Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Museums in the rain

As I couldn’t feel inspired to walk Hampstead Heath in the annoyingly unpredictable rain yesterday I decided to go to a few museums – smaller, less well known attractions that were fairly close together!

I started out at the Museum of the Household Cavalry on Whitehall. I got there just after 10 am so was also there for the Changing of the Guard at 11 am. This was a very small museum, and only cost £4 to get in. There wasn’t enough there to spend hours – I was finished by 11 – but the exhibit was interesting and it was nice to see the horses!

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After the Changing of the Guard (which was so crowded it was really hard to see – maybe I’ll go back sometime when its not tourist season) I crossed the road and went into The Banqueting House, from which Charles I was executed. This was a huge building in which concerts are held; unfortunately the actual museum is just one large, virtually empty with an admittedly magnificent ceiling, so I didn’t think that much of this one.

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I then walked to Leicester Square to try – and fail – to get my ticket for the play. No theatre for me this visit! While there I had lunch at a tiny Japanese restaurant (not a chain for once) and dessert in the Square before heading back over the Thames in search of my third museum – the Clink, near London Bridge.

This was a an excellent little museum (though very dark – so no internal photos) with torture devices for people to touch and in some cases wear(!) and a detailed history of the whole area of Southwark, as well as speculation as to why such a small prison gave the nickname for British jails when bigger ones have been forgotten. The Clink was the first prison to hold women regularly and also one of few used to hold people for their religious beliefs (which religion was being persecuted changing multiple times in its life!) so you can imagine how interesting (and depressing!) it was.

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By this point it was raining hard again so I went back to Waterloo to catch my train and do a little mundane shopping before returning to the hotel.

Food today:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs on toast (how many eggs???) at Wetherspoons

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and a little complementary shortbread in my hotel room

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Lunch: Salmon teriyaki with rice (I ate less than a third of the rice) and miso soup (I’ve never been keen on miso soup but this was excellent – and the salmon was amazing, moist and flavourful yet so tender it flaked as soon as the chopsticks touched it!)

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Followed by cherry flavoured frozen yoghurt

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Dinner: Back to Nando’s because it was closer than the place we wanted to go and it was still raining. I had my old favourite mixed salad with a portobello mushroom & grilled halloumi burger.

My camera needed charging so I didn’t get a photo – but you’ve seen it before anyway!

Then we got a big cookie each at a local shop, I had half as dessert and half as supper and it was actually really delicious!

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Snacks: An original 9-bar,

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some strawberry liquorice and a bag of popcorn

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– plus a few nuts and pieces of rice crackers at the train station on the way home.

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