September 23, another busy day, read it as “a lot of photographs!” The day started at the Covent Garden Market, a combination of a shopping mall with various eating places, antique and flea-market. But this is not your father’s flea market, they sell high quality, high-caliber items. I even came across an old hand-operated printing press, nothing remarkable there. But its brand was “Adana” which is the name of the town where I grew up. Apparently the owner created a legend to tie the company name to the city of Adana.
We wandered around, and took photographs (surprise!) There was even a “free-lance soprano” singing at the lower level. I am not sure what free-lance means in this context, but her singing was enjoyable in the setting. Stopping and going from stand to stand, examining a variety of items, we made our way out after we saw everything we were interested in.
The next stop was the Royal Academy of Arts where we saw nice exhibits. “Mexico: A Revolution in Art 1910-1940” had nice original photographs from Weston, Alvarez-Bravo, Modotti, as well as Rivera art among other interesting items. After the exhibits, it was time for lunch at The Restaurant at The Academy of Arts, a very nice one indeed and we enjoyed the food and service. After we were finished at the Academy, we walked out and into the Burlington Arcade. An upscale arcade with a string of small shops with very interesting, high quality, and high-priced items. Even the shoeshine man was in a vest and a tie! It was a very enjoyable shopping environment, but we managed just to take photographs without purchasing anything.
During our travels in London we passed by Fortnum and Mason, the famous and in place to have tea. After the arcade we went to F&M for tea although it was only a little after we had lunch. While nearby, why miss the opportunity! The place is much more than a place where you can have tea. There were packages of candy, cookies, other edibles, and many more gift items. We went to the “Tea Room” on the top floor where a hostess asked if we wanted the “full experience”. Why not, we were there to have tea and wanted to have the full experience, of course. After a short wait, we were seated at a nice table and given menus. Oh, what do I see? The full experience comes with almost 6 course of various edibles, one choice from among three hot dishes, and of course tea. The price? Oh, mere £50 per person. Huh? We had just had lunch and I saw the tower in which they served food at the next table. There was no way I, or any of us could eat that much food even for lunch, let alone after lunch. So, we asked he waiter that we just wanted to have some tea and maybe a couple of small pastries. He said that they had a room on level two and we proceeded to the “real tea room with not full experience”. You will see in the photographs that it was a very nice tea, or coffee-room where we had our tea and a couple of small pieces of pastries.
Leaving Fortnum and Mason’s we got in a taxi and went back to the Phoenix House to rest a while. Later in the evening, it was time for a visit to Chinatown for some Chinese food. It was a colorful district with shops, restaurants, and a lot of people. We walked in a small store to see what kind of goods they sold, oh my! On the way out Binnaz liked a kind of fruit or vegetable that looked like a cross between a puffer fish and a pineapple. It had a prickly surface, but Binnaz wanted to touch it only to find that those were really sharp. Later I found through some Google search that the fruit was called Durian known for its extremely awful smell. I am glad we did not attempt to taste it, very glad!
The final destination was Golden Pagoda where we enjoyed nice selections from their menu and returned home.