A London Weekend

December 5, 2010

I spent the last weekend and part of the last week in London, where I visited a very good friend, [n] whom I had not seen for several years. We spent a wonderful time together, and there was lots of talking, catching up, cooking, drinking tea and laughing in his cozy kitchen. Since my visit was very short and partly work-related [I got interviewed for the PhD programme of very renowned art historical institution in London on Monday], I did not want to engage in too many touristic activities, but rather enjoyed strolling aimlessly around the wintery city. [n] lives in South London, in Dulwich, and on the first day of my visit, after a good night’s sleep and a very extended breakfast, we took a long walk in this area, finally ending up at Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Dulwich Picture Gallery

It is England’s oldest public art gallery, designed by Sir John Soane and opened in 1817. Its architecture with its imaginative use of skylights seems to have made it the prototype of most art galleries built since and indeed, the use of natural daylight throughout the gallery is quite impressing.

Dulwich Picture Gallery Dulwich Picture Gallery

The gallery houses works by Rembrandt, Canaletto, Pussin and Murillo as well as the mausoleum to Desenfans and Borgeouis, the founders of the collection, and was originally commissioned to house the collection of nearby Dulwich College [architect: Charles Barry, it was opened in 1870, see picture below].

Dulwich Colleg

A second highlight of my short trip was, of course, related to my well-known yarn and knitting obsession. On Sunday, I forced [n] to make a trip to Islington, where one of my favorite yarn shops ever, Loop, is located. Since it was very crowded inside the shop [a lot of Londoners where apparently in knitting mood due to the cold weather], I did not take any photographs of the beautifully arranged yarns, books and haberdashy, but Ysolda recently published a really beautiful blog post about Loop, where you can find a lot of very lovely impressions of all the cozy corners and interesting shelves in the shop.

Loop London

And of course I could not leave this knitter’s paradise without a big bag full of luxury yarn! The beautiful blue Madelinetosh Sock was my London souvenir for [c], who unfortunately didn’t have the time to accompany me, and the grey yarn [Madelinetosh Sock as well] and lovely red vintage buttons I bought as a treat for myself. There are already some really nice project ideas popping up in my head …

Madelinetosh Sock

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