I am slowly starting to get used to my new life in London, so different from the one I lead at home. Meeting my house mates in the kitchen at various hours of the day has become one of my daily enjoyments and I have familiarized myself with a larger part of the area I live in; I now know many of the street names and no longer find myself suddenly lost down some unrecognizable street.
My mother came to visit me and I was so excited about showing her the beautiful area of Bloomsbury and also seeing some other parts of London with her. The visit was accompanied with a lot of first experiences for me.
- One of the first things I made sure to do with my mum was to treat her with a piece of the delicious lemon tart from Patisserie Deux Amis down the street. My mum (and my dad alike) likes to spoil me, always buying me presents and taking me to special places, cafés or museums, so it was nice to be able to return the favour and show her one of my local favourite places that I have found here.
- I finally got to see the vast & impressive collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, where one of the highlights of my experience was to see their photography and jewellery collection.
- Had my first ever Fish & Chips at North Sea Fish Restaurant (The one down on Leigh Street, it’s so good I still dream about their chips and they do takeaway as well)
- Went to Tower of London on a surprisingly sunny day, had ice cream on the big steps with the view over the Tower and got to experience the joy of queuing to see the crown jewels. I really enjoyed finally seeing the tower inside the walls but was disappointed that there wasn’t more jewellery actually displayed, especially after queuing for such a long time. For me the V&A’s collection of beautifully crafted jewellery was more exciting to see.
- We also took a stroll through Kensington Gardens, past the Palace of course, but by then the normal October clouds had reappeared and we wandered home for a cup of Earl Grey and an indulgent dessert of chocolate éclair and pain au chocolat in my room.
- Sunday meant a trip to the National Gallery (the second time for me) that included seeing some gorgeous Monet paintings, one of my favourite artists, William Turner’s incredible landscape and sea paintings, and a surprise at the end of the collection where an iconic painting by my all-time favourite painter, Danish Vilhelm Hammershøi greeted us.
- After that we went downstairs to their café to have our first experience with Afternoon Tea, for an absolutely delicious mix of finger sandwiches, scones and 3 miniature cakes (a meringue cake with clotted cream and berry coulis, a raspberry mousse on sponge bottom and a caramel-layer cake (dulce leche, perhaps?). It was a tasty experience although I did find the place too busy and noisy. The afternoon tea was worth the long wait we had to endure but no one should ever have to wait for such a long time for a waiter!
I had so much fun experiencing so many new things but the best part of the weekend was getting to spend some quality time with my mother and to show her my life here. Although I’m finding it easier to ignore the homesickness than I thought it would be while living here, I do miss home and especially my family and friends, so it was great that she came to visit. It also didn’t hurt that she brought me some traditional Danish Rugbrød (Ryebread) and Leverpostej (Leverpaté) so I can have a little taste of home while being here in England.*