London, Day Four – Victoria & Albert Museum, Hyde Park

Thursday, May 16

After talking with Jim, I seem to have gotten my days mixed up. Tuesday, at the British Museum, the issue was more the crowds and the noise. I don’t know if it was a special school day or there are always tons of people but it was crazy. So between the number of people and the amount of information, we only spent a few hours there. Definitely a place to revisit though.

Today is the day I ran out of steam when we went to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see their collection of decorative arts and design. I’m pretty sure that even if we were starting fresh, we’d have only been able to see it in short bursts. There’s just so much to take in.

I did spend some time in their fashion collection. It starts in the seventeenth century and moves through to the present day. There were the usual photograph-and-move-on visitors but it was cool to see some fashion design students lingering there, studying and sketching the designs. What a great field trip that would be! If you have a moment, check out some of the beautiful pieces on their website.

 Jim took a few photos of their ironwork section. There were decorative pieces,

Victoria & Albert Decorative

And utilitarian pieces like this lantern,

Victoria & Albert Lantern

And a collection of ornate locks and keys,

Victoria & Albert Lock     Victoria & Albert Key

There was also a huge elaborate glass chandelier by Washington artist Dale Chihuly hanging right over the information desk. I felt sorry for the people who have to sit under this all day. I’d be so tense! I also expect dusting the thing would be a full time job.

Victoria & Albert Dale Chihuly

After getting our fill, we sat outside and relaxed for a while. We saw quite a few school groups including these little dudes in their uniforms.

Victoria & Albert School Group

We saw the classic European city scene of the pensioner feeding the pigeons. (I’m not sure why his pants leg was rolled up – maybe the abrasion on his knee?)

Victoria & Albert Feeding the Pigeons

On the way home, we walked through Kensington Gardens and found the Albert Memorial under construction.

Albert Memorial

At each corner in a group of statues representing Asia, Africa, America and Europe, seen here.

Albert Memorial

The Asia group is reflected here in the window of the Royal Albert Hall.

Albert Hall

We saw more school groups out including this darling little group of Madelines.

School Group

We stopped for lunch at the traditional British pub, The Goat Tavern. You can see a photo of the great sign out front here.  It was slightly non-traditional in that they had some vegetarian versions of classic pub fare – I had a vegetarian pie with chips and peas and carrots. We also got to try some real British ale – Bombadier.

After a meal and a rest at the apartment, we headed back out for a trip to the Harley-davidson dealer. We found Warr’s Harley-Davidson who say they are Europe’s oldest dealer, established in 1924. Happily, we also found them open, unlike the shops in Paris. Jim bought a hoodie and shirt and I bought a patch for a girlfriend back home who rides.

We had a little supper and went back to the apartment to pack up in preparation for our check out and travel the next day.


5 thoughts on “London, Day Four – Victoria & Albert Museum, Hyde Park

  1. Barbara

    That chandelier at the Vic and Albert museum was the most amazing glasswork I’ve ever seen. Looked like Marie Laveau’s hair! And I loved the little girls in their red coats and hats with red ribbons. They really looked like Madeleines!
    It’s almost lunch time and your talk about eating at the Goat Tavern made me hungry.
    I followed the link to the Bombadier’s Tavern. If you drink there, do you take off like a bomber? It was funny that they won’t let you go to their site if you’re under age. I wonder how many people put their true birthdate in.
    I’m anxious to be reminded of where you went next. l&h

  2. Anonymous

    Pretty interesting to see the Dale Chihuly – so much a part of our modern times – match its curliques to the very old ironwork decorations. And I loved the photo of the Madelines!

  3. Bluetick runner/Trella

    Love Chihuly!! He set up an exhibit here in Atl at our Botanical Gardens, They held night time parties and most of the sculptures were all lit up. As were the guests after awhile. I watched a video of on of the big ones being assembled. No worries on that score, those suckers are very, very secure. I love the ironworks lantern and would happily install that here..somewhere.
    The Madelines! No appendicitis, I hope. 😉 The Golden Age of Couture…wistful sigh…you lucky rascal. Awesome, awesome stuff!

    1. Kate Post author

      We didn’t see anyone riding on this day. I think our taxi ride from the train station on our first day took us through Hyde Park and I seem to remember people riding.


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