I want to take my boyfriend for a day out in Greenwich. I want to stay with him in the area so we don’t have to race home. The stranger the better. He is a big history buff and likes anything from the 18th century. Do you know of anywhere we can stay?
The Phantom replies:
For somewhere that’s such a tourist attraction we seem to specialise in bland chain hotels. If you love the Novotel/Ibis/Premier Inn type place you’re well-in but if you’re after somewhere a little more cosy, there’s only really one place I’d wholeheartedly recommend.
Robert Gray’s quirky guesthouse at Number 16 St Alfege Passage should do the trick nicely – literally round what looks like the back but which is actually the front of the 18th Century St Alfege Church (hint: turn off your speakers before you click on the website.) Robert is a fantastic host and true Greenwich character, and the B&B is right bang in the centre of town.
Hmm. Places to visit that have an 18th Century bent… Well, there’s the obvious big hitters – The Old Royal Naval College and St Alfege Church, but you should also walk up to Ranger’s House, an English Heritage property which has very arcane opening hours but is well worth the trip. I say ‘walk up’ because there are lots of interesting Georgian Houses on the routes up ther e- Crooms Hill, Hyde Vale etc.
If your boyfriend is a Hawksmoor buff, don’t miss the old Conduit House in the park. It’s not open to the public but is a nice example of his less grand work. At the top of Hyde Vale there’s also a little conduit head and in the park, that thing that looks like a hobbit hole near the kiddies’ playground is also Conduit.
He should also take a look at Vanbrugh Castle on the other side of the park – again, not open to the public but worth a look for the castlellation.
I am sure other Phantophiles will have good suggestions for both places to stay and 18th Century things to see.