Thursday - May 11, 2017 - Lock, Stock, and Silver

Today we walked along the Embankment along the Thames River marveling at the flower gardens and seeing blue tulips for the first time. There was a statue of Robbie Burns and another of Arthur Sullivan of Gilbert & Sullivan fame. We saw an Egyptian Obelisk and continued our walk to Somerset House. Somerset House is a vast palace along the Thames that historically was home to three Catholic queens. It has an enormous courtyard where they show movies in the summertime. There are small galleries on one side and on the side along The Strand (street)  is the Courtauld Institute. One of the gems of British museums this small gallery has Gauguin, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Kandinsky, Lucien Freud, and much more. There is also historic silver and furniture, a medieval religious gallery, a gallery with historic drawings, a tea room (of course!) and a gift shop. It's my second visit and I always marvel at this fine collection that sits in this small museum on the edge of a commercial street with business people and tourists walking by who might not know that this museum even exists!

After tea and scones we walked along The Strand looking at the Halls of Justice, old pubs, new highrise apartments, and jewelry shops. We turned north onto Chancery Lane where we ended up at The London Silver Vaults. I have wanted to visit the vaults for two years and this was our moment! There are two basement levels and you are ushered into long hallways with shops on either side filled with SILVER! Each shop is inside a locked vault. The silver is mainly antique and it's gorgeous. Now we did try on some rings that were silver and pearls and we did look at earrings. We walked away knowing that we had seen these treasures and while we were empty handed it was a lot of fun. 

We take the bus when we can and we found a bus that was headed in our direction and found our way home. We ate dinner at Orsinis, a neighborhood Italian restaurant. It was a lovely meal and a great end to another busy day!