by Gill Chris
June 30 – July 5
2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show; the world’s largest of its kind. The magnificent setting of Hampton Court Palace is the sumptuous backdrop for this spectacular event which will be celebrating its anniversary with lots of themed events, including silver anniversary floristry, historic gardens and scarecrows celebrating the past.
Packed with ideas on how to grow your own, nurture the environment and make the most of your garden, the show combines quality, innovation and creativity, featuring spectacular show gardens and horticultural exhibitors.
The show has three themed zones designed to help visitors find their way around, with gardens and plants reflecting the themes of Grow, Feast and Inspire.
In the Grow zone, keen gardeners will be able to see award winning nurseries, get advice from the experts and get ideas for inspirational planting schemes and growing styles.
As you would expect, the Feast zone will inspire you to grow your own but you will also be able to sample a wonderful selection of fine foods and fresh produce to help you decide what to grow.
The Inspire zone will do just that, encouraging visitors to re-think their preconceptions of garden design with ideas to push boundaries and champion innovation. A stunning selection of show gardens will leave visitors brimming with enthusiasm, and a pavilion selling stylish products from artists and craftspeople may prove tempting.
You can find out more and buy tickets here.
Hampton Court Station is a 30 minute journey from London Waterloo which is easily accessible by public transport from any of our London vacation rentals, and is only a 5 minute walk from our property ref: THD
by Gill Chris
Daily 10am – 5pm
The Wallace Collection is a national museum displaying French 18th-century paintings, furniture and porcelain, including superb Old Master paintings and a world class armoury. The tranquil atmosphere of the museum offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of London.
The art collection itself covers such a wide variety that visitors are sure to find something to please them. Art from Turner, Canaletto, Rubens and Van Dyck will capture the interests of fans of paintings, while the large collections of porcelain will entertain ceramics connoisseurs.
Although the art pieces are a joy to behold, the rooms themselves are a big draw to the museum – each room gives a taste of Versailles: sumptuous, decadent and occasionally over-the-top. The rich wallpapers and delicately crafted fireplaces are as interesting as the art on the walls.
The European and Oriental Armoury collection on the ground floor includes every shape of sword and every size of armour with equestrian armour displayed in the centre of the room. Spending a few minutes here will tap into the inner-knight in all of us.
Whether you have a few hours or just ten minutes to spare, a visit to The Wallace Collection is sure to delight.
Located in Hertford House, conveniently located just a few minutes walk from Oxford Street, Baker Street and Marylebone Village, The Wallace Collection can be reached easily from any of our London vacation rentals.
You can find more information here.
This article was originally published on Spotted by Locals London
by Gill Chris
June 16 – 20
Steeped in history dating back to 1711, Royal Ascot is the world’s most famous race meeting. If you would like to be part of a quintessentially English occasion, you should certainly consider this! It is a whirlwind of excitement and colour with each day having its own character.
Much anticipated and respected, Royal Ascot is a great opportunity for socialising. The occasion is not just about the horse racing, but fashion and style too and is considered to be a major fashion event in its own right. Each year the event is broadcast across the world but this does not come close to being there in person.
As big horse racing fans, the Royal Family travel from Windsor every day in open horse-drawn carriages to watch. The Queen has attended every Royal Meeting during her reign and the Royal Procession is always an iconic moment to mark the start of every raceday.
The Grandstand’s lawns and terraces are at the heart of the activity and offer first class views of the races. Alternatively, the Silver Ring enclosure is a great place to enjoy close up views of the Royal Procession. The horses race past this enclosure, to the roar of the crowd, on their way down the Final Straight.
Ascot Racecourse is situated in beautiful wooded countryside next to Windsor Great Park and is about a 50 minute drive or train journey from London.
You can find out more and book tickets here.
With all our London vacation rentals being well placed for public transport, Ascot is a great day out during your stay in London.
We need to talk about Fanny.
England and America, "two nations divided by a common language". Whether it was Oscar Wilde or Bernard Shaw who coined this phrase, and there is some debate about which one it was, there is no doubt that linguistic differences still persist and occasionally cause embarrassment. The difficulties come in two directions: different words or phrases used to refer to the same item or subject, and the same word meaning quite different things. That’s why we need to talk about Fanny – read on to the end.
by Gill Chris
June 18 – 28
Held at the height of London’s Summer Season this is London’s largest art and antique fair. The fair attracts thousands of private buyers, discerning curators, interior designers, and devotees from all over the world. This year is its 43rd year.
