Jan and I visited London in September as guests of my sister Binnaz and brother-in-law Ergun. We had a grand time and I will post more about our experience, things and places we saw, and the good time we had there between September 17 – 27.
The car that Ergun had arranged was waiting for us as we left the passport control and customs, a very nice Mercedes with a very polite chauffeur. The drive to the Phoenix House was about an hour. Our host and hostess greeted us as we rang the doorbell. It was the same suite we stayed last year but Jan could not make that trip. After we settled down Binnaz suggested that we visit the Chelsea Gardener, a nearby plant nursery. It was more like a boutique and even in the greenhouse area everything was very tidy with great attention to every detail. After enjoying the flowers and other carefully displayed goods, we went to the pub across the street for lunch and a short beer. Later in the evening we went to Como Lario, an Italian restaurant where Ergun had made the reservation, Como Lario near Sloane Square. Good food, good wine, and we enjoyed catching up with each other.
The next day we decided to visit the British Museum hoping to see the Pompei and Herculaneum exhibit. By the time we arrived all the tickets for the day were sold to that exhibit, so we wondered around different galleries and spent most time in the Enlightenment Gallery. At the center of the Great Court is a large round white structure that houses temporary exhibits, gift shops, and a restaurant at the top. We had lunch there and enjoyed the birds-eye view of the great court from high above.
In the evening we walked to the Cadogan Hall, literally across the street from where we were staying and enjoyed a concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Natasha Paremski. We had very good seats and the concert was very enjoyable. After the concert we walked to the Sloane Square to have a late dinner at Colbert. Another enjoyable day was over.
Not too far from where we stayed was Chelsea Physic Garden, established by Sir Hans Sloane and run by volunteers at the same place since 1673. It served the needs of apothecaries, precursors of today’s pharmacists. The garden is very well maintained and easy to walk around. There are many different species of plants, often times intertwined in a healthy, maybe even symbiotic relationship. Although there was a light drizzle, it did not stop us to enjoy the flower beds, tall ginkgo trees, and a catalpa tree supporting a large climbing rose. We had lunch at the café under the canopy.
The evening was reserved for a concert at the Barbican by the London Symphony Orchestra and pianist Mitsuki Uchida. After the concert we walked up to Cote Braserie where Ergun had made a reservation for dinner. The time was near 10 PM and they told us we could order one entrée which was fine. We enjoyed our dinner after a fine concert and returned home (Cheval Phoenix House).
More to come, stay tuned …