The last time I was in London was probably sometime in 2019. After 26 years of travelling on the West Coast mainline, it was slightly strange travelling down to Kings Cross from Edinburgh on the East Coast line. We stayed for one night with our friends in Hertfordshire and then returned into London to visit other friends in Kew and see Van Morrison in Kew Gardens.
The following day we were back into central London to stay at the Royal Society of Medicine. We ate in the new rooftop restaurant on the top of the John Lewis building one evening but views were difficult due to the planting all around it. Later on in the week we had a meal on the terrace in their Place to Eat and had a view of the surrounding building works.
On Thursday I had booked to go to the Garden Museum in Lambeth. We walked down there via New Bond Street. I was probably last there in 2009 for the Max Mara sale. Further on we traversed St James’s Park. It covers 90 acres and has a lake so is a bit of a wildlife refuge in the city.
We crossed the water and sat down for a rest. A mute swan nearby was feeding and then had a siesta.
A few years ago, I was here and got a photo of a sleeping Bean Goose.
We passed the Houses of Parliament. As this was the day Boris Johnson was resigning, TV people and journalists everywhere, lots of police and a helicopter hovering above.
After passing the Covid Memorial Wall
we sat down to have our lunch on the Embankment under the London Eye.
The Garden Museum is situated in an old church: St Mary at Lambeth. It was the church of John Tradescant 1580 -1638 who was renowned as the first great gardener in British history. The church has deconsecrated in 1972 and the museum was situated in it in 1977 saving it from demolition. The surrounding gardens were created in 2008.
The current exhibition is of the work of Beatrice Hassell-McCosh entitled ‘Of Silence and Slow Time’. Here is one painting and some of her sketches, drawings and small paintings.
You can also climb the 131 steps to the top of the tower which gives 360-degree views all around.
On our last day we wandered around some shops and then stopped for lunch in Soho Square. Next to us a couple of guys started skipping and then boxing. Lots of starlings were on the grass looking for food, one in front of us staring at us for several minutes. Our last day was at Wimbledon for the women’s final. We arrived early and watched the lines being marked, the nets being raised, the players getting ready and then the match started. It was a great conclusion to a few days away.