More than 170 specialist dealers come from across the world to display at the fair, offering a huge choice of top quality art, antiques, furniture and collectors’ items. The fair has a reputation as the one ‘not to miss’ for professionals and private collectors alike. Items on offer include Art-Deco jewellery, ancient ceramics, Old Master paintings and English furniture, selling for anything from £100 to £1 million or above. A toilet service set sold in recent years reached a staggering £1.5 million!
While there, why not take the chance to relax and enjoy a meal at Mosimann’s Bistro & Bar or pause and re-energise over a glass or two at The Champagne Bar.
You can find out more about the Fair and buy tickets here.
Held at Olympia, the Fair is easily reached from any of our beautiful London vacation rentals, and is only a short walk from property ref: CHN.
by Gill Chris
June 5 – Ladies’ Day at The Derby
One of the two major horseracing events that take place just outside London is The Derby. Run at Epsom, it is one of the oldest – and greatest – horse races in the world. Nowadays it is a two day Friday/Saturday festival, with Friday designated “Ladies Day” – a chance for the women to dress up in their finery and show off their good taste in fashion!
The Derby brings excitement, thrills and the best in horse-racing. If you are new to it all why not buy a race card when you buy your tickets and everything will be explained.
You may wish to head to The Paddock to see the horses led around having been saddled, immediately before their race. Jockeys mount the horses here too. Unsurprisingly this tends to be the centre of activity and is a great spot to soak up the atmosphere. Here you will also see some of the most famous jockeys, trainers and owners having a final chat before the race, or being interviewed by television reporters. Please note that only guests in the Queen’s Stand and Duchess’s stands have access to the Paddock but all of the enclosures have a view of the racecourse, so it’s easy to get a good view of the races.
You can find out more details about The Derby and purchase tickets here.
A vacation rental scam story
A sorry vacation rental scam story.
In February 2014 my daughter Joanna booked a ski chalet over the 2014/2015 New Year in Val d’Isere for her young family (husband + 2 children under 3) and another similar family coming over from Australia.
She found the ideal chalet on HomeAway, entered into an email dialogue with “the owner”, spoke to him on his mobile phone and eventually booked, making an on-line payment of some £3,500 to a UK bank account, details of which were provided by “the owner”.
For the following 11 months both families excitedly anticipated their skiing holiday.
A week before the 27 December start of their rental Joanna emailed “the owner” to arrange check-in details. The email bounced. She tried again with the same result. She then called the mobile phone number – it did not exist any more. Furthermore the ski chalet was no longer listed on the HomeAway site.
In desperation she called HomeAway. Yes the accommodation and the owner were genuine, it had been listed for some years but now was not.
It appears that the owner’s email account had been hacked. “The owner” Joanna thought she was dealing with was a fraudster who was intercepting the emails and impersonation the owner. Charming and plausible, but a thief.
On reporting this vacation rental scam and saying that they should have a good lead to catch the culprit though the bank account details, she was told that it’s common practice for these people to open an account with a false identity and then close it after they’ve taken the money and it’s served it’s purpose.
A happy ending? Yes reasonably….. After a lot of stress, they did manage to find alternative accommodation and had a great holiday (apart from the children catching chicken pox!) but they were still out of pocket by some £3,500.
The moral – while most ads are genuine, the sad fact remains that there are many fraudsters out there and these sites are an ideal environment for them. See what Forbes says.
If you’re looking for a vacation rental, play it safe and book with a reputable company. Coach House Rentals has been in business since 2001 and we have had several thousand happy, satisfied guests.
We regularly hear of people who have been scammed booking their vacation rental via Craigslist or one of the many listing sites.
Sure – you might get a bargain, but while most ads are genuine, the sad fact remains that there are many fraudsters out there and these sites are an ideal environment for them.
Play it safe and book with a reputable company. Coach House Rentals has been in business since 2001 and we have had several thousand happy, satisfied guests.
We have been in business for over 12 years and are approaching our 4,500th rental! We have been awarded “Excellent” by Trip Advisor in 2013 and 2012, a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the Coach House team.
You will find on our web sites numerous testimonials from past guests, many of whom have kindly agreed to act as a reference for us, their e-mail addresses are available on request – you just have to ask!
1. With a vacation rental you get more space.
2. There’s no need to dress up or “put on a face” to go out of your room.
3. It’s cheaper – especially for a party of 3 or more people and for a group.
4. It’s more practical, preparing some of your own meals or getting take-aways is cheaper than always eating in restaurants, foodies can buy and sample the local specialities.
5. And to summarise – you get to “live like a local”.