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Contemplative Places in London for a Writer?

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Contemplative Places in London for a Writer?

Old May 1st, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Contemplative Places in London for a Writer?

Well, since I promised myself that on this vacation I will actually try and chill, versus running all over the place trying to see everything there is to see, I am need of finding a good cafe or tea place where I can sit and write and do some much needed journaling.

Any suggestions for a cafe that has an old world feel, or is slightly dark and inviting?
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Old May 1st, 2006, 11:56 AM
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Do you need the refreshments? A little know fact is that the old reading room/library at the very heart of the British Museum is free to enter, and you can sit down and write at the desks, and also read the books on the shelves. And you can sit there all day without interruption. When you want a cuppa, the museum has a place to buy some. When you want to stretch your legs, you can go off to stare at the Rosetta Stone or any number of galleries.

I'd go every day, do some writing and visit one gallery, and really take your time to take it in.

Not to mention, of course, the renovated museum is one of the great architectural achievements of modern London.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 12:02 PM
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Wow! that sounds great! I actually love museums and libraries and it would be great to find a nice quiet place to write and feel surround by academia....

I am going to put your suggestion on my to-do list for London!
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Old May 1st, 2006, 12:07 PM
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the ghosts of the room are listed on a plaque as you enter. this will give you serious inspiration as you write.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 12:07 PM
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ooh, spooky!
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Old May 1st, 2006, 12:10 PM
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they include (among others) Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, Gandhi, Kipling, George Bernard Shaw, Lenin, Trotsky, Woolf, and H. G. Wells...all users of the reading room.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 12:16 PM
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Even if I did believe in ghosts, I just don't think they would all go and read at the same place.....
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Old May 1st, 2006, 01:03 PM
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great! I hope it works for you. I forgot to mention the other great feature: bathrooms in the museum!

But really, it is such a spectacular space. When you walk in, you will see a gate that leads into the interior space and a librarian sitting there. Most people just assume you need a special library card or pass, but you don't. You can just walk in. Once inside the library area, if you walk to the far side, away from the entrance, you'll find a spot that is plenty quiet. Every now and then some tourists walk in and start talking, and the librarian shushes them. But it's certainly quieter than a cafe with an espresso machine or a blender.

If you want to read the books, you can, but don't return them to the shelves. Just leave them on the desks. They long ago emptied the ink pots, so bring your own pen.;-)

I once left a notebook of mine in the British Museum and when I went back to retrieve it, they made me sign an enormous ledger book before they would release it to me from the Lost and Found. The book must have been 3 feet by 4 feet and nine inches thick, and lord knows how old. I've always wondered which other absent minded people had signed that book.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Try the British Library - Shakespeare 1st Folio, Dickens, Lewis Carroll...
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Old May 1st, 2006, 05:08 PM
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I was going to say the British Museum galleries myself. There are plenty of nooks with interesting art all around.
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