There were only twenty years between the First and the Second World Wars, and several of those were blighted by post-war scarcity and financial calamity. And then came the Blitz, followed by decades of indifference and demolition. Nevertheless, some fine examples of architecture and interior design of the time survive, of which perhaps the most striking feature is the great variety of styles employed.
Art Deco is commonly seen as the defining style of the time, though fully-fledged schemes were rare. The day starts with the most extensive to survive, the Courtauld mansion at Eltham Palace, which has been progressively restored and opened up in recent years.
The Edwardian and New Georgian era saw a surge of rebuilding in London but events intervened, and many buildings completed in the 1920s were designed before the 1914–18 War. So Traditionalism was the norm, Classical to varying degrees, though one extraordinary set of interiors is Tudor in style.
Other visits include two of the great early twentieth century department stores Liberty’s and Simpsons (now Waterstones), Piccadilly Underground Station and the 1930s interior of the old Regent Palace Hotel sensitively restored by Dixon Jones and Donald Insall Associates where the day breaks for lunch.
The day ends with the Art Deco interiors of the Park Lane Hotel and tea in the Palm Court.
Lecturer, writer, curator and broadcaster specialising in the art, architecture and design of the 19th and 20th centuries. Has published many books on pottery, porcelain, silver and antiques, also on canals and railways, and two books on the Thames. He has worked as an external curator of the V&A on a number of exhibitions including Pugin & The Victorian Vision and was Historical Advisor to Royal Doulton in Stoke-on-Trent. He is a long standing expert on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.
8.50am, at Victoria mainline station.
c. 5.30pm, at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly.
£220. This includes lunch, refreshments, travel by train and taxi, an admission charge and donations.
Participants need to be able to cope with busy trains and a considerable time on foot; standing or walking.
Maximum 18 participants.
We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.
Combine with Les Années Folles, 31 October–3 November 2019.
'The itinerary was excellent from beginning to end.'
'Paul was first rate in his knowledge and the relaxed way he explained the history of the buildings we saw.'
'I enjoyed Paul's commentary on Britain in the first half of the 20th century; he opened my eyes to new things in an area of London I am very familiar with.'