SATURDAY 9 MAY
I've always wanted to see the famous cows in Milton Keynes - so it was such a treat to see uprooted ones in the middle of London!!
and into the classy Architectural Association for their brilliant exhibition - "A Clockwork Jerusalem" on the British Modernist movement.
some classic books to leaf through
and a model of one of the Thamesmead blocks - classically featured in the film 'Beautiful Thing'. Just found a great Thamesmead blog here called Concrete Nostalgia - take a look.
This ancient idea for an early garden city is quite scary - notice all those groups of people placed on the outer edges of society in those days - take a closer look.
So it was a fast shimmy back to the Holburn area and the wonderful London Review of Books with it's equally wonderful cafe, which was so jammed we were offered a take-away picnic in the basement library - which was great fun - all huddled round our fabulous portobello mushroom soups and crusty bread, surrounded by children's books.
puddings had to be taken on the hoof though as time was getting tight!
always loved this shop - but never been in - wonder if they've got any Sheffield's Fox's umbrella frames?
and coming up for air at Belsize Park - and our first gliimpse of blue skies
to the iconic Isokon flats which have been recently refurbished with a little gallery at the side, showing their fascinating history and their rightful place in history of modernist architecture in London. There are some great resources and videos on the Isokon Gallery website which will fill you in on their remarkable residents too.
example of a room inside the gallery with the Isokon designed furniture
Then it was a lovely walk through leafy Hampstead, just touching the very edge of the Heath
and enjoying the rural sun - who'd think this was our capital city!!
and a revisit to Willow Road ....
... for the incredible Ernö Goldfinger house - which we just sneaked into as they were closing - 2 Willow Road
enjoyed the film too in the visitor centre (converted garage!), then it was a wander around more beautiful Hampstead lanes - stopping to admire the odd contemporary house en route of course.
This just didn't feel like London at all - more like a village - quite amazing
and soon we came upon our destination - the fabulous Holly Bush for the most amazing dinner of 'twice cooked' guinea fowl, followed by a sticky toffee pudding with banana ice cream to die for!!! And we ate it sitting down this time!
I can't praise this pub enough, food fabulous, great service and really friendly - and we even got a long chat with the lovely French chef, keen to hear how we'd enjoyed his fare.
But it wasn't all over yet - on the way to our theatre date we were treated to the stunning Swiss Cottage Library - designed by Sir Basil Spence.
Before our visit to the Hampstead Theatre for Michael Frayn's new play "Matchbox Theatre" which we all thoroughly enjoyed. (Lovely newish theatre too!)
Then it was final goodbyes at the Overground - by now cold enough for wooly hats!
But all was not over . . .
SUNDAY 10 MAY
Final morning in London and our surprise treat - the tastiest Sunday Brunch ever at the very swish Holburn Dining Room
A totally amazing, happy, wonderful weekend (apart from the election results!!) and, as Johnson famously said, "Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
Well, Samuel, that holds for women too!!
Thank you one and all - we will be back . . . . . .