A highlight of the trip will be a visit to Syon House, where you will be welcomed by Lady Caroline Percy for a tour of her family’s estate outside London. While there, you will be treated to a specially arranged, up-close viewing of the fabulous jewels featured in the Downton Abbey film, and a conversation with the creator of these wonders. On your final day, enjoy the extraordinary bounty of ancient and modern jewelry from around the globe housed at the British Museum. A reception and tour at Wartski, a family-owned jewelry and antiques firm that holds a “royal warrant of appointment” to Her Majesty the Queen, will conclude this unforgettable journey. Wartski’s managing director will provide you with a hands-on viewing of its remarkable collection of jewelry,
Fabergé, objets d’art, and silver.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
Sep 30, 2021 - Oct 6, 2021
As you are welcomed through the double-framed doors by a bowler-hatted doorman, step back in time to a more genteel age at this stately hotel, situated in one of London’s most desirable neighborhoods. Enjoy traditional service and Victorian grandeur combined with sleek style and contemporary comforts like complimentary Wi-Fi. This luxury hotel’s health and safety protocols have been officially accredited by the internationally recognized Bureau Veritas.
The deposit is fully refundable until 60 days before departure.
Depart for London on an overnight flight.
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Arrive this morning and drive to the hotel. After check-in and time at leisure, gather for a tour of the collections of gems and minerals at the Natural History Museum, where we will be led by an expert in the field. Upon return to the hotel, enjoy a private tea and cocktail reception with remarks from Beth Carver Wees.
Enjoy a morning lecture by a Museum of London senior curator who has an extraordinary depth of knowledge about the history of the British capital. Savor lunch at a special venue. In the afternoon, you will have the option to attend the Goldsmith’s Fair (pending dates), the premier showcase in the U.K. for contemporary jewelry and silver, or accompany a local guide through Hatton Garden, London’s historic diamond district bustling with exceptional jewelry stores. This evening, take an after-hours tour of the Tower of London’s dazzling Crown Jewels. Relax at an elegant drinks reception before heading to the vaults for the private viewing.
Visit the V&A, and, in the company of a specialist curator, discover the most comprehensive collections of jewelry anywhere in the world—3,000 jewels dating from the ancient to the modern. Admire diamonds once owned by Catherine the Great and jeweled pendants that Queen Elizabeth I gave to her courtiers. Marvel at the famous Beauharnais Emeralds, a gift from Napoleon to his adopted daughter. View splendid jewelry by the French Art Nouveau designer René Lalique as well as confections from Cartier and Tiffany. Enjoy lunch at leisure. Head to the Goldsmiths’ Centre, a school for silversmiths and jewelers, and view the students at work fashioning marvels from silver, gold, and jewels. Gather this evening for dinner.
Journey outside of London to Richmond for a visit to Syon House, the second-largest private house in Greater London after Buckingham Palace. Lady Caroline Percy, an interior designer and the sister of the Duke of Northumberland, will host a tour of her historic family home alongside Oliver Gerrish, an architectural historian (pending confirmation). Sit down for tea and coffee in the family’s private drawing room. Then meet the creator of the jewelry featured in the 2019 Downton Abbey film for a specially arranged lecture on these jewels as well as the history of great American heiresses who expatriated to Britain. Gather for lunch and explore this lavish property in the company of Lady Caroline Percy and Oliver Gerrish. Conclude with a closer look at the Downton Abbey jewels and perhaps try on a tiara or two. Return to London for dinner at leisure.
Visit the British Museum, whose jewelry collection spans cultures from all over the globe from 5,000 B.C. to the present day. Admire late-Roman gold jewelry found in pristine and unused condition, and browse Victorian confections including a gold necklace with emerald pendants and scarlet hummingbird heads. Spend lunchtime and the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. This evening, gather for a special treat offered by the director of Wartski, who fashioned Kate Middleton’s wedding ring in 2011. Visit the showroom of this world-famous jewelry and antiques business, one of the privileged few with a “royal warrant of appointment,” for a private reception (pending confirmation). A festive farewell dinner will follow.
LONDON / DEPARTURE
Depart the hotel early this morning for flights home.
Everything you need to know about the tour
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