Welcome to

Stately Barrett Manor

Saturday/Sunday, September 16-17, 2023

DFW - London


The vacation is afoot! Or, the lengths we’ll go to in order to get a decent beer.

The Sherlock Holmes Pub is in what used to be the Northumberland hotel, then the Northumberland arms. Both establishments were mentioned in Watson’s chronicles. The ground floor is your basic pub. If you go upstairs to the dining area, there’s a re-creation of the sitting room at 221-B Baker Street. The pub is also next door to the Turkish bath Holmes and Watson likely frequented. The more expensive hotels along the adjoining Northumberland Street are frequently mentioned.

We are staying at the Grand at Northumberland

8 Northumberland is a history-filled building. It first opened in 1887 as the Hotel Victoria, named because it was a jubilee year. It was an expensive hotel with its own power plant for the electric lights and a whopping four bathrooms. Each room also had a collapsible bath under the bed and a maid would bring hot water up. Requisitioned by the Ministry of War in both wars, it remained in MOW hands until 2010 or so, when it again became a hotel along with a spiffing events venue. It’s now The Grand at Northumberland. Of the three large hotels that were built along this street, only one is still a hotel after all these years. The room has two small windows. One overlooks Trafalgar Square and the other Whitehall. In between there’s the usual cell tower and HVAC gear.

Let’s flash back to the previous day. Our flight out of DFW was delayed, and it was packed. We had almost no legroom, and neither of us got much sleep. The idea was to get some sleep on the plane and be awake for 10:30 AM this morning landing. We got in much later than that, and fortunately, our hotel room was available, and we were able to get a shower and change clothes. We decided to get a meal as we were really hungry, then go walk around. The Sherlock Holmes is steps away from this hotel.

After dinner we walked over to nearby Craven St. (where the door knockers inspired a scene in “A Christmas Carol), to Villiers St, down to Victoria Embankment Park and then across the 50th Jubilee (QEII Presumably) footbridge. Then it was back across the bridge to go past Whitehall Park, the Houses of Parliament (Westminster Palace), Westminster Cathedral and St. Margaret’s Church, some big clock tower (grin), St. James’ Park, 10 Downing Street (no Larry the Cat), the Horse Guards Museum, and the Old Admiralty Buildings. (Admiralty Arch is being turned into a luxury hotel!) It was early Sunday evening, so not a lot was open. We went back through Whitehall, through Trafalgar Square, then had a nice sunset dessert at a nearby café.

Lots of walking, and more stairs than I cared to count. But we were just getting started.


(Go to the next day)