Day 77 of 80 — Somerset House

Around London in 80 days

In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I  have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be  my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.

Day 77: Somerset House

London is full of secrets — that’s why I love it so. In Westminster there are quite a few hidden treasures, inner courtyards that look private but are actually open to the public.

Of all those semi-secret places, Somerset House is my favourite.

It’s grand-looking and impressive. So much so I almost didn’t dare to go in the first time. But as soon as you walk under the arch and into the yard, it is the quietest and most comforting space.

There are a few benches allowing people to sit and enjoy the sun. A lovely café with a terrace. And if the weather isn’t too kind, you can wander inside and take a look at the exhibit of the day — they are always worthwhile.

So close to Covent Garden, right next to Waterloo Bridge, it is a true haven of peace. I love to hide away at the café and observe people on the square. At Christmas time, there’s even an ice-skating rink here, where families skate shakily — what a happy sight.

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