Strolling through Notting Hill
To start our first real day together in London, we walked from Notting Hill through Hyde Park to get to Chelsea for the most delicious brunch at The Ivy Chelsea Garden.
The Ivy is so beautiful! It’s called The Ivy Chelsea Garden for a reason – there’s beautiful outdoor seating in the garden. I’m so happy we reserved ahead of time because we had a really great table in the indoor patio. We started off with the necessary brunch cocktails, followed by two versions of poached eggs with Hollandaise on English muffins, crumpets with Marmite, and fresh fruit.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Left, Koen’s cocktail: Sloane Ranger; long refreshing take on a Collins, with Wyborowa vodka, Green Chartreuse & pear topped with Willy’s apple cider – Right, my cocktail: Lavender Lady; Beefeater gin shaken with orange blossom, peach pulp, Briottet crème de pêche & fresh lavender sweetened with agave
Toasted crumpets served with Marmite, mustard, and parsley butter
Koen’s Eggs Royale: smoked salmon, two poached hen’s eggs on toasted English muffins with Hollandaise sauce and watercress
My Avocado and Spinach Benedict: sliced avocado, raw baby spinach and two poached hen’s eggs on toasted English muffins with Hollandaise sauce and sesame
Content after my delicious brunch
After a big brunch, we headed to the Victoria and Albert Museum, located only 15 minutes away. I was most excited to finally visit their famous fashion history exhibit! Coincidentally we showed up at a great time, because we were able to take part of a free introductory tour of the museum! The V&A has a lot to offer ranging from fashion to paintings to tapestries to artifacts and was one of my favorite museums we visited.
Passing a Private Garden
No playing of ball games here!
So many pigeons
Victoria and Albert Museum
Medieval & Renaissance 1350 -1600
“Samson Slaying a Philistine” Giovanni Bologna, about 1562
“Tippoo’s Tiger” Musical semi-automation from the 1790s: when visitors turned the handle at the side, noises were produced that supposedly imitated the European victim’s dying wails of agony
Back view of a Court mantua 1755-60; Fashion doll from 1755-60
In Society 1810 -1830
At Home 1830 – 1840: additional sleeve support!
Taking the Air 1790 – 1820
The White Wedding 1840 – 1860
Fashion and Industry 1850 – 1870: a dress to die for! In 1869 the British Medical Journal warned of the dangers of arsenic in magenta dye.
Dolman by Emile Pingat, 1885, silk voided velvet trimmed with Arctic fox fur and silk chenille fringe
Evening dress by Lucile, 1912, silk chiffon and silk satin trimmed with metal thread embroidery, sequins and silk tassel
The Cult of the Kimono 1905 – 1915
Bright Young Things 1920 – 1930
Evening ensemble by Elsa Schiaparelli, 1938, silk velvet embroidered with rhinestones, sequins, and gilded silver threads
Evening coat by Elsa Schiaparelli, 1937, is it a profusion of roses in an urn or two faces in profile? Based on a drawing by Jean Cocteau
‘Zemire’ evening ensemble by Christian Dior, 1954
Revolution 1960 – 1970
Ice Blue and Spring Green Chandelier by Dale Chihuly, 1999
One of the Dacre Beasts from between 1507 – 1525, with the Raphael Cartoons in the background
Golden spoon from 1600, from the Mughal empire
We had a bit of time left before our dinner reservation and headed to the Science Museum. It wasn’t my favorite museum, but I really enjoyed the exhibit about Cravings. Plus all the museums in London are free, so why not?
Edible work of art in progress
Meal presentation inspired by Kandinsky
Koen taking the Craving Commander quiz
Can’t get enough of that umami flavor
Design Diversity – Minimal Motoring 1950 – 1965
Finally time for dinner! We were very happy to score a reservation at St. John, the Michelin star restaurant from Fergus Henderson. Both the chef and the restaurant are famous for the use of offal and other neglected cuts of meat, because of his philosophy of nose to tail eating. I was really daring with my main course, ordering goat faggots, a sort of meatball made from goat liver, heart, and other organs.
My starter: venison with a salad of celeriac
Koen’s starter: roasted bone marrow served with a parsley salad and toast
My main: goat faggots with root mash
Koen’s main: roasted pig shoulder with crackling and prunes
Our sides: cabbage and potatoes
After dinner we were ready to go to our first pub! Since we were staying Notting Hill, we wanted to go to a local pub. We did a bit of searching and decided on The Churchill Arms, a pub dating back to 1750 which the grandparents of Winston Churchill used to visit! When we arrived the entire pub was watching a rugby match. I don’t really know the rules or anything, but it was exciting to be in the midst of the excitement!
The Churchill Arms
Cornish Orchards cider and London Pride
Watching the rugby match
Enjoying my cider