A Royal Fanfare

Excellent insights

The Official British Army Blog

Paul Johnson is a musician in the Band of the Irish Guards based at Wellington Barracks in central London. The Irish Guards band is one of the five foot guards bands that make up the Household Division.

This year is a very special year for the Bands of the Household Division, with a once in a lifetime celebration of the Queen’s 60 year Reign.

Armed Forces Muster Parade

With the a strong link between the Royal Family and the Armed Forces, it was only fitting that as part of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, there would be a Tri-Service Armed Forces Parade. The Bands of the Irish and Welsh Guards were invited to form a Massed Band to be a part of the Army Contingents.

With over 2,500 personnel on parade, it was certainly a challenge for the Brigade Major and the Garrison Sergeant Major to get everyone together to rehearse…

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VICTORY SERVICES CLUB HOTEL MARBLE ARCH

 

Some would say a hotel review should be on Tripadvisor, and they are probably right but I thought I would enlighten those of you who know nothing about this amazing Forces orientated Hotel in Central London near Marble Arch. 
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The Victory Club Hotel is located 5 minutes walk from Marble and in order to get the great rates of a 4 star room in central London you have to be a member, ex member or family connection to the MOD. You sign up as a free member if you are still serving or pay a very low fee if you ave left the forces.  Open to all ranks, that never used to be the case, the hotel lobby, bars and restaurant are light and modern and very welcoming. Good prices again for central London with excellent warm and welcoming staff.

Last weekend my girlfriend and I spent a few hours in the bar before setting off in the cold to see Shakespeare in the Open Air Theatre – refer to my last blog. We checked in arranged a late check out – I’m not good in the mornings and we had wine ready for the theatre.

 

Great beds nice bathroom, TV etc and tea making facilities something I have noticed is dying off especially on the continent by the way. If you book ask for a room at the rear of the hotel unless you really want to view the road. There may not be a view of anything but it is quieter after all this is central London!

In the basement is a library/ reading room, all the papers and many magazines are available here plus a array of military books from novels to autobiographies. The Bar area is so nice you could spend all day in it, some months back we sat in there with 5 children of various ages for hours while they read or watched a movie on the iPad.

Breakfast has the full options on offer and is extremely well presented and tasty. We have not ate in the Restaurant for Dinner or Lunch yet but the menu looks great and again the room is light and airy.

We checked out on the Saturday morning eventually and someone decided we should walk back to Vauxhall station to catch our train. We grabbed a full breakfast in the Weatherspoons bar just around the corner – always a god safe and cheap option in most areas, and then set off down Mayfair, round the back of Buckingham Palace where we were some weeks back for a garden party – just name dropping there. Past Victoria station and over the river and then after 3 pleasant miles we reached Vauxhall, not such a nice area but they are trying.

So as you can tell I recommend using the Victory Services Club and we will be again soon.