Tours of London have always seemed like a fun idea. However, they’re often synonymous with tourists, but we shouldn’t let them have all the fun now should we?! So when I caught wind of this opportunity I replied as quickly as my fingers could type!
We all met up at the newly opened Every Hotel Piccadilly, right in the heart of Leicester Square, before hitting the cobblestones to make our way round some of the most interestingly haunted Theatres in London, led by the fountain of knowledge that is Diane.
I’m a wimp. Every single one of my friends will back this up. I hide behind people during horror films, ran out screaming hand in hand with my bestie from War of Worlds – yep, not my proudest moment & would happily cuddle pets at sleepovers instead of taking part in scary films, stories or anything of that nature.
However, this was during the day, no jumpy bits & actually filled with fascinating tid-bits of information.
Our first stop was at the Royal Haymarket Theatre, currently showing Mr. Footes other leg. Samuel Foote was the actor manager here in 18th Century who was determined on acquiring the Royal status for his theatre. In an unfortunate series of events he managed to break his leg after trying to win a wager, which led him to having an amputation.
This unfortunate turn happened to be partly the fault of the Duke of York, which Samuel Foote managed to adjust into his own fortune and gaining that highly sought after Royal status. Yahuh, that’s one of the ideas that may have started the Break a leg as a way of wishing luck upon actors.
We quickly clipped our heels and kept pace to Diane at winding to the back of Haymarket finding the beautiful terrace houses at the stage door and finding out about a few links to playwrites.
The more obvious link is Oscar Wilde, with his commemorative plaque here at the sight of his first comedy. The other not so obvious play write is a chap in Victorian dress has been seen throughout the years by many actors & actresses. Dame Judi Dench (Swoon, I mean what a woman!) being among them has seen him until he turned right and vanished into a wall. He’s thought to be the ghost of John Buckstone.
Through the busy Trafalgar Sq. the Coliseums spinning globe is an eye catching sight and does draw you in, as it would have done soldiers going to or coming home from WWII. The association with Soldiers doesn’t end there, as in Row G a WWII soldier will often be seen one moment & not the next fully decked out in uniform.
Across the road you’ll see the Duke of York, where Diane told us a terrifying story of a constricting jacket & a lady actor manager, Mrs Violet Melnotte of late 19th century, who locks the doors for the present day managers.
These two theatres were thought to be rather dodgy when initially built. Diane unravelled a tale of scandal as the entertainment of the arts moved around London, so too did a racier entertainment industry in the form of the red light districts down the alleyways of Covent Garden.
We wormed our way down one of said alleys with it’s original oil lamps & the group erupted into Harry Potter quotes as diagon alley remarks came from all directions.
Maiden lane (as a side note it’s a fantastic street for tipple) is the sight of an 18th Century MUURRRDERRRR at the stage door.
We soon were at Lyceum which Diane informed us was the first sight of Madame Tussaudes wax exhibitions. The ghost who has been seen here was sat near the front with a severed head in her lap. Perhaps a connection to Madame Tussaudes death masks that she made during the French revolution.
We followed like little goslings as Diane took us through to the Royal Drury Lane Theatre is the oldest & MOST haunted theatre of the tour 3 ghosts roam the dressing rooms. A clown who stalks mirrors – No, that is not okay!!!; the man in grey, very little is known of him & Dan Leno an incontinent pantomime dame who is proceeded by his signature lavender oil scent.
Not only is it home to 3 other worldly spirits, but also the start of scandalous love story of Nell Gwyn & Charles II.
Finally, we turned a corner and we reached the last theatre & the most recently haunted theatre, Fortune theatre. Where the ghost has only shown herself since the woman in black has been on stage!
Diane filled our heads with this; lots more scandalous details of the theatre & the origins of unlucky behaviours.
All I want now is a tour inside one of the theatres or watch one of the amazing shows on offer (not the woman in black FYI, if you’re thinking of Christmas or my Birthday, seriously, I’ll cry).
Straight through Floral street and across Leicester sq brought us back to Every.
Where we learnt about their world’s fastest hotel wifi – yep, we all checked it out, it’s speedy and allows you all to stream at the same time with no lag time!
After filling up on some well earned grub, we got to take a peak in the standard & junior suite rooms.
They’re great for the people watchers – i.e. me – as you can peer down upon the ever changing Leicester sq.
Or if you’ve just come in from all the hustle & bustle and fancy yourself a little tipple, the mini bar in the rooms are included in the price!!! No extra charge! Yep that’s a winner right there!
The bathrooms are a good use of space & the showers looked absolutely heavenly, like a beautiful waterfall & so roomy.
They’ve thought about every little thing here and put usb ports for charging your phone. No adapter? No problem!
Everything here is high tech & eco-friendly being as paper free as possible.
Now one thing I was surprised at how quiet the rooms were. This is because the windows are not only double glazed, but an additional pane for sound proofing!
Downstairs you gym bunnies will not be disappointed. A well equipped cosy gym! You can work out whilst working too, an interactive screen has emails, facebook, and all sorts of apps on there!
If you prefer running outdoors, but don’t fancy weaving you’re way down Piccadilly, these screens have an outdoor setting adapting to the scene.
On a hill? The steepness will increase.
Slow down? so will the pace of the video!
Seriously, every box is ticked, they’ve thought of every single detail!
You know what this walking tour also highlighted? How perfectly located the Every hotel is located to the theatre district, foodie havens of Soho & clubbing centre of town. Go on take a peak at the prices (book in advance to save some cash money)…
Have you ever been on a guided tour? What did you think? Anyone been on a theatre tour? I really fancy having a good snoop of one of the West End greats!