A couple weekends ago, I woke up on a Saturday morning with not a lot planned for the day. After doing a bit of baking (my procrastination method of choice), I was beginning to think I was going to have to spend the rest of my day –gulp– being productive, when my sister called me. She was on her way into London to meet a friend at the Natural History Museum, and did I want to join them? Yes, please.
In fact, this was kismet: I’d recently realized that the Natural History museum was the only “major” museum in London I’d never been to, and I’d heard enough about the beauty of the building to know that this needed remedying. My sister and her friend were seeing an exhibit which, unfortunately, I couldn’t get a ticket too, but I decided to go anyway, explore a bit and meet them afterwards. So without further ado I wiped the flour from my hands, grabbed my camera, and hopped on the tube to South Kensington.
Of course, it was a Saturday, so by the time I arrived there was quite a long queue, consisting of roughly 50% children.
Luckily it moved swiftly, and before I knew it I was in the main hall, crawling with people but still very beautiful.
I climbed some stairs to get a better view, then started to really notice the details in this historic building.
Lovely stained glass…
…animals everywhere you look…
…and an extraordinary amount of ornate detail. See how all the spindles on this staircase are different?
The façade is wonderful too. But of course, I wasn’t here to oogle the building (entirely) so I decided to be a good little scholar and go learn something.
There were dinosaurs, naturally…
…turtles flying above doorways (of course)…
…a whole lot of fossils (not to mention parents wrangling children with varying degrees of interest in their surroundings)…
…and some lovely ideas for display. The designer in me liked this collection of fossils, displayed on boards in graduating shades of pink.
Eventually I met up with my sister and her friend, who’d enjoyed their exhibit but were getting weary of the, er, youthful vigour of their fellow museum-goers. We decided to take a stroll down the road to the V&A, to have some tea and cake in a slightly more grown-up atmosphere.
On the way to the café I couldn’t help but notice this new light installation, directly in the entrance. The modern, colourful piece was garnering a lot of admiration.
You know what else deserves admiration? The V&A café. It’s a favourite of mine and many others’ (including my friend Lauren, so you know it’s gotta be good), for the beautiful setting, reasonable prices, and (crucially) tasty cakes. This time I went for the stem ginger cake which was delicious; just perfect for an October afternoon.
All images © Eleanor Büsing
After eating our fill, we walked back to South Kensington station (a favourite of mine in London… don’t you love the ironwork?), said our goodbyes and went back to our lives. I was thoroughly pleased: another thing checked off my London bucket list, another cake eaten and another day spent not organizing my kitchen cupboards. Success all around, I’d say.