Thursday 19 January 2012

Sutton House, Hackney

When you think of Hackney, words like gritty, urban and edgy probably spring to mind. But a stone's throw from all the fried chicken shops, pound shops and Vietnamese cafes of Mare Street is an unlikely oasis of historic Grade II listed calm and charm. Sutton House is the oldest residential building in Hackney and was built in 1535 by Sir Ralph Sadleir who was a prominent courtier of King Henry VIII. It now belongs to the National Trust and is such a wonderful place to just roam around and lose yourself into a bygone era.

Sutton House was originally called 'Bryck House' and is a rare example of a red brick building from the Tudor period. The front was modified in the Georgian era, whilst the interior remains essentially Tudor.  Steeped in history, Sutton House probably had all sorts of interesting characters inhabiting it over the decades, including Huguenot silk weavers, Victorian school mistresses, merchants, clergymen and no doubt a few squatters! It retains the majority of its original features including beautiful carved stone fireplaces and panelled rooms. In fact, the beautiful Linenfold Parlour offers a wonderful and rare example of intricate linenfold oak panelling.

Whilst exploring the various rooms, you can definitely imagine what it must have been like to prepare a feast in the old Tudor kitchen; host a lavish party in one of the grand reception rooms, or even say a little prayer in the private (possibly ghost-inhabited) chapel. It's more like visiting someone's home rather than a museum.

There's a great little cafe where you can enjoy lunch or a sticky bun and a cuppa. And if it's a nice day, sit out in the secluded, wisteria-clad courtyard. It's also worth knowing that Sutton House is available as a unique and magical venue for celebrations and intimate wedding services in the main house and adjoining Wenlock Barn. So next time you find yourself roaming around East London with a sudden desire for a dose of history, I recommend you swing by Sutton House. Or just get married there!

Sutton House
2-4 Homerton High St
Hackney E9 6JQ
Nearest station: Hackney Central or Bethnal Green
020 8986 2264
Entrance fee Adult: £3 Child £1 Family £6.90

Note: Sutton House will re-open on 9th Feb 2012 

Saturday 7 January 2012

Hello 2012, Best Bits of 2011 & A Big Thank You

Happy New Year everyone! I hope it's so far, so good. The past year has whizzed by, but when I recently looked back at all my posts, I thought 'cor blimey, what an amazing year 2011 has been. I've had lunch in a prison; drunk cocktails on a rooftop lake; been in a time machine; frequented supper clubs and speakeasys; gone to church with clowns; flown in a hot air balloon; had dinner on top of a car park; explored a Victorian sewage works; dined with Alice in Wonderland; been to a real magic house and won a trip to Hong Kong. And that's only a snippet. It's been incredible!

This year is shaping up to be just as exciting with various Miss Immy adventures in the pipeline already, including tales of the most surreal theatre experience I've ever encountered; a perfect pub hideaway; a Cornish escapade; the hidden gems of Brixton Market, and one of my favourite places to eat and shop - Brunswick House Cafe. And not forgetting London will be a hive of buzzing activity with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and glorious Olympic mayhem this year. Meanwhile, here are my monthly highlights for 2011 (click the title to go to the link):

January  Bart's Speakeasy

September  Lunch at The Clink

Miss Immy's London has been going for almost a year and a half now, and is slowly but surely gathering momentum and recognition, even winning first place in the Top 101 London Blog Awards! Although I write this blog purely for my enjoyment, it really is encouraging to know that there are so many people out there who also take pleasure and benefit from my posts, which makes it all the more wonderful and worthwhile. So a big thank you for your continued interest and support. In fact it would be great to hear from you for a change! If you would like to let me know your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, which posts you enjoy the most, if there's anything or anywhere in particular you would like me to feature, perhaps more competitions, recommendations, ideas such as a Miss Immy's London book or calendar, or even just fancy a chat, then please do get in touch. You can leave a comment under this post, or drop me an email here, or via my 'Contact' page.

Right then, let's Delve into Twelve!

Miss Immy x
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