London is a great city to walk. Not hilly and so much to look at.
I set off this morning across Hyde Park. Steve went off to the Imperial War Museum and I wanted to see the Saatchi Gallery.
The park is wonderful. So central but you feel miles from anywhere. You can only see one high rise building.
I passed the Serpentine with ducks paddling and little blue boats all lined up for people to pedal them around the lake later in the day.
I crossed out of the park to Sloane Street and followed the road down past the high end shops. Vuitton, Hermes, Tom Ford. Not for me. I took a detour to walk past the houses. There are some beautiful houses in this area.
I came to a cobbled street so pretty it could be a movie set. Motcomb St. And there was Ottolenghi deli. I’m a Yotam Ottolenghi fan. We went to Rovi his restaurant in Belgravia two weeks ago and this is a little deli. There a lot of cakes etc and most come and take away. There are two little tables outside but as it was chilly I sat at the round shared table inside. It seated 6 and had a big vase of flowers in the centre for privacy?! On the table a young couple sat sharing food from the one plate then a woman with a headscarf and dramatic eye make sat spooning cake into her mouth as she talked loudly in her mobile phone. Not good company when it’s loud and in a language other than English.
I continued on, weaving in and out of streets, then through Peter Jones , a department store I didn’t know. Rather lovely and expensive !
I passed a children clothes shop with a hairdresser in the back of the store – for kids. They got to sit and watch fish swimming around in a large tank. Very inventive.
the Saatchi Gallery has a lovely setting with a small oval in the front, tall white pillars and flags advertising Free Entry. That’s good I thought. I went in and the rather sullen lady on the desk looked at me with no smile and said ‘£10’.
I ventured a return comment ‘ I saw a sign outside saying Free Entry. ‘No she snapped. We charge now. I paid. No smile just a curt ‘ £12 for the special exhibition. ‘I declined and went through to find out that for my entry fee I got two small galleries. That’s it.
So I walked to one of the 7 galleries with the special exhibition and just walked in. No one on any of the doors to check tickets. Lucky! Also because I didn’t really love it! It was called Rave and it is…….
An immersive exhibition that celebrates the birth of dance music and the impact of rave on youth culture today.
So I relived a few memories and left the gallery.
I walked along Kings Rd Chelsea and window shopped or popped into some I found interesting.
I came upon The Chelsea Gardener and spent done time soaking up the garden settings both plants and furnishings.
I walked onto St Luke’s and nearly stopped for lunch in the church cafe. It was set up in the back of the church and on the portico. It looked good but the queue was long so I walked on.
The shops around Chelsea are good to look at …….
Arriving at the Brompton Oratory is always exciting. It’s wonderful. The surrounding road and building works aren’t so appealing. It seems half of London is being rebuilt or renovated.
I stumbled into a cafe. It was another great people watching place.
I headed back onto the street and just had to call into Harrods. It’s iconic. It’s a pity it’s so expensive these days.
I finished by retracing my steps through Hyde Park. It was a lot more awake than this morning.
It’s a really great place to visit and walk.
I got back to the hotel around 4, met Steve and off we went to Kew Gardens.
I must have been mad. Walking all day then heading to the wonderful Kew Gardens which involves lots of walking.
I’ll do a seperate post on the visit to The Chihuly exhibition. It was an incredible experience. So read the next post.
Has anyone seen it? Please comment.