London Day 3: Neon Lights and the VA

God's Own Junkyard: Heavenly Junk in a Hell of a Location

On the third and final day of our trip to London, we did two things worth mentioning here: had coffee at a fascinating cafe, and visited the Victoria and Albert Museum.

God’s Own Junkyard

First off, my cousin and his wife took us on a walk. We walked a long way and finally turned into a back alley where I was pretty sure we were going to get mugged.

Luckily, we had a baby with us to deter any imposing wastrels (sorry, I can’t help myself – I’ve been reading Jane Eyre). Then we came upon this:

God's Own Junkyard: Heavenly Junk in a Hell of a Location
The sign outside God’s Own Junkyard
Hello to those who dream of neon
Another greeting on the wall outside God’s Own Junkyard

What a perfect introduction to this weird, awesome place!

Inside, it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever seen – like a cross between a junkyard, an art museum, and an amusement park. Everything is lit up in neon lights. The pictures are pretty cool, but being there is like stepping into another world!

Tons of neon lights
So much neon!
Tons more neon lights
Even more neon!
In Neon: The artificial fascinates me the bright and the shiny
This must be his manifesto
Wrong Way
A great little sign

The neon artist (is that the term? neonophile?) has done all sorts of work for different movies and TV shows and apparently has a huge cult following.

Here is a link to their site and a 360-degree view of part of the inside. Wow!

We spent a while there just enjoying the display and then had coffee and scones at – wait for it – the Rolling Scone Cafe. Also, we tried a Tunnock’s Chocolate Mallow for the first time – where have you been all my life, you fluffy, chocolatey, mallowy treat?

The Victoria and Albert Museum

That afternoon, after saying goodbye to my family, we went back to the city center. If the current monarch refuses to acknowledge me, I reasoned, we might as well call upon one of her more affable forebears (what are you doing to me, Ms. Brontë?). Also, the museum has my name on it, so it was a pilgrimage of sorts for me.

The main draw was an exhibit they have on currently: Wedding Dresses, 1775 – 2014. Katy is still a bit of a wedding geek, so we had to go! Unfortunately, there were no cameras allowed inside, so a photo from the exhibition’s website will have to do:

Silk satin wedding dress from the 1930s
Silk satin dress designed by Charles James

If you’re curious, you can head to the VA Museum’s Pinterest page for the exhibit to see more.

After having dinner at a surprisingly good Italian restaurant in King’s Cross station (right across from Platform 9 3/4, Katy was excited to see!), we headed back yam. Even after three days, we felt like we barely scratched the surface of everything there is to do in London. Maybe we’ll find an excuse to go back!

Here are links to our recaps of Day 1 and Day 2, if you missed them.