I am also just back from London where I spent four days doing research for the NIP, which is set in Victorian London. I got back late last night after a flight delay, but it was a productive trip. There is nothing to match the thrill of going to an archive and being let handle documents that were signed by your characters. Or seeing new photos of them that make you look at them a bit differently. I'm grinning like a loon now thinking about all the valuable stuff I saw and did for the novel while in London. And I ate cake, oodles of it.
I did research here:
And while I was there I visited this pair, in honour of Wolf Hall:
My main character liked to eat here so, naturally, I had to do the same:
|Café Royal - window treats|
|Valrhona choc orange cake & tea|
And while in Kew we ate in this lovely pub, where the halloumi on ciabatta was tdf:
Otherwise it was wandering, eating and even accidentally bumping into friend and fellow writer Kathleen Murray and her son across the road from here:
|St Paul's Cathedral|
And I found an Emily quote in the Bishopsgate Hall:
I bought books in Foyles refurbished place on Charing Cross Road:
Saw a grumpy kid off Brick Lane:
And an illusionist on Regent Street:
Plus iconic thingies, like The Gherkin:
I also bought two little essays on book shops, in chapbook form, to give away here, Ann Patchett's The Bookshop Strikes Back and The Unknown Unknown by Mark Forsyth. I'll post to anywhere in the world. Simply leave a comment and say which booklet you would prefer to win.
London was, as always, fab. I love the frenetic pace of it all, the mad Tube queues, the fantastic veggie food, the posh shops like Liberty, the abundant charity shops and markets, the beautiful Victorian square we stayed on, the Londoners who are so Londony they are almost like parodies of themselves. All of it is intoxicating, every time.
But it was equally lovely to be in my own bed last night, surrounded by silence, and to get back to the desk this morning armed with all I had learned about my characters, and their city. It proved a slow writing day (travel always distracts and unsettles me) but I'm hoping tomorrow will be more productive. Onward!