Friday, February 26, 2021

Notting Hill and Portabello Market Road

Notting Hill, located in West London, north of Kensington, is know for its large Victorian townhouses and high-end shopping and restaurants.  It also features the Portabello Road Market, packing Portabello Road with over 1,000 merchants every Saturday.

 Residences in Notting Hill

Reaching Portabello Road, we start at one end and walk through the market, enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells.  There is something for everyone here.  And, there are great traditional commercial buildings lining the road.

 Portabello Road market

 Portabello Road buildings

At the end of the market, we walk into the side streets of Notting Hill, finding colorful houses and the intriguing architecture of the mews houses, which are old stables, originally with living quarters above, that have been converted to houses, generally located on side streets or alleys.

 Great use of color

Mews houses

Emerging from the side streets and alleys of the mews, we are once again in the land of grand Notting Hill residences.

 Back on main streets

On my way out of the district, we pass by the high-end shops and restaurants of Notting Hill.

 Shopping and dining

Notting Hill has a wide spectrum of activities to offer, from street food in the Portabello Market to renowned restaurants, from the stalls of the market to high-end shops, from living in the mews to Victorian townhouses.  It is truly fun to wander through and see it all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tate Modern in London

The Tate Modern is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world and holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present, in addition to international modern and contemporary art.

The museum is in the former Bankside Power Station, across the Thames from St. Paul's Cathedral.  The main entrance leads into the turbine hall of the power station, which is immense and often holds special [large] exhibitions.

Turbine hall

Entrance is free, as with other national galleries and museums, and we wander the galleries.

 Great variety in the galleries

The museum receives 5.7 million visitors a year, one of the top ten most visited museums in the world.  In 2017, an additional building (the Switch House) was opened, increasing the gallery space by 60%.  The Tate Modern is one of a family of four museums around the UK started from the donated collection of Henry Tate, a 19th century sugar merchant (who introduced the sugar cube to the United Kingdom).

Friday, February 19, 2021

London Design Museum and Holland Park

The London Design Museum was the 2018 European Museum of the Year.  Located a 15 minute walk from Kensington Gardens, the museum covers all aspects of modern design: industrial, fashion, graphics, architectural, and product.

Outside the Design Museum, a tilted-head sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi welcomes visitors.


Inside the museum, the galleries highlight design through the ages, with a permanent exhibit on the top floor and temporary exhibitions below. 

 Wandering through the galleries

Outside the Design Museum, Holland Park covers about 22 hectares (.22 sq. km, 54 acres), with formal gardens in the south of the park and a semi-wild woodland to the north.

 Formal gardens and paths

 Forest trails

The formal gardens also have tennis courts, a cricket pitch, a giant chess set, two Japanese gardens, and a variety of sculptures.

 Chess and sculpture

 Fukushima and Kyoto Gardens

Holland Park is located in one of the most expensive residential districts of London and provides a brief escape from the city lifestyle outside the park.

Outside Holland Park