Where to start
Royal locations to visit in London
Household Cavalry Museum
This museum within the historic Horse Guards building affords a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into the ceremonial duties and operational role of the Household Cavalry regiments which make up the Queen's official guards. Their story is told through a collection of ceremonial uniforms, royal standards, gallantry awards, musical instruments, horse furniture and silverware amassed over 350 years of serving the Royal family. Family activities take place during school holidays. Visitors to the Household Cavalry Museum can see troopers working with horses in the 18th-century stables of the horses which parade just outside every day; the stables are separated from the main museum by no more than a screen of glass. The museum's newest exhibit, created in response to visitor demans, is a video explaining where the horses come from, how they are chosen, why so many of them are black and how they are cared for and trained. The museum is closed between June 18 and September 6 2012 to accommodate the London 2012 Olympic Games Beach Volleyball competition.
Wander through London's Royal Parks
This ‘Coyote Ugly’- inspired bar is bringing back counter-top dancing, big time. It’s on the site of Peter Stringfellow’s old club in Soho. Go figure. Dirty Harry’s is decked out like an American saloon bar. On the Friday night I went, it was rammed and rowdy with a live band blasting classic rock. I’d pre-booked a table ‘close to “Harry’s Honeys”’ (their term, not mine – and yup, requesting that on the phone was excruciating), but the girls don’t start dancing till 9pm, which meant I could concentrate on the excellent cocktails, as well as the menu of juicy burgers and loaded fries. The vibe was a bit weird, with the 350-capacity space so big it seemed to lack atmosphere. But when the girls got up on the bar everything started making sense. They’re brilliant dancers, and the whole thing felt sexy without being exploitative; about five minutes in, I realised I was actually whooping. On the way out, though, I noticed a big table of Hard Rock Café-style Dirty Harry’s merch for sale. Counter-top dancing, it seems, can be an art form. But merch? Now that’s just tacky.
Venue says: “'Dirty brunch', starts this Saturday and Sunday, fantastic offer from noon until 3.30pm. Bottomless prosecco and dirty marys at £20pp.”