March 2020: Three Cities: 2. London

I arrived in London from Amsterdam, unusually, and a little later than planned (thanks to issues with the GWR service from Bristol), met up with Bruce at our base for this visit. The Hilton Kensington is located a very short distance from Shepherd’s Bush Overground / National Rail and Underground stations, but does actually stand in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Even so, I’m not convinced that it is well named, but we both agreed that it had a good location with useful transport links, while not charging Westminster-style prices.

My photographic coverage was less comprehensive on this visit to the UK capital, so I’ll focus on what I have.

Holland Park and the Design Museum

‘Holland Park’ is simultaneously a public park, a street and a district in Kensington. The park itself is a substantial and attractive public space running from the aforementioned street to Kensington High Street. The beautifully executed (naturally!) Design Museum is situated at the southern end of the park, adjacent to Kensington High Street.

Chelsea Harbour for Afternoon Tea

With another unusual Sunday theatre booking coming up in the evening, we thought that reviving the traditional custom of Afternoon Tea might make for an interesting change, as well as being a convenient fit with the day’s other arrangements. The venue was the Chelsea Harbour Hotel, just a short journey from the Hilton Kensington by London Overground / Southern Rail. Well done to Millennium Hotels for keeping this tradition alive!

Theatre arrangements were necessarily somewhat fluid this time, as our plans were hit by a sudden cancellation on Saturday. Thanks to some nifty rearranging, what we ended up with this weekend was one venue, two performances and three plays, two of which continued the already established theme of espionage and national security from previous London visits this year. More importantly, it was all most enjoyable. Little did we realise that live theatre would soon be required to close its doors and take a lengthy leave of absence.


As I left for Norwich on Monday morning, I was acutely aware that while we were not yet formally in lockdown, big changes were underway. Public transport across central London was practically empty, while signs were going up everywhere encouraging the frequent and thorough washing of hands, and telling people how to cough and sneeze safely. But I had plans in place, and I resolved to ‘keep calm and carry on’ – and to be very careful in so doing!