This was our final day on this little trip to London. There is just never enough time to fully absorb this intoxicating city.
We started with a very stylish late breakfast with our friend Bernard of England at the Wolseley, originally the showroom of Wolseley Motors in 1921. The ground floor was next occupied by Barclay’s Bank and then a Chinese restaurant, finally reopened in 2003 as an upscale European-style restaurant. The place was lovely, the food quite nice and the service ever so genteel.
We then meandered around all the posh shops of Jermyn Street, where almost everything a man could desire is offered on bespoke terms. Even the cheese shop is best-in-class.
St. James Church is always worth a visit. They have quite a history, and quite an enlightened attitude toward the homeless.
Nearby is the Royal Academy, where the other day June and I saw a wonderful exhibit of paintings by a Finnish artist, Helene Schjerfbeck, who died in 1946. She is an iconic painter in her own country, but not sufficiently exhibited here or in the US. Very moving, very powerful. Her style evolved continually, especially evident in her self-portraits, done as she aged. Pow!
After a bit more sight-seeing this afternoon, we eventually ended up in Soho for a late lunch with our New York friend Marylouise. (Yes, it does seem like we went from meal to meal today, but we did try to keep it light.) At various points over the last 20 years, Marylouise and I have been in London at the same time – sometimes planned, sometimes coincidentally. It’s a bit of a joke. This was a coincidental encounter, but still kind of spooky. Great to see her anywhere, so a good time was had by all.
All the layers of London make it a place you could wander alone for years and never be bored. But how lucky for us that our time here was leavened with such good friends and wonderful shared experiences.
We’re already scheming about our next visit.