The festive season can be particularly hectic, so last week when I was invited to a guided tour and lunch at the historic grounds of Middle Temple – I could not say ‘no’. A little break away from ‘everyday life’ was much needed and what better place than London? I was looking very much forward to enjoying the historic Middle Temple, taking a stroll in the gorgeous gardens, sitting near the fountain and hearing the waterfall, getting a history lesson and indulging in a divine lunch – and most importantly; the chance to switch off guilt-free for an entire afternoon, blissful!
Scroll down to read my 5 tips that help you pause, stop and take a moment to appreciate the adventure you are on.
About Middle Temple
One of the four ancient Inns of Court, Middle Temple is situated at the heart of London, overlooking the Thames. Although just moments away from Fleet Street, The Strand and Embankment, the peace and tranquillity of the grounds and the awe-inspiring splendour of the buildings is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the London streets.
Built between 1562 and 1573, the main buildings have remained virtually unchanged to this day, with many original features surviving the Great Fire of London and both World Wars. Superb, detailed architecture, impressive oak panelling and beautiful stained glass create a breathtaking and majestic atmosphere – truly spectacular!
The Fountain Court
The Fountain Court was a favourite; Sitting on the bench and take in the beauty I was surrounded by was just amazing! The architecture, the fountain, the gardens… the list is endless. And to top it all up; it was actually snowing! It was a perfect moment and I couldn’t stop smiling! (The only thing that was missing was a cup of Earl Grey tea).
— Kiran Singh (@kiransingh) November 30, 2017
Entrance to The Middle Temple Hall
An old verse enumerating the main charms of the Inns of Court ends, “The Inner Temple for a garden / And the Middle for a Hall”. Middle Temple Hall itself is Elizabethan, built 1562-1572, and opened by Elizabeth I in 1576 – with Red brick with stone dressings.
The Middle Temple Hall
This is the view of the Middle Temple Hall from above – so grand! When entering the Hall, I felt like I was going back in time as I walked down the cobbled lanes flanked with gas street lamps towards one of the finest Elizabethan Halls in the country. The Middle Temple Hall’s magnificent double-hammer beam roof was completed in 1573. Generations of royalty have all dined on their 29ft oak High Table – reputedly a gift from Elizabeth I herself. Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake have also been known to dine in the Hall. It is said that the first-recorded performance of Twelfth Night took place in Hall in 1602.
The Christmas tree was being put up while we were there. It was a beautiful moment – taking in the ambience, atmosphere, history and fragrance of food.
Lunch is served most weekdays in the stunning environment of the Hall (It actually felt like I was at Hogwarts!) where Members of the Inns of Courts and their guests can enjoy the extensive lunch menu available between 12.30 and 2pm.
The Temple Gardens
Over 1000 square meters of immaculately maintained lawns, exquisitely manicured borders and award-winning blooms, their gardens are a beautiful oasis with views over the twinkling lights of the Embankment.
This place exudes history! Our guide was brimming with enthusiasm and brought everything to life. It was a lovely afternoon and I will be going back with Khushi very soon! Check out their website and book your own guided tour.
Below are 5 tips that help us pause, stop and take a moment to appreciate the adventure we are on:
- A Journal of Positive and Lovely Things
- Brain vacation – give your brain a rest! Stop thinking and worrying about the other world, be and live in the moment
- Unplug from Social Media. You can upload and share the photos of where you are later in the day/ week, but for now; UNPLUG. This is your moment!
- Use a digital camera for your photos and videos. Remember; you are where you are to unplug and take a break. Using your phone will just tempt you to check your emails, social media and so on.
- Food – make sure you take time to eat slowly and mindfully; savouring the flavours and enjoying your surroundings
*Do connect with me on Instagram at @KiranSinghUK for behind the scenes, daily updates, inspiration and more!