Monday, August 10, 2015
Discovering Walthamstow: Town Hall, Lloyd Park, and the William Morris Gallery
Hey! How was your weekend? I hope you had a good one. On Saturday morning, John and I set off to try a Swedish bakery that a friend had recommended to us. Unfortunately, it was closed, so we grabbed coffees and pastries from another cafe and walked to Lloyd Park instead.
It was so sunny and warm even at 10:00 a.m.!
On our way, we passed the incredible-looking Waltham Forest Town Hall, which I'd never seen before, but did that classic drive-by thing of lowering my sunglasses and mouthing, "WOW" as we walked by. The beautiful art deco building and the adjacent assembly hall also hosts concerts, exhibitions and other major events in Walthamstow.
Have you ever read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand? It was one of my favorite books as a teenager; I could totally imagine Howard Roark pulling up to this building.
After gawking at the town hall for a lot longer than necessary, we made our way to Lloyd Park and sat in the garden behind the William Morris Gallery, enjoying our coffee and cake while John listened to the Ashes (cricket) commentary on the radio.
I felt incredibly calm and relaxed after the hectic week we'd had.
After marvelling at the gorgeous wild flowers in the garden and making a loop through Lloyd Park, we dropped into the gallery to learn a little more about the man behind those beautifully intricate floral patterns (he's famous for his striking wallpaper and tile designs). I loved learning about William Morris's history: I particularly admired his guts as a maverick and power player of the Arts and Crafts movement. Textile design might not sound very exciting, but the politics behind Morris' choice (he was a committed socialist) to become an artist was fascinating. (And to be honest, I'm interested in anything remotely related to interior design at the moment!)
He was born in Walthamstow and his family home has now been transformed into the gallery - the moat, where his family would fish and boat in during the summer and ice-skate on in the winter, still remains and the bridges and surrounding foliage resemble a Monet painting. Isn't that amazing? Imagine having a moat to skate on all to yourself!
I loved the peacefulness of the park and gardens. It seemed like the perfect way to begin a lazy Saturday. Where's a place near your home that you can go to just to sit and collect your thoughts?