The latest London hotel everyone is talking about is NoMad, the first outside New York for the group that owns it. The interesting thing though is that it occupies the former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station, a landmark historic building. It’s located opposite the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, and had been closed since 2006. It was the most famous Magistrates’ Court in England in the latter part of its 266 year existence, being the venue for such notorious cases involving high profile trials for the likes of Oscar Wilde, Giacomo Casanova, the Kray twins, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, Christine Keeler, and General Pinochet, among many other reluctant visitors.
Since it was decommissioned in 1983, the Battersea Power Station had stood derelict on the south bank of the River Thames. Renowned for its four chimneys and Art Deco design, after decades of decay, the iconic Grade ll* heritage listed building has undergone a massive transformation, opening in late 2022. This complex project has opened the building and riverside to the public for the first time, retaining the power station’s unique historical features, but giving it a new 21st century purpose.
One of the most significant archaeological sites ever discovered in London is now open to the public beneath the stunning new European headquarters of media giant Bloomberg. Constructed around 240 CE, the Roman Temple of Mithras was discovered in 1954, when in the last hours of excavations for a new office block on a WW2 bomb site, the stone head of a handsome young god wearing its distinctive Phrygian cap was unearthed.
The wonderful thing about a city as big and as old as London, is the extraordinary diversity of attractions in so many different quarters of this endlessly fascinating city.
As well as being a perennial shopping mecca, Hong Kong has some exciting new projects that have breathed new life into a number of landmark historic buildings. Two of these are the former Central Police Station complex and the former Police Married Quarters, both on Hong Kong Island.