Monday 21 October 2013

The British Museum and other adventures

The British Museum is one of my favourite places in London.  Every time I go, I discover a new piece that I'd overlooked on previous visits as there are so many artefacts jammed in there.  Dave had never visited the museum before, so we both vetoed Lucas's pleas to go back to the Natural History Museum for the umpteenth time, and headed there after lunch.

After you climb the steps and pass through the Greek Revival column-lined façade you reach the Great Court, now the central hub of the museum.  The stunning glass and steel roof, constructed in 2000, covers the entire court with the Reading Room at the centre of the Court.  If you look up, from just the right angle, you can see the domed roof of the Reading Room peeking out above the roof.  It's almost like being at Hogwarts.

The Reading Room within the Great Court of the British Museum
We spent a lot of time in the Enlightenment Gallery which I'm not sure I've been into before.  The gallery provides a sort of introduction to the artefacts and antiquities within the museum, as well as demonstrating how collectors and scientists tried to further their understanding of the world during the age.

One of the highlights of the Enlightenment Gallery is the replica of the Rosetta Stone.  The real one, on the other side of the Great Court is always five people deep so it was lovely to have a really good look even if it wasn't the real thing.  Lucas was fascinated when we told him all about the Rosetta Stone even though he was up close and personal with a replica.
A replica of the Rosetta Stone
It always breaks my heart that so many amazing works of art have been vandalised over the years.  Despite her missing head, there is so much beauty and joy inherent in this dancer, displayed in the Athens room.  Her robes look silken and flowing as she spins.  My photograph just doesn't do the statue's beauty justice.

After we'd had our fill of the ancient world we headed back out onto the busy streets of London and wandered down to Covent Garden for gelato.  Scoop is our gelateria of choice...Dave was introduced to it a few years back by a friend and he, in turn, introduced Lucas and I to it.  Rain or shine, every time we go to London these days we make a beeline for Scoop!!

This time round I had Chocolate Extra Fondante sorbet, which was as black as sin but tasted heavenly, Mango sorbet, and Amaretto ice-cream with cherry sauce which was just amazing.

Dave and Lucas shared Pistachio, Caramel and White Chocolate and loved every bite.  The white chocolate was a bit disappointing, apparently, but I guess when you eat something delicate alongside punchy flavours like pistachio and caramel, it's going to suffer a little.

After we finished our gelato we wandered through Covent Garden and soaked up the atmosphere.  There were buskers everywhere, street magicians and my favourite...the living statues!  I was as wide-eyed with wonder as Lucas was!

Living statue in Covent Garden
After walking around for a while, we started to think about dinner.  I know, I know...we'd just had gelato and burgers at lunch time.  How could we possibly be hungry?  I blame all that exercise and fresh air!  (Well, air.  No one could possibly argue that London's air is fresh.)

I really wanted Thai, but conceded that it was probably better to go somewhere that Lucas was excited about and he was mega, mega keen to go to the Hare and Tortoise in Kensington for sushi.  My feet weren't overly keen on trekking out to Kensington, but since he hadn't had much of a lunch, I was willing to give it a go.

Luckily, Dave came up trumps with the discovery of another Hare & Tortoise in Bloomsbury, which was much closer and also on our way back to the hotel.  Hurrah!

Sushi plate & Teriyaki Chicken
I don't know how the Hare and Tortoise do it, but you rarely have to wait more than a couple of minutes for a table, and once you've ordered your food appears in about five minutes flat, yet it's all perfectly cooked.  A lot of restaurants could learn from them.  Plus, it all comes with a smile!

Lucas wolfed down his sushi in record time and also shared little bits of my teriyaki chicken and Dave's tori katsu don until he was full.  I loved the teriyaki chicken but there was so much of it that even I struggled to reach the bottom of the bowl.

After dinner we hopped back on the Underground and headed back to our hotel, tired but happy.  When we synced up our Fitbits we discovered that we'd walked nine miles across London!!  I have renewed respect for Hobbits; those little guys walked up to 18 miles a day in their quest to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom!  Me?  Nine miles and I was totally and utterly done.


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  1. Wait.. is a gelateria a thing around there? 'Cause that's amazing. Once again your post has inspired me. You do GREAT adventures and Lucas is a lucky, lucky kid.

    1. There are quite a few gelaterias in London. We've got a couple in Bristol, too. Lucas has indeed been very lucky this year with almost a week of birthday celebrations!

  2. Such fabulous adventures in London, love Covent Garden too ! Lovely pictures !
    Do visit my blog & if you like, follow me on GFC, Bloglovin & Twitter, leave a comment & I'll surely follow back! Have a lovely day!

    Feisty Fox Diaries

  3. That museum looks amazing, it looks like you had a great time!

    The Penny Rose

    1. We had a great time, Carrie! Thanks for stopping by xx


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