Make yourself at home in Victorian England Era: An 1870s London townhouse, once in Lord Snowdon's family and still crammed with knickknacks, is open for visits.

Travel Q&A

April 06, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

I will be in London in late May and would like to see the intact upper-middle-class Victorian house that has been preserved and made accessible by a member of Lord Snowdon's family. Could you give details? And perhaps suggest a restaurant or pub where one might further capture the feeling of the era?

You must be thinking of Linley Sambourne House, once owned by Lord Snowdon's great-grandfather Edward Linley Sambourne, an artist and cartoonist for Punch. Situated at 18 Stafford Terrace in Kensington, West London, it belonged to the family from the 1870s until 1978, when it was offered to the nation by the Countess of Rosse, Sambourne's granddaughter.

The Greater London Council bought the property, transferring it in the 1980s to the Kensington and Chelsea Council, with the agreement that the property would be administered by the Victorian Society, a nonprofit charity that campaigns for the protection of important Victorian and Edwardian buildings.

Very little has been changed in Linley Sambourne House, which still contains much of its original bric-a-brac, according to Richard Seedhouse, administrator of the Victorian Society.

The house has stained-glass windows, original William Morris wallpapers, period furniture and a cornucopia of ornaments and knickknacks, including Neapolitan copies of Etruscan vases, and a bronze nymph by Barbedienne.

The house is open from March 1 until the end of October on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5, based on $1.67 to the British pound. The closest Underground stop is High Street Kensington. Information: the Victorian Society, 1 Priory Gardens, London W4 1TT; telephone (44-181) 9941019.

There are a number of intact Victorian pubs in the city, but none is particularly close to the house, Seedhouse said. He recommends the Princess Louise, 208 High Holborn, WC1, (44-171) 4058816, for its magnificent interiors. The closest Underground station is Holborn.

Is it possible to get tickets to see "Saturday Night Live" this summer? I'll be in New York City between mid-June and early September.

Your trip coincides with rerun season. The only way you would stand a chance would be to arrive earlier or stay later. The last show of the current season is May 17; the date for the first show of the next season has not been set, but it is usually in late September.

Even if you were to reschedule your trip, it would not be easy to get seats. Requests are accepted by postcard only, and only during August (one postcard per person). Tickets are awarded by lottery, and winners are notified one to two weeks in advance. They receive two tickets to either the live show or the dress rehearsal.

Standby tickets offer another opportunity to attend the show, though they do not guarantee admission. They are distributed for the rehearsal and the show on the day of the show at 9: 15 a.m. at the 49th Street entrance to 30 Rockefeller Plaza, one ticket per person.

Write NBC Studios, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10112.

A taped message describes the ticket procedure for this and other shows: 212-664-4000.

We will be in Spain in May and June, based in Malaga, and would like to tour the country by train. We would like to buy a pass for unlimited travel within the country. Also, we would like to attend Corpus Christi in Toledo.

Two passes for travel exclusively within Spain are the Spain Flexipass, which allows three days of rail travel in a two-month period, for $144 in second class and $180 in first class; up to seven extra days may be bought for $32 and $40 a day, respectively. So 10 days of rail travel would cost $368 in second class, $460 in first.

The other pass is a Rail 'n Drive pass that combines three days' train travel and two days' Avis car rental with unlimited mileage in Spain. The logic is to use the rail pass for the long hauls and the car for side trips.

Travelers have two months to complete their travel; the price starts at $199 a person for each of two adults in second class, $229 in first class, with a minimum car. An economy car with manual transmission, such as an Opel Corsa, is included in the lowest price; upgraded cars are available.

Prices are lower for the third and fourth persons in a group. Up to seven extra rail days may also be added to this pass, as can additional days of car rental.

The passes (including the extra days) must be bought in the United States before departure. For information and reservations, call 800-438-7245. There is also a Rail Europe Web site at http: //www. raileurope.com.

According to the Tourist Office of Spain, this year's Corpus Christi processions will take place June 1 throughout the country. In Toledo, the monumental silver-gilt monstrance normally displayed in the cathedral museum is paraded through the town. Streets are covered with white awnings, the ground is carpeted with flowers and herbs, and a bullfight is customarily held in the evening.

Pub Date: 4/06/97

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