London: Sunday 4th and Monday 5th September

Sunday was our only dreary day so far, so we started the morning off with a visit to Tate Britain, which houses the best of British art. It’s a gorgeous collection, including a whole room full of Turners and lots of those odd paintings of entire families looking bemused. I didn’t get any photos, partly because I didn’t want to be ‘that’ annoying person, but also because I have never in my life taken a picture of a painting which wasn’t blurry.

The stand-out exhibit was definitely the ‘walk through the 20th century,’ which was made up of a huge range of different media: paintings, photographs, sculptures etc, but my favourite was a dark little alcove called something like ‘Gateway to the Empire.’ It had benches to sit on, was piping out what sounded like psalms or plainsong and had projected on the wall a short slow-motion film of people walking through the international arrivals doors at Heathrow. It was astoundingly hypnotic. I got a good shot of the installation from a little way down the hall:

After the Tate, we had a nice pub lunch before slinking off to the movies to get out of the rain. When we came out of the theatre the sun was shining and Leicester Square was heaving. We had a wander around the square, before coming across this horrific sight:

That’s right, m&m’s world, a four-storey shopping experience, entirely devoted to your favourite candy-covered chocolates. We went inside for just long enough to realise that this was no joke.

It took me about fifteen minutes to get over it. In fact I’m still trying to get over it. It’s capitalism gone mad.

This photo really sums up my feelings about it:

We also spotted this pub called the Slug and Lettuce. Appetising..

On monday morning I got in nice and early to take a whirl on the London Eye, which was certainly worth the £20-odd.

It’s a nice, very comfortable way to see the city from a whole new angle.

We had a wander down one of the river paths and found a rather lovely monument to those who served in World War II:

Then we walked over to Trafalgar Square, after getting a good look down Pall Mall:

We had lunch at Byron in Earl’s Court and had the best burgers we have ever had in our lives – it’s well worth a visit and such a cute wee restaurant:

After that we bid farewell to London via Marylebone Station and headed off to Catherine-de-Barnes!


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