London: Rich Bitch at the Ritz

Surely my toe is fractured. I could barely walk. I couldn’t move. I winced in pain with each step I took, but like the noble and brave young man that I am, I soldiered on and carried through with the day. This was far from a simplistic task, though, reader, and it caused me endless heartache and heartbreak.

First things first, I decided to wear a suit today because Jessica and I were going to the Ritz like the classy bitches that we are. Why is it so difficult to tie a tie? What do I need to sacrifice to Satan to develop this ability? Do I need to do some kind of voodoo ritual? It can’t be as difficult as I found it to be, since peasants put ties on to go to work in the public. I don’t know why I can’t understand the task. I comprehend it theoretically and I could probably sketch out a diagram of a person tying a tie, but when I have the slippery little piece of cloth betwixt my fingers, I haven’t the foggiest notion what to do. I finally did make up some kind of tie…it might be an actual thing, who knows at this point, and I looked like this:

IMG_7227I’m intensely gorgeous here. Thank you for saying so, reader. I won’t get into the other fashion issue I had because it’s not entirely appropriate, but grey is not an easy pant color for me to wear.

After it had taken us forty-five minutes to get all dressed up, Jessica and I rushed through the peasants in Hackney (not really a fan of this part of town) onto the train where we sat around for ages getting into central London. I was much happier to be out and about in civilization, especially in the area we went to first. There are lots of law firms here and museums and colleges. So, it feels pretty classy and elegant and I felt at my leisure.

We went over to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and I fell in love with this park immediately. It’s stunning, especially on such a beautiful day as this one.

IMG_7228Everybody in the area was taking lunch in the park and it was awfully picturesque. Kind of like being in that Seurat painting, Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte. See the following:

A_Sunday_on_La_Grande_Jatte,_Georges_Seurat,_1884

I was rather taken by the strangely lumpy trees that lined the paths, and I want to know exactly what they are so that I can grow them back home. Of course they will surely be some strange tree that won’t grow in my climate. London is higher up north than Iowa and that stupid jet stream allows them to have all the palm trees they want. It pisses me off endlessly, but I won’t go into that rant again for the thousandth time.

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IMG_7229Across the street from the park was the purpose of our visit: Sir John Soane’s Museum [white one on the left]:

IMG_7231This townhouse holds a truly eclectic combination of artwork, antiquities, and documents. They are arranged bizarrely…walking through the house is like walking through a chapel at some points, a vast library at others, a stuffed to bursting art gallery, an ancient crypt, a strangely normal Victorian parlor, and so many other things that I can’t begin to explain what it’s like inside. Unfortunately, photographs aren’t allowed, so I’m going to have to look online for something:

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sir-john-soane_s-museum2

A-quella-casa-Soane-Museum-3All of this was lovely and curious, but the real reason for my visit was to see the sarcophagus of Pharaoh Seti I.

6For ages and ages…ever since I can remember really, I have adored ancient Egypt. I have always had a particular interest in Seti I, since his tomb is the only one in the Valley of the Kings that can probably be called truly finished. It’s gorgeous and filled with art. His mummy is graceful and imposing. I hadn’t ever thought about where his sarcophagus was, though. I assumed it still sat in his tomb.

Belzoni found it during his explorations of Egypt and offered to sell it to the British Museum for £2000, but they refused, saying it was an exorbitant price. Sir John Sloane, though, didn’t mind the price and he bought it and it’s been in his home ever since for all to see. It used to be pure while alabaster, but the London smog has stained it severely. The hieroglyphs and drawings are all still clear, so this isn’t a terrible crime against history — just art. It was wonderful to finally see this object and stare at all the etchings that were worked into the beautiful piece of stone. Seeing objects like that gives you a real tangible sense of history.

After the museum, we decided to have a little something to eat, so we did, and we ate it in the park. I successfully tricked Jessica into going on a picnic and for that I think I feel rightly proud. For some reason, she hates nature and all outdoor dining. Picnics are one of my very favorite meal excursions, so this is clearly a serious conflict of interests. I won this time.

We had quite a bit of time to kill before our reservation at the Ritz was scheduled to begin, so we decided to walk over to Buckingham Palace to see if our good friend, Queen Elizabeth II was in.

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IMG_1494Sadly, she wasn’t at home. I had always thought that when the flag was up, she was inside, but it’s just the opposite. I was annoyed by this newfound knowledge.

Finally it was time to go over to the Ritz and I could barely contain my enthusiasm for an elegant afternoon.

IMG_7238We were immediately sat in the gorgeous tearoom, which was much more floral than I was expecting. I look forward to poking my nose into other Ritz’s in the future to see if this is a common motif. I’m not sure if the one in Paris will look this way after they complete their renovations…I kind of hope they have something a bit more classic as this felt awfully 90s.

IMG_1498Still, it was a lovely room and I enjoyed listening to the music and nibbling on sandwiches and staring at the other people in the room. I was having a great time until I realized that Jessica was not. I don’t think she’s ever been so out of her element in all her life. She acted like she was going to vomit every time she took a bite of sandwich or scone. You should have seen her with this lovely hummus sandwich…I don’t even know how to explain what she was doing, but I wouldn’t call it eating.

The sandwiches were actually rather lame, but that seems to be a running theme with afternoon tea. At least they were easy to consume with your fingers, unlike those silly things they give you at the Drake in Chicago. You can’t possibly shove it all in your mouth and you couldn’t possibly cut it up to shove in your gob — that was a bit stressful at the Drake. But the Ritz wasn’t at all silly like that. You eat all the sandwiches that you want! The scones were very good and the desserts were all right. After we finished our dessert tray, a dessert trolley pulled up, which was terribly exciting, and I had a very nice piece of lemon cake.

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All in all, I was disappointed by the food, but not by the tea, service, or ambiance, all of which were excellent. I also enjoyed watching Jessica gag on a very plain food. She needs to work on broadening her culinary horizons.

We were incredibly dressed up, so we decided to go over to Harrod’s to look in on the pet shop that we always enjoy so much, but the shop doesn’t seem to be there anymore. Jessica was hella pissed about that. I was sad, too, since there’s never a bad time to look at expensive kittens.

Instead, we played mannequin, which was great fun.

IMG_1510I bet you can’t tell which one is me.

Then I looked all over for this shirt:

IMG_1511but was foiled, which was tragic, because I need more leopard print in my life.

After our thrillingly elegant day, we went back home to rest up for the next one: A DAY ON THE SEA. Stay tuned.

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