A day wandering by myself in London

I have been to London a variety of times, lived here too, so I wanted to wander and not hit up the classic spots.  Except for the fact that my feet and legs are aching, I think I might have achieved that today.


I began with coffee and breakfast at Fernandez and Wells.  Coffee shops seem to be the new thing here.  I noticed as I was walking today that more people are drinking coffee than tea.  Good coffee too.  Fernandez and Wells is one of the "new" espresso shops in London.  They have 2 other shops but the one I went to is called an espresso shop.  Most of them are simple, not too big, and serve a few extra things during the course of the day.  Paninis, sweets, etc.  I went with the black coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, homemade English muffin, sunny side up egg and blueberry jam on the side.  Good start of the day. 


God knows why but I decided to leave Soho and walk to Sloane Square Liberty of London had a small boutique there.  Notice I said, had.  I figured that out when I go there.  Regardless, I had a great walk, passed Buckingham Palace along the way.  Once I realized they were closed, I hopped in a taxi and went to the original Liberty of London store.  A beautiful old store that is highly curated from chocolates to scarves to clothes to furniture.  Reminds me of what Bendels was like when it was on 57th Street many many years ago.  The best part of Sloane Square was the picture I captured of all the Madelines taking a walk during school.  So cute.


I decided to check out the Foundling Museum.  The Foundling Museum is on Brunswick Square over Corams Greens.  A really interesting place.  It is the original home for abandoned children in London.  It was a huge problem hundreds of years ago.  The Foundling Hospital, which is what it was originally, was founded by Thomas Coram, William Hogarth and the composer George Handel.  Handel raised money through his concerts for the institution.  Dickens lived across the road and would come over and give gingerbread to the children.  Currently there is an exhibit of works by children's illustrators that show kids with disabilities in pictures doing anything from apple picking to bicycling riding to challenge the preconceptions of kids with disabilities.  Wonderful art.  This is put on by Scope who commissioned the artists to be inspired to create these drawings.  Just an added note that adoption was not legal in Britain until 1926.

A seriously full day.  It was time to return to the hotel and get a pot of tea. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Marthe Jocelyn

    Hey Joanne!Was my book still on sale in the Foundling shop? Called A Home for Foundlings…?mj

    1. Gotham Gal

      I didn’t notice but I wish I knew they carried it. I would have talked itup! I might have to go online and buy it for myself. I really loved themuseum and the history.

  2. David Smuts

    Joanne, I must apologise to you for having just stumbled upon your blog right at this moment, and having done so wholly out of sheer quriosity from exploring Mr Wilson’s blog site- what a treasure trove of discovery there is here!First, London MUST pay you for your wonderful description of our city. WOW- you make it sound so fascinating an experience!Second, I hope you and your best friend (what’s his name Fred or something?) got a chance to see the Tate Modern gallery while you were here. If you liked Saatchi you would LOVE Tate Modern on the Southbank.I really think of New York and London as sister cities (we both had 911 and 707 to deal with). I hope one day, I can do the same favour which you did for London, by commenting and publishing about the wonders of NYC and all its charm and character. Alas, my photography and literary skills aren’t as good as yours, but will I make my best effort!take care and hopefully London will be on your itinerary again soon?all my best,David