LONDON TRIP – DAY 02

To see day 1, click here.

I had put the Beatrix Potter exhibition (which I was determined to see) at the beginning of our stay in London. With the weather predicting rain that day, it was the perfect opportunity to do an indoor activity. As the Victoria and Albert Museum didn’t open until 10 am, we chose to have a leisurely breakfast in the museum area.

Breakfast

We started our day with a very tasty breakfast at Aubaine Brompton Road (260-262 Brompton Road). This is a restaurant we had spotted because it was very well rated. We had eggs Benedict. The cappuccino was good. I must say that overall I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the coffee. During our previous stay in London, I had given up on the idea of drinking coffee in the restaurant because they were really not good. This is a very personal feeling of course, being used to Italian coffee I’m quite picky about it haha.

Morning

After the delicious breakfast, we headed to the museum. There were very few people in front of it, compared to the National Gallery or the British Museum. The Victoria and Albert Museum is perhaps less crowded as it is a decorative arts museum.

Anyway, it suited us because we had a quiet visit. For your information, the permanent collections of the museum are free. Only the temporary exhibitions are subject to a charge.

I will tell you about the Beatrix Potter exhibition in another article because it deserves to be mentioned.

In the entrance of the museum there is an absolutely magnificent glass chandelier. It’s hard to convey the dimensions in a photo. It is 27 ft high!

As we had already spent some time visiting the exhibition, we made a quick tour of the museum’s rooms. I wanted to see the Italian Renaissance rooms. We then visited the Japanese rooms.

I have very few photos of the Japanese rooms. Indeed, I did not master my new camera yet and the rooms were quite dark. Most of the pictures turned out to be blurry. Before leaving, you have to go to the museum shop where you will find what you are looking for because there is a huge choice.

Kensington gardens and Paddington station

As we had eaten really well in the morning, we chose to have something light for lunch. We headed to the gardens of Kensington Palace. We were very quiet as there were very few tourists. The grass was unfortunately not green as the lawns were not watered, which is understandable. But it was still a very pleasant walk.

We had lunch on the grass next to the Albert Memorial, built in memory of Queen Victoria’s husband who died of typhoid in 1872.

A little squirrel, not very shy, came and nibbled on the biscuits we handed him.

After this well-deserved break, we headed to our third place to visit of the day, Paddington Station. We first went to the Paddington shop, the only official shop of the famous bear in London.

We were a bit disappointed as there was little choice and many products from the more recent animated versions.

We then looked for the Paddington statue and bench.

It is possible to sit on the bench to take a photograph next to Paddington.

Harrods

Once this visit was over, we took the bus to Harrods. What I didn’t tell you was that it was raining heavily at the time. We were glad we had bought umbrellas the day before because it was raining really hard from the tube exit to Paddington station.

When we arrived at Harrods it was still raining heavily and I had time for a good shower when I closed my umbrella as we entered the shop!

Harrods is a department store like you would see in Paris, but much more kitschy. The Egyptian-inspired staircase is a must-see.

Dinner

We then returned to the hotel, well exhausted from the long day. Too tired to go out again, we decided to have dinner in the hotel restaurant, the Caxton Grill. The fish was excellent and I must admit that I wouldn’t have minded a second helping of potatoes as they were perfect.

This was the end of our first real day of sightseeing. We followed our programme and the rain did not bother us much as it was not raining during our walk in Kensington Gardens.

See you soon!

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