Tuesday, April 28, 2015
The Prettiest View From Above: The Royal Opera House
Confession: the Royal Opera House used to be my shortcut to the gym in Covent Garden. It was the shortest route between my office and my 6 pm yoga class ... and I loved seeing the anxious faces of opera- and ballet-goers lining up for returned tickets and the buzz before an evening's performance. It felt sacrilegious, sure, but I figured I wasn't doing any harm by walking through the revolving doors, straight through the lobby into another set of revolving doors.
Last time I was at the ROH, my friend Jodi had somehow magically wangled 4th row (FOURTH ROW - as in, you can see the dancers' expressions) tickets to Sleeping Beauty for my birthday. And the time before that, I enjoyed Verdi from a private box, as my friends had a spare ticket - which had been given to them as a wedding present.
This time, we were there to see the ballet La Fille Mal Gardée, which John had chosen, as Alison had given vouchers to him for his birthday earlier in the year. But before we took our seats, we had just enough time to sip a glass of champagne and enjoy the spectacular view from the observation deck above. Isn't it beautiful? Those windows - especially when sunlight's streaming in - are just stunning.
And the view outside is just as incredible:
I love how you can just about make out the upper half of the London Eye across the rooftops, and see the Union Jack flags flying proud and high (p.s. the restaurant you see there is Brasserie Blanc, which is a great little place to meet friends from out-of-town for dinner!).
By the time we left the performance (which was fantastic, by the way - a fun, light-hearted, and entertaining ballet with wonderful costume and set design, plus pretty, classical choreography), the streets had emptied and there was a slight chill in the air. But for that quick moment we had stepped outside to admire the scene below, I remembered what makes this city so unique and beautiful.
Have you been to the Royal Opera House for a performance, or for dinner or afternoon tea? What did you think? It's one of my favorite places in London. I'd love to go back for afternoon tea when my friends arrive next week.