Today was our anniversary, so we planned the perfect day: a visit to the Victoria and Albert followed by our favorites restaurant in the universe, the Cinnamon Club. The V&A is the most interesting museum in the world. We especially enjoyed the snuff boxes, Tippoo's Tiger, and the statues and freezes. My particular favorite is the casting room, where plaster copies of great building from around the world are strewn about is a giant mish mash. We also had an excellent free tour of museum highlights from a Mr. Draper. One V&A experience not to be missed is lunch in their beautiful art deco atrium.
We made a few stops before retuning to the hotel. First, we popped into the science museum, which is just around the corner for a short visit. The place is fairly unremarkable, as science museums go. The only point of interest to me was that they had several real Enigma machines, which I had always wanted to see first hand. I've just read "D-Day Spies" and was reminded once again that breaking the Enigma is the reason I am writing this in English and not German. "Gluck und Glass, wie leicht bricht das!", as my old teacher used to say.
We also stopped in to the Brompton Oratory and visited the Michelin House, a nice old art deco building. Both are well worth a look if in the neighborhood, but not worth a special trip.
Saving our feet (thanks to the travelcard) we took the tube up to Harvey Nichols and Harrods. Despite the hype, Harvey Nichols is just not even close to bothering with. Harrods is also just another fancy department store, larger, more crowded and with fewer signs than most. However, it has one remarkable department - the food hall. It's the only place I can think of where it's worth a visit just to see food. We'd been there before but stopped into to buy some room food. Notably, they had unpasteurized Colston Bassett, the Rolls Royce of stilton, which we unfortunately can't get at home any more. As Chef said, this is "Cheese 1." More importantly, we re-stocked room liquor. Man does not live by minibar alone.
After tubing back, a rest up and a consultation with the minibar while we sat in the glass paneled corner of the room and watch the boats on the river for while. We were then ready for the main event - dinner at the Cinnamon Club. (One reason for booking the Doubletree was its close proximity to he CC). It was our third visit, a must-do every time we are in London. The place is fairly plain, little changed from its origin as a library. The food is nominally Indian, but it is at a level of refinement that smooths out all the rough edges. Every dish has flavors that just burst into your mouth. Service is, of course, impeccable and although it has a reputation of being very expensive, it isn't. Expensive for Indian food, perhaps, but very reasonable for "fine dining," which it certainly is. It helped that we booked on Toptable and got a free drink. One rule about London is that drinking in pubs is cheap while drinking in restaurants is expensive. So always do your real drinking before going out to eat.
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