Matchmaking in London
It is one of the most visited cities in the world. And the largest metropolitan region in Europe: London. For centuries, the capital city of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been at the forefront of politics, science, philosophy, literature, art and music – we’re just saying: Henry VIII, Shakespeare, Elizabeth I, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, William Turner, Churchill, the Beatles, and, and, and. The Swingin’ London label still applies today, and the exceptional city has many loyal fans – and not just among us here at Christa Appelt matchmaking. Fancy a stroll? Then join us for a tour, and get some insider tips…
Falling in love in an environment full of history
Here too it was the Romans who laid the first foundation stone: during their campaign of conquest through England in 47 A.D. they founded a settlement on the banks of the Thames, strategically chosen to provide them with quick access to both sea and hinterland. They christened the settlement “Londinium” – and the rest is quite literally history. And one so complex that we at Christa Appelt matchmaking now feel almost a little overwhelmed by the task of compressing the city’s opulent history into just a few sentences. But we’ll try: After the destruction of Londinium, the Anglo-Saxons first conquered the area in the 7th century. In the fateful year 1066, the Normans – and their leader, William I, aka William the Conqueror – named it the capital of England. Richard the Lionheart (note from the Christa Appelt matchmaking team: the king, who legend has it, Robin Hood and his men were devoted to…) then introduced important reforms at the end of the 12th century that would go on to make London one of the world’s most important trade centres. The numerous colonies and resulting trading companies under the reign of Elizabeth I – one of the greatest women in world history, whom we at Christa Appelt matchmaking sincerely admire – drove the kingdom to undreamed-of levels of economic and cultural prosperity in the 16th century, and London attained the rank of a world metropolis. The 17th century didn’t bring the British any luck: while the 30-year war raged on the continent, London first survived a massive plague epidemic, only to then be struck by a major fire in 1666 that destroyed over 13,000 houses and 89 churches. The Victorian era brought new splendour to London and the Empire in the 19th century: with a population of 2.6 million, the city became the largest in Europe, the capital of the Empire and the centre of the industrialised world. It’s a shame that we from Christa Appelt matchmaking weren’t able to experience this era for ourselves…
Londoners responded to the massive damage inflicted on the city by German bombers in WWII by launching a successful programme of reconstruction. Since the 1980s, however, the historically evolved cityscape has become increasingly dominated by skyscrapers, the sharpest critic of which is probably Prince Charles. Newer buildings like The Shard or 30 St Mary Axe arouse strong opinions, but we ourselves at Christa Appelt matchmaking have to say, the buildings do have a certain something… But get a picture for yourself!
London is packed with love, art and culture
Speaking of pictures: widely regarded as an art Mecca, London is home to a number of world-renowned museums. These include the National Gallery, where you can admire Botticelli’s “Venus and Mars”, da Vinci’s “Madonna of the Rock Grotto” and key works by such great English painters as Gainsborough and Turner. Don’t miss a trip to the National Portrait Gallery either, whose “Chandos Portrait” of William Shakespeare is probably the only authentic portrait of the millennium’s most well-known playwright. One of the Christa Appelt team’s favourite places is the British Museum. It exhibits outstanding cultural-historical treasures from across the globe, including the legendary “Elgin Marbles” from the Parthenon in Athens and the “Standard of Ur”, which is more than 5000 year old. An insider tip from Christa Appelt and her team at Christa Appelt matchmaking: visit the Reading Room, where Karl Marx and Mahatma Ghandi once immersed themselves in rare writings and precious books. For us this place has a very special aura…
The search for a partner begins with fine English cuisine
The Tate Gallery and its contemporary offshoot Tate Modern, housed in a former oil-fired power station and impressively designed by the Swiss star architects Herzog & de Meuron, are also a must. The outstanding collection ranges from Impressionism and modern American art to younger contemporary artists. The Christa Appelt team pays a visit there from time to time for inspiration – and to relax in the in-house restaurant, enjoying the finest English cuisine and a magnificent view of the Thames. We could talk for hours about London’s museums, but to cut a long story short, we recommend the Natural History Museum and – especially for men – the Science Museum, where you can admire the original telescopes of Galileo Galilei and wonder at the command capsule of the Apollo 10 spaceship.
And of course, we must not forget the Victoria & Albert Museum, where the main focus is on handicrafts and design throughout the centuries. An extra tip for ladies from the Christa Appelt team: spectacular fashion exhibitions are also regularly held here. Their “Fashioned from Nature” show is on display until January 2019.
