Our second trip into London involved books, a museum, and ice skating, so it was pretty perfect. There were several bookstores on my London to-do list, but perhaps the store I was most excited to visit was Persephone Books.
Persephone is a small, independent press that focuses on works by female authors that have gone out of print or been forgotten. We visited on a quiet Thursday afternoon and the shop was just as nice as I expected it to be. Each of the titles on the shelves was accompanied by a brief, handwritten note describing the book. Checking out the staff picks is one of my favorite things to do in a bookstore, so I love that this personal touch was used at Persephone.
The books are beautifully published as well and I took my time selecting a book to take home with me. You also get a free bookmark with each purchase. Their bookmarks feature patterns that match the different endpapers in each book, so then I had another hard decision to make about which pattern to choose. The book I picked up was The Making of a Marchioness, which is written by the same author that wrote A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. Although this was my first visit to Persephone, I certainly hope it won’t be my last.
After Persephone Books, we popped by The British Library (and caught a glimpse of the stunning St. Pancras Hotel as we were walking over to The British Library). I particularly wanted to see their free permanent exhibit titled Treasures of the British Library. There are amazing artifacts in this collection, including books from the Middle Ages and manuscripts by Jane Austen. I love history and the fact that this exhibit has a literary focus made me even more excited. Best of all, that exhibit is completely free to visit.
We couldn’t linger for too long at The British Library because we’d booked tickets to go ice skating at a rink outside The Natural History Museum. I’ve only been ice skating a handful of times, but every time I go, I throughly enjoy it. I thought that this rink was particularly picturesque, with the beautiful architecture of The National History Museum serving as a backdrop and trees covered in twinkle lights. We skated for around an hour, but that was a decent amount of time, because boy, ice skating is a workout! As an hour came to a close, the sun began to set, and it was a lovely moment.
We had time for one more bookstore before we had to hop on the train back home and it was a good one- we visited Foyles on Charing Cross Road. This store is beautiful and massive. We were there for about 30-40 minutes, but it did not feel like enough time. There are just books everywhere- so much to see and explore. We only made it about halfway through the fiction section before we had to leave, but I’ve decided that I simply must go back. I did manage to purchase two more books in that time though. I bought Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (one of my favorite books, but I didn’t own a copy because I borrowed it from the library when I read it) and The Mothers by Brit Bennett.
That’s all I have to report from my trip to London! I had a great time and I’m so glad that I was able to spend time with my family. If all goes according to plan, I’ll hopefully be able to have more London adventures later this year!
Tomorrow, we’re throwing it back to warmer days and talking about Seattle in the next installment of travel week!