Day two -
I enjoyed a scrumptious English breakfast (after 12 hours of sleep!) and headed out to the Victoria & Albert Museum which is filled to the brim with incredible arts and crafts. I went straight to the jewelry room and spend nearly three hours in there! It's a very sexy room of hot low voltage lights, glass, chrome and black paint. The gold, silver and jewels dating from ancient times to the present all glowed in the intimate space. I was in heaven. I sketched and took tons of notes. Then, I walked the halls and enjoyed the exquisite miniature portraits (pre-photography days), happily happened upon a hallway filled with Beatrix Potter's sketches and watercolors of gardens and animals, then to the extensive Asian galleries. I had lunch in the museum cafe which is the most delightful I've ever experienced. There were three 19th century lunchrooms with different themes. I got lucky and found a table in the "Blue and White" room which was covered with wood paneling, stained glass windows and blue & white hand painted tiles depicting all the goddesses and muses one could think of. I felt like I was back in the Belle Epoque. I barely skimmed the surface of the V & A and I was there ALL day! When I left the building at closing time, exiting from the Underground.... I ascended into night skies and millions of white twinkle lights! I had walked right into an evening carnival with a carousel, ice skating rinks and tons of couples and families drinking hot cocoa. I stayed awhile and enjoyed the revelry then headed down the road to Harrods for shopping and a little sushi dinner in the food court. There were so many people out and about one would have thought the holidays had just begun instead of just ending!
19th century Indian gold necklace
V & A courtyard
19th century dress made in India
V & A cafe
entrance to the V & A
If you are also a jewelry fanatic, or just lover of art, the V & A has a great website where you can search for what interests you. Check it out and click on the link below!
If you are looking for a chic affordable (in the off season) little hotel with a nice restaurant and a tres chic bedroom and toilette, I stayed at the Apex City of London Hotel, two block from the Tower of London.