I love London. The bookstores! The theater! (We can’t get tickets for Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet, but nobody can.) I hoped you might have suggestions for sightseeing, bookstores, etc., for our short trip to London.
How about literary events? On Sunday at The London Lit Weekend, Sir Peter Stothard, classicist, writer, and editor of the TLS, will chair a session with Tom Holland and Edith Hall on “Why the Classics Matter Today.” Stothard is a stunning writer (read Alexandria: The Last Days of Cleopatra), and I enjoyed Tom Holland’s translation of Herodotus. But I have a bad record for ticketed events on vacation: I skipped a literary event last time, because I didn’t feel like navigating the trains. Perhaps I should read Holland’s new book instead? (I’m waiting for Stothard’s next book.)
Is it necessary to see Chelsea and Soho, or was that a ’60s thing? How about the antique shops on Kensington Church Street? Why can I only think of Muriel Spark’s A Far Cry from Kensington? What’s your favorite place in London?
Last time I didn’t bother with Westminster. Should I? Do I need to walk in St. James Park like Mrs. Dalloway? I’m rereading Mrs. Dalloway for the trip.
My guidebook makes it sound as though Hampstead is in the wilds. “[It] has always stayed aloof form London…” But that’s where Keats House is. And yet if I go to Keats House I will buy Keats merchandise. Do I need more Keats books? No. But I might need the t-shirt.
Little-known museums? Favorite ruins? Favorite restaurants? Plays I should see?
You-all helped me a lot in 2014, so please tell me your favorite London things. This is just a mad dash! and no time for rendezvous or the English countryside. You know London better than I…