without football, many games being held at the stunning new Wembley Stadium. This will also see the gold medal events for Men and Women’s football.

Finally, the much talked about Beach Volleyball will take over Horse Guards Parade in the very centre of London, normally known for Trooping of the Colour attended by the Queen on her birthday. A temporary beach will be constructed – let’s hope the rain stays away!

For all these venues, for ease, comfort and the convenience of a home away from home, check out a great choice of London apartments now taking bookings from 1 night upwards.

Make Westminster Abbey Your Next Stop

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Where are you headed next? Loving Apartments loves London and we invite you to come explore the city’s greatest attractions. Arguably the most magnificent is Westminster Abbey, a large scale English Gothic church built back in 1065.

Westminster Abbey is a church of the British monarchy, rich in royal history. At least 38 coronations have been held at Westminster Abbey since William the Conqueror’s ceremony in 1066, which was the first recorded. The site has also been the host of several royal weddings including Prince William and Kate Middleton’s highly anticipated ceremony this past April where thousands of Londoners crowded the streets to get a peak. Because it is such a highly regarded structure, royalty are also often buried at Westminster Abbey. The tomb of Queen Elizabeth I can be found at the back of the abbey opposite Queen Mary. Several other tombs and memorials are scattered throughout the abbey, paying homage to poets, scientists, martyrs, and soldiers.

Admission to Westminster Abbey is £16.00 for adults. Students over the age of 18 and visitors over the age of 60 enter for £13.00. Children 11-18 cost £6 and kids under 11 are free with an adult. Buy a family pass for two adults and a child for £32 or two adults and two children for £38. The price of admission is well worth the experience. Entry includes an audio guide as well as entrance to supplemental areas of Westminster Abbey such as the museum, cloisters, St. Margaret’s Church, and College Garden.

Hours are currently Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:30am – 3:30pm, Wednesday from 9:30am-6:00pm, and Saturday 9:30am – 1:30pm. Westminster Abbey is not open for touring on Sundays. Rather, worship services are held throughout the day. Services are open to the public; just check westminster-abbey.org for current services and times. We recommend getting to Westminster Abbey 20 minutes before it opens on a weekday to avoid the long line.

Take the Circle & District Lines to St. James’s Park or take the tube to Westminster from your London apartment on the Jubilee, District, or Circle Lines. Check out Loving Apartment’s Facebook page for hot deals on London Apartments this summer to catch the best prices on London accommodation. You can also search for London apartments nearest Westminster Abbey here for greater convenience.

Westminster is a lovely area of London to rent a self-catering apartment. We hope you love London and put Westminster Abbey on the top of your to do list whilst staying at your London apartment. Have a wonderful trip!