I caught the train from Canterbury to spend the last few days of my trip in London.
I guess there are no photos of London that everyone hasn’t already seen a million times, so I thought I would just include bits and pieces of what I found particularly interesting and entertaining. Being in London, for me, is like being in a gigantic film set, with the addition of a history going back forever having been seen in a myriad of movies and television shows.
I’d had a bit of a surprise win on some shares, and so I decided to lash out on accommodation in the middle of everything. The Strand Palace Hotel is one block from the river, a five-minute walk from Trafalgar Square, and surrounded by theatres, with Covent Garden directly behind.
No waiting till 4 pm to get in here (the rule with most of the B&Bs I’d been staying in). Service with a smile, along with a complimentary bottle of champagne and a voucher for a free meal in one of their restaurants.
The bedroom was small but very well organised, so I didn’t feel particularly cramped for the week I was there.
I headed out to spend the afternoon exploring.
The Savoy Hotel was down a bit on the opposite side of the street. I desperately wanted to go in for a look but I didn’t think my jeans and runners would cut it.
I wandered into the rabbit warren of streets behind my hotel to Covent Garden.
The buskers were fabulous, and just a little scary if you didn’t give them your full attention.
Part of Covent Garden is St. Paul’s Church, known as ‘The Actors’ Church’. Its connection with the theatre dates back to 1663 with the establishment of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and was further assured in 1723 with the opening of Covent Garden Theatre, now the Royal Opera House. You may recognise the portico of St. Paul’s as the setting for the opening scene in the film, My Fair Lady.
Wandering back to my hotel for a break, I passed Australia House, a pretty exotic-looking building. I would have liked to have had a look inside, as a glimpse through the window showed me sparkling chandeliers, but sadly it was shut. They must have closed early, a very Australian thing.
Somerset House is opposite the hotel and takes up an enormous block between Strand and the Thames.
After a rest, I headed out to the Duke of York’s theatre for my first London play, The Dresser, starring Ken Stott, who I loved as Detective John Rebus in the Rebus television series. A terrific play.
It had been a huge day. I dragged myself back to my little room and collapsed.