June 2016 - CHS Rentals
Blog

Month: June 2016

29
Jun
Saatchi Gallery
by Cedric

The Saatchi Gallery is a London gallery for contemporary art, opened by Charles Saatchi in 1985 in order to exhibit his collection to the public. Having previously occupied two other premises, the gallery was transferred in October 2008 to its current location at the Duke of York’s HQ on the Kings Road near Sloane Square. This has been called one of the most beautiful art spaces in London having an area of 70,000-square-foot (6,500 m2). Thanks to commercial sponsorship the gallery is the only completely free-entry contemporary art museum of its size in the world.

Saatchi’s collection has had distinct phases, starting with US artists and minimalism and moving on to young British artists including Damien Hirst. As a result the gallery has been an influence on art in Britain since its opening. It has also had a history of media controversy, which it has actively courted. Its exhibits have earned extremes of critical reaction. Many artists shown at the gallery were unknown not only to the general public but also to the commercial art world. Showing their work at the gallery has provided a springboard to launch careers. In 2010, it was announced that the gallery with over 200 works of art had been given to the British public, becoming the Museum of Contemporary Art for London.

Charles Saatchi is a British businessman and the co-founder with his brother Maurice of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, which in the 1980s was recognised as the world’s largest advertising agency.

The Duke of York’s Headquarters is a building completed in 1801 to the designs of John Sanders, who also designed the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. For many years it was known as the Duke of York’s barracks. However in 2000 it was sold by the Ministry of Defence and all military connection ceased. The site was redeveloped, The main building was preserved as it had been declared a Grade II listed building in 1969 due to its outstanding historic and architectural interest.

For more information go to www.saatchigallery.com/

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london

28
Jun
Spencer House
by Cedric

Spencer House is a mansion in St James’s and is one of the last of the many private palaces which once adorned central London. Eight State Rooms are open to the public for viewing on Sundays throughout the year (except August).

The 1st Earl Spencer decided that he required a large London house to cement his position and status. In 1756 he commissioned the architect John Vardy to design the house. Vardy is responsible for the facades of the mansion that we see today. However Vardy was replaced in 1758 by James Stuart, who had studied the Arcadian values of Ancient Greek architecture. As a direct result of this, Spencer House was to have authentic Greek details in the internal decoration. Thus it was to become one of the first examples in London of the neoclassical style, which was to sweep the country.

The first Earl Spencer and his wife were prominent figures in London society and during their lifetime Spencer House was often the setting for lavish entertainments frequented by London high society. Their descendants, notably the fourth and sixth Earls, both of whom served as Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household, continued this tradition. The Spencer family lived at the mansion continuously until 1895, when the house was let. The Spencer family returned for a brief while in the first quarter of the 20th century. Thereafter the house was again let at various times being either a club or offices. During the Blitz of World War II it was stripped of its few remaining authentic treasures, which included specially made furniture and the fireplaces.

Spencer House remains in the ownership of The Earls Spencer, the current titleholder being Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana. Since World War II, the house has been continuously let out. In 1986, RIT Capital Partners, the family company of Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, secured a 96-year lease with an option of an additional 24-years. In a highly acclaimed restoration the state rooms and garden were returned to their original appearance.

For further information go to www.spencerhouse.co.uk/

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london

 

27
Jun
HMS Belfast
by Cedric

Permanently moored in London near Tower Bridge on the south side of the River Thames is HMS Belfast, a Royal Navy light cruiser. In 1967 a campaign began to avert Belfast’s expected scrapping and preserve her as a museum ship. She was first opened to the public in October 1971 and is now operated by the Imperial War Museum. She has become a popular tourist attraction.

The construction of HMS Belfast began in December 1936. Being one of a class of ten  cruisers, the ship was launched on St Patrick’s Day 17th March 1938 and named after the capital city of Northern Ireland. The completed vessel had an overall length of 187m, a beam of 19.3m and a draught of 5.3m. Her standard displacement during her sea trials was 10,420 tons. She was propelled by steam turbines, driving four propeller shafts and was capable of 32.5 knots. Carrying 2,400 tons of fuel oil she had a maximum range of 9,970 miles at 13 knots.

