Penn Arts & Sciences Logo



                                     ----View our Spring 2008 photos on the Penn in London Flickr Site

Saturday, January 26:  Oxford

Meet at the ticket office in Paddington Station at 10:00 for a 10:21 departure to Oxford.  If the weather is fair, we’ll get sandwiches at the Alternative Tuck Shop and take in the town while eating our lunches on the steps of the impressive Sheldonian Theatre.  If it’s wet or cold, we’ll stop in for the buffet at The Kings Arms pub instead.  After a quick lunch, we’ll do a guided tour of the Bodleian Library and the Divinity School, followed by tours of Magdalen College, including the lovely gardens with the famous Magdalen herd of deer, and Christ Church.  If time allows, we’ll also visit the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Architecture.  The nearby, but hard-to-find, Turf Tavern boasts a long list of enthusiastic customers, from Thomas Hardy (who mentions it in Jude the Obscure) to the editors of the Good Pub Guide 2008, who call it the best pub in Oxford.   We’ll stop in there before heading back to the train station at 6:30 (or, in some cases, meeting up with friends for evening activities).

Sunday, February 3:  Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club

Meet outside Wagamama, 10a Lexington Street, in Soho, (nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus) at 6:15 PM.  After dinner at Waga’s we will walk to Ronnie Scott’s Club on Frith Street for a tribute to the veteran alto sax player Peter King, longtime manager of the club.  (For a free sample, you can view a Youtube video of an all-UK blues session at Abbey Road studio with Jeff Beck and Tom Jones a couple years ago. ) The show is scheduled to begin at 8PM, with many guest musicians, and should be over well before midnight.

Saturday March 1:  Kenwood/Hampstead Heath/Freud Museum

Meet at the Hampstead tube station at 10:30 sharp to walk across the beautiful Hampstead Heath for a view of London and a look at the Kenwood House, a spectacular former residence of the beer magnate Edward Guinness, containing some fine pictures by Rembrandt, Turner, Reynolds, Gainsborough and Vermeer.  Then we'll head back into Hampstead for lunch at one of the several excellent pubs in the village, probably the Flask or the White Bear, followed by a short walk up to the Freud Museum.  We can head back via Jubilee Line from the Finchley station.

Saturday March 15:  Kew Gardens/Henry Moore Exhibition

The big show of Moore's outdoor works runs until the end of March.  I'll be away the weekend of the 22nd, but let's plan to head out to Kew on the 15th, with March 29th as our raindate.  We want to do this in nice weather if possible, as the bulbs will be in glorious bloom throughout the gardens by mid-March.  We'll spend a few hours in the gardens and greenhouses with a break for lunch.

Saturday and Sunday April 19-20:  Stratford Overnight

A group of us did this trip in the fall term, and it was terrific despite cold and rainy conditions.  Presumably the weather will be much nicer in mid-April.  We'll rendezvous at Marylebone Station at 10:30 for a 10:53 departure, purchasing sandwiches in the station so that we can eat lunch on the train, and arriving in Stratford at 1:10.  We will do a walking tour of the town, with stops at Shakespeare's birthplace, Nash's House, and the house where Shakespeare's daughter lived.  After an early dinner at the Garrick Inn, we will see a sold-out performance of walking tour  with stops at the Pump Rooms, the Abbey, Guildhall Market, Pulteney Bridge, the Circus and the Royal Crescent.  Along the way, we stopped in at the Bath Theatre of Glass Museum to watch the glass blowers whose pieces are used at Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and other national institutions.  Around sundown we headed to Sally Lunn's restaurant, in one of the oldest houses in Bath, for afternoon tea featuring the huge sweet Sally Lunn rolls with clotted cream, ginger butter, and jams.  Most of us returned on the evening train.

Sunday Nov 18:  Triple Header! 

    London Eye, Turner Retrospective at the Tate Britain, and Dinner at an Indian restaurant 

We rendezvoused at the London Eye on a chilly, windy, rainy day.  Not ideal for viewing the city from this moinstrous ferris wheel, but we were far from the only ones lining up for "flights."  We then walked along the Thames through Millbank to the Tate Britain, where we saw the retrospective exhibition on the Turner Prize, perhaps the most notorious of all Britain's cultural awards.  We enjoyed walking between the half-carcasses of Damien Hirst's "Mother and Child, Divided," which won him the prize in 1995.  When the Tate closed for the evening, we walked through Pimlico to one of the city's many new-style Indian-fusion restaurants, the Nutmeg Bar, for a delicious dinner. 

Saturday Dec 1:  Trip to Hampton Court Palace

We will rendezvous at Waterloo Station main ticket office at 10:15 for a 10:42 train.  Hampton Court is a spectacular site, one of the most elegant palaces in Great Britain, housing important art works and furniture from the Royal Collection.  Trip includes lunch at the Palace; afternoon return.  Let me know by Monday, Nov 26 if you intend to join this trip. 

Saturday Dec 8:  Trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon

We departed from Marylebone Station at 10:53, eating sandwiches on the train and arriving in Stratford at 1:15.  We toured Shakespeare's birthplace, Nash's House, and the house where Shakespeare's daughter lived.  After an early dinner at the Garrick Pub, we saw a superb performance of Henry V by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the new Courtyard Theatre.  We  had a post-dinner drink back at the Garrick and then stayed over and breakfasted at Bed and Breakfasts just outside the town center.  After breakfast Sunday morning, we returned to London  by bus and train.

Wed Dec 12:  End of Term party 

6:30 PM at the Cafe du Jardin at 28 Wellington Street just up from The Strand.  It is important that everyone who signed up for this actually attend, as we have to precommit to a certain number of the special Christmas Set Menu dinners.   Michael Billington will be joining us for a fun and delicious meal.