So much to do and see and so little time in London. Five days is just not enough. Luckily Alan wrote up his journal entry so these are his memories of Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
We got up late on Wednesday (quelle surprise) and after pastries and coffee went to the Science Museum. There was a special show about Da Vinci which was interesting. We also looked at a lot of things that we remembered from our youth like the Apollo 10 spacecraft and the lunar lander.
A late lunch at the museum and then we moved on to the Natural History Museum where we looked at the paleoanthropology exhibit which paired well with the book that I’m (Alan)currently reading, “The Last Ape Standing,” about evolution and the origin of Homo sapiens. Then we went upstairs to look at the exhibits on volcanoes and earthquakes. At the display about supervolcanoes, there was mention of the Valles Caldera, 50 miles from our house.
We had dinner at Little India, http://www.littleindialondon.com/, on Gloucester Rd. about a half mile from the flat.
Thursday, our friend, Noelle, came down from Cambridge and after doing nothing all day, we walked to the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms concert. We had dinner at Coda, one of the restaurants at the Royal Albert Hall before the concert started. http://www.royalalberthall.com/your-visit/food-and-drink/dining/coda/
It was the first food since our breakfast of coffee and pastries when we got up and we were very hungry, so again no food porn. I was still finishing my coffee and paying while BJ found our seats and started talking to the gentleman who was sitting next to us. The concert was the Bach B minor Mass which was played by about 20 musicians and 20 in the chorus with bass, tenor, counter tenor, and both a male and a female soprano soloists. Very good performance. Our neighbor invited us to join him for a beer, which we did. He was in his 60’s, white bearded, with British bad teeth, shorts, sensible shoes, sports coat and monocle. It turned out that he was a singer and had previously performed the Bach Mass at the Proms but was taking a break from performing. We went to the Queen’s Arms https://www.thequeensarmskensington.co.uk/, which was packed and noisy, and had a nice bitter. We talked until the closing bell at 11. He was pro-Brexit (Britain leaving the EU) and wanted more regional control of the government, with areas like Wessex and Cornwall having as much input as London. Nice guy, but a bit of an eccentric.
Noelle stayed with us in the apartment Thursday night and Friday morning, we ate the cannoli that Noelle had brought and left to meet our friends Felipe and his fiancee, Kelly, at the Borough Market. http://boroughmarket.org.uk/ Noelle left us at the tube station to head back to Cambridge and Phil and Kelly were waiting for us when we got off the tube. We headed into the Market, which was a highlight of the trip. Wonderful smells and everything was beautiful. Every stall gave us tastes of food. Sausages, cheeses, paella, baklava. Hundreds of ethnic foods. Georgeous vegetables.
We did stop for a Turkish coffee, baklava and haullemi borek, delicious. Then on to more tastes like truffle honey and then we got lunch, bratwurst, Ethiopian food and fried calamari with chili sauce. Then as we wandered some more, I introduced Phil and Kelly to French macarons.
We then walked to Southwark Cathedral where we looked and then got to listen to the start of one of the most depressing and monotone priests I ever heard. She could have been a character from a Lemony Snicket book.
Then on to the new Globe Theater and then across the Millenium Bridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral. We got to St. Paul’s just in time for Evening Song, but after BJ fell asleep twice during the first Psalm, we left. A bit more walking and we caught the tube back to South Kensington. Knowing we wouldn’t go out again, we stopped to get take away from Le Comptoir Libanais, http://www.comptoirlibanais.com/. Very good Lebanese.
Today was the day BJ had been waiting all her life for, we had tickets to Agatha Christie’s “Mousetrap.” We left the apartment about 2 PM and went to explore Cecil Court, a wonderful little lane full of used book stores, metal shops, used musical score shops, vintage jewelry, vintage silver and lots more. After a stop to buy music, Alan needed coffee so we stopped for that. Then it was onto the theatre. https://www.the-mousetrap.co.uk/Online/default.asp BJ is a huge Agatha fan (they share a birthday), and although we had seen the play before, we enjoyed every minute.
It was raining when we got out and we actually got to restaurant an hour early. http://www.lesdeuxsalons.co.uk/bistro/ We were seated immediately and ordered too much food. A starter of pisalladiere, which is a puff pastry with a topping of caramelized onions, olives, and in this case, anchovies. I had a fish soup and BJ had an endive salad. Then I had boudin noir, which sounds more appetizing than black pudding and mash. It was very good. BJ had calf’s liver. With a carafe of wine, we were too full for dessert, but I did have an espresso and so stayed awake long enough to get to the flat and type this entry.
We will add the pictures later when we have faster internet. More then.