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Report 2023: Two Weeks in the Cotswolds and London

By Deva from USA, Fall 2012

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Page 10 of 15: Day Ten: British Museum

After two days of feeling a little “off” I finally got my travel mojo back today, whew!

I went out on my own on the morning for a “pastry walk,” collecting scones from Harrods (after ogling the ridiculously ornate rooms), macarons from Pierre Herme, and a passion fruit meringue from Ottolenghi (I had read about this on a food blog and simply had to try it). I brought home this bounty for our breakfast. The meringue was the best, in my opinion. So deliciously tart, sweet and creamy.

Then we headed out to the British Museum! This was one of my favorite days of the entire trip. I really enjoyed the Bloomsbury neighborhood, and the museum itself was just stunning, from the building itself to the collection.

I was blown away by the enormous enclosed courtyard, under that frosted glass roof, everything so vast and pale, with the old library at the center wrapped in a white stairway. You really do just have to see it to understand. And of course, it is free!

We spent most of our time in the Egyptian and Assyrian rooms. The carvings of the lions in the latter are exquisite. We headed outside for lunch at Mooli’s, a few minutes walk away on Frith Street, where we feasted on delicious Indian-inspired wrap sandwiches. I also visited several bookstores for souvenirs (I liked Foyle’s best, even after visiting the enormous Waterstones later).

Back in the museum we went through the Mesopotamian and Persian rooms, but we were running out of steam. There is just so much.

Eventually we gave up and decided we would try to return later to see the mummies. We had reservations to visit the Dennis Severs house that night. And we had one other stop first. As fans of the David Suchet Poirot series, we wanted to stop at Florin Court, where they film Poirot’s apartment. We decided to try to walk from there to the Dennis Severs house, which was probably a mistake. It was not a pleasant or attractive area, and it just wore us out. Dennis Severs house is near Spitalfields, and it would have been more fun to get there earlier and walk around that region.

As it was, we were glad to find a Wagamamas nearby, and had some noodles and dumplings for dinner, then made our way to the house.

The Dennis Severs house isn’t going to be for everyone, but as fans of “atmosphere” we loved it. It’s a house that was decorated by Mr. Severs to evoke a Victorian house. You wander through it in silence (there are little notes everywhere reminding you to be silent and “let the house work its magic on you and become part of the story” or similar). The light is all candles and lanterns, and there are recordings of atmospheric noises, and even food set out (you can sniff the tea and strawberries). It’s jammed with knickknacks and you have to move with great care to avoid knocking into things, but it was quite an experience! There are also some steep stairs and narrow passages...

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