A Few of My Favorite Things

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
-Samuel Johnson

London is a fantastic city.  There are a million things to do, scores of interesting people to see, museums to lose yourself in, fabulous streets to strut down, food to delight your mouth, sights to delight your eyes, people from around the world to surround yourself with, friends to meet, places to go you’d never heard of before, musicals and plays to go to…you get it.  But my favorite parts of London are the quiet places you find almost by accident and almost nobody seems to know exist. 

Walking through Temple a few days ago to see Temple Church, we were admiring the read brick Georgian-nessof the area but needed to sit down as we’d just wandered down Chancery Lane after seeing a few other places as well and were dead on our feet.  So we found a stone bench to sit down on, but before we did, I happened to peek around the corner…and voila!  We found the prettiest garden court with a fountain bubbling, shady trees, and soft grass.  We were mere yards away from Fleet Street but here was this entirely quiet place that you can only get to by a single path.

A Secret Garden in the middle of London, perfect for a nap!
A Secret Garden in the middle of London, perfect for a nap!

Another thing I love about London is the museums.  I know that they aren’t as elegant or fancy as some Continental ones, but they have a decidedly “English” charm.  The British Museum is one of my favorite (even though I admit the Louvre is my actual favorite place on earth) because it’s one of the first I remember going to as a child.  I was in my ancient Egypt phase (which you only would understand once you’ve met my highly intellectual and eclectic family) and the mummies just lying around everywhere made quite the impression.  I’ve heard lots of complaints that it’s too stuffy as a building, or the exhibitions are too tightly placed, or it’s too small…but I don’t care.  It’s English.  And the English have this glorious intellectual habit of just piling things on top of each other like books or 18th century collections…or mummies.

From the frieze of the Parthenon!  There is a whole gallery devoted to this world wonder and the frieze stretches all along it.  I never get over how stunning the sculpture is
From the frieze of the Parthenon! There is a whole gallery devoted to this world wonder and the frieze stretches all along it. I never get over how stunning the sculpture is
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
A lovely mosaic of Leda and the Swan
A lovely mosaic of Leda and the Swan
Part of the Mildenhall treasure, which is impressive, but which I like mostly because it was found in my village in Suffolk
Part of the Mildenhall treasure, which is impressive, but which I like mostly because it was found in my village in Suffolk

One thought on “A Few of My Favorite Things”

  1. ” A lady, some time back, on a visit to the British Museum, asked the person in attendance if they had a skull of Oliver Cromwell? Being answered in the negative, ‘Dear me,’ said she, ‘that’s very strange; they have one at Oxford.’ ”

    – T. Wallis, The Nic-Nac; or, Oracle of Knowledge, 1823

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