This new year begins for me with a new challenge: finding a new job…preferably something I like doing :-)…and where I could imagine staying for a while – as I still don’t know for how long I will live in London.
After some great time in France (Paris & Marseille’s region), I had the funny idea to fly back to London on December 31st (as London is such a popular spot for NYE – no wonder all the tickets were expensive). I was expecting an empty aircraft…which wasn’t really the case. I met two really nice seat neighbours: a couple of pensioners on their way to Bangkok…I started to dream about future sunny holidays as I was listening to their exciting travel plans…
My NYE was really simple and relaxing: home-cooked dinner with my boyfriend and trying to see the fireworks from our windows. I know it can sound a bit “frugal” but we just didn’t feel like paying £100 for average pub food in an overcrowded place ~ after all, who said you have to party hard on December 31st 🙂 ~ we can drink prosecco whenever we are in the mood?!
So – we had our “new year” treat the first weekend of January and we didn’t regret to wait a few days to enjoy our favourite Japanese food at Abeno: I love this place because, unlike too many restaurants in London – this Japanese restaurant sticks to what it does best: the okonomiyaki (which I could compare to the Japanese savoury version of our French crepes) The place offers also some other authentic Japanese dishes such as hiyyayako (chilled tofu). It is very simple…but very delicious! (I suspect the tofu they use is homemade – unlike the one I use for stir-fry at home)
So, after this first January weekend in London, I decided to add some fun to my job search period – I would have a sort of a “staycation” – rediscovering London but still sleeping at home every night. I decided to visit a couple of great places I hadn’t visited yet – or thought I hadn’t visited. I just felt like exploring some spots in London and know a bit more of the incredible city I live in.
My first stop last week was at The Saatchi Gallery – as it is located only a few tube stops from home: I wasn’t too surprised to discover an almost empty museum – as I went there in the morning. The nice thing is, you can enjoy the pieces of art without any glass or “fence” between you and the object. Unlike other more popular museum, it is very peaceful (almost “meditative” I should say). I had the feeling to be “outside time”…
Another place I wanted to see again – after my last visit in 2005 was the National Gallery…This place is so popular, you cannot really miss when visiting London. But it has some of the most beautiful and influential paintings: Cezanne, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Botticelli…so many incredible paintings! Unfortunately, this museum has a “no photo” policy – which I can understand – but I would have liked to take some pictures of the building…just managed to take one 😦 I comforted myself with a piece of their lovely cakes they offer at the cafe.
Another place that I wanted to visit for a long time was the V&A museum in South Kensington: this is one of the place you could stay for the entire day…some many objects from all around the world. ienjoyed the fact that it is also a place where you can travel through time & space and learn about religions (the section about Islam in Middle East is one my favourite).
Surprisingly, the cafe was so full I couldn’t find a single chair to rest with a coffee…I could just admire the lovely patio of the museum…