Posted by: debrakolkka | March 3, 2010


snowdrops in Hyde Park

We went from snow in Paris to rain in London.  Once again, we didn’t let less than perfect weather stop from  exploring lovely London.  Paul and I split up here and stayed with different friends.  I stayed with Georgina , who is great fun to be with and has an excellent knowledge of the city.  I bought an Oyster card and I was on my way.

Berkley Square

Regent Street

Paul and I met up to go to Liberty, one of my favourite shops in London.  On the ground floor, in the accessories department we shopped with Bill Nighy, who looks just the same as he does in the movies.  It was our first celebrity sighting.  

A sad window

I left Paul there and went to Bond St.  Alexander McQueen had  died a day before we arrived in London and it was very sad to stand in front of his shop with just 2 vases of white roses in the windows.  His death is a great loss to the fashion world.  He will be missed.

We covered briefly the great shops in London, Harvey Nichols, Harrods, Selfridges  etc.  I particularly loved Dover St Market, which is not a market at all, but a multilevel shop owned by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons.  It is a quirky mix of contemporary clothing in an excellent setting.  There is a tiny cafe on the top floor.  We managed to get a table near the window with a great view over London rooftops and had a delicous lunch.  Who said London doesn’t do great food? 

outside Sketch

entrance to Sketch in Conduit St

By chance we came upon Sketch in Conduit St.  Georgina later told me that everyone knows about Sketch, but I had never heard of it.  The entrance is very low key.  Apart from the semiheadless dog on the side of the building you wouldn’t know anything was there.  We had to wait to get in, but it looked so interesting and the fellow who greeted us was so nice we thought it would be worth the wait – and it was.  It is quite lovely in the casual dining section we were in and the food was great and not overly expensive. 

the casual dining area

an interesting staircase in Sketch

the stairs to the toilets

Something made me think the toilets would be nice here so I decided to have a look.  I am so glad I did!  These would have to be the most interesting restaurant toilets I have ever seen.  They look like white pods about to take off to somewhere.  Indeed , the sounds in my pod were of a rocket launch.  I quickly told Paul and Peta and they were equally enthralled.  Paul had the sounds of cows mooing and sheep bleating and Peta was amused to hear applause and cheering. 

toilet pods

aren't they amazing?

 To top off our wonderful experience the nice man at the entrance gave me a present.  Outside we ripped open the wrapping to discover a little box of the most delicious macaroons which lasted about 10 seconds.

our macaroons

We spent an entire morning at The Victoria and Albert Museum to see the jewelry collection.  I do love emeralds and rubies.  The fashion collection is also excellent.  It is amazing to see how tiny women were a century or more ago.  It seems most were under 5 feet and had the tiniest waists. 

My old camera finally died in Paris.  I thought it best to buy a new one in a place where I could understand the language.  A delightful young man at Jacobs in New Oxford St sold me a Canon, a big upgrade from my old one.  I look forward to discovering how to use it.

the beautiful horse in Hyde Park

3 days in London is never enough, but Milan was calling.


  1. What is the Oyster card?

    • Yes, I was thinking the same question: What is the Oyster card? How is it obtained and what benefits do one get from it?

      I loved the description about the capsule toilets! – reckon there will now be a long line of curious tourists beating their way to Sketch and the loos

      I visited Hyde Park in 2006 but didn’t notice the beautiful horse statue. Was with a friend who took us on a whirlwind tour of London, which meant we missed the statue. Must make a note to look for it next time.

  2. Give him his head.

  3. The Oyster Card is for use on public transport – bus, metro. It is a very cheap and easy way to get around London. They can be bought at heaps of places and topped up as you need to.

  4. I think the horse is fairly new to Hyde Park

  5. Debra, the current series Masterchef the UK version is on and yesterday they featured the chefs on the competition working for the morning at Sketch, I immediately remembered your post. Will have to go there, the effort they put in the cakes and savouries is stupendous. The whole place looks like an updated Angelina, Paris. I am a macaroon fiend, did a course in Paris last year to learn to make them.Roz

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