Thursday, November 14, 2013

In the Smoke


St. Pancras International Station.

The Champagne Bar next to the Paris train at St. Pancras

One of my favourite places in London is St. Pancras Station. There are enough bars and cafes here to meet people and hangout. The station has a level of romance you might associate with trains departing for Paris Gare du Nord (and Brussels). Two hours and your are sipping chaud Suchard chocolat at the Gare du Nord brasserie. It is easy to become blasé about trips to Paris so I won't and move onto London.

The St. Pancras Concourse

Okay so it was raining this time. but in a maritime climate you gotta expect inclement weather. Anyway inside the station you are dry and it is a thing of beauty. Vast quantities of pound sterling went into restoring and remodelling this station back to former glories.

I took a tube to Leicester Square and walked the short distance to the National Gallery which houses room after room of nationally and internationally significant paintings. Entrance is free, thanks to the former Labour Culture Minister Mark Fisher who I have once spoken to. I nearly worked for him but he chose someone else. I have forgiven him.

Claude Lorrain, Seaport and the Embarcation of the Queen of Sheba (1648)

It's probably my favourite painting in the National Gallery. She currently sits next to JMW Turner's works of similar ilk, at Turner's request.

 And now to the Bloomsbury district. My home for 14 years.

The Charlotte Street Hotel

The Lobby 

Spent a wonderful evening with the most erudite man I know. Professor Luckhurst. We talked of Kunming, Sai Gon, Mizoguchi, Lovecraft and Kobayashi. The Silver Needle tea was $10 a pot. So that's a tiny pot each. Arguably the best tea available it might have been actual 'Iron Goddess' tea. In five years they'll call it that and charge $20 for it. I have had tastier teas but perhaps not finer. Not to be taken with pork scratchings, dry roasted peanuts or other strong tasting foods.

Hotel Bar

What London can give you on some days.‎ 

A piano in the heart; La Ritournelle Remix

The Church at St. Martins in the Field and new Routemaster Bus with illuminated rain


Happy Travelling!

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