Find listed here below the blurbs for all the regular ‘Art Deco in London’ walking tours; they usually last between two and a half to three hours, depending on enthusiasm, stamina and … the weather. The walks are aimed at seasoned Londoners as well as tourists and suitable to all levels of knowledge.
All the dates for upcoming public walks can be found on the ‘Calendar‘ page. Vouchers for individual tickets and private tours are available upon request.
If you would like to explore an area not listed below, please contact Yannick (via the form on his ‘Contact‘ page) as it is always possible to arrange a more ‘freestyle’ Art Deco tour of a particular location.
Art Deco in Bloomsbury
– ‘The Tour that Launched a Thousand Ocean Liners’ –
From the austere sobriety of London’s first skyscraper to the sleek curves of a majestic garage and petrol station, ‘Art Deco in Bloomsbury’ explores how modern architecture unexpectedly blossomed in one of the capital’s most bohemian neighbourhoods. Following in the footsteps of Virginia Woolf and other members of the Bloomsbury Group (who, as Dorothy Parker so famously phrased it, ‘lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles’), visitors will not only be discovering fascinating interwar residences and university buildings, but also be having the opportunity to examine a commemorative plaque of a ‘passive aggressive’ nature, experience a brief ‘Brutalist’ interlude as well as encounter an interactive bird’s eye view of London.
This tour starts near Russell Square Tube Station and finishes near Tottenham Court Tube Station.
Art Deco in the Strand
– Thoroughly Modern Makeovers under the Mantle Clock –
From one of the largest clocks in London to a dazzling array of grand hotels and glitzy theatres, ‘Art Deco in the Strand’ explores how established businesses and venues often adopted a ‘modern’ look in order to attract new customers and patrons during the Jazz Age. While wandering around scenic terraces and secret alleyways along this coveted stretch of the river, visitors will not only be discovering the surprising motifs featured on an interwar office block celebrating industry and commerce, but also be hearing amusing anecdotes about a scandalous ‘royal peculiar’, a Victorian impresario’s shrewd business sense as well as an ingenious advertising loophole.
This tour starts near Temple Tube Station and finishes near Charing Cross Tube Station.
Art Deco in the West End
– Nighttime Architecture and Neon Lights –
From the modernistic illuminations of flagship stores to the glittering marquees of plush cinemas and trendy nightclubs, ‘Art Deco in the West End’ explores how London’s premier entertainment district, nestled around Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Soho, became of the best outdoor venues to experience nighttime architecture. While walking along bustling squares and former bomb sites, visitors will not only be discovering unexpected buildings linked to the golden age of motoring as well as secret period interior, but also be hearing tales about a charitable celebrity chef, the unstoppable ‘Windmill Girls’ as well as a pioneering fashion retailer.
This tour starts near Leicester Square Tube Station and finishes near Piccadilly Circus Tube Station.
Art Deco in Mayfair
– The Playground of the Bright Young Things –
From the largest interwar office block in Westminster to luxurious hotel hobbies and lavish shop fronts, ‘Art Deco in Mayfair’ explores how London’s most exclusive enclave responded, in its own conservative way, to modern architecture. While walking along the neighbourhood’s picturesque streets and squares, visitors will not only discover more about Jazz Age innovations in technology and design, but also encounter the eccentric residents of Mayfair past, including the infamous Mitford Sisters, the American retail magnate Harry Gordon Selfridge as well as the French fashion designer Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel.
This tour starts near Green Park Tube Station and finishes near Bond Street Tube Station.
Art Deco in Knightsbridge
– The Modern(e) Way of Life –
From mansion houses with serviced lobbies to sweeping ‘ocean-liner’-style residences and angular apartment blocks, ‘Art Deco in Knightsbridge’ explores how the idea of living in a flat gained in popularity during the interwar period and became an aspirational way of life. While walking past the fashionable boutiques of Sloane Street and literally popping through a ‘hole in the wall’, visitors will not only be discovering more about the social history of urban housing in London and the coveted ‘mod cons’ of the 1930s, but also be hearing fascinating stories about an enterprising greengrocer, a tragic opera singer as well as a pioneering aviator.
This tour starts near Knightsbridge Tube Station and finishes near South Kensington Tube Station.
Art Deco in Bond Street
– Luxury and Leisure in the Fast Lane –
From bygone automobile showrooms to the perfume shops and jewellery stores of yesteryear, ‘Art Deco in Bond Street’ explores the retail history of London’s most exclusive shopping destination and the architectural legacy it has left behind. While discovering more about how consumerism changed during the interwar period and branding adapted to notions of modernity, visitors will also be walking in the footsteps of a Virginia Woolf character as well as sipping on a metaphorical cocktail (or two) inside one of the most dazzling (and now sadly lost) Jazz Age bars and restaurants.
This tour starts near Green Park Tube Station and finishes near Bond Street Tube.
Art Deco in the V&A
– Cigarette Cases to Cocktail Shakers –
From the exquisite glass creations of René Lalique to the exuberant ceramics of Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper, ‘Art Deco in the V&A’ explores Jazz Age sensibilities and stylizations as reflected within the collection of the world’s leading art and design museum. While navigating a labyrinthine set of galleries, visitors will not only be learning more about the origins of the Deco movement and its subsequent development, but also be encountering glamorous fashion accessories celebrating Tutmania, dazzling trinkets made by the ‘Architect of the Jewel’ as well an amusing fireplace responding to a scandalous ménage à trois.
This tour starts and finishes inside the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Art Deco in Baker Street
New tour coming Spring/Summer 2020.