The Winter’s TaleJanuary 15, 2016
Richard II at the Barbican, LondonJanuary 16, 2016
Perhaps most people, at least from the USA, might not think of January as a time to go sightseeing in London, especially the one depicted in the old song “a foggy day in London town” but today was almost perfect for walking the streets, riding the “tube” and seeing the sights of this magical city. I first visited London in 1980 and I have been back many times since but to be a tourist on a day of brilliant blue skies and bright sunshine like today and to be out seeing the sights again was delightful. Although, as one might expect in January, the air was chilly in spite of the bright sunshine, the tourists, including myself, were out in force and the mixture of languages caught as snippets of passing conversation confirmed the international composition of the visiting throngs. From the West end to Westminster Abbey, from the Tower of London to the London Eye, from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace and to the many other iconic places, London is a city that can be enjoyed over and over again. My favorite place to stay in London id a boutique hotel, now part of the Firmdale Hotel group, named simply Number Sixteen after it’s location at 16 Sumner Place in the South Kensington section of London. I stayed here 36 years ago this coming June when it was a small independent hotl with only a few rooms. Over the years the owners have purchased adjacent row houses and continually upgraded the rooms and public spaces. With 24 hour room service, excellent high speed internet access, a delightful orangerie and gardens for breakfast or afternoon tea and complimented by a well trained and accommodating staff, for my money it is one of my favorite hotels anywhere in the world. It is located in a definite neighborhood, South Kensington, only steps from the South Kensington tube stop and close to many popular sights including the Victoria and Albert Museum, is also the location of many very good restaurants of multi-ethnic origins and varied fare. It is ideal for “flaneurs” to explore and enjoy.