I left the book blogger’s meetup with Kimbofo reminding me to visit a certain somewhere. Once I’d looked up the address and discovered that it was located at 83 High Marlyebone Road, it seemed almost churlish not to visit. Perfect symmetry and all that. I was, after all, staying at 83 Gower Street. I decided to take that short two-inch walk on the map and turn it into a great blue plaque hunt – something I’ve wanted to do ever since becoming the owner of the fantastic Lived in London and this walk was taking me through Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia. There were many famous names to find. How many do you recognise?
I cannot read maps and, therefore, at the very first corner turned right instead of left. This resulted in my walking more of Bloomsbury than intended but it was rewarding. I passed the haunts of Virgina Woolf and the Bloomsbury set in Gordon Square.
Virginia popped up again to say hello in Tavistock Gardens
And it was about here that I discovered I was heading in the wrong direction for Fitzroy Square, the location of Virginia’s pre-marital home. A beautiful square, designed by Robert Adam, and therefore, with much in common with Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.
A few more blocks and a meander down Portland Place past the home of Frances Hodgson Burnett, turn right crossing Wimpole Street, Harley Street and High Marlebone Road is now in sight. Turn right and on the left the destination comes into view. Through the doors, the first sales hall and into the second, where the vista opens up and oh wow!
I’ve entered the halls of the legendary Daunt Books in which bookshelves are organised geographically and it is as more wonderful than I ever imagined. Feast your eyes on this.
Once I’ve recovered my breathe, I head straight to the Spanish shelves for Spain is my next destination. But nothing takes my fancy so I stop off in Germany on the way out and find a little souvenir there. Helmut Krausser’s Eros. I read The Great Bagarozy a few years ago , a modern Faustian tale, witty and extremely wicked. I expect similar from this novel too which, interestingly, covers the same period in German history as Christoph Hein’s Settlement.
Time to head back to the hotel to pick up my now rather heavy hand-luggage. Tally for the weekend 4 bookshops, 4 purchases and one blogger bookswap. A quick stop off at Charing Cross to pass another – in this case – black plaque. Heinrich Heine didn’t enjoy his time in London – too damp and dingy apparently! But what a lovely house – I’d love to stay here!
Just time to grab something to eat and, to top off what has been a perfectly literary weekend, I did so in the most exalted company. In the pub just round the corner, none other than supersleuth Sherlock Holmes was waiting to entertain and wish me a good flight back to Scotland.