Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 2nd

I was so excited for the day this morning that I hopped right out of bed the moment I woke up. First stop was the Wallace Collection which is kind of like The Frick in NYC ie perfect. All the rooms in the building have been restored to match the 18th century furniture, so all the walls are covered in different brightly colored Lyon silks and there's gilding and chandeliers but in a very subdued, British rococo. It was so lovely. The art collection was marvelous. I went to see Fragonard's The Swing and Boucher's portrait of Madame de Pompadour in her pink dress, but that was just the tip of the iceburg. They had Boucher paintings out the wazoo!! So many beautiful pieces, I absolutely loved it. The only complaint I have is that I had been led to believe that the gift shop had posters. It didn't. :(

After that I headed over to Baker St for the Sherlock Holmes Museum. I had WAY too much fun there. I got my picture taken in the sitting room, and I loved getting to explore Holmes' room and the mass of stuff in the sitting room. The attention to detail was great, you felt like you were really in the stories. On the other floors there were things related to cases, like the head of the Hound of the Baskervilles mounted on the wall, a cardboard box with two ears in it, a piece of plaster with a red fingerprint, and life sized figures of famous characters. It was all such fun, I felt like a kid in a candy store.

Then I went to the TKTS booth and got tickets for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at the Haymarket Theater that evening. While waiting for the play to start I popped into Fortnum and Mason which was close by. Fortnum and Mason is a famous department store that's been around since the Victorian period, and are most known for their picnic baskets. It is a lovely store filled with lovely things sold to you by lovely people and it was just lovely. The windows and interior design were gorgeous too. When I get married I am registering exclusively at Fortnum and Mason. Their tea sets were to die for!

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was absolutely phenomenal. They even had a clever "turn off your cell phones" announcement. Instead of having some one say something, they just played a cell phone ringing a couple minutes before curtain, which reminded everyone to turn off their own phones. Everyone was brilliant, especially The Player (who went to NYU!). I can't say enough good things about this actor. He gave his big speech to R and G about how they had left his troupe and then there was a pause and then some one else said a line and the entire audience let its breath out. I didn't even realize I was holding my breath. I haven't read the play since I was in a version of it when I was 14. Now that I have so much more life experience and a wonderful UNC theater education behind me I appreciated it so much more. I feel like I really got it this time. Definitely a highlight of the trip.

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