After an overnight flight to London we needed to stay awake until the afternoon, so we decided to visit some favorites for a few hours. The V&A museum always has new pieces on display, and the sculpture hall was just as good as we remembered.
Next, we checked out the stained glass, followed by the beautiful and overwhelming jewelry and gems collection.
After the museum we walked up to Harrod’s to check out their window displays.
Running on fumes, we went back for a nap, which reset our clocks nicely for the rest of the trip.
After returning to London and dropping our bags at the hotel we walked a few blocks to another favorite, the National Gallery.
We especially liked the Manet & Eva Gonzalès exhibit – though small it featured several interesting 1800s female painters.
On a Tuesday morning there were lots of school groups and we got to overhear some interesting presentations. And as usual, the van Gogh’s and Monet’s were especially popular.
It was sunny day outside so we walked along the Thames to Parliament where we saw the newly refurbished Big Ben.
Later that evening we met up with Kim, Jules and Courtney for carols at St Stephen Walbrook, a church designed by Christopher Wren as a precursor to St. Paul’s. Though small it is quite pretty with a large dome and candles for ambience. The chorus sounded nice in the dome, though multiple songs were unknown to us.
During the late morning we headed to the finance district to check out a temporary sculpture exhibit spread across town. Along the way we also discovered several other art installations, and went up to The Garden at 120, a rooftop garden with some nice views of the city. Bonus, it is free to go up!
Afterwards we visited Spitalfields for the first time in a while. They had more food vendors than I remember from previous years, and surprisingly I found a T-shirt vendor who I had bought a shirt from 6 years ago too! Before heading back to the room to recharge we stopped in the Pure Evil Gallery, where we saw several ROA pieces amongst others.
That evening we went to see “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Accents were all over place, especially Scout, who also should have been barefoot? Overall it was an interesting play and we enjoyed it.
For the early afternoon we split up – Leandra went to visit with her Aunt, while I went to Portobello road. It was fairly quiet, but I did see some street art, including a Banksy. The Graffik gallery had a surprisingly small collection out currently.
We met back up at the Wallace Collection (note that the covered courtyard cafe was quite nice and fairly reasonable for a white Languedoc and a chocolate chip cookie!). The collection is wild – so many paintings, plus porcelain, miniatures, medieval armor, and more – and the building beautiful too. Definitely recommended, we need to return on a future trip.
That evening we went to see “Come From Away” at the Phoenix Theater. A little unusual with no intermission and no main lead, but we really enjoyed it.