LONDON SLANT: GO WEST, YOUNG EASTER BUNNY

Happy Easter, everyone! The sky’s bright blue and I long to put on my hiking boots and head for the hills. But it’s far too chilly for the Chilterns, so join me on a West London Easter walk.

Easter bunnies

Easter bunnies on parade, with the lady who organised the display.

Let’s start off with a bit of seasonal fun. While rambling along Collingham Rd near Gloucester Rd tube I spotted this family of luminous bunnies. As I took a snap the owner emerged from her house. She told me that she started putting on similarly festive displays for her children every Christmas. They loved them so much that she’s since extended their range. “We’re planning Halloween now,” she told me, then leapt into her sports car and zoomed off with a most unbunny-like roar.

But the walk I’m about to suggest starts two stops along the District and Circle lines, at Sloane Square. Download the route from http://www.london-footprints.co.uk/wkchelsearoute.htm

Colbert brings a touch of Paris cafe society to Sloane Square.

Colbert brings a touch of Paris cafe society to Sloane Square.

When I did this walk a few weeks ago I began with a fortifying breakfast at Colbert, adjacent to the station. The manager recommended various treats such as their Eggs Benedict and superfruit salad with pomegranate jewels. As he said, you should only order things in restaurants that you wouldn’t make for yourself back home. The food was delicious, the atmosphere relaxed and fun. Most memorable were the gorgeous loos. With their nautical decor, including sea green tiles, they had the feel of a glamorous 1930s French liner. I was in no hurry to dry my hands.

Cafe Colbert

Coffee in Colbert, to kick start the walk.

Setting off outside, my first fascinating port of call was the Arts and Crafts Holy Trinity church (four stars in Simon Jenkins’ Thousand Best Churches book). The morning light was streaming through the Burne-Jones stained glass east window. I loved the writhing patterns of the floral wrought iron chancel gates.

London slant Chelsea arts club

Entrance of the Chelsea Arts Club.

From here, the route zig-zagged back and forth between the King’s Road and Cheyne Walk, past all sorts of curious buildings tucked away down tiny streets. In addition to the places I’ve photographed I passed Godfrey Street—a row of tiny houses painted different colours—and the Manolo Blahnik shop window in Old Church Street, arrayed with shoes sprouting multi-coloured protuberances that looked like exotic plants.

London slant

Cow’s head above former dairy building in Old Church Street.

I enjoyed seeing Oscar Wilde’s former home in Tite Street (with a pair of suitably louche lamps with shades of guinea fowl feathers in the window) and seeing Whistler’s house overlooking the Thames and matching the views to his Nocturnes.

London slant

Building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose studio was nearby.

I passed a slab of the Berlin Wall in the National Army Museum grounds, entered the magnificent chapel of the Royal Hospital (home to the Chelsea pensioners) and eventually wound up in the food market just outside the Saatchi Gallery (both of which were heaving with crowds.) I found plenty more cups of coffee to keep me going until the sun went down in a blaze over Battersea Park.

London slant

Delightful sign on a nursery school.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “LONDON SLANT: GO WEST, YOUNG EASTER BUNNY

  1. oscarwildefanclub

    I’m in Dublin but hopefully will visit London this summer with a camera.
    Keep up the good work it’s nice to get an insiders view on London, I would never of known about the Chelsea Arts Club only for you. If you feel up to writing a guest post on Oscar and London for the website do contact me

    Reply
    1. londonslant Post author

      Thank you – that’s a nice invitation. I enjoyed looking at your website and have an idea that I’ll check out. I know that writing about someone who was always satisfied with the best would lead me to some glamorous haunts (Reading gaol excepted).

      Reply
      1. oscarwildefanclub

        cool i will look forward to this, last time i was in London I could not convince my wife to rewalk all of Oscar’s favourite haunts and dens of inequity (had to make do with the statue and Cadogan Hotel).
        dont forget to include links back to your own site

    1. londonslant Post author

      Thank you for your comment and glad you liked the Chelsea Arts Club – it’s great, isn’t it. Sorry I don’t have a shot of the Oscar Wilde residence. The lamps (separated by a piece of coral) are waiting for you and your camera!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s