In Honor of Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday, Visitors Can Explore the English Sites, Eats & Shops Of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, November 7, 2013 – All of Philadelphia’s a stage in 2014 when the Free Library of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre and other arts organizations join together to present the Year of the Bard: Shakespeare at 450, a celebration of the famed playwright. Festivities include ongoing exhibitions at the Free Library of Philadelphia, an outdoor birthday celebration, pop-up performances, chamber music concerts, literary salons and more. That makes 2014 a blooming great time to explore the region’s British treasures. Visitors can top off their teacups with visits to the city’s historic sites, pubs and sporting events. Here’s a look at some of Philadelphia’s English connections:


Arts: On The Stage, On The Wall & On The Parkway:

The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre – In addition to hosting an ongoing festivalfocused on the works of the great Bard, this Center City company also supports programming in schools, an acting academy and a lecture series highlighting the work of important scholars. 2111 Sansom Street, (215) 496-9722,

Shakespeare in Clark Park – Every summer, this public art-minded West Philadelphia organization mounts a Shakespeare production with multiple outdoor showings in Clark Park. 43rd Street & Chester Avenue, (215) 764-5345,

Barnes Foundation – While the museum is perhaps best known for its French collections, it also houses a gorgeous sampling of English furniture and decorative objects from the 18th through 20th centuries. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 278-7000,

Philadelphia Museum of Art –Among the vast holdings here are thousands of objects of English origin, including silver, furniture, ceramics and a recreation of an 18th-century drawing room, plus works by notable British artists such as J.M.W. Turner. 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100,

Rosenbach Museum & Library – This literary museum holds an impressive collection of literature from the British Isles, including two 15th-century manuscripts of Chaucers’ Canterbury Tales, more than 450 Daniel Defoe works, a Lewis Carroll collection and a Dickens manuscript. 2008-2010 Delancey Place, (215) 732-1600,

Shakespeare Memorial – Alexander Stirling Calder paid tribute to England’s national poet with his 1926 sculpture depicting Hamlet and the jester Touchstone at Logan Square on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 19th Street at Logan Square

A Dramatic Past:


Cliveden of the National Trust – The official site of the Battle of Germantown,Clivedensheltered British troops from American revolutionary forces in 1777. Visitors can tour the house and property with its period furniture and decorative arts on view.6401 Germantown Avenue, (215) 848-1777,

Independence National Historical Park – Philadelphia’s history has long been intertwined with Britain’s. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the many other historical sites that comprise this park are ground zero for the American struggle for independence from English colonial rule in the 18th century and a fascinating area to tour for anyone interested in this dramatic historical period.5th & Chestnut Streets, (877) 444-6777,

Valley Forge National Historical Park – No exploration of local Revolutionary activity would be complete without atrip to the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army. Ranger-led tours and programs illuminate the park’s rich history.1400 North Outer Line Drive, Valley Forge, (610) 783-1099,

Gardens & Outdoor Pursuits:


Awbury Arboretum – The former Cope family estateis a 55-acre retreat in Germantown, with trails and gardens landscaped in the Romantic and Victorian English styles. Grounds are open year-round from dawn to dusk and free to visitors. 1 Awbury Road, (215) 849-2855,

Bartram’s Garden –Philly native John Bartram created a seed and plant exchange with the leading patrons in England and was appointed the Royal Botanist by King George III. His garden thrives today, with an 18th-century English ginkgo bilobo tree (thought to be the oldest in the North America) still on the premises.54th Street & Lindbergh Boulevard, (215) 729-5281,

Philadelphia International Cricket Festival (PIFC) – Held the first weekend of May, the PICF celebrates the sport of cricket and international sporting with a tournament of 18 teams who compete for charity on the campus of Haverford College, where there is also a Cricket Museum. 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, (610) 896-4983,

Polo at Chamounix Equestrian Center – The home of Penn’s polo team and the United States Polo Association Nation al Open Interscholastic Polo Champions of 2011 and 2012, the Chamounix Center offers lessons for adults and children interested in the sport English gentry made famous. 98 Chamounix Drive, (215) 877-4419,

Pubs & Grub:


The Dandelion – Modeled after the contemporary gastropubs in Britain, this Stephen Starr eatery is a cozy place to imbibe a cask-stored pint and enjoy welsh rarebit, rabbit pie and Eton mess. There’s even an afternoon tea available. 124 S. 18th Street, (215) 558-2500,

