Thursday 23 February
Museum of Brands
Set in Notting Hill, this modern museum houses the remarkable collection of Robert Opie, showing the history of consumer culture from the 1800s to the present day. It exhibits a fascinating succession of old household products and appliances and shows the development of brand names and labels.
Leighton House Museum
This elegant house is the former home of the leading Victorian artist, Frederick, Lord Leighton, built as a showcase for outstanding Victorian art. It also houses the fabulous Arab Hall with its collection of Islamic tiles and mosaics, and Leighton’s studio. There is also a special exhibition of ‘Flaming June – the masterpiece comes home.’
Wednesday 26 April
Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery
Set beside the River Test at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, where a mill has stood for over 1000 years. You can explore the history with your personal interactive guide and discover the botanicals growing in the Thomas Heatherwick designed glass houses. A host will take you through the distillation process in the Still, and then to the Mill bar for an ‘on-the-house’ drink.
Whitchurch Silk Mill
This is the oldest silk mill in the UK still in its original building. A gem of industrial heritage, the Georgian water mill weaves silk on 19th century machinery. After lunch in the riverside cafe, a tour guide will take us round the mill, organised on three floors ending in the Mill Shop which, of course, is full of beautiful silk products.
Wednesday 19 July: Chartwell House, Gardens, Studio and Estate
The family home of Sir Winston Churchill is filled with treasures and personal belongings from every aspect of his life. The studio houses a collection of his paintings, and the surrounding reflect Churchill’s love of gardens and nature. The cafe serves home-cooked food inspired by the family cook.
October: The Houses of Parliament
We will tour the Palace of Westminster with our MP. Details of the trip will be arranged to fit in with his commitments and with the business of the House.