All the hidden gems, beautiful spaces and inspirational locations in London
Hidden gems, beauty and inspiration places
London is one of the most amazing cities on this planet and it’s certainly very close to all of our hearts at Temza. It’s one of those few places where regardless of how many years you have dedicated to exploring it, hidden gems, beauty and inspiration never seems to run out. Open House London is one of the many events that draw attention to this by allowing absolutely anyone, free of charge, to enter special and unique buildings that are usually closed to public.
First Stop: Clothworker's Hall
Even though the rain that had no intention to stop all weekend we had a plan what we wanted to see and umbrellas ready to help us execute it! Clothworker’s Hall was first on our list and with good reason. The venue that once belonged to the guild of wealthy fabric manufacturers is now a place for charity events. The hall makes no apologies for its splendour and is restored in perfect condition, making it well worth a visit. The most surprising element is the all matching wallcovering, upholstery and curtain fabrics, that would look out of place this day in age, but suits this space so perfectly.
Untold Stories And Hidden Gems
The Masonic Temple near Bishopsgate definitely classifies as a “hidden gem” of London. It’s so hidden indeed that there is no signs, not even a separate entrance leading to it. What once was a gathering place for wealthy guilds is now part of the Andaz Hotel and is home to exclusive fashion shows and performances. It’s never lost on me that these extravagant interiors are still used to day in a variety of ways today, and while some of them indeed function as museums, some, like this one, are backdrops to VIP Lady Gaga or Paloma Faith concerts.
What surprised me the most is how well the hotel itself fits around this temple hidden on top of one of their narrow staircases. Redesigned by Conran and Partners just last year the interiors evoke the history of the building and are a striking mixture of old and new elements. “The building housing the Andaz Hotel was opened in 1247 and was the first ever hospital for the mentally ill. Not much has changed since then to be honest.” – Our guide explained jokingly.
Our plan was to explore the Shoreditch area in its fullness so next up on our list was Lloyd’s Register Group, The Leadenhall Building and Bishopsgate Institute, finally finishing with a guided tour at 25 Varden Street. Most surprisingly we managed to fit all of these in (we wouldn’t have thought to dream of it!) as well as a lunch at Spitalfields Market, gathering lots of inspiration and pretty pictures along the way.
Pro Tips For Next Year!
Our expert advice for planning your next Open House Weekend would be to pick something that you are truly excited to see, then pick 6-7 things around that area that looks interesting and you will never know what you will find! This way you won’t have to travel a lot between locations and you will get to see much more, and sometimes non-obvious choices turn out to be your highlights!
We’re all grateful the Open House team and all the volunteers for organising such as wonderful weekend for us and the other 250,000 people taking part! And if you haven’t gone this year… don’t miss the next one, we will make sure to be there!
Top image by ArchDaily