After tumbling out of the British Museum with your head full history, cap off your mind feast with a detour along Bury Place. This quiet corner of south-west Bloomsbury is home to several points of interest to stimulate the intellectual traveller.
It’s All Greek, on the corner opposite the Museum, is a delight for window-shoppers or those wishing to take home a memento from their own “Grand Tour” experience. A bronze head of Zeus, a marble Aphrodite bust, a relief panel of winged Nike or the Parthenon horses, sterling silver jewellery depicting Pegasus and Athena, and hand-painted, made-to-order vases are just some of the gorgeous items that can be bought on-site or shipped direct to your home.
Further along at 14 Bury Place, The London Review Bookshop is a cosy spot to browse books on topics that tickle your fancy – history, biography, politics, philosophy and fiction are all strongly represented. Linger over your chosen tomes with cake and coffee in the shop’s own cafe, and pick up a ticket to one of their popular evening author events.
Two doors away is The Traveller, a boutique service for those intrepid souls keen to leave their armchairs and get their hands dirty. Experienced guides and guest speakers will lead you through the pottery factories of Staffordshire, into the temples of Greece, down the Nile, through Petra, into Saudi Arabia, around Timbuktu, along the Silk Road in China, across the barren slopes of Easter Island….and that’s just for starters.
Finally, Bury Place was home for a time to one of the 20th century’s most important thinkers. Famous not only for his work on logic and his writings on the history of Western philosophy, Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) was a vocal campaigner for peace and nuclear disarmament, going so far as to get arrested for the cause in his more advanced years. Pay your respects at his blue plaque on the red-brick Russell Chambers building, opposite The Traveller store.