I live and work in West London, so when I venture to central London I usually feel like a tourist in my own city and, at the same time, I am reminded of how much I love London and why I love this city so much. At the beginning of April, I spent the perfect Sunday just doing that and was also lucky enough to have great weather.
The day of exploring started at the National Café at the National Gallery, because no day can't start without a belly full of carbs. The National Café had just reopened (on 6 March 2017) after being closed for just under two months and it is now part of Peyton and Byrne's restaurants- which include The Wallace Restaurant.
The space has been redesigned by Paris-based Belgian designer Ramy Fischler. The refurbishment has given the National Café a new look and colour palette, it now feels lighter and somewhere, if you like me love taking photos of interiors, you might struggle to stop snapping away.
What we ate? Burrata with fennel, radicchio and wild pesto for me and Devonshire crab ravioli with shrimp butter and cockles for my husband. For mains, I ordered artichoke stuffed gnocchi with chantelle mushroom and Berkswell and he had Cornish brill with lentil and rainbow chard. We also ordered a side of roasted cauliflower with cheese. I enjoyed the burrata and gnocchi very much, especially the gnocchi with the combination of flavours between artichokes and cheese. I could have easily eaten another portion (which I would have regretted later).
We finished lunch with coffee and dessert- salted caramel and cinnamon doughnuts with toffee sauce. I often find coffee in restaurants not very good, however this was not the case for the National Café.
A perfect spot to grab some lunch or enjoy afternoon tea or, even, just stop for coffee. I can see this place becoming one of my favourites when in the area and another excuse (even if one don't need any) to pay a visit to the National Gallery.
Which is just what we did after lunch, we went to the National Gallery for a wander, which is one of my many favourite places in London to get lost for a few hours admiring art. I feel grateful to live in a city where most of the galleries and museum are free of charge. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900, you can admire paintings from artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Canaletto.
Then, it was time to enjoy the sunshine, we headed to a walk in St. James' Park, where we soon realised they were shooting a movie: The Mall had been closed and taken over by trailers. We found out they had been busy filming the new Mary Poppins- I am super excited about this movie - and we also saw a vintage bus that had been used for some scenes.
Whilst we walking around the park, we witnessed a scene being filmed: lots of kids on their vintage bikes.
It is not unusual to stumbled upon a movie or tv series set in London, add this to the list of reasons why I love living in this city, and it does feel like you are walking on a movie set most of the times.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the National Café. All opinions are my own.