I have spent a week end in London prior to the tour enjoying the South Kensington area where the hotel is situated. Yesterday I went on a long walk through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, visiting the Serpentine Gallery and the Princess Diana Memorial. The grey air didn't detract from the abundant beauty of the Flower Walk or the splendour of the Albert Memorial which rises out of the treescape, its rear view looming like a golden Buddha enthroned against the sky.
The Serpentine is filled with a Yoko Ono exhibition- quirky, playful and serious by turns. Outside there is a sculptural temporary pavilion designed by Herzog and de Meuron and Ai Weiwei, roofed with a broad, shallow pond of water that reflects the foliage above and around it.