Oyster mushrooms, photograph courtesy of Edible Utopia.

“Have you been down here before?” Jane asks me, jangling a huge bunch of keys. Having met at the entrance to Somerset House, we’ve traversed the courtyard, and, thrillingly, gone through a gate usually locked for visitors. Descending stone steps, the roar of the fountains, tourists’ chatter, and the rumble from the Strand is replaced…

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The Now Play This festival of experimental game design returned to Somerset House this weekend, bringing another smorgasbord of games and playful artworks, digital and otherwise, to the Strand. This year the theme is community. In many cases, this means works designed to spur competition and collaboration – works like Patrick LeMieux’s Octopad, in which…

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Cherry blossom

A new public consultation, initiated by the City of Westminster, is currently  exploring the feasibility of pedestrianising the Strand south of Aldwych. The project, if approved, would create a new public space linking King’s College London, Somerset House and the historic church of St Mary le Strand, currently islanded in a sea of often slow moving traffic. It…

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A general view of the Watch House

The scaffolding has recently come down from around the Old Watch House in Strand Lane, after a five-month restoration project sponsored by King’s College London and carried out by PAYE Conservation . It has been completely re-rendered, the zinc sheathing of the penthouse storey has been replaced, and the zinc, woodwork and wrought iron of the balcony…

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In 1147 the site of St Mary le Strand was occupied by the church of The Nativity Of Our Lady and the Innocents. This was demolished in 1549 to make way for Somerset House, Protector Somerset promised to rebuild it but never did so and for nearly 200 years the parishioners had used the Savoy…

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