Ever noticed these odd-looking huts in Grosvenor Gardens, opposite Victoria station? They remind us of the sort of pasta artwork beloved by primary school kids — or perhaps a fancy gingerbread house— but they're actually a symbol of Anglo-French unity.
The two huts sit in Grosvenor Gardens, which have been known as "London's French Garden" since at least 1952. The nearby statue of French general Foch has been in situ since 1930, but the rest of the gardens were used as air raid shelters during the second world war.
After the war, it was decided that the gardens needed smartening up, and the huts were installed as part of this makeover. They were designed by French architect Jean-Charles Moreux, and are decorated with both French and English shells to signify the links between the two countries. Why shells? It's not entirely clear, but it makes for a rather kitsch vibe, don't you think?
As for their purpose — one was used as a store for the gardeners' tools, while the other was for the use of the attendant on duty. There's no longer an attendant on duty in the gardens, so this hut is sadly locked out of use now.
The Londonphile managed to get a look inside the eastern hut, and has plenty more information about the huts.