Buckingham Palace Open to Public

The Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace commenced on the 27th of July, and this years’ exhibition runs until the 1st of October.  The theme is The Queens Year and is a collection of Her Majesty’s outfits and robes (including the Robe of State) on display to the public for the first time.

The Royal Collection

Some of the state rooms are also available to the public and it is a rare chance for visitors to walk around these magnificent rooms and admire the furniture and paintings, or to escape to the tranquillity of the palace gardens.  Walking amongst the flowers it is hard to imagine the busy city which is bustling on every side.

You will not catch a glimpse of the Queen, however, as at this time of year the Royal Family are cruising off Scotland before their summer vacation at Balmoral Castle on Royal Deeside.

By Yvonne Shaw.  Yvonne has been with PerryGolf for over 10 years and is a member of our admin team.

London’s Fairmont Savoy Hotel on Time

One of London’s most famous hotels is on schedule for its re-opening in October this year.  The Savoy Hotel on The Strand closed at the end of 2007 and has been undergoing a very ambitious restoration to offer the very finest up-to-date facilities without destroying the much loved atmosphere of this grand hotel.  The hotel has featured in many movies, and no trip to London for the rich and famous was complete without afternoon tea at The Savoy.

The Savoy Hotel
The Savoy Hotel

A mixture of Edwardian and Art Deco architecture and décor has always been the hallmark of this magnificent building and a huge team of architects and designers have worked enthusiastically to bring it into the 21st century while keeping the grandiose spirit of a more opulent era.  They have maintained the historical River Restaurant, and the famous ‘afternoon tea’ can be taken in the new Winter Garden beneath an elaborate glass dome.  There is also the added attraction of a new Beaufort Bar for afternoon tea, extending into cocktails and cabaret – a hallmark of Edwardian society.  There is even a discreet shop selling the famous tea plus fresh pastries and, of course, they have kept The Savoy Grill!

After all this food, patrons will be delighted to discover the new rooftop swimming pool and fitness gallery!

By Yvonne Shaw.  Yvonne has been with PerryGolf for over 10 years and is a member of our admin team.

London – Things To Do and See

If you have some free time for sightseeing in the UK and you want to experience the buzz of a big city, then London is a must!  On a recent trip I was amazed at how easy it was to travel around London on the underground; it really is the quickest and most effective way to get from A to B.  There are so many things to do and see that you really need more than 3 days to experience all that is on offer.  

London's China Town
London's China Town

I have been to London previously and visited Buckingham Palace, the London Planetarium, Madame Tussauds and also went on The London Eye.  This time I visited the Tate Modern Gallery and managed to fit in a top West End musical “Sister Act” – there are always so many shows to see from Wicked to Billy Elliot and these are all considered excellent.  After Sister Act, a visit to China Town is highly recommended; you are absolutely spoiled for choice with so many restaurants there.  

Yes, London is busy, but it has a great buzz and it is amazing what you can fit in over a few days – comfortable shoes are a must as, although the underground is the easiest way to get around, you will cover miles with everything that you want to do.  Shopping for the ladies is excellent with so many designer stores and, of course, Harrods.  I’m already planning my next trip!

By Denise McKee.  Denise has been with PerryGolf for over 10 years and is a member of our admin team.

London Stopover Trip

We decided to stop off in London for a few days – so much to see and do! Fortunately the weather was perfect for sightseeing and we were quite happy to explore on foot. Our hotel was not far from the River Thames and we walked to the Millennium Bridge, taking in St. Pauls Cathedral on the way, and then along the Embankment to the London Eye. This is a must for everyone on a London trip and includes a short 4D film – the fourth dimension being atmospherics as you ‘travel’ through London.

Houses of Parliament
Houses of Parliament

After the Eye, we continued our walk and went over Westminster Bridge to the Houses of Parliament. London is really well sign-posted for tourists anyway, but every time we opened up our tourist map, someone would ask if we needed a hand! These were ordinary people going by and they were so helpful. We continued our walk past Westminster Abbey, found Downing Street (we could only see No 10 from the security barrier), and went onto the Horse Guard’s Parade to watch the changing of the guard. The two regiments that guard the palaces are the Household Cavalry (in red tunics) and the Blues & Royals (in blue). The horses were magnificently turned out and so patient with everyone wanting their pictures taken next to a horse. The troopers looked so young but maybe that was just me!

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace

We continued our walk through St. James Park and up to Buckingham Palace(so many people and so many nationalities, but all just enjoying being there) and then on up Constitution Hill to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, the Princess Diana Memorial garden and the Serpentine. London is full of statues and memorials and you could spend a day just exploring these. We were getting pretty hungry by now and found a pavement café for an excellent lunch and then heard someone say that downstairs was Prince Harry’s favourite nightclub. Setting off again, we retraced our steps through the park and down The Mall to Trafalgar Square to see Nelson’s Column and the lions. The National Art Gallery (located on one side of the square) is a very impressive building, but we didn’t have time to visit it on this occasion. Must go back!

We wanted to see a show while we were there and headed to Leicester Square and the returned ticket booths – discovering Covent Garden on our way. This was once the original fruit and flower market for London but is now two storeys of small trendy shops, stalls selling all sorts of jewellery, handbags, scarves, etc, and courtyard areas where ‘living statues’, musicians, singers and entertainers amuse the shoppers. One tiny teashop specialises in very large iced cupcakes in every conceivable flavour and with amazing decorations; we had to try them…and with a (very English) pot of tea!

Theatre tickets purchased, we headed back to the hotel for a rest before our evening ahead and to plan how we could fit in the Tower of London, Carnaby Street, Soho and China Town, not to mention shopping in Oxford Street and Harrods!

By Yvonne Shaw. Yvonne Shaw has worked for PerryGolf for over 9 years and is a member of our Administration Team.

London Heathrow – T5

By Anne Filshie.  Anne is the Group Director of Operations at PerryGolf.

With Rory McIlroy leading the European Tour order of merit, we decided to travel out for the inaugural ‘Race to Dubai’ – the deciding event.   Rory and Ross McGowan are two players whom we know well and wanted to go and support, so we decided to travel on British Airways from Glasgow via Heathrow to Dubai.  This gave me my second experience travelling through Heathrow’s brand new Terminal Five.  Pretty much the entire British Airways service is based at T5, and while they had their share of teething problems, it is a particularly slick operation.  From the main building there are two smaller terminals, easily reached by a continuous monorail.  Apparently the underground luggage transport system is amazing to see, and my experience would be that it works efficiently even with a very short connection time.

T5 at London Heathrow
T5 at London Heathrow

On the way out to Dubai (as the flight was overnight) we took a 6pm flight to Heathrow to allow us time to have dinner in the BA lounge; we then enjoyed the fantastic experience of First Class.  British Airways Club Class and First Class are utterly excellent, and the service is exceptionally good.  Nothing beats the flat beds; you get a great sleep, and do not miss a minute of your holiday no matter if you travel east or west.  We arrived into Dubai on the Friday morning, travelled straight to the golf course and watched golf all day.

I am very impressed with Terminal Five, lovely experience.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

As for the golf…well Lee Westwood was on fire and won the tournament, with Ross McGowan taking second place, and Rory McIlroy third; so it turned out a fantastic result for Ross and Rory’s Scottish fans !