This week I ventured to a new part of London – Belgravia. ‘Why?’ I hear you ask. Or, more appropriately (as will emerge) ¿por que?
Belgravia is an area of beautiful Georgian and early Victorian buildings now occupied by many embassies and consulates. Just off Hyde Park and Green Park, with street names like Grosvenor Street, Belgrave Square, Eaton Square and Buckingham Palace Road, you know you are in the heart of posh London.
This website claims that the area is full of the ’very wealthy’, including actors, politicians and ambassadors. And I quote: ‘Being the most expensive district in London, Belgravia property is exorbitantly priced and is expected to go up further in the future.’ Wikipedia claims it is one of the most expensive residential districts in the world. The area takes its name from the title of Viscount Belgrave. The village of Belgrave is two miles (3 km) from the Grosvenor family's main country seat of Eaton Hall, so there are lots of family-related names in the area. Most of it was owned by Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster who was an 1820s version of today’s property developer.
|Belgravia terrace: on the market in 2009 for 100 million pounds *gawp!*|
Belgravia is very pretty. It has many grand terraces of white stucco houses. It is a relatively quiet district in the heart of London, compared to many districts which have far more busy shops, large modern office buildings, hotels, and entertainment venues. Many embassies are located in the area, especially in Belgrave Square.
|Institut Cervantes, London|
Amongst these is the Spanish Embassy. And adjacent to the Spanish Embassy is the Institut Cervantes, the goal of my expedition. Yes, I am revisiting my determination to learn to speak Spanish. As some of my readers will know, this has proven almost as difficult for me as learning to ski (although with less risk of broken limbs). However, with a plethora of Spanish classes available at the Institut Cervantes, I have no excuse. Well, actually I can think of plenty of excuses, but I have brushed them all aside and have enrolled in a two-week every-day immersion course in January. This cost a substantial sum, so I hoping that with the combination of investment, turning up every day for two weeks, and a competent teacher, some progress might be made.