In London, love and scandal are considered the best sweeteners of tea.
- John Osborne
Step back in time to see how the English have lived from the 1600s to the present. The museum is a series of eleven living rooms brimming with details of the eras: a 1830s chess set, a 1910 fireplace, 1998 magazines.
No city in the world has as many wonderful parks as London. Start your green tour in Hyde Park: Rent a boat to tour the Serpentine Lake, or see what's on at the Serpentine Modern Art Gallery. Then wander into Kensington Gardens and Green Park across the street.
One of the city's best modern and contemporary art galleries, located in Kensington Gardens park. Exhibits rotate continually. The bookshop, Koenig Books, stocks an excellent collection of art and photography books. A new wing, The Serpentine Sackler Gallery, will open in 2012. Open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; admission is free.
Shakespeare's original Globe Theater was located a few hundred yards away, but this is as faithful a recreation as the limited historical records allowed. Come for live performances, tours, and special events.
The modern and contemporary art museum in a former power station is at once sprawling and peaceful, an ideal industrial backdrop for rotating exhibitions and permanent collections that range from Henri Matisse to Damien Hirst. Don't miss the gift shop for its outstanding collection of cool design products.
Beautiful former family home off Oxford Street with an amazing collection of paintings and objects, primarily from the 17th and 18th centuries. Armory, porcelain, and furniture; Fragonard, Watteau, and Canaletto. Daily lunchtime tours; excellent programs for kids; free admission. The restaurant is a great respite from the city.
Read More on Fathom: A Lunchtime Stroll Back in Time