HMS Belfast’s main armament consisted of twelve six-inch guns in four triple turrets. With a rate of fire of up to eight rounds per gun per minute, her main battery was capable of a maximum rate of fire of 96 rounds per minute. Her secondary armament consisted of twelve 4-inch guns in six twin mounts. Her initial close-range anti-aircraft armament was sixteen 2-pounder guns in two eight-barrel mountings, and two quadruple Vickers machine guns. She was also equipped with six 21-inch torpedo tubes in two triple mounts, and fifteen depth charges. The ship’s main armour was 4.5 inches (110 mm) thick in places. HMS Belfast was also equipped with two catapult-launched amphibious biplanes.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Belfast was initially part of the British naval blockade against Germany. She then saw action escorting Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union during 1943, and in December 1943 played an important role in the Battle of North Cape, assisting in the destruction of the German warship Scharnhorst. In June 1944 Belfast took part in Operation Overlord supporting the Normandy landings. In June 1945 Belfast was redeployed to the Far East to join the British Pacific Fleet, arriving shortly before the end of the Second World War. Belfast saw further combat action in 1950–52 during the Korean War.

For further information go to www.iwm.org.uk/hms-belfast.

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london

1
Jun
Unusual London Bus Tours
by Harley Nott

 Unusual London bus tours and two special holiday rentals.

Every major city has open-top city bus tours, but here are a few unusual London bus tours.

See London by Night makes all the famous landmarks of London all lit up in the night sky look even more outstanding than during the day.

The London Time Tour Bus is London’s only alternative city sightseeing tour. Join one of Professor Quantum’s guided sightseeing tours aboard the time travelling bus as you are shown around the city sharing an amazing knowledge of the past.

Harry Potter Bus Tour of London Locations is a 3 hour mini coach tour includes many of the film locations and inspirations from all 8 films in the series including Kings Cross Station which was used to film Platform 9 ¾, 12 Grimmauld Place and the sites used for the Leaky Cauldron.

Duck Tours. Departing from the Duck Stop, close to the London Eye, the amphibious vehicles drive past famous London landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square before a dramatic launch into the River Thames from a slipway by MI6. All this on vehicles used for the D-Day landings in 1944.

The Ghost Bus Tours. The spooky London Ghost Bus Tour takes you around the sites of some of London’s most grisly and murderous events – on board a black 1960s Routemaster bus. Enjoy jumps (and laughs), and discover the dark side to top attractions such as the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.

Speedboat Tours of London. Take an exhilarating ride along the river Thames on a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) tour. These high-speed boat tours are one of the most exciting things to do when you want to see the city in a different way. Pick one of the tours and set off on an adrenalin-fuelled tour of London!

London Helicopter Tours. For a spectacular journey around London, a London Helicopter Tour is hard to beat. On these amazing rides you’ll get a bird’s eye view over the capital’s most famous landmarks, and see the city from a totally new, unique perspective. And with prices starting at £150 per person, it’s not as expensive as you might think.

Two Special Holiday Rentals

Coach House Rentals has been lucky enough to add these special high-end apartments to our listings. They’ve only just “gone live” so are still available for summer lets.

Property ref: CLI. The comfortable ground and garden apartment is just off Sloane Square, the centre of the universe for many in the upper levels of London’s social hierarchy. On the edge of Belgravia, with The King’s Road and Chelsea within 5 minutes walk, here you have the best of both worlds. The apartment sleeps 4 in two double bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.

Property ref: WLB. This fine, high-end apartment will be appreciated by those accustomed to the finer things in life. It’s owned by a very successful lawyer and her husband who do not compromise with second best. The location is excellent, just off Marylebone High Street with its boutique shops, patisseries, cafés, restaurants and pubs. The flat is on the first floor (there is a lift if you’re feeling lazy) and sleeps 4 people in two double bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.



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