The best view in London

I’m sure there are lots of contenders for the best view in London, but my personal favourite is the view of St Paul’s Cathedral across the river from Tate Modern. Here’s a photo: St Paul's from Tate Modern

I must confess I didn’t take the photo myself – I got it from a blog by Steve Reed, an American living in London. I don’t know him, but his blog has some lovely photos.

Why am I writing about this? Well, last week I was in London for three days, mostly for work. My meeting on Tuesday finished unexpectedly early and I was at a loose end for the afternoon. I was in the City of London and thought a good plan would be to walk up to St Paul’s, then over the Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern where I could stow my suitcase in the cloakroom and then have a look at some art. I achieved the first part of this plan which was a pleasing experience. I love walking across the river via the MB. Having stowed my briefcase, however, I suddenly realised that I was exhausted. (I’d woken around 4.30 and had an early start to get off to London). I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be looking at art and couldn’t face another minute on my aching feet.

There’s a small cafe on, I think, the 4th floor of the gallery, so I went and got a bottle of water and sat by the window. And just stayed there for a long time looking at the view of St Paul’s, the skyline and the river. It was magical, and in my frame of mind at the time, just as rewarding as looking at some art on the gallery walls. Sometimes it’s good to just sit and rest your weary bones. I had a think about various things, and felt peaceful and contented. I also enjoyed watching other people. There were two students sitting opposite me drawing the view, each other, and people in the cafe. There were lots of people taking photographs outside on the terrace of the view, usually with their significant other inserted into the foreground.  It was a lovely experience, and all the better for being unplanned and unexpected.

On Wednesday I had a day off work, and went to see the ‘Sensing Spaces’ exhibition at the Royal Academy. I’ll write a bit about that in my next post.

 

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