Right after getting off at the station I went to the Royal Pavilion – which is a castle and was home to late King George IV. Nobody was allowed to take pictures inside the castle, but boy I can tell the king had fancy taste and a charming fetish for chinese culture. Such lavish and elaborate decors and architecture, I literally could feel myself wanting to live in the palace.
On a chilly November morning, I joined a motley group of Sherlockians (as Holmes fans refer themselves as) to explore places in Central London featured in Sir Arthur’s original stories and locations that have featured in numerous film and television adaptations of the detective’s great adventures. Like the first original story, my Holmes adventure started at the Savini at Criterion, at Piccadilly Circus.It was here at the Criterion Bar that Watson learns from an old friend about ‘a fellow who is working at the chemical laboratory up at the hospital (St Bartholomew’s)’, looking for someone to share lodgings with. This is also where I met my guide from Brit Movie Tours. “My name is Michael. If you haven’t enjoyed the tour for whatever reason, my name is James Moriarty,” he says in greeting.
I especially loved touring Kew Palace, the smallest of the British Royal Palaces, that while not grandiose has been lovingly restored with period draperies, furniture, and portraits of it’s former occupants. There have been three palaces at Kew over the centuries, but Kew Palace is the only one that remains. The palace was built in 1735, and was referred to as the “Dutch House” for many years. I should also mention that the staff, dressed in period costumes, are absolutely terrific and are well-versed in the history of both the palace and it’s gardens.
St. George's Chapel
Next we went to St Georges Chapel which is also on the castle grounds. Its beautiful with Gothic architecture. All the knights are assigned a stall in the chapel choir above which his or her heraldic devices are displayed. After death, the stall plates, however, are not removed; they remain permanently affixed, so the stalls of the chapel are filled with a colorful record of the members throughout history.