Tuesday, April 10, 2018

England 2018, Day 4

Hotel Arosfa on Gower Street in London was recommended by one of my Betsy-Tacy friends and I thought it was a good suggestion because I wanted to stay near Bloomsbury. It is a townhouse that once belonged to Sir John Everett Millais; most suitable given my love of the Pre-Raphaelites. The room is tiny and my mother and I keep crashing into each other but the breakfast room is charming and the breakfast itself was abundant.
Throughout London, there are Blue Plaques, put up by British Heritage, which celebrate notable people from the past at the locations where they lived. Several years ago, Georgette Heyer was honored with one at her birthplace in Wimbledon (maybe one day I can combine a visit there with some tennis viewing). It is great fun when you walk by one of these Plaques and recognize someone! The last time I was in London, my friend Nicky Smith surprised my friend Ellen and me by walking us down Wimpole Street where we saw the Blue Plaque for Elizabeth Barrett Browning, which was most gratifying. Strolling to the British Museum in this historic neighborhood led us past many Blue Plaques this morning, and I was pleased to see several of significance to me, including Anthony Hope, author of The Prisoner of Zenda, an old favorite, and Randolph Caldecott, noted Victorian artist after whom the ALA picture book award is named.
The Corbridge Lanx, Roman Britain - notable not only for being an exquisite silver platter but also because our guide said the scene depicted may be set on the shrine on the Greek island of Delos, the birthplace of the twins, Apollo and Artemis  (all roads lead to Betsy-Tacy, even at the British Museum).
The British Museum was impressive in its vastness but almost too huge to be enjoyable. We saw many beautiful things, found a tour on the influence of Greek gods which was good (our guide was very earnest and congenial), then spent a lot of time with the Parthenon Sculptures (formerly known as the Elgin Marbles). We were both tired and should have stopped for tea and cake.
Thalia, Muse of Comedy, 2nd century AD (for Antonia Forest fans)
When Mother went back to the hotel to write, I went on a pilgrimage to Persephone Books which was about 15 minutes away, and then walked to Liberty of London - both amazing places to window shop. I resisted any purchases because my luggage is heavy enough already and I haven't even been to Foyles yet! We ate dinner at Saucy, a casual Greek restaurant on Marchmont Street, halfway between our hotel and King's Cross.
One of many appealing displays at Liberty!
Miles walked: 7.4

1 comment:

Kelly Tucker said...

I am sooooo envious! Don’t listen to your Mom, you always need more books. Ditch your clothes when you leave, pack more books! I made the mistake of going to Hay-on- Wye in a mimi cooper with a husband and two teenagers, it did not end well!

Kelly T.