April 09, 2013, 11:28 am -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- The summer season is usually in full swing when Eltham Palace hosts its annual much-loved Art Deco Fair on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May. But the freezing temperatures that have kept London chilled through Easter and beyond have spelled out a chilly start to the year for many of London's historic houses, stately homes and country estates.
A visit to one of the London's many lavish properties steeped in history is a wonderful way to spend a spring afternoon - and LondonTown.com has produced a Historic Houses in London feature that explores the most magnificent properties the capital has to offer and looks into their steady flow of contemporary events. From Syon Park in the West to the Art Deco medievalism of Eltham Palace in the East, these stately homes are living history and an intriguing celebration of the city's great past.
For many years now visitors and buyers have flocked to Eltham Palace, one of south east London's secret wonders, to marvel over original 1930s Art Deco objects - including furniture, collectables, hats, handbags and jewellery. This year's May fair is followed by a second summer fair in September, while the English Heritage house and gardens also hosts an ever-popular Grand Medieval Joust in June.
Also in south east London, the National Maritime Museum - which is located in The Queen's House, a classical Palladian villa in Greenwich - offers visitors a chance to see Ansel Adams's natural landscapes of America in a photography exhibition which ends on 28th April. Ham House, the ornate Stuart mansion on the bank of the River Thames near Richmond, gives the public a rare opportunity to discover the interiors of its magnificent 17th-century cabinet collection in a free exhibition that runs from 27th April to 2nd May.
Also this month, the eccentric oddity that is Southside House in Wimbledon puts on a free exhibition and sale on Tuesday 30th April entitled Fine Cell Work, displaying exquisite needlework cushions, quilts, bags and gifts that have been hand-stitched in British prisons. Later in the year in October, the remarkable former Tudor farmhouse in Wimbledon will also play host to several events in the annual Wimbledon Book Fest.
Apsley House - London's original and most central 18th-century townhouse - and Osterley Park and House - a former Tudor mansion transformed into a neoclassical villa by the renowned architect Robert Adam - are both opening their doors at the national 'Museums at Night' event on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May. Later in the year, the grand Chiswick House will host back-to-back nights of Open Air Cinema over the August bank holiday. By then, hopefully, summer will have finally kicked in.
Travellers arriving from outside London to visit any of these incredible historic houses this spring can conveniently book their accommodation on LondonTown.com, where there's a wide range of hotels in London, including the celebrated Hilton LondonSyon Park set within the dramatic 200-acre park in south west London.
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