There is no doubt that it is wonderful to be able to spend as much time away as you do at home. But, admittedly, there is a sense of discombobulation that comes from writing about one foreign city while sitting in another. As I type this, I am crosslegged on an orange dining chair in our two-bedroom apartment just off the Las Vegas strip, and while the colour palette is far from my taste, the space has been a delightful home-away-from-home so far. It may be months before I have a chance to tell you more about it. After all, these photos date back to our last-minute day trip to London, which was in May…
We didn’t plan to visit London this year. We had a whirlwind long weekend there in 2013 that gave us a good taste of scones and pretty white row houses. But after Brexit happened, we realised that the days of easy train travel between Paris and London are likely coming to an end. Ian had never been on the Eurostar, and so we decided there was no time like the present. We booked our tickets just days before departure and set off early in the morning to nearby Gare du Nord, where we went through customs before boarding the train.
I wanted very little from our day in London. Just some scones with clotted cream, a few cups of tea and some iconic outfit photos in the city. I had my heart set on Oxford Street, but the background was not quite as lovely as I imagined. And so, as we so often do, we wandered. We popped into Selfridges and, on our way back towards Liberty, spied the perfectly charming Dorville House tucked away on a side street. It was, I admit, not perfect. The “Take Notice” sign in the window takes away from the ambience a bit. But sometimes, I am able to accept that imperfect is okay and this was one of those rare occasions.
Yes, the sidewalk is littered with discarded chewing gum. Yes, there is a reflection of a scaffolding in the window. And yes, the large metal buzzer at the door is less than elegant. But Dorville House was just the place we needed – we grabbed our shots and then went on our way to get scones, which, let’s face it, were the real priority.
I wish it didn’t always take me so long to share my photos. But part of me also loves taking the time to separate myself from them. It gives me the chance to reflect on my experiences and, often, gives me a more clear perspective. In the moment, London felt a bit rushed but I’m so glad, with the benefit of hindsight, that we got there. And these shots make the perfect souvenir.