For the love of fashion, or shopping where kings shop
And speaking of fashion, London also has a lot to offer here. British fashion design enjoys a worldwide reputation, due in large part to the prestigious Central Saint Martins College, where John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Zac Posen studied. And all of them started their global careers from here. Today you will mostly find their designs in the exquisite boutiques of the elegant Mayfair district or in the shops stationed along the hip King’s Road. And of course, we at Christa Appelt matchmaking have the perfect match for men, too: make a detour to the famous Saville Row, home to traditional tailor’s studios such as “Henry Poole & Co” and “Gieves & Hawkes” – and maybe get fitted for the suit of your dreams. In addition to Oxford Street and Regent Street, where most large fashion chains have branches, it’s worth taking a stroll through Notting Hill or Covent Garden and experiencing the huge range of shopping concepts on offer – from vintage fashion and antiques to fantastic food stores. A true insider tip from Christa Appelt team: Dover Street Market, not far from Leicester Square. With a bit of luck you might spot Kate Moss or Meghan, Duchess of Sussex browsing through collections by Balenciaga, Gucci and smaller and exclusive English fashion labels. This store is regarded as the ultimate by fashionistas all over the world…
In Knightsbridge you will find the legendary Harrod’s department store, a trip to whose basement food department the Christa Appelt team would like to warmly recommend. No less glamorous is the luxury department store Harvey Nichols, also located in upscale Knightsbridge – according to rumours, Duchess Kate likes to shop there incognito… After all, her Kensington Palace home is located nearby.
These palaces, cathedrals and Hindu temples are a must for those newly in love
If we’re talking about royal buildings, we feel bound to recommend you don’t miss out on the key sites, even if these may not be particularly original: in addition to the aforementioned Kensington Palace, these include the Queen’s residence at Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace, home to Prince Charles. More exciting and historic than these, however, is the legendary Tower, which served as royal residence, fortress and prison in one up until the 16th century. Today, it still houses the unique Crown Jewels and royal armoury. Another special tip from Christa Appelt and her team: be sure to visit the cemetery and chapel in the tower, home to the resting places of Anne Boleyn and Thomas More, both of whom were executed on the order of Henry VIII. A deeply spiritual place of remembrance, and a place for inner contemplation in the midst of the hectic hustle and bustle of London.
Perfect places for an extraordinary date
You could find the right person in one London’s magnificent churches. The best way to avoid the tourist hustle and bustle in the most well-known churches is to visit them early in the morning – at least in our experience here at Christa Appelt. An absolute must see is Westminster Abbey, site of the coronation and burial of many monarchs, including the tyrannical Richard II, Henry V, Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I. But several composers, poets and scientists also found their resting place here, including Charles Dickens, George Frederick Handel, Sir Isaac Newton – and with Stephen Hawking, even a present-day genius. The abbey’s tombs, especially those of the rulers, are often splendidly designed by famous artists. But you should also be sure to pay attention to its golden organ.
In addition to London’s second most famous church, St. Paul’s Cathedral, with its huge dome and legendary Whispering Gallery (psst: in the professional opinion of Christa Appelt matchmaking, this is a very romantic but also quite indiscreet location, since its unique acoustics means every whispered word is heard at the other end of the dome…), it is also worth making a detour to Westminster Cathedral, a Byzantine-style church that serves as the principle place of worship for the Roman Catholic church of England and Wales.
Perfect places to get to know each other
And since London is a prime example of multicultural togetherness and religious diversity, the Christa Appelt matchmaking team has a very special recommendation: the opulent Neasden Temple in London’s Brent district, the largest Hindu temple outside India.
London is also home to some outstanding parks and gardens, whether Hyde Park, adjacent to Kensington Gardens, with its famous Speaker’s Corner, the picturesque St. James Park or the huge Richmond Park in the south-west of the city, where elks and fallow deer roam freely. So you have plenty of opportunities for long walks, picnics and botanical field trips.
Love comes via the stomach – especially in London
And what else should you do when you are spending time in London, or even living there? We at Christa Appelt have a few more suggestions: Be sure to try afternoon tea – with finger sandwiches, scones and clotted cream – at one of the city’s magnificent cafés or hotel lobbies, such as The Goring, Brown’s Hotel or The Dorchester. Enjoy a pint of ale in one of London’s legendary pubs. Visit a so called “chippy” and enjoy a plate of sinfully greasy and totally delicious fish & chips. Our favourite chip shops at Christa Appelt are Poppies in Brick Lane and Golden Union in Soho. Explore the city’s trendy Camden and Shoreditch neighbourhoods, browse the Sunday markets of the East End and roam the streets of Chinatown in Soho. Discover Caribbean, Indian and Pakistani cuisine in the city’s excellent ethnic restaurants – nowhere else in Europe offers the culinary diversity of London.
Some experiences are best enjoyed in pairs
Attend a Shakespeare performance at the rebuilt Globe Theatre. Take a trip to the romantic villages and picturesque hills of the Cotswolds, including a visit to the magnificent Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Winston Churchill’s family residence. Stroll along the banks of the River Thames and its jetties and marvel at the historic houseboats that today offer many Londoners an affordable housing solution. Often lavishly restored and originally designed. And above all: enjoy these experiences as a couple. If you happen to still be looking for your dream partner, we at Christa Appelt matchmaking will be very happy to help you. Including where you are. Because our exclusive range of services knows no (national) boundaries…
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