The other week The Bloke and I attempted to take advantage of a ticket sale from a train company. It went a little wrong, but we still decided to use the offer and have a day out in London, as we haven’t done that for a while.
We decided to spend the majority of the day around South Kensington – it’s a beautiful (and very expensive) area with several museums and it’s one of the few places in the city that we haven’t explored as much as we would like. We were on the train at ridiculous o’clock, as usual, and by the time we arrived at Euston the weather was fairly clear and sunny, so we took advantage of the early morning to get there before the madness of tube travel at the weekends began. On the way there I discovered an image on Pinterest of a ‘thin house’ on Thurloe Square, opposite the Victoria and Albert museum, so this was our starting point. We found it and then spent some time just wandering around the streets, admiring the private parks and the beautiful town houses and flats, along with the statue of Bartok, followed by breakfast in a local Pret a Manger (where I’m CERTAIN that we were sitting across from Julian Lloyd-Webber, although I didn’t have the nerve to go and say anything to him). It was the perfect opportunity for photographs, particularly with the architecture that we were surrounded by, and I had a lot of fun trying out different ideas and getting the angles right.
We finished breakfast about 15 minutes before the opening of the Museum of Natural History, so we joined the already large queue of people waiting to see the dinosaurs, including some delightful little toddler treasures and their flaky mother who were causing havoc by running around near the road and eating the recently-urinated-on dirt by the trees. Lovely.
It’s been years since I visited and I was really excited to see the Great Hall in particular, but then we discovered that there was a massive refurbishment going on, which was a shame. I did, however, enjoy some of it and The Bloke and I had a great time taking some silly pictures. If I’m honest, it was… ok. The exhibits were small and a bit dated in areas and we managed to get round it all really quickly.
We then decided to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum further down the road, which we haven’t been to since we visited the David Bowie exhibition a few years ago. We spent HOURS here. We saw everything from original drawings from Beatrix Potter, a house frontage from the 1600’s (before the Great Fire), costumes from lots of theatrical productions including The Lion King, one of Fred Astaire’s suits, a banjo belonging to George Formby, to Johnny Vegas’s One Minute Teapot (those of you who watch the Great Pottery Throwdown will know what I’m talking about), beautiful jewellery and ceramics and clothing from hundreds of years of fashion. It was epic, and we only saw a small portion of the exhibits.
We spent so long in the Victoria and Albert that there was only an hour or two before the train home, so we decided to skip Harrods which was further down the road and then go to the Thames and watch the street performers as the weather was still beautiful.
Beautiful architecture and scenery, interesting exhibits… a great way to spend a day.
Oh, and in the toilets of the Pret a Manger, there was this sign:
A young child and his mother were waiting to use the toilet.
“Mummy, we can’t use this one – this is for robots.”
Smart kid – made me giggle.
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.
England is on my bucket list – along with achieving some measure of actual success as a writer.
I doubt I’ll ever cross either off, but dreams sustain us so we’ll see.
You never know! What would you like to see if you make it over here?
The Doctor Who exhibit in Cardiff, of course!
And the village where they filmed “Last of the Summer Wine.”
Haha! We almost moved there when I was a young child…
Terrific day out by the sound of it. Suzie and very useful for anyone thinking of a day trip to London. thanks Sally
You took full advantage of the booking mix up! Well done! Looks like you had a great day!!!
Thanks lovely! Yeah – I always have a good time when The Bloke and I go somewhere so it was fun!
Glad you had a great time!!
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South Kensington is such a nice area, I’ve not done much exploring of the exhibitions etc, but plan to the next time I’m down there! 🙂
Ooh you really should Richard! I’d give the Natural History one a miss until they have finished the refurb though…
This is awesome! Thanks for the virtual tour!
Explain the thin house to me. Is it the red brick one? Why was it built so thin? How big are the rooms? Who lives there? I have SO many questions.
Haha! Me too! We saw in on Pinterest and decided to check it out, but I don’t know anything else about it!
I love that we can always find something new to discover in London. As much as I love a lot of cities in the world, London always comes high up my list of favourites. And i still haven’t been to the V&A museum yet!
Oooh you really should go – wonderful place!
Yes you hear a lot in the UK News about Kensington but I have never been there. I think just about every spy movie with MI5, uses Kensington or Belgarvia for its spys to either live in or know someone who lives there or are spying on someone who lives there. You’re right – interesting place.
