This will be the first of four posts - plus some subsids - outlining our recent visit to London. And therefore, unimaginatively, this first post will be
Arriving London Friday 1st August
We love visiting London. And after a valiant attempt at resisting the book buying urge we decided this time there would be no such efforts. Screw it! We like books! So we first made a trip to Judd Street books and then dropped these at the hotel whilst snacking on the contents of our snap bag - dried fruit and cereal bars and buttered fruit loaf.
Anyway, after topping up our Oyster Cards we headed out to the Royal Albert Hall. We had already decided that we would skip a Stockhausen weekend (worthy but a better idea than a practice) and though tempted by Paul Lewis playing Beethoven we thought we would probably need an early-ish night.
So we instead headed past the RAH, past the Albert Memorial, and off into the park
wandering our way to the wonderful Frank Gehry summer pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery.
It's fabulous and we had a nice little chat with the young lad manning the donations box. We then meandered through the park, pausing to take in the now fully in place New Zealand memorial at the Hyde Park end. Very moving.
We then headed into town, taking in a stop at the Photographer's Gallery, being especially enchanted by Hans Aarsman's exhibition of photos of things thrown away and things desired but not bought.
We picked up our reserved tickets for the Duke of York's theatre production of Under the Blue Sky (which will get a separate review) and then mooched about, picking up the fabulous Wiffle Lever to Full from Charing Cross Road. Neil had texted me whilst we browsed around independently saying 'I've found just the book for you'. Poor boy then had to put up with me giggling furiously as I read it over the weekend. There will be a separate review for that as well.
We dropped back at the hotel and changed before eating out at our favoured restaurant Risorante Olivelli Paradiso (Store Street). Most of the staff recognise us by now and the food is always lovely. It's a nice atmosphere despite/because of the inevitable proximity to academics it gives. Food was excellent, including some VERY delicious sardines.
Had a walk, meandered about town, and then quit for the night.