Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Rubens Hotel
For the traveller who wants to bed down in a central location when visiting London there is, in my opinion, no better place than the Rubens. Yes it's expensive, but the experience and convenience is worth it.

The Queen's mail delivery
Apart from being a great place for people watching, from the Rubens  lounge you can sip your morning tea and watch a carriage pulled by horses leave the Royal Mews to deliver mail to the Queen at Buckingham Palace. 

Want to catch a glimpse of the 1902 Landau that William and Kate rode in after their wedding, The Rubens is directly opposite the Royal Mews. 
The Gold State Coach
Even more spectacular is the Gold State Coach, used for coronations and other grand occasions.  Considered to be the finest coach in the world, it's like something out of a fairytale.  It's been transporting the present Queen and past Kings to coronations, the State Opening of Parliament, the Queen's Birthday Parade and Jubilees for close on 250 years.

Maasa performing
When I was in the Mews just last week, one of the Queen's horses was putting on a fine show for a group of kindergarten children.  One minute Maasa, a magnificent Windsor Grey stallion, was grimacing, the next he stood for minutes with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.  The children thought it was hilarious.

Almost opposite the Rubens is the Queen's Art Gallery, and another few steps brings you to Buckingham Palace where at 11.30 a.m. each day the Changing of the Guard, an exhibition of royal pageantry, draws thousands to the palace gates.

St. James's Park
From Buckingham Palace cross over to St. James's Park, a great place for a peaceful stroll after a day's touring.  Along the left side of the park is Clarence House once home to the Queen Mother.  Prince Charles and Camilla use it as their London address, and Princes William and Harry have an apartment there.

Horse Guards
 From St. James's Park to the Royal Horse Guards.  Hardly a visitor to London leaves this great city without a photograph with one of the Guards.

There are theatres within minutes of the Rubens.  A fleet of buses leave from Victoria Station for destinations around London, and the Express train - just 30 minutes from Gatwick Airport - also arrives and leaves from Victoria Station.

Bag O' Nails, London pub
A great place for a London pub meal - it's reasonable compared to dining at a restaurant - is the "Bag O' Nails" pub also across from the Rubens.

Getting around London can be a tiring exercise and a night or two at this special hotel can at least provide easy access for the royal aspect of a visit.

Photos copyright Anne Gordon

Posted by Anne Gordon on Thursday, 23 June, 2011.


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