Last weekend in London there was an attempt to set the Guiness World Record for the largest Sevillanas Dance and Spanish folk turned up from far and wide (plus a slightly unco-ordinated, but very enthusiast international contingent). Sadly, or thankfully depending on your views of my dancing skills, I was running too late to be one of the many, but did manage to be an enthusiastic viewer and official photographer for a couple of friends, Tiranth and Jose, who got involved.
The venue for the attempt (I won't keep you in suspense - it was a success) was Regents Street which was closed to traffic and instead filled with a swirling mass of humanity decked in flowing skirts, hair combs and flowers. Sevillanas is a form of folk dance which originated around Seville (imagine!) in southern Spain and involves a lot of twisting, turning and arm flinging! I feel I missed out on an experience by not taking part, but was very proud of my friends for doing such a lovely dancing job. I met Tiranth a couple of weeks ago at a local Pub Crawl and Jose I met on the day.
After successfully helping to gain the
Jose & Tiranth official world record holders (among a couple of thousand others!)
record it was off to celebrate with a relaxed lunch in Heddon Place just off Regent St - not Spanish, but a nice feed, a glass or two of wine and a chance to get to know everyone a bit better. We were joined by a couple of Spanish friends including Anabelen, who I had seen booking onto various events on Facebook. After lunch it was time to get a little more active with a stroll (ok only slightly) through St James Park to enjoy the grey, but dry afternoon complete with squirrels, ducks and other assorted not so wildlife! Our stroll ended up at Buckingham Palace where I got to play with a very, very big cat ... I found it a bit stiff ... then off to fulfil Anabelin's desire for cheesecake. After such a 'huge' walk there is always room for dessert.
As often happens when you are having a good time you don't want the day to end and since none of us had anywhere to be (except Anabelen who was tired and wanted to go home) we decided to keep going. As it was a Sunday naturally the next stop was Westminster Cathedral near
Victoria Station. The Cathedral is beautiful building nestled among the modern office and retail buildings near the station. Inside the central part of the church is open with a huge vaulted ceiling while along each side there are a series of individual chapels and amazing art - paintings, mosaics and statues. Given we managed to arrive towards the end of evening mass it wasn't easy wander too much, but put a Catholic, a Protestant and a Buddhist together in a religous environment and you get ... comparative religion 101. We spent a little time just sitting and listening to the service then found a quiet chapel in the back of the Cathedral for an extensive discussion until the lights being turned out pretty much hinted that it was time to go.
The perfect end to a fabulous day was to get back to the Spanish theme and a little restaurant near Clapham Junction provided the Tapas. A lovely meal which was even more enjoyable given we had our own Spanish expert to order the food and the after dinner liquours to ensure an authentic and very tasty end to the day. New friends, a touch of culture, lovely food
and a wander around the wonderful city that is London ... who could ask for anything more?
Love Jane xx
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