While eBh toiled away during the day at The Championships at Wimbledon behind this door
where the Internet lives (I had to chuckle), I had grand plans to hop on the Tube (London Underground) and explore London to my wandering heart’s content. But you know about best laid plans: it’s best to have a Plan B mind for when a change-up strikes or, in this case, the Tube goes on strike. Forced to leave my Tube map behind, I set out in my walking shoes wondering what I would find closer to our home-away-from-home base.
I headed straight for Wimbledon Village, a smaller ‘burg in greater-Wimbledon. What a charming crossroads of chic retail, restaurants and pubs. The village was bubbling with tennis excitement, and to boost the buzz even more, the local merchants’ association sponsored a window-dressing contest to engage visitors and fans.
The creativity in the local shops ran from whimsical
(note the paint colors: Trophy, Net, Strawberries, Lines and Tennis Balls)
The contest was brilliant. The windows cleverly conveyed each establishment’s vibe. I suggest the local organizers of the upcoming UCI Road World Championships in RVA sponsor a similar plan. Read to the end of the post for the winner!
Urban English Gardens
Although visiting Kew Gardens via the Tube was put on hold for that day, the glorious gardens for which the English are famous were not out of reach. Every bend and turn in the road held a new photo-op. I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of jasmine in bloom, blessing passers-by with an intoxicating fragrance to blot out even the most noxious car exhaust.
Hydrangea were bountiful,
but the real show-offs were the multitude of flowers.
The Brits have such a knack for lush cultivation of small spaces. I returned home inspired to focus on small garden spots in my landscape and not fret about the totality.
Another must see destination recommended to me was Wimbledon Commons. This expansive (1100 acres) natural and protected area lies within the urban confines of suburban London. Ponds, paths and fields provide an oasis accessible to all for sunbathing, picnicking, running, strolling, reading, bird-watching, star-gazing and romping with the family dog. Upon setting foot onto the Commons, the big city seems to be in a galaxy far, far away.
I had planned to tour the Windmill Museum on the Commons and eat lunch, but the museum, run by volunteers, was closed that day. Fortunately the lunch at the Tea Room gave me a picturesque setting to recharge.
At the end of the day I realized that I was thankful to have been forced to stay in the neighborhood and not rush to visit greater London’s sites. Now I have a great appreciation for the culture of Wimbledon life and hope to plan a down day for my future destinations.
July 21, 2015
and the winner is…