To me a perfect day in London is the one when I do not have to fight for space with others. Each and every year I think that the city could not become more crowded. And each and every year I have to see that it can and it does. The change might not be so striking for permanent residents but I can see and feel the ever increasing mass of people.
This period of the quickly disappearing summer and the coming of autumn comes with benefits though. Not only the number of tourists decreases but more and more Londoners decide to stay in or just sit in to somewhere for a chat and drink. The streets become breezy, and sometimes freezing, and you can freely wander without spending your time apologizing for bumping into someone.
I spent probably one of the last summery days playing the tourist, but I did this with the knowledge of a local that is an absolutely wonderful feeling. Getting to know a metropolis can be overwhelming at the beginning but when you start roaming the streets as if you were born there, that is simply and solely fantastic.
I had a cheekily posh day. I started it with a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum. I have long realized that it is pointless to plan a museum visit here with the aim of seeing everything on display. If I was allowed, I would happily spend a few days and nights in any of the museums just to see everything finally. Years ago I have even applied for volunteering on a sleepover night but I was not shortlisted. Yes, the planet would stop moving without shortlists, even sleepovers can not happen without them. If you ever hear about sleepovers organized for adults, please, get in touch.
This time in the V&A I went for the jewellery section on level 3. A relatively small room packed with the most beautiful things on Earth. I am not really fond of wearing jewellery, what I enjoy is just watching them and trying to find out how they were made. I must add, not too many modern-day goldsmith’ would be able to re-produce the craftmanship that you can witness on these exhibited pieces, although the tools we can use now are far more developed than those these craftsmen could use many centuries ago. My only issue with these museum visits is that I can not touch and feel the objects.
After a couple of hours I moved on to find a place for a quick lunch and then for dessert. Because the Hummingbird Bakery is very close to the museums of Kensington, I decided to sit in for an afternoon tea and a cake. It is usually crowded with tourists but I was lucky enough to get a table this time. The bakery offers American-style cakes and desserts and they come in huge slices. My red velvet cake was the most delicious thing I have tasted recently. It’s soft and smooth and creamy and just incredible.
From the bakery I headed to Kensington Gardens and on to Hyde Park. I spent a few hours walking around without any idea about where I want to arrive. There were hardly any people comparing to how it is on a nice summer day. I love that there are sections where you can feel as if on the countryside, they leave the grass grow long and ‘untended’.
When the evening turned chilly I left for home but it felt as if I have spent a week on holiday. Peace, chaos or else, London has all you might need, you only need to know what you want from it.