The day after I turned in my dissertation, I googled “biggest full English breakfast in East London” (FYI: Mess Cafe in Hackney) and I went and ate my first real meal in at least 48 hours. I bought a marble owl paperweight from the vintage place next door and spent the afternoon browsing Penguin paperbacks at Pages of Hackney. After meeting up with a couple friends that evening, I went home and slept. And slept.
Thankfully another Courtauld friend invited me out to Strawberry Hill, the gothic revival house built by Horace Walpole, or I might have become a hermit and never emerged from my apartment again. In her words (since there’s no way I could say it better), Strawberry Hill “is inspired by Gothic architecture from the English medieval period and the interior is a rambling, serpentine, and organic space that explores the underbelly of the Enlightenment.” Horace Walpole was the kind of man who wore a number of hats, but is probably best known for writing The Castle of Otranto, which is generally considered to be the first Gothic novel.
Here’s what Strawberry Hill looks like: