st James's park
Here the Mozarts strolled among the deer and saw the local strumpets plying their trade. They were passed by the royal carriage and greeted by the king, who opened the carriage window to nod and wave his hand at the family.
Feel like a break? Cross the Mall and pass St James's Palace on your way to ...the Golden Lion, 25 King St, St James's.
A Golden Lion tavern has stood on this site since 1762. This one was completed in 1900. Next door used to stand St. James's Theatre (demolished 1957) which explains the theatrical theme running through the pub, including the Theatre Bar upstairs. This contains some artefacts from the former theatre.
Then continue the walk north-east to Piccadilly Circus and ...
white bear inn (now criterion restaurant), 224 Piccadilly
On 23 April 1764 the Mozart family arrived at the White Bear, a well-known coaching inn that stood on this site. The family had been seasick on the crossing from France; Leopold, always with an eye on his finances, wrote to his friend Hagenauer: “Thank God we have safely crossed . . . yet not without making a heavy contribution in vomiting. But we saved money which would have been spent on emetics.”
Incidentally ... The Criterion was founded in 1870, and the original ornate period décor, with gold mosaic and Arabic murals, is still intact. The Criterion features in the first Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet. It is here that Dr Watson learns from an acquaintance that a Mr Sherlock Holmes is looking for someone to share a suite of rooms he has found in Baker Street.
The Criterion is now 'Savini at the Criterion.'
then walk down Haymarket to ...
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket
During the 1764-65 season the Mozarts saw Johan Christian Bach’s opera Adriano in Siria at the King’s Theatre, which was rebuilt in 1791 and is now called Her Majesty’s. J.C. Bach (J.S. Bach's son) was the Queen’s music master and befriended the young composer.
Mozart also took singing lessons here from Giovanni Manzuoli, a resident singer and one of the most famous male sopranos of the time. In 1771 Manzuoli came out of retirement to create the title role in Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba, in Milan, which Mozart composed when he was only fifteen.
Back up Haymarket and along Shaftesbury Avenue to ...
21 Frith Street, Soho
The Mozarts lodged here, at what was '15 Thrift Street' with Thomas Williamson, a ‘staymaker' (maker of corsets). The original building was demolished and rebuilt in 1858.
In June 1765, with money at a low ebb, Leopold presented his prodigies almost as circus performers: The public were invited in to hear the children play and to test Mozart by ‘giving him anything to play at Sight, or any Music without Bass, which he will write upon the Spot’.
The writer and essayist William Hazlitt and the artist John Constable also lodged in Frith street. Hazlitt died at 6 Frith Street (now Hazlitt's Hotel) in 1830 and is buried at St Anne’s, where there is a memorial.
Also of interest
7 Princes Street, Marylebone
The Mozarts visited John Zumph’s music shop here, at the sign of the ‘Golden Guittar’, in 1764 and 1765. Zumph was a close friend of J.C. Bach. The first square piano was made on these premises in 1766.