Renee

Kinky footwear, dead poets and flickering candles in Spitalfields

Dennis Severs’ House at 18 Folgate Street is an absolute treasure. Hidden in the depths of Spitalfields beyond the trendy market and restaurants, it’s a time capsule, a true step back through the centuries. The house was occupied from 1724 by Huguenot silk weavers and, wandering the wooden-beamed rooms in candlelight, there’s an eerie sense of them having just stepped out for a moment, leaving the minutia of their lives exposed.

Imaginative Training | social media blog | social media training | Plain English training | Plain English editing | copywritingEach room painstakingly recreates a moment in time, capturing the feel of life in London from the Huguenots’ breakfast table to the dawn of the 20th century – and the house is hauntingly atmospheric. We wandered around in silence, as is the rule (Sshhhh), careful of the candles flickering as we gingerly stepped around the beautiful furnishings and objects that were once somebody’s belongings. Fittingly, I wore a silk skirt – not Huguenot-weaved: Phase Eight – but the sentiment was there. Its floaty edges weren’t ideal for the narrow wooden staircase that reach four storeys into a bygone world, making me wonder how the women managed in their glorious brocade dresses. Definitely worth a visit if you have an hour to spare in London!

I’ve had a very cultural couple of weeks, what with our trip to Burghley House, another lived-in stately home, grand and very luxurious with whippets racing and alpacas sort-of-smiling – and a day out with Sharon and the twins to Westminster Abbey.  I loved that!! Not sure it was two 13-year-old boys’ idea of fun, but the landmark is so steeped in history you can almost hear the monks shuffling along the cloisters.  As you may already know, I do love an ancient gravestone and the Abbey didn’t disappoint.  With some of the most celebrated brains (now bones) in English history, from Isaac Newton to Charles Dickens, and Kings and Queens lying in peace close to artists, poets (including some of my favourites) and, errr, a plumber…. I could have stayed all day but the café soon tempted us away with creamy fish pies!

A few days later the twins came along to Oli’s 21st birthday party.  How blessed we are to have had five generations together in one kitchen.  Well. Four and a half really, but who’s counting. (Only the person in charge of the tequila jelly-shots!)

My week closed with another trip to London – Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre.  Such a fantastic show – as well as being flamboyant with brilliant choreography, costumes and sets, the story is true, making it all the more special.  This tale of a business owner with a flagging firm and fewer customers each year is heart-warming and funny.  He befriends drag queen Lola and, together, they create a range of sought-after, thigh high, glittery fashion boots for cross-dressing men – and business booms!

The musical score by Cyndi Lauper is fab – particularly if you were her fan back in the 80s. (I was.) As she would say, “Sometimes you picture me – I’m walking too far ahead. You’re calling to me; I can’t hear what you’ve said. Then you say, ‘go slow,’ I fall behind. The second hand unwinds.”

If you call me I promise I’ll hear (possibly not if you whisper). To be sure, get in touch here or here, as usual: @WeekendWitch.

Comments

  1. Hope you used your Step Outside Guide for free entrance to the Abbey!” x

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