As I mentioned, a few weeks ago the magic three daytrippers lost one point of our triangle of fun times. Ali has moved to Goteborg, Sweden and therefore any future day tripping will mostly likely take place… er there! So that will be fun. I hope I see a bear or a wolf (from a distance).
Anyway inbetween packing up her wordly possesions and learning how to say JAG er ny här bli trevlig till jag behaga (er, meant to be I’m new here please be nice to me; but upon closer inspection of my really terrible swedish means I’m fresh here be nice to self which might not encourage new friends!) we managed to squeeze in one last London based day trip.
First stop was the London Transport Museum. Now you might read that and think snoooooze, but this place is seriously amazing. Transport is trendy! As a Londoner you clock up on average seven hours a week at least hurtling around deep underground on the tube (and that’s if you have a sweet 30 minute commute like me) so how can you not be slightly curious by how this monsterous network of tunnels and trains came to exist. It’s not just the invention, you can learn all about transport used during the war, revolutions and trends in travel. And if engineering and industry is not your thing, then you can pretty much see every poster, map design and artwork used since 1800 and they are absolutely amazing. I think my favourite are Adrian Allisons work from the 1930s with posters like this. There is an incredible online database of artists and artwork here if you aren’t near Covent Garden for a visit in person.
That’s the museum, what I haven’t mentioned are the two best bits of any museum… the gift shop and the cafe of course! And London Transport Museum has top examples of both. The cafe is a tranquil retreat in the middle of bustling weekend central London, as it never seems overly busy.
The seats are upholstered in traditional London Underground fabric (the kind that really prickles your bum if you have a summer dress on, let me tell you) and has a really quaint little menu – including smoothies themed around the various tube lines. I think we all tried to stick stubbornly to our respective tube lines that we live on! And I very much enjoyed a District line limey apple affair. Where else in London can you buy marmite on crumpets either? It was the perfect afternoon snack to accompany Alis present giving ceremony!
The gift shop is a dangerous place as you could easily end up with more transport related items than you could physically fit in any home. From giant poster prints, to tube map covered crockery, to an entire sofa covered in the traditional tube seat ‘moquette’ – again in your preferred line (East London line for me. Orange and Brown tetric cubes!) And it was in this shop that we discovered the joy of naughty bus! The best childrens book in the history of the world. I instantly added it to my amazon wishlist which is slowly starting to consist of more childrens books than anything else. Oops. (Burglar Bill, Each Peach Pear Plum & The Bad-Tempered Ladybird are all on there too!)
My tube geekery is definitely on the up and I stumbled across this amazing blog Going Underground to add to my reader, which features the serious stuff (strikes, maintenace, grr!) but also lovely anectodes and sightings on the tube as well as events and things to look out for.
We then headed just a quick walk around the corner to Hope & Greenwood. I think Ali might miss this place more than me or Craig! We will have to definitely post her H&G goody bags to keep her spirits up.
They are definitely the original and the best old fashioned sweet stockist, and the entire shop is an experience in itself. The smells, the bunting, the tasters and the jar after jar of beautiful sweets. I absolutely adore all the packaging and tiny details that they put into making everything as authentic as possible.
Do not fear, Craig and I will continue our day trips and adventures so I have things to report back on, but it will be with a slightly heavy heart (and sore fingers and thumbs from texting Ali constantly while we do it!). She has left us in care of her KITE! So that is top of the list for an autumn antic once I’m back from holidaying.