You know, I’d genuinely never thought of it like that!
What a lovely spot! May I also add I am super jelous of your spring weather. I need to make my way over to Britain at some point in my life. I am also kind of obsesed with British aristrocratic family history, and royal lineage. Its a little weird. However I think the Victoria and Albert museum would be pretty enjoyable for moi.
The spring weather is predominantly cloudy, grey and raining – we were lucky with it haha! I’m a huge royalist, although lots of my friends aren’t
It looks like you had a lovely day.
I *LOVE* the V&A. I also really love their cafe. They have better cakes than the other museums in the area, so if we’re visiting the science museum or the natural history museum, we always pop into the V&A for snacks.
We don’t usually go in the cafe’s in places just because it is so expensive, but I’ll definitely check it out next time!
Everything is expensive in South Kensington. 😦
But, the cakes in that cafe are worth it. 😀
Haha! Couldn’t agree more!
2 comments for you: I’m a fan of the cello so Julian Lloyd Webber (if that was him), exciting! And nice pics, I particularly like the town house on the right where you experimented with angle shots. The contrasting walkway that meets up with the building in the distance creates a cool perspective. (I am not a photographer so very humbly admit I have NO idea what the proper terminology for any of that is…I just know I like it 🙂 )
Thank you! (and, i think ive said this before but I love your blog name…). He is now president of my former university, which I’m gutted about as he was appointed about 10 years after i left (I’m a violinist)
Reeeeeaaally, insert surprised face, that’s pretty cool. Bittersweetly for missing out on him being the president while you were at university, but actual coolness that you’re a violinist.
Well, I was. I trained as a classical violinist but I don’t play it much anymore…
That’s a shame, now I’m shaming you, how judgmental of me. Sorry. I’ve taking up murdering a cello for the past couple years as a personal hobby and what an appreciation it’s given. I hope you still get to enjoy the violin, even if it just sings for you in the living room sometimes. My grand goal is to just have the cat stop giving me dirty looks when I practice…
Haha! I’ve had my cat for eleven years and he’s still giving me dirty looks…
Seems like you two had a great day! Awesome pics, too 🙂
Thank you! It was a blast!
I love this. I’ve never been to London and hope to someday. What I loved most is that I felt like I was a part of your day. Sometimes it can be so much fun to be a “tourist” in my own town.
I live in Birmingham and I love being a tourist here… You’ve given me an idea for a post!
Sounded like a wonderful time! Made me even more excited to visit London at the end of the month after reading your post.
I absolutely love it around there! Definitely a place to leave a day or more aside to visit…
Great visit! Reminds me of the time I was in South Ken with The Child when she was actually a child, around eight. She was a total tomboy, wearing her signature outfit of overalls — and with a butch haircut to boot. She wanted to visit the restroom during dinner, so I told her to ask where the bathroom was. She returned saying ‘Hey, Mom. They do this weird thing in London — they go to the bathroom standing up’. Oh, wow, I replied, leaving out the part where I’m thinking they sent her to the Men’s Room.
Oh my gosh haha! Bless her…
Love the idea of a thin house
Like Harry Potter
Haha! Definitely – I wonder if there’s a whole section at the back that us Muggles can’t see?
I really need a break to London again soon. I love wandering around Camden. The V&A is a great museum. I love the sculptures they have, even though a lot are replicas.
I haven’t been to Camden in ages! I love the V&A – theres so many great visiting exhibitions too!
I used to work in Kensington and regularly popped in to the extremely posh shops on my lunch break just to see how the other half live. South Ken also has a pretty nice underground/overground train station I recall
Ooh yes – you can usually tell how rich an area is by the state of the tube there haha!
Sounds like a wonderful day ,Suzie with lots packed in 🙂
It really was! I love it there!
I cant wait to visit London, this looks like a fun filled day!
It’s my favourite place – definitely worth seeing at least once!
We were planning to come this May, However some prince decided to get married the weekend we were planning on visiting. Thus all the flights are ridiculous! The nerve of some people! LOL
Haha! Yeah – that’s so selfish of him! The Bloggers Bash is that weekend so I’ve already booked the hotel before the prices shot up
I waited too long, the flights have tripled. 😦
Sounds like a day very well spent! I’ve never visited the. V&A and heard some fab things so I must rectify this. I only go to London for work things – in and out really.
It’s totally worth it! I spent ages looking for the Jonny Vegas teapot haha!