British Museum – The Great Court

Not exactly a haven of peace and quiet, but a very good place to meet, if not a place to tarry for too long, particularly at busy times. The glass covered courtyard meets all the basic needs: toilets (muzac-free, I think, but correct me if I am wrong) and somewhere to sit and have a coffee and snack. And, if you arrive early, you can slip through thee Portland Stone porticos into the wonderful galleries (the fourth, South, portico is, notoriously, of the wrong stone). The light under the huge glass roof can be extraordinary enough to warrant the visit.

The Great Court has longer opening hours than the museum itself.
Sunday – Wednesday 09.00–18.00
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 09.00–23.00The Museum is open daily, 10.00–17.30
with opening to 20.30 on Thursday and Friday.

Kings Place

Kings Place is the new rival to the Wigmore Hall for chamber music. Its accoustics are impeccable and it doesn’t even have the Wigmore Hall’s Jubilee Line rumble.

We did include La Rotunda, its restaurant, in our review but a member has written to say that it is not Musac free. This does not stop us recommending the open areas of this airy place, which have been muzac free on my half dozen visits. There is a reasonable amount of comfortable seating with a self-service café, as well as a canal-side terrace on which to stroll. Obviously, it gets more crowded when a concert is imminent.

The very informative web-site is at

N.B. We have been informed that La Rotunda, the restaurant in Kings Place is not Musac free.

Ten mintues’ walk from Kings Cross.

The café is open on Monday to Thursday 7.30am to 7.30pm,
Friday 7.30am to 9pm,
and Saturday 12pm to 7.30pm.

London Review Bookshop

Just down a street opposite the British Museum, the London Review Bookshop is a gem.

Just down a street opposite the British Museum, the London Review Bookshop is a gem. Well stocked, particularly considering its apparently small size, and with a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Associated with the London Review of Books, the shop specializes in literature, the arts, politics, history etc. It has a particularly wide range of evening and weekend events such as readings by authors, as well as discount evenings and customer socials. All the details are on their site at

A further major attraction is the excellent London Review Cake Shop which is, however, not open on Sundays.

The web-site has details of evening events as well as reviews of books.

Normal opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday: 10am – 6.30pm
  • Sunday: 12am – 6pm