London Visit, David Bowie Is and Notting Hill

Yesterday, we went to London for the day to see the David Bowie Is exhibition at The V&A. Having never been to the V&A, I know I can’t believe it myself, I was amazed by the splendour of the building itself , so ornate and  high Victorian in a Puginesque way.

As we were early for our 2.00pm slot and the exhibition is heavily attended, they make you wait until your allotted time, which gave us time to soak up the glorious sunshine in the V&A gardens, where you can take drinks or a bite to eat from the cafe, or finish your homemade sandwiches, like the cheap skates we are.

The exhibition itself, didn’t disappoint, although I do think they let too many visitors in at once, and there were times when we felt it difficult to get near the exhibits and read the information on the wall relating to them. I would, highly recommend, you use the audio equipement, which is provided as part of your entry fee, with narrative by Mr Bowie and other knowledgeable contributors, as well as Bowie’s amazing music played through the head set as you approach relevant exhibits from that particular era. The most breath taking part of the exhibition was the final room you reach, which has screens which must be 30 foot high, at least, with footage of Bowie in concert from various eras of his career and the stage costumes, he wore, becoming visible, behind a mesh screen when the film stops. It really made the goose bumps stand up and made me realise why he is the genius we hold him up to be. Such a fantastic body of work. what a creative mind and curiosity for the world that surrounds him, he has. You can’t really believe one man could create so much in such a short space of time.

Although you can’t take photos or sketch in the exhibition, there is plenty of memorabilia to buy in the museum shop, such as these limited edition prints and posters.

After leaving the V&A we walked towards Kensington Gardens and cycled through the park on one of the bikes, sponsored by Barclays Bank. The brain child of Boris Johnson, to avoid driving in the city, it’s a great idea but the system could be made easier. Still if you have the time and patience to work it out, which we eventually did, its a great way to get around the city and for £2.00 a day, really economical and environmental.

We parked our bikes at the Queensway end of the park and walked into Notting Hill, one of my favourite areas of London. If you only have a few hours to spare as we did, i couldn’t think of a better area to spend it in. There are hardly any High Street shops, apart from a few smaller brands such as Cath Kidston, but loads of independent shops, antiques, galleries and the famous Portobello Market which runs nearly every day. There’s also lots of small bars and eateries and cakes shops and artisan bakeries where you can grab a coffee or sit outside on the pavement side tables and chairs that are dotted every where. It has the feeling of a village although the area is quite sprawling and the architecture is so diverse, with multi million pound villas and small painted cottages, where a good mix of cultures and ethnicities live and work side by side. I love it!

We stopped off at The Electric Cinema for something to eat in their diner. This is an old cinema which has been restored by The Soho House group, showing small independent films, with a lovely diner attached, serving quick and tasty food and drinks, in a cool and relaxed atmosphere. Our 11 year old daughter loved it and the staff were all super friendly and for £6.50 for the kids menu, with an ice cream included, can’t be beaten!

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