Exploring A Different Side Of London
Anna and I converged on Preston today, me from St Annes and her from Lancaster where she was attending a surprise birthday party for Matt. Thom dropped her off and then popped into Caffe Nero where he briefly met me as I was leaving for the station. We enjoyed the very slow train to London which stopped at almost every station, arriving an hour later than the fast train, but it was cheap and we weren’t in a rush.
When we arrived we quickly stocked up at M&S Food and then headed for Central St Martins, it was Anna’s first time there and she was impressed. By comparison all of the other leading fashion Universities in London seem very quaint, but interestingly they are mostly all part of the University of The Arts London (UAL) and hence share a lot of services.
We then headed on a walk to The Royal College Of Arts, taking a very relaxing route along the Regents Canal and through Hyde Park. There’s rarely any noise from cars/roads on this route, just canal paths, great views of interesting residential and commercial buildings, the Zoo and Camden food market. We both enjoyed it a lot, but were quite tired when we took a break at Little Venice.
We crossed Hyde Park and found the college of art easily enough, surprised a little that such a historical institution is housed in a nice modern building. We were able to go inside a couple of the galleries and I explored a little of the university space as well. Anna was quite impressed, particularly by all of the sewing rooms that looked out over Hyde Park. The only downside to the course there is that their approach to fashion is likely very ‘art’ centric, i.e. fashion for art, rather than purpose or as one of the lecturers at the London College Of Fashion put it fashion for landfill.
We then walked back through Hyde Park to the Serpentine Bar and Cafe and enjoyed a noisy rest and bite to eat there before walking through the parks to The Thames. In another first for Anna we walked along the lovely south bank, just as it was getting dark and soaked up the atmosphere, lot of street entertainment, street food and market stalls. All through the day Anna was snapping pictures of geometric architecture for college and she couldn’t have been in a more inspiring place.
We had dinner at a very atmospheric Nando’s that was located under a working railway bridge (see photo) and we got to hear the trains rumbling overhead quite a few times. We then finished off the short work to the Premier Inn Bank (Tower) hotel, which was excellent and watched the Begin Again movie from my iPhone, connected over HDMI to the bids screen and enjoyed quite the film feast.