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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A Day in London: Tourist spots and all things arty

On the second day we did lots of cultural activities. Being the keen people we are, we were up early and at Somerset House before it had opened. This was fine as the cafe was open and the weather was amazing so we enjoyed coffee and cakes outside in the square. We then looked at the exhibition 'Blumenfeld Studio:  New York, 1941-1960'. Whether you are into art or not the exhibition encompasses everything at the root of female pop culture today. It looks at fashion, beauty and features the models photographed by Erwin Blumenfeld for magazine covers in the prosperous, post-war New York; including the very first photograph for Vogue. 

We then went to the Tate gallery and then the V&A. As contrasting art galleries, these two must-sees rounded off our exploration of art in London for the day. We looked only at the permanent collections at each and both interesting although contemporary art is definitely more our thing. If we went again we would try to see a lot of the  smaller galleries. 

For lunch we stopped at Inn the Park, which is in the centre of St James' Park in front of Buckingham Palace. This was very busy but I would recommend going here as their hot, canteen style lunch was ideal and the view around the park is lovely. We then made our way across to the palace as you can't really miss is major tourist point! 

Becky's love for the royals meant Westminster Abbey was a must. We didn't end up going in as the queues were so long but we chilled on the gardens outside for a while and the view across the river to the Houses of Parliament was also worth seeing.

To round off our day we had dinner and cocktails at All Bar One in Leicester Square before catching the train home. 

So if you want a cultural day out in London and haven't seen many of the major landmarks of the capital then I'd recommend planning a day similar to this. This was the second of a two day trip and you really can fit a lot into a couple of days. 

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