Parliamentary tea and tour

Enjoy a guided tour and cream tea at the Houses of Parliament.

Coinciding with the guided tours feature in this issue (p41), Contributing Editor Val Baynton was invited to the Houses of Parliament to try out its self-guided audio tour and afternoon tea. Tours are pre-booked for a scheduled time, helping manage the visitor flow but, once inside the 11th century Westminster Hall, visitors are free to take as long as they like to explore, although 60 to 75 minutes is recommended. The audio tour explains the history, architecture and artwork of the Palace of Westminster as well as the workings of Parliament and Val particularly liked the options to tailor the tour to individual interests. It is enlivened by contributions from experts such as the Speaker of the House of Commons and Val was able to observe finer details like the damage to the door to the Commons caused by Black Rod when he knocks on it each year during the State Opening of Parliament! Val was accompanied on her trip by Brian Gray, of The Intelligence Trail, London’s in-depth spy tour company. The afternoon tea now takes place on the Terrace overlooking the River Thames and is a delicious experience!