Day 4: London
My love of Made in Chelsea
Grabbing a glass of champagne she toasted to the birthday boys, before adding “A second toast to my best friend Rosie for hooking up with my boyfriend Hugo Taylor when we were together and then lying about it”. After a collective gasp around the room, she added ‘Here’s to friendship”. Then storming past Rosie, she added “You’re disgusting!”
Made in Chelsea, Season 2, Final Episode
This was the explosive ending to Made in Chelsea (MIC to its fans) Season 2 – everything you could wish for in a final episode. For the uninitiated, MIC is a reality tv show in the same vein as The Only Way is Essex and Desperate Scousewives, following the intertwining lives of a group of well-to-do twenty somethings from Chelsea in London. I’ve been a fan of MIC since accidentally coming across it on Foxtel one day and have been hooked ever since. And now I’m staying in Chelsea (well, South Kensington actually, but very, very close to Chelsea) whilst in London. It’s interesting to note here that you can actually find on the internet, lists of the places that the MIC crew hang out in, both on the show and in real life, like a kind of a high end stalkers guide. And whilst I’m not planning on spending my time trying to get hair-styling tips from Ollie or bumping into Millie carrying her adorable pooch Herbie around in her handbag, I am definitely going to spend some time in the area, and grab a bite to eat at The Bluebird Cafe (okay – so what if it’s where my favorite cast member Binkie likes to hang out?). I guess it would be just a little bit exciting to get a cast sighting though – we’ll see!
There are dogs bounding through the long grasses and pigeons and squirrels wandering around, as well as joggers and cyclists. There’s a few different things to look at in Hyde Park, but I was mainly here to get a look at Serpentine Lake and Kensington Palace which also sits in the grounds.
And no, Leigh and Katie – I did not eat the squirrel for breakfast!
To be honest, I can see why Wills and Kate are renovating this place. It is a little old. Old it may be, but overly extravagant, it isn’t. I was quite surprised at how plain (if that’s the word) the palace is inside. The current exhibition is Victoria Revealed, which gave a good insight into the lives the royals led.
Kensington Palace was also known as the home of Princess Diana. Within moments of her death in 1997, thousands of people flocked to Kensington Palace to pay their respects. Within just a few hours, the tributes covered the iconic gold gates to the south of the palace. In the coming days, every piece of railing around the palace was covered and a carpet of flowers stretched out into Kensington Gardens.
Walking through the Palace gardens, I spy a couple of those little squirrels that inhabit this neck of the woods. He must have been hungry and suspected that I had some food, because he ran half way up my leg before I knew what was happening!
Sloane Square is a small hard-landscaped square on the border of Chelsea. Sloan Square also lent its name to the “Sloane Rangers” in the early 1980s – young underemployed, often snooty and ostentatiously well-off members of the upper classes. The term often applied to young women, and Lady Diana Spencer was considered the quintessential Sloane prior to her marriage to Prince Charles. Kate has now taken up the mantle, just in case you were wondering…
Wealth, and an upper class social position is a pre-requisite for being a Sloane. However it’s not all fun and games for the Sloane – regardless of any educational standing they may have achieved, they are generally regarded as dim-witted socialites.
At first I thought this was a gallery dedicated to the divine footwear creations from Saatchi. Turns out I was wrong, but the Saatchi Gallery still looked incredibly interesting when I researched it further, so it stayed on the list of things to do.
The Saatchi Gallery aims to provide an innovative forum for contemporary art by presenting work by largely unseen young artists or by international artists whose work has been rarely or never exhibited in the UK. The popularity of these contemporary art exhibitions has increased during the recent years as general awareness and interest in contemporary art has developed worldwide. When The Saatchi Gallery first opened over twenty five years ago it was only those who had a dedicated interest in contemporary art who sought out the gallery. This has all changed, and the museum was quite busy today.
The works here are amazing and so different from the mainstream. One of my favourites is a series of shopping bags that have been sculpted into paper trees – no that doesn’t sound quite right – or do the works justice, so just have a look at the photos instead.
According to section 51 of the London Hackney Carriage Act 1831, a London Hackney Carriage, which was the horse drawn equivalent of a taxi in those days, by law had to keep a bale of hay in the boot to feed the then horses. Of course at some point the horses became outdated with the motor car revolution, but the law still held. Some places actually even constructed very small bales of hay to carry in a taxi during disputes with local councils on the matter. Along with the hay bales, the vehicles still had to be tethered at a taxi rank, and the council had to supply a water trough to the taxi rank.
The law for this held for well over 100 years, only being amended in 1976, although some taxi drivers still carry around small bales of hay on the boot just for the fun of it. In Australia, we also had to follow the same law and it is believed that it actually still exists without amendment.
Now I tried to flag down a black cab twice today, but each time, there was no black cab in sight! Only coloured ones. Oh well, they are still really cute and I love how there is so much room in the back, for all your shopping bags!
Ok, ok, I couldn’t leave London without seeing the Queen, so before I head back to the hotel, I head to the Palace. There’s not much going on. A couple of snaps, and well, how long do you hang around? Is there a minimum time period? Some people look like they have been standing here a while. What are they waiting for?
I think its time for me head back to the hotel. Sitting on the underground for the last time, I reflect on how easy its made it to get around. Another city that Perth could learn from perhaps…
Traditional Fish and Chips
Tonight is my final night in London, and there’s just one more thing I’ve got to do. Try traditional fish and chips with a pint down the local, which happens to be the Stanhope Arms (side note: I love all the little pubs in London, heavily decorative and most with big pots of hanging flowers with really cute names like The Lady and Flower). They proclaim to have the best traditional fish and chips in London, so I sit down to await my fish, chips, mushy peas and pint of Stella. Yes, that’s right Mum – mushy peas.
The meal is good. I’m not sure that I would say it was the best fish and chips I’d ever had (sorry London, but Perth has way better fish and chips), but perhaps they are the best in London – I’ll never know. But I think I’m qualified to judge given I used to work in a really good fish n cgip shop in my teenage years!
And no…I didn’t see anyone from Made in Chelsea today. Just as well the season final is on TV tonight!