Monday, 28 November 2016
Up the Albert
The dress code was smart casual, so I wore my House of Foxy Hostess dress. Mr Robot gave this dress to me last Christmas and it has become my go-to for 'nice' events. While it's 40s in style, the shape is classic enough that it won't scare non-vintage-lovers, the navy colour is appropriate for virtually any occasion, and the fabric – which I think they no longer use, sadly – doesn't crease, so it's fine for events like this where I spend several hours on trains beforehand. I wore my old Hush Puppies 'Freya' shoes and carried the 1960s Eros bag I found in a charity shop. Then, because it was cold, I plonked my fair isle cardigan on top. I don't care if it ruined the effect a bit, I hate being cold.
(Sorry if you're fed up of seeing things like that dress and cardigan a lot. I don't own masses of clothes, so the ones I do own get a fair bit of wear.)
As we got into London a bit early, we had a ponk around the V&A. We had planned to go to the Natural History Museum, but the queue was horrendous. In the past few years I've learned to get into the entrance hall at the V&A and NOT head to the back. I always used to go to the back and end up in the sculpture area and see the same things on every visit. Now I know better, and get to see different things each time. This time we went left from the entrance hall, to the British galleries, and saw decorative things from the Tudors onwards. Textiles, ceramics, furniture... It was fascinating. There were even a couple of complete rooms, the Norfolk House Music Room and the Henrietta Street Room. After whizzing through Britain from the Renaissance to Georgians, we found ourselves in the Silver Galleries, which are full of dishes, ornaments, and wine coolers large enough to bathe in, then headed off to find a pub for a drink before going to the Royal Albert Hall.
That part of Kensington is great for museums but it sucks for pubs. We did find one in the end – hooray for smartphones. We'd never have found one without Google Maps.
And then on to the Royal Albert Hall. It looks cool from the outside, but London is so packed with larger dramatic buildings that perhaps it doesn't have the same impact it did when it was built, though when you get up close it's beautifully detailed, in the way only Victorian buildings are. Nowadays we seem to have lost the ability to build things that are impressive from a distance and really engaging and interesting up close. The Victorians built to appeal to both masses passing by, and individuals interacting with structures. Inside it is, as the support act Jack Lukeman pointed out, 'like being inside a Faberge egg', round and gilded and lovely.
I hope your weekend was as much fun.