Now what shall we tell I’m Crayon to do in London when she’s only over for a week?
She’s staying in Grosvenor Square, which sounds pretty posh to me, and on the doorstep of everything. (She’s already in the country so it may well be too late, but she may check in!)
If you can run to a show of some sort I’m sure you ought to see something. I don’t think it matters whether it’s theatre, ballet, opera or a concert, but see something you should! London will offer you food from pretty much anywhere in the world so you must make sure to eat something specifically local even if it’s only a full English breakfast; or perhaps a cream tea, given the time of year.
And walk the streets! Take a tube certainly, because they’re unique, but just connecting places and people-watching on foot is fun. (And you probably need a ride in a black cab just so you can say you have been in one.) At least one of the parks: Regent’s to see roses or the zoo – or the open air theatre is a great outing if there’s something on when you visit. Or Hampstead Heath perhaps; it’s further out but the views from the top of Parliament Hill are terrific and it’s lovely to wander around. You could combine it with a trip to Camden Lock to look at the market which I wrote about in an earlier post.
I always love Covent Garden: heaving with tourists, but buzzing with interesting shops, street entertainers and eateries.
At least one art gallery too. Depends whether you like art as to which one! I prefer a museum myself: the Victoria and Albert, as it happens, because I love the costumes. When I was a student I spent hours wandering around looking at the furniture and judging everything on whether or not I’d give it houseroom. But the National Gallery can be ticked off at the same time as Trafalgar Square, Horse Guard’s, Parliament, Admiralty Arch, Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard. I think they’re essential and traditional! (I'm rather hoping you may have managed the Trooping of the Colour today.) You’ll be exhausted, but you can walk between all of those easily.
I love London. I lived in Woolwich for a couple of years (twice) with my parents, and then in Highbury, Islington, as a student at the London College of Fashion. My parents now live in their own home in south east London (they might tell you it used to be Kent). They reckoned it was a good place to settle as we’d always want to visit Town: they were right! I still get a buzz from central London despite my love of my present, rural life.
It may well be too late for I’m Crayon, but I rather enjoyed thinking about what to tell her. Hope she had fun!