The website is here –
We’re staying in the Holburn area. It’s not “tourist-central” (although I think there are still quite a few tourists around), but it is very convenient. The Covent Garden area is a short walk and the traditional legal area is close by, too. We were going out to Barnes in the afternoon (more about this later), so we spend Saturday morning close by. Our first visit was to Sir John Soane’s museum. I understand that he was one of Britain’s leading 19th Century architects (he designed the Bank of England), and also taught architecture. He set up, in his house on Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a very extensive collection of architectural and other objects and relics. When he died in 1837, he left the whole set-up to the nation, and apparently today it’s fairly much the same (although when we visited, some structural renovations were occurring). To say that the place is chock-a-block with things would be an understatement! There are books, bits and pieces of classical statuary, architectural models (which he apparently used in his teaching), paintings and drawings (whole rooms where there’s not a single spare space on the walls) and more – all in a house with atriums, domes as well as nooks and crannies. A no-photography rule is strictly enforced. The attendants are mostly volunteers and there’s no entry charge, although donations are appreciated (which we willingly gave).
After that we walked through the very pleasant Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and had a coffee at the modern light and airy coffee shop, before continuing our walk around the neighbourhood to check out Lincoln’s Inn itself (unfortunately, no entry on on this day, although I had wandered through on the previous day) and gazed at the exterior of The Old Curiosity Shop which claims to be the subject of the Dickens novel. Inside is a shoe shop (which wasn’t open).
We then adjourned to a nearby pub for lunch where glimpses of the Australian election result were coming up on the TV screen (including Tony Abbott’s victory speech – vision only, no sound!).
I was on the phone when …nothing. The power was off again!