As I said we stayed at the Lansdowne Club just off Berkeley Square in Mayfair.
Once the Castle activities were finished we had to do a little sightseeing.
On Saturday we visited Westminster Abbey, to which I had never been. It has recently been cleaned and the late addition facade looks very pretty. Inside it is not as grand as many cathedrals but still very beautiful except for all the later 18th and 19th century memorial abominations that completely ruin it.
Since it was pouring with rain we dropped the idea of walking east along the embankment and took a cab to the Tate Britain. I had not been there for a very long time. It is very lovely inside:
We naturally looked at some work by Turner, whom I consider to be the original Impressionist painter, along with Constable, long before those Frenchies ever thought about i. There was also a lovely small collection of pictures by Blake which demonstrated why he is completely unique and uncategorizable.
All this, by the way, we did with Jeremy and Caroline. We all finished the day with a meal in a little Italian restaurant in Shepherd’s Market just round the corner from the Lansdowne.
On Sunday Jeremy and Caroline headed off to meet their youngest son, Josh, for lunch as he lives and works in London. Kate and I decided to add St. Paul’s cathedral to our list of important buildings not visited before but now “done”. I don’t really care for the Baroque architectural style of religious buildings. I am a romantic for the early English and Gothic styles. So, while it is all very impressive I find St. Paul’s a little cold.
It was also very cold outside with a bitterly cold wind dropping the “feels like” temperature well below zero. So once again we abandoned plans to walk east and headed back instead to the National Portrait Gallery which I really liked, to my surprise. It was very crowded, being a Sunday, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying a “trail” of 14 works by Grayson Perry called “Who Are You” scattered throughout various galleries. I enjoy Perry’s work for it’s wit and inventiveness and refusal to adhere to any conventions. It is also, usually, quite funny.
So that was our first London adventure as we had to head back to Victoria coach station and another slightly less overheated coach this time.