Wow … our last full day in England and we get to spend it in London!
Since we went to Mass on Saturday evening at Westminster Cathedral, today we slept in a bit and then ate a hot semi-full English breakfast. A full English breakfast includes: eggs, bacon/sausage (or both), toast, juice, coffee/tea, beans, tomatoes, etc. Our version is usually just one fried/scrambled egg, a piece of toast and bacon or sausage … and the ubiquitous coffee. Seems they finally learned how to make good coffee in England!
While we ate, we figured out our “battle plan”: I suggested doing Tower Bridge, Tower of London and Shakespeare’s Glob … but Maggie really just wanted to go back and explore the V&A and shop a bit. Sounded good to me!
So off we headed, after a quick walk past Buckingham Palace for some more pictures:
It’s about a two mile walk almost reversing our path yesterday from Paddington. This time we would head off down Knightsbridge/Brompton Road instead of cutting thru Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park.
The Belgravia area that we wandered thru, quiet on a Sunday morning, has such elegance especially with the chauffeured cars sitting out front, the bright white paint on the buildings and the luscious window boxes. Someone pays a pretty penny to keep this area up. And it is worth it. There are also little parks set among the row-houses, gardens that are only for the residents. It can get a bit confusing because there are streets/roads/lanes all named the same thing, as well as streets that change names as you cross them.
Exciting adventures especially when it’s a lovely day and you have tons of time. We reveled in it all.
We headed down Brompton, passing Harrods (we will be back!) and then again passed the Oratory and the beautiful statue of Blessed John Henry Newman, former Anglican and later apologist for the Roman Catholic Church. Newman came to the Catholic Church through researching refutation for the Church’s claims. He ended up a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, founding the Oratory in Birmingham and sending out priests to start the Brompton Oratory in London.
I think it’s pretty cool that two of our favorite places in London, Brompton Oratory and V&A, are next to each other … and just a block or two away from Harrods (more about that visit below).
The V&A was just about to open on this gorgeous Sunday morning, so we waited and took pictures … and then took tons of pictures inside! The V&A is a great place to explore: not only is it free but it also has a little bit of everything for everyone and celebrates the one thing that truly separates us from animals: we WANT to decorate and embellish and adorn and beautify our surroundings. The V&A is a museum of art and design … creative pursuits that we, as humans, do everyday to imitate the Great Creator!
After a couple of hours of wandering the V&A corridors … up stairs and down … partial floors and gallery after gallery … we realized our semi-English breakfast had worn off and we needed to eat. Harrods sounded like a good idea – they have 28 some eating/drinking establishments (not even counting the Food Hall) in their huge anchor store just a few blocks away from the V&A (convenient, yes?).
After a wonderful (if pricey) nosh (Maggie had ham/cheese while I had an authentic Welsh Rarebit that was amazing!) we headed to do some window-shopping as well as real shopping. We lucked into a great sale in their “souvenir” department so I was able to get a Harrod’s messenger/attache bag for a great price (as well as coordianting wallet and makeup bag). We had such fun just wandering the departments.
We headed back to the hotel … thru a day that had turned overcast and a tad chilly … but we were so experienced with this particular walk back that we never got lost. We stopped at Victoria Station to load up on food for a small dinner and then back to the Stanley House to pack, eat and rest up for our early morning departure.
Tomorrow … our very last day in England with a morning flight home