The gloom of old Mother Hubbard has descended on me. Following Eldest Giant’s departure to uni. The enforced tightening of my fiscal non Gucci belt has meant none of my longed for visits to ‘the smoke’.
I am well aware that many RTWMs have to rely on the availability of babysitting adults, before they even reach for the tube map. Hence I issue the disclaimer: I appreciate every second of my ‘new found freedom’.
Pre-children, we lived in London – but never took full advantage of its bounteous offerings. Meanderings consisted of
3. The golden shopping triangle: Covent Garden/Oxford Street/Knightsbridge
Admittedly, I had also perfected a slick ‘sightseeing tour’ for all our visiting northern relatives. This involved the number 15 bus and a round city walk of a couple of hours. It could include Jermyn Street (very pretty on a gloomy, wet, winter’s evening) but, by this point, said relatives’ eyes tended to be glazing over, due to scintillating commentary such as ‘There’s Simpsons – it sells Daks, their tailoring is excellent.’ A couple of cocktails and a burger at Maxwells (complete with indian style relish tray – those were the days) got their spirits back up though.
So, coming back to the future, I now have carte blanche and have launched into regular commutes exploring a different side of the London I used to know. Behind the touristy hordes - and into its nooks and crannies.
My last visit involved dragging my sisters around Kensington Palace and Islington but, as the weather has taken on a sloshy, autumnal stance – can I suggest to you …. Museums?!
They are inexpensive, warm and often have astonishingly informative events and exhibitions, without a yawn in sight.
My first introduction has to be the British Museum. Close to the beautiful Russell Square, it feels like a huge space that envelops you with its vast meld of modern and ancient architecture. Honestly, you have to see it to believe it!
We went to see the Pompeii Live exhibition. It wouldn’t be my first choice, especially as we had taken the little giants to see Herculaneum (photo opportunity above) and Le Lune di Pompeii when they were little enough to fall into a storage jar.
But it was good and I left with a feeling of gloom, loss and genuine sadness as the reality of how they perished, was really brought to life.
And I know I wasn’t the only one feeling it on exiting, as well as absolute awe at the logistics involved in organising the exhibition.
And if any of you are trying to suppress a yawn – think on. The Court Restaurant could be a welcome retreat (although it was v disappointing that the advertised Pompeii menu was not available when we went!). Overpriced, I think so, but the service was good. The Prosecco was delightful and the olives? The best I have tasted in a long time.
Still unsure? Well let me link you to Shunga The Japanese equivalent of SexyBack.
NOW will you consider outside your comfort zone?
PS. Smiley Friday tomorrow?