Soane House was all that was promised. It is a fantasy of architecture, art, vision, combined with artfully placed skylights, mirrors and windows that convinces interior and exterior flow...that one really questions where one is. The painting room adorned with Hogarths with the walls that peel away to reveal Soan's personal architectural watercolors was a delight with the little white gloved man, mumbling little obtusenesses...It was a bluesky day with daffodils and flowers on Lincoln Inn Field...so it made the visit even more beautiful.
We then trooped over to a promised treat of an art supply store near the British Museum. Treat it was. Gilding, calligraphic (all the Mitchell pens, wire brushes, custom inks), great pharmacopia jars filled with every imaginable color of pigment, papers, pens, brushes in all shapes and sizes. The whole shot--crammed into this floor to ceiling place with tiny numbered drawers and shelves organizing the maylay into focused British clarity.
After a small purchase, we decided to finish with an hour and a half at the British. We heard massive drumming...insistent for about ten minutes and then saw a wonderful cluster of people surrounding this large, health and charisma bursting man with a robins egg blue tie..He was accompanied by ladies in costumes of kente cloth, numberous men in suits and red military uniforms and the British doing the same with military men and big british ladies a la Camilla--dressed in lilac coats and big brimmed hats with plumes. As they existed the building --the drumming continued...We asked the guard who and what the commotion was all about and he simply stated that that was the President of Guana. I have decided I need a coterie of drummers to accompany me. Maybe not kente cloth...but Rongovian attire.
We had a take out dinner with John Thompson and family over in the Earl's Court area and got home around 11. So. Sleep wasn't an issue.
Good coffee is everywhere. Pashminas are cheap (though I dont see a need...but may reconsider when looking at my packing). There is more similar here to the US than different outside of taste and view. The roses and daffodils that are being sold on the street are perfection and are everywhere. At the Soane house there were cheery bunches of daffodils in many of the living spaces. Did I tell you they had little fans with copy on them for the narrative on each space? That place was definitely the source for many of my new favorites like the Jurrasic and the wackiness of MacKenzie Childs.