Capital of Culture

It could all have been so different. Up until the mid 19th century, the idea that the public needed to be educated and exposed to culture was not a prevalent one. The people needed to know their place and that place was not at the seat of learning or art but in the fields and in the factories. Were it not for Prince Albert’s desire to see the people exposed to all the beauties of life, believing a man’s soul to be emboldened by such things, there would be no mass exposure to many of the arts at all in London. After all, the stretch of densely packed museums in Kensington that is so well known and well visited only came about because of him, and his exhibition. Were it not for that, the selection of museums in the capital would be rather lacking in both scale and scope.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case. The prince saw the need to provide the masses with the chance to see the finer things, and that was that. These days, it’s never been more simple to see a priceless painting, learn about cliff erosion or stare longingly at some of the most beautiful garments imaginable. London’s museum scene is the jewel in its cultural crown, the perfect example of a city that loves the arts. The prince’s name is on the city’s most famous concert hall as well, and his legacy has been an enduring one. The hall plays host to a wide range of classic performances, ranging from opera to orchestra, castrati from to crescendo.

London;’libraries too, are well stocked. Thanks to the many universities and countless researchers in the city, the amount of essays, books and rare manuscripts one has access to is quite amazing. You can see the entire history of the English language in an afternoon, a feat so incredible that the fact it seems so everyday to us only highlights the wealth of knowledge at our disposal. Books from legendary authors, juvenilia from people one would never expect to have written such pieces. Scraps of memos from historic politicians, books that detail the rise and fall of empires in thousands of pages of rich detail. It’s all there, waiting to be discovered.

As for the food, well we’ll let this newcomer to the arts speak for itself in the beautiful and renowned dishes that can be found all across the capital. In the stunning food that some of the top chefs in all the world have chosen to host here and only here, believing this city to be the perfect match for their creativity, drive and enthusiasm.

So embrace London’s more refined side, it’s cultural beauty. It’s a city that is equally reserved and playful, elegant and grandiose, fun and serious. You can be chowing down on french fries on Oxford Street one moment, and seeing some of the greatest pieces of art in the country with just a short walk. That kind of city is one that’s worth exploring.


July 23, 2017

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