Third Top Free Thing to do in London
A Visit to the Serpentine Gallery, Hyde Park and more…
I began my move to the UK with a stay at the President’s Hotel near Russell Square in central London. Russell Square, with its century old Scot’s Elm trees, a central fountain and a “Paris-like café”, is wonderful for an early stroll or for a good morning cappuccino and pain au chocolat. By the way, the Imperial Hotel chain, while not fancy, offers reasonably priced 3-star accommodation for those of you London bound.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN LONDON
As an expat American with one foot in the Cotswold’s and one in London at SAT Travel*, it became important to quickly learn the best way from point A to B, typically via those wonderful red double-decker busses (my preferred route as one gets to sightsee) or by Underground (the subway) which is fairly user-friendly.
Hyde Park is the largest park in London. I took the underground to Hyde Park Corner station where I saw the Wellington Museum and the Wellington Arch. As I entered the park, this was a true “Indian summer” day; sunny, warm, fallen leaves underfoot, all with the soft hint of colder wet weather ahead.
Nearby young boys made faces at the geese while families sat on park benches watching over their children. Teenagers put away iPhones to ride the free bicycles while others rented paddle boats or kissed on nearby benches.
Not far ahead was the gallery.
One of the things which attracted me to visit the Serpentine Gallery was the unusual eggshell shaped pavilion perched alongside it. Designed by a Chilean based architect, Smiljian Radic, this looks like giant Paper Mache creation gently settled upon giant boulders. From a practical standpoint, it is a 200 seat café. It IS worth a visit.
Stepping into the actual gallery to view American Trisha Donnelly’s work, all six white rooms had a projector placing a large still image upon one wall of the room. I paused to give myself time and space to be inspired. Yet, I wasn’t certain if I just “didn’t get it” or whether there truly wasn’t much “to get”. My visit to Ms. Donnelly’s exhibit was over in a flash and frankly I left feeling uninspired.
Apparently I wasn’t alone as Mark Hudson from the Telegraph was reviewing Trish’s exhibit at the same time as me. In The Telegraph he called it a ‘non-event’-read on…
DRINKS AND NEIL DIAMOND
Next I headed to the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington for drinks with a new American friend, Sam Bullock. Sam is in London with Capitol Records while currently promoting Neil Diamond’s new album, Melody Road. To say that Sam is vibrant, funny, high energy and a go- getter, is like seeing just the tip of the iceberg. Wow, what intense liveliness!
One thing about living part time in the sleepy Cotswold’s is that it rarely is… ordinary.* Last Saturday, Sam and I happened to be sitting at the bar of Tetbury’s Ormond Pub while admiring a lovely miniature golden retriever at a nearby table. It turns out that this Los Angeles adventurer took an overnight detour to my small town while on route to her PR gig in London. Small world- London fun for the taking!
*For SAT group travel to Europe: www.sat-travel.com
*For International Property Share details: www.tetburytownhouse.com