Janie had been keen to see inside the Ismaili Centre, not least its much-lauded roof garden, for ages. But she had been told that the only time it is open to the public is one weekend a year as part of the Open House London initiative – click here.
So we put this morning aside months ago, even deferring our tennis plans until the afternoon, in the hope that a reasonably early start would avoid crowds and queues.
In the event, Janie slowed down a bit from her original thought to start queuing about 7:30 am (perhaps she wasn’t entirely serious about that one), so we arrived around 10:20/10:25, a few minutes after opening.
Beyond the lobby, visitors are not permitted to take photographs, which is a shame really.
We were shown the stunning architecture and artwork within the building, not least the library and big meeting room on the garden level. Also the large prayer hall and also the social hall, where we were treated to coffee and biscuits.
We met some interesting Ismaili people in the social hall; we chatted for a while, learning more about the Ismaili traditions and discussing world affairs, before Janie and I headed back west to do battle on the tennis court.