Best of Britain
With the Summer 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 27th at 9:00 p.m., it is a perfect time to feature fabulous London. Big Ben is scheduled to chime more than 40 times the first day of the games. The clock tower was Built in 1859 by Augustus Pugin and it is still the largest in the world.
Film Director Danny Boyle is the Artistic Director for the Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium.
From the beginning, Boyle, the director of Slumdog Millionaire and the National Theatre’s Frankenstein, was prepared to take risks. Instead of relying on impressive numbers of heavily drilled participants, as at the Beijing ceremony, he designed a narrative about the British Isles based on the themes of Shakespeare’s last play and featuring a parade of emblems of national history and culture, from cricketers, farmers and 70 live sheep, to striking miners, suffragettes and a cloudburst of real rain.
Another reason for spiffing up Britain was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so the government has pumped billions of pounds into the city in anticipation of this year’s festivities.
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”-18th century author Samuel Johnson
Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world, and the oldest in continuous occupation (over 900 years). It is one of the Queen’s three official residences, and is often said to be her favourite. Samuel Pepys proclaimed the Castle to be “the most romantique castle that is in the world”. That was in 1666, and the same is true today.
Britain is a feast for lovers of all things classical.
London’s stylish, timeless neighborhoods.
Notting Hill hosts the Portobello Road antiques market every Saturday.
Famous Harrod’s in Knightsbridge
Another must see store is the brain child of Arthur Lasenby Liberty. No other shop in London has such a strong iconic association with design.
Central London has top visitor sights with one of London’s most striking buildings, The National Gallery.
The city has fabulous green spaces. Hyde Park is one of London’s finest landscapes covering 350 acres. It will host two Olympic Games competitions, the Triathlon and the 10 km Marathon Swimming Event.
Regent’s Park with its Queen Mary’s Gardens and Open Air Theatre will feature Ragtime and A Midsummer Night’s Dream through early September.
London hotels range from the grand and historic to contemporary classics. The Goring built in 1910 is situated next to Buckingham Palace. This is the archetypal English Hotel where you can expect excellent food and wine and a delightful private garden. This is where Kate Middleton and her family stayed before the royal wedding.
There is so much to explore in Britain. Join me next week as I visit the great homes of Britain and more. I am so looking forward to the Opening Ceremonies.
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