Summer in the City

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Evening all. I've returned from a couple of days in London town. Had a jolly good time, walked for miles and miles, got many blisters on my poor feet, stayed in one very nice hotel room and one that was even more hilariously small than last time (the floor space was actually smaller than the bath towel) and did many sightseeingy sorts of things. Et voila:

A special evening guided tour of Kew Palace which was fascinating. Such a nice cosy sort of family home, although with a hint of sadness due to the illness and slow decline of the king. I love how they've restored it and left some areas stripped right back to the original fixtures. We even got to go in the attics which made my inner history geek very excited.


Toy counters belonging to George III. Don't go looking for the rude word...

I think this may be my motto from now on.

We met up with Margaret for the morning of the next day and had a quick trip to the delightful Persephone Books. They specialise in neglected twentieth century classics, particularly by female authors.




I treated myself to just the one book and bought a couple as presents for friends. Ruby Ferguson wrote the Jill pony books which were some of my absolute favourites as a kid but I've never seen any of her adult novels so had to try this one out. Apparently it was one of the Queen Mother's favourite novels. Look at the beautiful endpapers:


Then onto the Wallace Collection which was fab! The galleries are all incredibly beautifully themed and laid out and the collection is just outstanding. I couldn't even play my usual game of "what would I like to take home?" because there was no way I could narrow it down to one thing. Perhaps one of the Rembrandt paintings though...





Fnar, fnar. Get your boobs away from me you trollop!


Then in the afternoon we went to the Tower of London. Even on a Monday afternoon it was heaving so we didn't bother with the Crown Jewels. Still much to see though and if you like armour, it's the place for you.




We even squeezed in a quick trip to see the exhibitions at the British Library before catching our train home the next day. I was in book heaven. Now I'm just in foot hell. Must pack more sensible shoes next time.

27 comments:

  1. Definitely want to visit Kew Palace now!
    Am still giggling over the panting caption!

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  2. Or even the painting caption! (oh dear, Freudian slip!)

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  3. So glad you had a fab time. Stunning pics. Love London. Never been to Kew palace though so it's time to pay a visit.
    Laughed at the rude word. Soooo immature.
    xx

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  4. Lovely pictures, that book shop looks fab!!

    Sadie x

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  5. lots of lovely pictures! Kew palace looks pretty impressive. I wear trainers for lots of walking. I hate trainers, but at least my feet are happier.

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  6. Sounds like you had a great time. Lovely photos.

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  7. I had the wrong address for Persephone Books and got lost! I've left in bookmarked under 'Next Time' on Evernote. Great caption on the painting. He does look horrified, not very Mysteries of Udolpho is it? And I always felt sorry for Mad King George.

    Arianne from A + B in the Sea

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  8. My aunt and uncle lived across the road from Kew Gardens, so many happy memories associated with there. Never had a chance to look at the Palace, but did get a tour 'backstage' of the church on the green! Lots of urns (filled), which was a bit odd to a 9 year old girl!
    The Wallace Collection always seems to get overlooked - I think it is a most marvellous 'secret' gem!
    Cue giggles at the rude word and the painting caption! Very good!
    Z xx

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  9. Ah that painting's so funny! Fab pictures, London is SO HOT in the summer isn't it? I fried alive at Hampton Court Palace last July. I love that you describe Kew Palace as a 'cosy family home'!! Wouldn't mind a bijou little pad like that myself :D x

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  10. Ooh like the look of the book shop. Yup the Wallace Collection is excellent and free if I remember rightly. Must go again. Glad you had a brilliant time.

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  11. Holy faff thats a small hotel room! The book looks v pretty, love all the culture too! :)

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  12. Looks like you had a lovely time, what a cultural trip! My mum's friend set up Persephone Books :) The shop is lovely, I've got a diary from there which is practically too nice to write in! xx

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  13. hahaha i love the fact that someone has arranged those counters like that for the world to see..and your painting caption did make me chuckle. glad you had a lovely couple of days, sorry to hear about the blisters - salt water does seem to work! xx

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  14. That painting caption is hilarious. What a cool trip, George's counters are just lovely, shame about your poor feet. x

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  15. Hello! Great post. Looks like a thoroughly good trip. I grew up in Greater London yet haven't been to so many places! Kew and The Tower are high up on my 'to do' list. I did overlook many lovely houses and gardens that I felt 'dragged' to as a grumpy hot disinterested child though. So maybe I'll appreciate them more, now that I'm older (but not more mature- I did spot the word immediately!) Hope your feet are recovering! Please tell us how the book goes- looks an interesting read xxx

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  16. You certainly packed a lot in! Despite having lived here a while I've still never been to the Tower of London, although I'd rather jewels and ravens to armour. I LOVED the Jill books, in fact I still have some of my mum's copies from the 50s and was only thinking the other day I'd have to re-read them. I'd not realised Ruby Ferguson wrote adult novels, had never really given it any thought. Let me know if it's good!

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  17. Oooh, I really want to go to London now! Sounds like my idea of a perfect trip!
    I haven't managed to actually go into the tower Of London yet, as I was put off by the entry fee last time but I'm absoloutely dying to go. Persephone books looks amazing, too.Heaven.

    XXX Maddie

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  18. fantastic photos as always.

    Looks like you had a great time. Hope the blisters heal soon though, I got terrible ones the once from all the walking.

    Kew Palace looks beautiful and yes I did look for the rude word!

    X x

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  19. What a lovely trip and fab pictures. I do hope my swap parcel has arrived??? xxx

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  20. Ah, sounds like such a fabulous time! I love trips to London - don't think I'd like to live there, though - and as amazing as it always is, I have to agree on the foot-blister issue: oh my God! Never fails to destroy my poor feet!

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  21. Hahaha, I love your little caption for the painting you posted. What a great word trollop is. I'd love to visit that book shop, I think Persephone is one of my favourite names. Looks like a brilliant trip, London must be lovely in the summer too. I should try and visit it a bit more often. xxx

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  22. The Wallace Collection is gorgeous. I'm truly embarrassed to admit that, despite 5 years of living in London, I've yet to make it to Kew Gardens. xx

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  23. I really need to go to Kew palace now. Fnar to the rude word.

    I have to say that when I saw the crown jewels it made me more depressed than anything else. To think of all that wealth owned by one family when there was so much poverty in this country... I was expecting to be wowed but it actually made me feel a bit queasy xx

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  24. Looks a gorgeous few days, you take such lovely photos Alex, really great.
    Loving the boob flashing painting! "noooo not your nipples!!"

    xx

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  25. Glad to hear you had a good time, I can emphasise with the foot hell, this always happens to me in London! You always seem to cram so much into your trips, and of course a new book is always a good thing x

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  26. I enjoyed your photographs and had a nice surprise seeing the Persephone shop. I have read quite a few of their books and really love reading that era.

    I also did some proof reading work for them before they got computerised.

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  27. The Actor and I took my dad to Kew Palace last year, I loved it.

    What a great trip (apart from your feet) and how lovely you got to meet up with Margaret. You'll have to meet me next time! xx

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