Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Wonderful Weekend with Bob

We had our first official visitor in our new flat this weekend: my cousin Bob! He was kind enough to stop in London for a few days on his way to Germany on business, and we all had a blast going out on the town together.

We started the weekend on Saturday with a walk over Tower Bridge - it was windy and cold, but we still enjoyed the view and the bridge architecture:

Maggie & Bob

Even though Andy and I have crossed Tower Bridge multiple times now, it never gets old. Once we reached the other side of the Thames, we walked along the south bank of the river to the Tate Modern (where we saw the Salvador DalĂ­ exhibit in September, for all you regular blog readers). The big exhibit showing now is by Louise Bourgeois, a French sculptor known for her experimental approach. We didn't go inside the museum, instead opting to hang out for awhile outside next to her giant spider sculpture:

The sculpture aptly named Maman

If you look closely, you can see an egg sack (ewww) on the spider - hence the sculpture's title Maman. We all agreed this was pretty gross and wondered if there were little baby metal spiders that might drop out spontaneously one day from the eggs... ok, maybe not.

That afternoon we went over to west London to Harrods - it was amazing, especially now that it's decked out for Christmas. For those of you who don't know Harrods, it's London's most famous department store. It carries very posh clothing and household items, but is most well known for its extensive food court. The lines throughout the store were long, but we still picked up a few souvenirs and enjoyed walking through the men's tie department (some of the most beautiful ties and cufflinks I've ever seen)!

A busy day at Harrods

After Harrods we went to The Capital Hotel for high tea. High tea typically consists of little sandwiches, cakes, cookies, scones with clotted cream, and of course, a hot pot of tea. The Capital Hotel did a great tea service and it was considerably less expensive than the more famous places like The Savoy, The Ritz, or Fortnum & Mason. We had a lot of fun and the food was delicious, as evidenced by Bob's smile:

Yum!

Finally, on Sunday we went to an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum called 'The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947 - 1957'. The Victoria and Albert (nicknamed The V&A by Londoners) is a museum exclusively devoted to art and design, and this exhibit was one of my all-time favorites. It had authentic dresses, suits, and jackets from the post-war era, when women's fashion moved away from the straight, cold lines of wartime clothing to more feminine, elegant shapes. Designers in Europe were becoming big and setting world trends in fashion during these years, so a lot of their clothing was on display, as well as some artful fashion photographs of the day.

A few of the dresses

The layout of the exhibit was especially cool - the clothing was displayed in mock storefronts that were made to look like little European shops, and the centerpiece of the exhibit was a big modeling runway with all the outfits on dress forms. The whole thing got me thinking again about designing and sewing my own line of vintage inspired jackets, something I've wanted to do for a long time. The exhibit was also fun for Bob and Andy (either that or they were too nice to say otherwise!).

Overall it was a wonderful weekend with Bob. Seeing him made me feel closer to my family, and for the weekend, London didn't seem quite so far from home. We're lucky that he travels to Europe fairly often, so we're already planning his next visit in the spring!

Bob & Maggie at the V&A

3 comments:

Doug said...

That's funny you mention it, they put one of Louise Bourgeois' spiders in San Francisco this week. It is called simply 'Crouching Spider'. It's not quite as tall as the one there (since it's crouching and all), but I do believe it still has the egg sac protruding from its bottom.

I found an article about it: Crouching Spider

hildegard von bingen said...

You guys seem really engaged in the British lifestyle. I'm glad you have made it so.
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1767734

Maggie Frantz said...

I can't believe there's a Crouching Spider in San Francisco! Crouching spider, hidden eggs.