London: Museums, Markets, and Mewses

One thing I really love about visiting London on a fairly regular basis is that it gives me a chance to delve into some of the city’s more off-the-beaten-path museums and attractions. And during this trip, I definitely wracked up a few such places! From modern art to retro fashion, my London explorations this time around ran the gamut.  

I kicked things off by heading to the Southbank Centre to check out their “Shape Shifters” exhibit, which was filled with a bunch of optical illusions, trick mirrors, and various other trippy things. It was an amusing way to pass a morning! 

I also made my way to Marylebone so I could finally check out Daunt Books, a beautiful bookshop. The space is really fantastic, and I had fun browsing the shelves. I wound up buying the UK version of the first Harry Potter book and decided I wanted to start a new tradition of buying a Harry Potter book in each country I visit. Wouldn’t it be fun to collect a bunch of different ones?

After browsing the books, I walked to the nearby Warren Street Mews, which were picture perfect (and obviously very Insta-worthy).

As I’ve written time and again, I love a good fashion exhibit, so it was perhaps surprising that this trip marked my very first time at the Fashion & Textile Museum. During my visit, they were running an exhibition of 1930s fashion – the pieces were delightful!

Even though it may be a bit cliche, I adore Notting Hill, and it’s always nice to take a walk around the neighborhood. I made my way there one sunny morning – the neighborhood’s colorful houses looked picture perfect against the bright January sky.

While I seem to revisit certain markets – like Borough, Spitalfields, and Columbia Road – time and again in London, this trip marked my first foray to Broadway Market. I had fun perusing the food and crafts stalls there. And, of course, I couldn’t resist buying a few meringues from the rainbow array on offer at the Meringue Girls stall.

Perhaps my number one favorite museum in London is the V&A. I stopped in to to visit the “Fashioned by Nature” exhibit, which “explores the complex relationship between fashion and nature.” Basically, there were displays focusing on where clothes come from in nature – i.e., sources of fur, sources of dye, and so forth. It was very interesting!

As I mentioned above, I can never resist a visit to the Columbia Road Flower Market, and this trip was no exception! Near the market, there are also several cute little antique shops. I popped into one and bought the most darling teapot … which I promptly left in my Uber shortly thereafter. I was so upset, but I guess that’s just more reason to go back and do some shopping on my next trip!

From the market, I walked to Brick Lane, which always offers plenty to see and do! I found myself poking down all the little side streets to check out the street art, which is literally everywhere there.

My last stop in London was MinaLima, which is a shop from the people who did all the graphic design for the Harry Potter movies. Well, to be accurate, it’s almost more like a museum – there are displays of graphics from the movies filling several floors. It’s pretty neat!

And with that, my third annual “start the new year in London” trip came to an end. I hope to keep the tradition going for many more years!

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