Little Known London - Royal Opera House

  • Posted on 25th September 2017 by Benji Walters

  • We’ve been powdering and pampering London’s good and great for a fair few years now: one hundred and forty seven of them, to be exact. And in that time we’ve been privy to some of the capital’s most surprising secrets and its best hidden gems. After all, following the pack has never been our style. Forget the tourist traps, here are the wonders to see and the spots to be seen at this season – and the scents to match them.

    The Seven Noses of Soho
    Having baffled Soho’s visitors for years, this olfactory surrealist stunt – which sees to-scale nose sculptures protruding from unexpected places in London’s most hedonistic postcode – was eventually revealed to be the work of artist Rick Buckley, who purportedly installed the noses just to see if he could: while avoiding CCTV detection, that is. The urban myths which sprang up around the snouts, however, were even more intriguing than the truth. Some suggested the beak under Admiralty Arch was a spare for Nelson’s Column, others believed that good fortune would come to the traveller who stumbled across them all. Either way, we’re still looking for the seventh. Ensure you’re smelling seductive while you search with a dash of perennial Penhaligon’s favourite Opus 1870.

    The Royal Opera House     
    A society favourite since time immemorial, the Royal Opera House has played host to some of the form’s most prodigious prima donnas, tenors and composers – not to mention scores of impeccably turned out audiences gathered to bear witness to greatness (and each other’s frocks). But while the House’s on-stage action is well recorded, the opportunity to peek behind the velvet curtain and be toured around the inner workings of the theatre is a relatively new and precious one. As well as hearing a few tales from the building’s colourful history and admiring the backstage magic of one of the nation’s best venues, you might even get the chance to see the celebrated Royal Ballet in class. Oh, and the scent? The Duke and his exquisite theatricality is worthy of even the most epic libretto.

    Lounge Bohemia
    Pre-mixed Mojitos on packed rooftops might be all the rage right now, but for the drinker who prefers their bars less crowded and their booze with a double dose of wit, Lounge Bohemia is the place to go. Nestled between inauspicious Shoreditch surroundings, this subterranean haven is at the forefront of avant-garde mixology, serving foaming, fabulous and darn right surreal cocktails by appointment only – with plenty of tasty canapes to boot. The perfect place to impress, then. Especially if you’re wearing a few spritzes of Penhaligon’s gin-infused ode to the Roaring Twenties: the Juniper Sling.


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