London squares, books and pubs

Around the corner from our favorite little hotel in London—the Harlingford Hotel in HarlingfordCartwright Gardens—and along our short walk to Russell Square and its fabulously restored gardens—we walk along Queen Square.  The first time we did this we saw a plaque at 3 Queen Square for Faber and Faber. We are Book People, and as such we were thrilled to see one of the offices of such a venerable publisher.  Now, as reported in the Daily Telegraph, Faber and Faber celebrates its 80th birthday.

The Telegraph’s article tells a wonderful story, not least of which is how the publishing company’s name came about.  Toby Clements reports that poet Walter de la Mare was the one who suggested that Geoffrey Faber add another Faber to the name.  “ … not because there was another Faber—there wasn’t—but because ‘you can’t have too much of a good thing.’ ”

In Queen Square is a statue of Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III; it’s a comfy place where loads of mothers and nannies take children to play.  Just on the corner is the Queen’s Larder, one of our favorite pubs, and where the Queen supposedly stayed while her husband was being treated by nearby doctors.  One summer day, we sat outside the pub with a pint and watched some Morris dancers who were practicing for a competition or show elsewhere.  You never know what you run into in London.

And Russell Square—it’s one of the best of the London squares.  When we arrive in London too early to check into the Harlingford, and we’re trying desperately to stay awake, we sit on a bench at the fountain and watch people.  The fountain is a recent addition to a square first designed by Humphry Repton in 1806.  The restoration of the gardens and installation of the fountain created a pleasant green space whether you’re walking through on the way to the British Museum or need to cool off in the fountain’s spray.RussellSquare

We’ll be back in the neighborhood—isn’t it odd how you can come to consider a holiday place home?—in October, and it’ll be interesting to see how London’s fall landscape.

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2 Responses to “London squares, books and pubs”

  1. Sharon Lovejoy Says:

    Marty-I so love your intimate and informative style. I will keep checking your blog for more updates. I found your blog via the Facebook entry. Keep it up!

    Sharon Lovejoy

  2. passportsandseedpackets Says:

    Thanks, Sharon. Still trying to keep up with this social networking stuff!

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