A busy couple of days

Chris and I were meant to go down to visit his family in Torquay last Thursday but due to the weather we ended up postponing it till the weekend so we thought we’d better make the most of our two free days in London.

TwiningsAfter a lazy Thursday morning we headed off down to the Strand in the to find the Twinings Tea shop. The narrow shop is apparently the oldest shop in London still at its original site. Chris and I were both expecting there to be a tea room there where we could have a drink and although there was a space in the room at the back  for sampling teas the room was not open to the public at that time. We did pop our heads around the door and there was an interesting looking display of the history of Twinings so it was a shame that we couldn’t go in but I will go back and have a look another time. I got quite excited (yes, I am sad) by the fact that I could buy individual teabags in the shop and so I got a small selection of flavours that I wanted to try but wouldn’t necessarily want a whole box of.

Challenge 200, 26/1000 completed

Then we headed on to the National Portrait Gallery where we headed straight to the 20th century rooms. One of the paintings that “The Book” told us to look at was that of Lady Ottoline Morrell, a small severe looking lady under a huge dark hat. Rooms 30 and particularly 31 are well worth a visit if you are near the Gallery. The quality of the portraits on display here is world-class and they are presented very effectively. We also went to see the Photography Portrait Prize which along with the BP Portrait Award we have been going to see each year for some time now. As long as they can attract sponsorship these exhibitions are always free (I think I remember paying one year) and when they are on it is worth making a visit to the Gallery just to see them.

National Portrait GalleryChallenge 121 and 469, 28/1000 completed

In the evening we went for a drink at the Salisbury on St Martin’s Lane. The pub was ok and I had a pint of Landlords so I was happy but I can’t imaging us returning there very often with the Sam Smith’s The Chandos just down the road.Sailsbury

Challenge 874, 29/1000 completed

After another leisurely start on Friday we set off towards Borough Market via Covent Garden to buy some sweets from the retro Hope and Greenwood Sweetshop. A lovely little old fashioned shop, slightly over priced, but a welcome treat. Chris got a small bag of Chocolate Éclairs and I got a small bag of aniseed balls (the bag of which decided to split in the afternoon and I sounded like I was carrying marbles around in my handbag all afternoon).

Challenge 866, 30/1000 completed

As we headed over the downstream Hungerford Bridge we realised that we had got over excited at the sweetshop and forgotten to take a photo so here is me, looking a bit chilly with my bag of sweets with the Hungerford Bridge in the background.

Hungerford Bridge, Hope and Greenwood Sweets and Claire

Challenge 424, 31/1000 completed

Next stop was the Book Market underneath Waterloo Bridge. We didn’t stop there for long as we were hungry and it was very cold. I think we should go back in summer to do it justice as I have seen it with many more stalls than this before. While we were there the snow started again and was blowing under the bridge sideways and so most of the books had to be covered up anyway.

South Bank Book Market and Chris

South Bank Book Market sign

Challenge 895, 32/1000 completed

Winchester Palace

Our next stop was Winchester Palace. I have seen this many times before but it always surprises me when I see it on Clink Street (next to the Clink Prison that Chris wrote a less than favourable review of in a previous post). This was originally the site of a 12th century palace and place of residence for the Bishops of Winchester. The rose window is thought to have been added about 200 years later. It is now a Scheduled Monument which protects it from damage in the future.

Challenge 14, 33/1000 completed

Continuing along the South Bank we went past the Golden Hinde, a replica of the ship that Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe on from 1577 to 1580. It was closed and our tummies were rumbling so a quick photo and we kept walking.

Golden Hinde
Challenge 374, 33/1000 completed

Our mission at Borough Market was to do some free tasting – what a hardship! The first stall we got to had some amazing mushroom pâté which we sampled (and later went back to buy a pot) and then we tried some fab cheese from the stall next door. Then we found a stall serving hot sandwiches and I bought a hot pork and stuffing one and Chris ate a turkey, cranberry and stuffing one. Again, where there was food involved we forgot to take a photo. (Note to self – photo first, then eat!)


Challenge 466, 34/1000 completed

Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret

After lunch, we tracked down the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret for a visit. The oldest operating theatre in London and the associated displays met with mixed reviews from Chris and I. Chris thought that the interpretation looked uncared for and outdated whereas I appreciated the quirky nature of the place and liked the hand written labels. It should probably be noted that the entrance to the museum is up a narrow spiral staircase pretty inaccessible to many people but you can read more about access here on their website. The photo of the model of a skull above was hanging from the ceiling next to the entrance and made up of tools.


Challenge 160, 35/1000 completed

Finally we had a quick detour to a pub to find the old coat of arms from the old London Bridge. The huge coat of arms hangs above the sign of the The Kings Arms pub on Newcomen Street off Borough High Street. The Book tells us that until 1760 it stood on the southern end of the old bridge. I presume the year 1890 is when the pub opened as George III, whose coat of arms it is, definitely didn’t live that long. To take us back across the river we thought we should pass back over the new London Bridge and the view downstream is looking towards Tower Bridge.

Old London Bridge Coat of ArmsLondon Bridge

Challenge 969 and 419, 37/1000 completed

Claire

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~ by yellowpurplezebra on 14/01/2010.

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