All the heat in Britain is stored in the British Museum
We arrived late to our Airbnb in London’s Hoxton neighborhood, the tube taking a characteristically long time to shuttle us across the entirety of the city from Heathrow. When we arrived, we were greeted by King Tubby, one of the hosts for our stay.
After spending more time with King Tubby the next morning, we got some food and went to the first and main stop of the day, the British Museum, where we were greeted by an even larger cat.
Once we found our way to the main atrium from the weird side door we entered through, we had a second to pause and catch our breath and realize just how fucking hot it was in the museum. Regardless of the teeming thousands of fellow tourists and museum-goers present, the museum was stiflingly sweltering. Distractingly so. Miserably so. But at least the atrium was pretty.
Slogging through the thick heat and the throngs of people surrounding the main exhibits on the ground level like the Rosetta Stone which we Brits stole and the Tang Dynasty figures from a General’s tomb which we Brits stole, Lia and I wandered around some of the less popular exhibits that we were personally most interested in, like a showcase of native peoples’ technology in islander cultures like New Zealand and Alaska, and were disappointed to find the Black Panther scene set in the African artifacts section of the museum wasn’t a real room. Thankfully the artifacts were real and really cool, but eventually the fellow unwashed masses caught up to us there too, so we did what any sensible people would do, and climbed the stairs to further engulf ourselves in the overwhelming heat.
Upstairs, our eyes glazed over from heat exhaustion as we wandered through exhibits on ancient China and India, as well as Persia before getting further back into Mesopotamia, by which time we were seriously considering passing out.
But we still had the bits we’d been most looking forward to seeing to go through, so we continued on our futile pilgrimage to see a lifetime’s worth of historical artifacts in one day, and headed back downstairs to the Ancient Egypt and Greek areas.
I do love a good Hercules pot.
Me, very hot.
Finally escaping, we were right next to Covent Garden. With a few hours to kill before the show we’d bought extremely good value tickets that morning to see, Kinky Boots, and in desperate need of a recovery period after the intense endurance exercise the museums had been, we sought out some dinner.
We found some at a local Italian small plates spot blocks from the theatre, as well as some well-earned happy hour Aperol Spritzes, and a beautiful Jaguar parked outside.
We still had a little more time after eating, so we used it to wander around Covent Garden properly, rather than the dazed beeline we’d made through it to the restaurant in need of the bathroom. We went into the Moomin shop for old times’ sake, the Whittards of Chelsea tea shop, and a few others around the area, including one of Lia’s favorite skincare brands, Deciem, which had a store in the market.
Kinky Boots was a fantastic show. Not only was it based in my hometown of Northampton, it had a supremely entertaining and heartwarming story, and some wonderful singers and musical numbers. We left feeling very fulfilled and tired at the end of our first day in London, with the tube back to our Airbnb still to navigate. Pretty sure that’s the London experience in a nutshell.