velvet | United Kingdom

Exploring the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast

I recently visited Belfast for several meetings and since it was my first ever visit to the capital of Northern Ireland, I was determined to sneak in some time in between my meetings to see a bit of the city. As it so happened, some of my meetings were held in the Cathedral Quarter of […]

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A flight back in time on a Dakota DC3

I come from a family of aviation enthusiasts. Hmmm… on second thought, that’s not entirely true. Whereas my father was a true aviation geek and my brother and I share his enthusiasm, my Mum and sister are pretty oblivious, often managing little more than “it was a big/small plane” when asked which aircraft type they’d […]

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London Eye (image: © London Eye)

Five classic views of London

A guest post by Laura Porter. London is a huge city and looks magnificent from high locations. The tallest attraction in London right now is The View From The Shard which has two viewing platforms at the top of this iconic building. The Shard is 310 m (1,016 ft) tall. From here, you have views […]

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A view of London through its maps

The Beefeater, Big Ben and the dome of St Paul’s are all icons of London recognised by everyone. But there’s another icon of the city that every Londoner knows, though perhaps they don’t think of it that way – the Underground map. Look at one of the early tube maps and what you’ll see is […]

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A bookstore tour of England

A trip to a good bookstore is about more than just picking up a new novel: you’ll understand if you’ve ever stepped foot in one. These are the places where the shelves are packed from floor to ceiling with interesting titles, the booksellers themselves are knowledgeable, friendly and likely to know better than you what […]

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A funky boutique hotel in the City

The City is London’s financial and historic district. Packed with stately buildings that house all sorts of financial services and law firms, the City was often considered staid. During my banking days, I was a frequent visitor to the City. So, yes, there’s some truth in that. Aside from London’s two iconic landmarks, the Tower […]

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Edinburgh Castle on a foggy day (image courtesy of Jojo)

Edinburgh – a city of spooky tales

Guest post by Andrea Kirkby Edinburgh is a place of spirits. One sort of “spirit” can be found in the Bow Bar traditional pub, tucked away on a curving street below the ridge that the Royal Mile traverses from Holyrood Palace to the Castle. Some fine beers are served here – slightly sweet, sometimes butterscotchy […]

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Westminter Abbey (image courtesy of slurm)

Ten alternative ways to explore London

London is a city that most first-time visitors will undoubtedly find overwhelming. It truly is one of the world’s greatest cities, with a financial and cultural influence that emanates around the globe. London is home to some of the world’s most recognisable icons like the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s and the […]

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Traditional high tea (image courtesy of Adam Burt)

The High Teas of London

Tea is the quintessential British meal, so much so that other languages don’t even have a word for it. And there can be few better places to enjoy a proper high tea than London, although you could perhaps make a case for Yorkshire or Cornwall. It can be as much a part of the experience […]

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Brick lane (image courtesy of Steve Cadman)

Globetrotting in London

A guest post by Andrea Kirkby. Jules Verne challenged his character Phileas Fogg to get round the world in 80 days. I can do better than that – I like to visit the world without leaving London. Here are my favourite places to visit to experience the cosmopolitan character of London: Venice First stop Venice, […]

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