Dearest Readers: Where to begin? We had SUCH a fabulous six days staying in the Belgravia section of London during Thanksgiving week, I want to tell you everything! However, that would take 10 pages, and you don't have that kind of time! So I will highlight four interesting gentlemen who played a role in our very enjoyable London holiday. (And next time, I will endeavor to focus on interesting London women!)
So the Charles of which I speak is not the King, but Charles Dickens! The author's house on Doughty Street is now a museum, and we enjoyed the glimpse into his life, both personal and literary. Dickens was, after all, a campaigner for social justice through his writing, and I enjoyed learning more about him.
On Thanksgiving itself, we indulged in a "traditional American Thanksgiving dinner" at a London pub - it was fine, but fell a bit short of our hopes. Before dinner we had a busy day of sight-seeing, including a visit to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery (both featured in the twilight photo below). As you recall, I'm not a big museum fan, but I do love those Impressionists! The National Gallery has England's best collection from that school, including some nice ones by Claude Monet.
As for Henry, that's the infamous King Henry VIII, noted for his six marriages, separating from Catholicism, and founding the Church of England. I'd heard good things about the musical featuring his wives, "Six" so we went to see it in London. It is not in the same class as musicals like "Phantom" or "Les Miserables," but I thought it was an entertaining 80 minutes.
A few additional highlights of our London stay included a walk down the street where Robin grew up, Nella Road. I had never seen his original family home. From there we went to a wonderful urban wildlife preserve, the London Wetland Center. To complete the day we played bridge at one of the London clubs, Young Chelsea. We had several delicious meals during the week (yes that food-centered blog IS coming!). Meanwhile, our most memorable meal was the tasting menu at Trishna, where even the pappadam and chutneys were stellar, and ranked with the best Indian food we've ever had.
Did I mention cocktails? Oh yes there were a few 😁. A couple places we tried were very loud and over-hyped. One evening we ended up at Mr. Fogg's Gin Parlour (now our 3rd of 12 Mr. Fogg's) and once again had delicious drinks in fun surroundings. We also had drinks at the top of the Shard building, which were OK but we were mostly paying for the view.
On our final day in London, we did a little more sight-seeing, including breakfast high up in the "Sky Garden" for more views, a walk to the "City," London's financial center, and eavesdropping on a really good choral rehearsal in a small church. But now it was rainy after several days of decent weather. Damp and hungry, we were riding the Tube back to our flat when it occurred to me that the well-dressed passenger sitting across from us bore a striking resemblance to Hugh Grant. I'm a bit slow - or maybe these things dawn on you gradually - BUT YES WE WERE RIDING THE SUBWAY WITH HUGH GRANT! (Above is a stock image.) But check "major celebrity sighting" off the bucket list! He left his seat soon thereafter, and we went our separate ways. Robin was unimpressed, but I thought it was a fabulous conclusion to our 10/10 London holiday.
💂♀️ 🇬🇧 🫖