Heart of Oak Pub – A true hideaway, located in the basement of Baci Restaurant,this pub serves up hearty plates of bangers and mash and chicken and leek pie with frothy pints of London Pride and Boddingtons. Routes 202 & 413, Buckingham, (267) 888-2781,

Nearly a dozen drafts and three cask Isles ales served at the convivial Victoria Freehouse are mated with delicacies such as sausage rolls, crab on toast, mushy peas and sticky toffee pudding. Come for the ciders and roasts; stay for the Dr. Who trivia night. 10 S. Front Street, (215) 543-6089

The Whip Tavern – Expatriates gather at this Coatesville enclave for excellent renditions of English grub (Scotch eggs, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, ploughman’s lunch) and UK beers and ciders to be enjoyed by a roaring fire. It’s also a great place to catch a rugby match. 1383 N. Chatham Road, Coatesville, (610) 383-0600,

Tea Time:


The Four Seasons Hotel’s Swann Lounge – For the ultimate in luxury, it’s hard to beat the Four Seasons’ afternoon tea, with its impossibly delicate sandwiches, cakes and exotic brews (pear caramel, karigane, verbena mint chrysanthemum). Patrons can also enjoy signature cocktails and a gluten-free version of the menu. 1 Logan Square, (215) 963-1500,

The Rittenhouse Hotel’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room – Whether it’s a tisane steeped from local herbs or a superb Earl Gray, a melon, salmon and minted mascarpone sandwich or a chocolate madeleine with a creamy raspberry filling, the afternoon refreshments at the Rittenhouse’s tea conservatory are posh and memorable. 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, (215) 546-9000,

Talking Teacup – Set in a restored 250-year-old farmhouse, this Chalfont eatery and gift shop offers two morning and six different afternoon spreads, including an “eye opener,” high tea, luncheon tea and even a children’s tea, with seasonal pastries and pairings. 301 W. Butler Avenue, Chalfont, (215) 997-8441,

A Taste of Britain Café and Tea Room – English delicacies are the thing at Wayne’s premier tea-tique, with a daily afternoon service that includes sandwiches, scones, pastries and a pot of one of the many tea selections available here. Other British foodstuffs (HobNobs, black currant jam, Branston pickles), plus candy and loose teas are available for purchase as well. 503 W. Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, (610) 971-0390,

Spot-On Shops:


Barbour – Founded in 1894, this family-owned British outfitter has finally come to Philly’s shopping row, bringing with it its trademark oil-cloth jackets, as well as Tattersall shirts, sweaters and other gear for the outdoorsy family. 1517 Walnut Street, (215) 255-8420,

Burberry Limited –Few patterns are as iconic and instantly recognizable as Burberry check, which instantly signifies English wealth and taste, and the Philly retail store continues that tradition with up-market clothing, shoes and leather goods worth the splash-out. 1705 Walnut Street, (215) 557-7400,

Bus Stop Boutique – The London-born proprietor of Fabric Row’s funky shoe shop carries plenty of fashion-forward Brit labels for both men and women, such as Gola, Fly London, Look, Swear and J Shoes. 727 S. 4th Street, (215) 627-2357,

Dr. Martens – With the renewed popularity of England’s famed worker boot comes this Center City store, offering unisex styles from classic oxblood oxfords to knee-high boots covered in pastel pansies. 1710 Walnut Street, (215) 545-2455,

Duke & Winston – A Northern Liberties boutique and showroom, Duke & Winston is the brainchild of an English expat who produces his own line of casual clothing with European flair and a bulldog mascot. 633 N. 2nd Street, (267) 639-5594,

Jack Wills – The new Center City outpost of this English retailer provides plenty of fodder for Oxbridge fantasies—plaid shirts, striped rugby shirts, cozy jumpers and brogues for both lads and lasses. 1617 Walnut Street, (215) 751-1055,

Metro Men’s Clothing –The smart fashions at Passyunk’s best menswear retailer include street-wear pieces by classic Brit labels Ben Sherman and Fred Perry. 1615 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 324-5172,

Visit Philadelphia™, formerly known as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.

Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and make up the most-visited website network out of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. Visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

November 15, 2013 · admin · Comments Closed
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