London welcomed 2013 with brilliantly blue skies, a perfect day for a walk. So I tossed my camera over my shoulder and headed outdoors, strolling through the bare Winter gardens of St. Luke’s Church on Sydney Street where Charles Dickens was married many years ago but today where teenagers kicked a football across the grass wearing only tee shirts in January.
St. Luke’s Church, Sydney Street
Weaving my way through the side streets running parallel to the King’s Road, I headed toward Sloane Square where I was meant to meet a friend for lunch. It was nice to take the back roads, away from the high street shop fronts. I looked up at the details in the architecture. The clay-coloured chimneys stood in sharp contrast against the vibrant sky.
The afternoon light cast harsh shadows on the houses that lined some streets with their uplifting colours, this row on Burnsall Street full of oranges and yellows with a bit of bright white in between.
Instead of window shopping as I would have done walking down the King’s Road, I noticed the little details: the peeling paint of a run down building that stood out against the grand homes all around it…
…a vivid green door that popped out from the surrounding bricks with its small lion door knob…
… and the ubiquitous pineapple, the symbol of hospitality that dates all the way back to the 15th century Spanish explorers found embedded everywhere in London architecture.
A bit further down, I passed some private communal gardens, which I always find intriguing (every since watching Notting Hill where they climb over the wall!). Here are a few sculptures that were dancing among the trees. (Angles aren’t the greatest since I had a limited point of view.
“Dancer with a Bird” in Cadogan Square Gardens by sculptor David Wynne
“The Dancers” in Cadogan Square by sculptor David Wynne
Both sculptures are by David Wynne, the same artist who created the”Girl with Dolphin” piece near Tower Bridge as well as the “Boy with Dolphin” sculpture across from Albert Bridge which I photographed the other day:
I ended up on Elizabeth Street, a lovely little road tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of Sloane Square and the Victoria Coach Station. Spotted this old sign on one of the buildings:
The street is only small, but full of little independent shops, bakeries and coffeehouses like Tom Tom’s which is a wonderful place for people watching. Sit outdoors in the sunshine under London’s lovely blue skies or they’ll turn on the heat lamps for you when it’s a bit chilly.
Next time you walk around a place you think is one of the most familiar for you, like this area is for me, take a camera with you. It becomes a whole new world!
What a timely post for me. I’ve never really explored Chelsea and will be doing a self-guided walk with a friend Saturday morning. Great details captured in these set of photos.
Awesome, how did it go? Where did you end up?
It went well thanks, although it was freezing so we cut it short at 3 hours. I never know the Royal Chelsea hospital was so beautiful! Will have to return when there is some sun!
Great Shots =)
I always understood pineapples were a reflection on wealth rather than hospitality, being that only the rich could afford them.
Look, we’re both right 🙂
“First brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1493, from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, pineapples remained a rare delicacy for centuries and hence became a symbol of wealth and hospitality.”
Some more photos here too – http://www.secret-london.co.uk/Pineapples.html
I always see more when I carry my camera. It prompts me to really pay attention. Thanks for bringing us along on your walk — I especially like that Burnsall Street photo. I’ve tried to photograph “Boy with a Dolphin” several times but I’m never happy with the results, because there’s so much visual clutter in the background!
I always see more as well, especially if I’m on my own. I dawdle along slowly and look at everything. It’s so much better than rushing!
And I agree with the Boy with a Dolphin comment. It’s really really difficult to get a decent photo.
Reblogged this on C.B. Wentworth and commented:
The Little London Observationist is a fantastic blog that takes readers into the nooks and crannies of London. Between unique photographs and distinctive commentary, London comes alive in an entirely new way. Today there’s a tour of Sydney Street and Sloane Square that’s totally worth a read! Enjoy!
Aw, cheers for the re-blog and kind words!
The Sydney Street-ish area of London is quite familiar to me because of being a patient (in- and out-) of the Brompton Hospital. I spent many hours looking out of the window at St Luke’s Church, and also once ran there, distressed, after escaping from an MRI scanner. Nice to see it in pictures. I should take some, next time I’m there.
Shame about the circumstances but yes, it is a lovely area. I go by the hospital every day on my walk back from work as well as the church which I can see from the window now!
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