The buildings around Vintry & Mercer have stood the test of time, enduring the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz of 1940 and 1941. On the church of St. James Garlickhythe, Vintry & Mercer’s closest neighbour, hangs the capital’s oldest clock — housing a mechanism which has been ticking since 1682. Today it’s also home to the patriotic Royal Bells that pealed across the city for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Across the Thames sits Shakespeare’s Globe, where visitors can watch the Great Bard’s plays performed in the theatre dedicated to his work.
For a modern take on the city’s cultural scene, there’s The Barbican Centre, a mile from the hotel, known for pushing the boundaries of art in all its forms, regularly showing some of the best dance, music and theatre in Europe. Nearby Somerset House is famed for its contemporary galleries and cultural programmes. There’s also Tate Modern on the opposite bank of the Thames — perhaps the UK’s best-known modern art institution