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Despite the rain, we revisited the National Portrait Gallery and by the time we got there, it was full-on sunshine. Such is London weather. I especially love puddles in Trafalgar Square.

The National Gallery ~ after the rains.

The National Gallery ~ after the rains.

This was my second visit to the Portrait Gallery and I enjoyed it just as much as my first visit. Rather than being overwhelmed with the vastness of the collections, I limited myself to one section. Last time, The Tudors, this time it was the late 18th century and 19th Century. The Gallery is very though provoking and the 19th century produced a fascinating group of people. The painters are outstanding but in this Gallery, it’s more about the “sitters” and putting a face to the names of history.

Entrance to The National Portrait Gallery

Entrance to The National Portrait Gallery

Some of my favorites:

The Gallery has the only known likeness of Jane Austen, a small (no bigger than the size of a small postcard) sketch by her sister, Cassandra. Click here to see.

Mary Wollstonecraft, seen here, is considered a founder of British feminism. She was also a member of a radical intellectual group based in London that included Thomas Paine and her future husband William Godwin. Across from her portrait is the portrait of her daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, seen here, who wrote “Frankenstein” which is considered one of the best gothic novels in the English language.

After viewing portraits of people such as: Edward Jenner ~ inventor of the smallpox vaccination,  Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles ~ Explorer, Colonial governor, zoologist, part of the Anti-Slavery movement and the namesake of the Raffles Hotels, John Soane ~ whose house/museum I just visited last week, Chevalier D’eon ~ diplomat, spy and transvestite (now there’s a story!), I want to research more about their lives. So engaging!

I highly recommend visiting the portrait gallery if you enjoy looking into the eyes of those who made history.

We wandered across the street to The Crypt Restaurant, located in the basement of the St Martin in the Field church. It was originally recommended by a fellow blogger,  and it was a very yummy and inexpensive experience. I had the veggie lunch with roasted vegetable goulash, baked potato and a side salad while John had roasted pork with slaw and a stuffed pepper all for under £18.

Entrance to the Crypt Restaurant

Entrance to the Crypt Restaurant

Inside the Crypt restaurant

Inside the Crypt restaurant

Floor of the Crypt Restaurant ~ no doubt, it was definitely a crypt

Floor of the Crypt Restaurant ~ no doubt, it was definitely a crypt

Roasted Pork lunch special

Roasted Pork lunch special

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