Pall MallLeading away from Trafalgar Square towards the exclusive area known as St.James, Pall Mall was the first London street to be lit by gas on the 4th of June 1807. The name is derived from a 17th century game called paille-maille which was played by the aristocracy in nearby St.James Park. It is home to a number of gentlemen’s clubs such as The Atheneum, The Royal Automobile Club and The Reform Club from where Phileas Fogg set out on his journey around the world in 80 days in Jules Verne's novel. Inside these bastions of tradition you can imagine octogenarian gentlemen with handlebar moustaches smoking cigars in leather armchairs. It is noticeably quiet along Pall Mall and the atmosphere is traditional and conservative; little appears to have changed here over the centuries.
The Reform Club
Whitehall is dominated by government buildings and the ceremonial rituals of the monarchy and the military. The Changing of the Guard takes place twice a day at Horse Guards where tourists jostle to snap the obligatory photo. In November every year on Remembrance Sunday crowds gather to observe the monarch placing a wreath of red poppies by the cenotaph and remember the war dead. The Whitehall Theatre is sited at the Trafalgar Square end while the small cluster of pubs, restaurants and shops opposite are aimed unashamedly at the passing tourist trade.
On a sunny day Northumberland Avenue makes for a pleasant stroll from Trafalgar Square down to the Embankment as the tall buildings and trees on either side offer dappled shade and protection from the full glare of the sun. It’s very quiet, considering its location, and other than the Hotel Citadines and Garfunkel’s restaurant there's little to detain tourists here though we should mention The Playhouse Theatre which dates back to 1907. The only shops are Caroline Castigliano, a bespoke wedding dress outfitters and across the road, a betting shop! The London offices of the Met Office, the weather and climate people, are also located here.