May 15: Churchill and the London blitz

We started the day encountering tube delays. It took 20 minutes to get the train we wanted and then had to go the long route, which involved about 35 minutes. We went to the St James Park station, near Westminster Abbey and St James Park. Walking around we saw Westminster Cathedral (not Abbey).

Lunch was at Cinnamon Club, a well known upscale Indian restaurant.

Food was really flavourful.

potato fritter
broccoli, yoghurt, spiced almond slices
Tandoori chicken with beet raita
fish with green curry sauce

Tandoori chicken with lentils

The bill was presented in one of the books from the shelves.

We joined a Context Travel walk of the Churchill War Rooms. Our enthusiastic docent was interested in social history so talked about how the image of the London blitz and Churchill were “managed” to keep the war effort going. The focus is on the period of the German aerial bombing of London (and other places in the UK) from 1940 to 1941.

The space is very tight even with the creation of some hallways since the museum was established. A number of rooms have been re-created (like the War Cabinet Room above), but the maps room and Churchill’s bedroom are still intact from when they were used during WWII, although not much used after the end of the Blitz.

The former canteen, now a cafe, had some interesting maps showing in purple the areas bombed during the blitz. You can see east London was far more damaged.

If you’re claustrophobic, this may not be a museum you like.

Our dinner at Modern Pantry was lighter: sharing plates of soft shell crab, steamed broccoli, and fried chicken with Jersey royal potatoes.

This was our last supper before we head home. Sad about that.

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