The start of another long weekend in London. Arriving in the capital around lunchtime, I decided to take the Underground to South Kensington so that I could visit the Victoria & Albert Museum which is on Cromwell Road.
The Victoria & Albert (V & A) is the world’s leading museum of art and design housing many of the UK’s national collections. The Museum was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Queen Victoria dedicated this district to her beloved husband Albert where the Albert Memorial and the Royal Albert Hall were also built in his honour.
Entrance to the museum is free of charge and complimentary tours and talks are available each day, details can be found here. The museum covers 12.5 acres so it’s best to pick up a map and visit the galleries that you find the most interesting. I enjoy looking in the Fashion galleries and during my visit there was a special exhibition taking place entitled ‘Undressed’ displaying our relationship between underwear and fashion through the ages.
When it’s time to rest your feet you will find a large cafe and a bar with an outdoor terrace which is open throughout the year. The Inner Courtyard is particularly beautiful in summer when visitors can sit and admire the stunning architecture and mirror pool whilst enjoying refreshments in the warm sunshine.
Glancing at my watch there was just enough time for me to enjoy tea and cakes so instead of dining at the museum, I took the underground the short distance to Sloane Square, Chelsea and enjoyed a pot of tea and a slice of cake in Peter Jones rooftop cafe on the Kings Road, before meeting my son who was arriving into London around 7.00 pm.
We met up at our hotel, the Clapham Junction Travelodge where we’ve stayed several times before. It’s very quiet yet ideally situated close to both Victoria and Waterloo stations and offers good value, comfortable accommodation. After dropping off our bags we went out for supper followed by a riverside walk near Tower Bridge. We passed City Hall with its sunken amphitheatre ‘The Scoop’ in the foreground. In summer there is often some live entertainment taking place here whilst at other times one can sit on the steps enjoying the view.
It was bitterly cold but we enjoyed a pleasant walk alongside some of London’s iconic landmarks before returning to our hotel to warm up and discuss our plans for the next day.