It’s another grey day but, thankfully, without rain (so far).
Aboard the 19
We are going to meet friends and we started by catching a number 19 bus in St John Street.
We left the bus in Shaftesbury Avenue.
We walked down Gerrard Street into China Town whose streets are filled with red lanterns.
Charing Cross Station
We made a pit stop at Charing Cross Station.
The Eleanor Cross
The “cross” part of the station’s name comes from it being the location of one of the Eleanor Crosses erected by a grieving King Edward I.
Staircase, Clermont Hotel
We were to meet our friends in the Clermont Hotel which shares the building with the station. We climbed the elegant central staircase to the first floor.
First floor corridor
In the corridor are comfortable armchairs where we were content to rest for a while as we were early for the rendezvous.
When our friends arrived, it turned out that the hotel cafe was not yet open so we left and walked along Strand.
Our friends had some purchases to make and so we went into Mountain Warehouse and a few other shops.
We then wandered through streets around Covent Garden, such as this one, Maiden Lane.
We followed this passage called Goodwin’s Court.
Crossing a few more streets we arrived at Leicester Square which was as busy as you would expect it to be.
Coffee and croissants
We paused for a coffee break at a branch of Ole & Steen. We of course ordered coffee and croissants!
China Town revisited
Setting off once more, we again crossed through China Town.
Traditional pair of Chinese Lions
I stopped to admire this pair of traditional Chinese Lions. They are always a pair of male and female. The male has a paw on a ball and the female a paw on a lion cub. The cub is upside-down, suggesting that they are playing.
We were now in Soho where we stopped for lunch in a small restaurant called Bistro 1. The food was good though we did not manage to eat it all (perhaps we shouldn’t have had those croissants earlier!).
Old Compton Street
We now rambled the streets of Soho. This one is the well known Old Compton Street.
We passed by the also famous Soho Square with its central garden.
Église Protestante Française de Londres
Here is to be found the French Protestant Church of London. As it was closed, we could not go in but…
Door arch mouldings-
…we could admire the characterful mouldings in the door arch.
St Patrick’s Catholic Church
Nearby was St Patrick’s, this one a Catholic church. I wonder whether there is any rivalry between the two churches. We could visit this church though the figures of saints etc were veiled as is the custom at Easter.
Returning the Charing Cross Road, we paid a visit to Foyles, possibly the most famous bookshop in the UK and perhaps even the world.
Detective fiction by Georges Simenon
I headed for the French language section and after much deliberation, chose a detective fiction novel by Georges Simenon.
Back in Ole & Steen
On leaving the bookshop, we looked for somewhere to have a last coffee together but, as you might imagine, everywhere was packed out. We arrived again at Ole & Steen and managed to grab a table upstairs.
Bus stop, Shaftesbury Avenue
We took leave of our friends in Charing Cross Road where they boarded a bus to start their journey home. We walked round to a bus stop in Shaftesbury Avenue where we could catch a number 19 bus for the Angel.
Aboard the 19
The 19 duly arrived and we occupied our favourite seats at the back for the ride home. At home, we will relax and make tea and perhaps I will start reading my new book!