London is a city filled with history; from its origins in 43AD, it has grown at an exponential rate through the ages surviving plagues, fires, wars and bombings. For history enthusiasts, London is the place to visit as it covers so many periods of history, from the Roman era right up to the 21st century. This a city that caters for everyone, whether you are fascinated by the fashion changes through the years, the architecture developments or how justice and punishment have evolved, you will be able to satisfy your thirst for knowledge in London.
The Victorian period began with Queen Victoria’s reign in 1837 and ended in 1901 with her death. It was a reign of big changes due to the Industrial Revolution and The Great Exhibition that occurred in 1851 in Hyde Park near the Shaftesbury Hyde Park international to emphasise Britain’s Imperial prowess. Unfortunately, the striking glass building that housed the exhibition is no longer due to a disastrous fire, but many of the displays are now housed in The V&A Museum where you can also find a vast selection of glassware, ceramics, jewellery, fashion and paintings.
The V&A isn’t just known for its incredible collections, it is famous for the Morris Room, a place solely dedicated to the famous Victorian designer William Morris who decorated the room. While there are many special offers London hotels that offer afternoon teas throughout the city, this one takes the biscuit…literally. Not only will you be dining in an authentic Victorian setting, but the V&A have designed a specialised Victorian Afternoon Tea that was designed by food historian Tasha Marks to make the experience as genuine as possible. The menu consists of an Indian ham sandwich to represent Queen Victoria’s associations with India, an asparagus and parmesan tart, a Victoria sandwich cake (of course) and delicious fruity scones with suitable accompaniments. It is one of the best ways to immerse yourself into the Victorian culture.
A short tube ride away from the Paddington Court executive rooms lies Spitalfields and Whitechapel, two of the most infamous districts in the city during the Victorian era due to the influx of pubs, sex workers and murders. Jack the Ripper is a famous name throughout the world due to the gruesome murders he committed but also because no one knows who he was despite an intense police search and over a century of forensic research. Today, ripperologists provide tours around these areas, taking groups around the murder sites of all five victims while giving an account of each death in intricate detail. This tour isn’t for the faint hearted, while the bodies are long gone, pictures and descriptions make it seem just as real as it was over 100 years ago. Once the tour is over, you can take the load of your feet in The Ten Bells pub, the place where most of the victims would drink in the Victorian era. It is an intense yet interesting experience that is guaranteed to stay with you for many years to come.