Final word…

Arrived back home last night….
Hard to believe that we were walking around The Tower of London in the morning ( UK time), and home around 9pm our time!
It all seems like a dream…
We spent a very busy last day …
Rob had us on the run, but it was great as we took in a lot in what little time we had left!
I will have to get Rob to write down all the places that we went to for me to tell you about, as they were really off the “beaten track”! What I can tell you is that we did a very nice walk past the Globe Theatre( Shakespeare) …and a quick duck into the Tate Modern Museum ! We continued our stroll beside the Thames and took in the London Eye from the ground….
Stopped too often for Rob and Rebecca’s taste to take photos, but as it was our last day I became very “snap happy”!
We took a Bus over the Thames to the Tower of London…did not go in as we were there 3 years ago, but I did manage a quick stop in at the Gift Shop while the others were admiring the Tower….
Then it was back on the Bus for some Harry Potter sights! We saw ” The Ministry of Magic”, and “Diagon Alley” Ryan bought a wand at “Olevandar’s”!
Lots of other neat sights as well…more on that to come!
Then it was back to our Guest House to pick up our luggage..it was a close call as we got to back at 3:15pm and our Coach to Heathrow was at 3:30! No time to buy cupcakes for home at Peggy P’s but managed to catch the Coach….on time…barely!
Arrived at Heathrow after a bus ride of about 45mins…You have to certainly go through a lot more security in the UK than here! Jewelry off, belts and shoes off…creams and liquids must be shown..etc…etc…
What a shock that I had to pay more for my suitcase…as it was heavier than was allowed!! Gee, I wonder why????
Got through security with almost no time to spare before having to board the plane! Not acceptable at all, as there was no time for duty free shopping !!! I did however manage to run and buy a bottle of PIMMS but they were calling the flight at this point….and I had forgotten just how big Heathrow is! We actually had to take an airport train to get to our terminal!
All was well even though we had to run….I did not manage to get my Jo Malone perfume that i was hoping to buy at Duty Free..but as luck would have it I was able to buy it on the plane( as they go around with duty free stuff to buy )!
A great flight home….I watched the new AbFab 20 th anniversary episode 4 times! It was just too funny! That Bubbles cracks me up..especially with her Pippa Middleton impersonation!
Also watched the Iron Lady, and some of the latest Sherlock Holmes flick.
Had no problems at all when we landed…we breezed through Customs etc…and arrived home around 9:30!
I thought I better try to get back on local time….so stayed up till 11pm! Ha…was wide awake at 5 am and was up at 7!
All of the pets were so happy to see us, and we certainly missed them!
Am ready for a nap…but I have to head into work shortly…will make myself a vat of coffee to keep me going!
Well better end this Blog for now….as off to work I go!

Advertisements

Cheerio London

Well here it is our last morning, it’s yet again dull, grey and rainy!
Rob has tons of stuff he wants us to squeeze in today….involves busing, walking and taking the Tube to various places…We all could have had a nice lie in, but he is “cracking the whip” to get us moving! Hope we will sleep a bit on the plane tonight…
We had a yummy dinner last night at our Local! By the way the autocorrect has been correcting the spelling of PIMMS, not PIM’ S ….of which Rebecca and I both had another glass of ! Rob had his usual punt, and Ryan had lemonade…
I had a great burger, Rob had the special which was Chili..Rebecca had her Chicken Filet Burger, and Ryan had Nachos!
I am not sure if I mentioned the “challenge” of crossing the streets here in London! Of course one has to “look left”..and not right due of course to driving on the opposite side of the road and all..
Not being used to that, and the amount of traffic on the street proves to be interesting! We tried to cross streets where there were designated crosswalks…but as they week wore on we got braver and crossed when the “locals” crossed!!
It was sad thinking that it was our last meal there..but there was. “football match” on all the telley’s so the atmosphere was jolly!
Well I best get moving, and make sure that my suitcase will indeed close…due to all my souvenirs!!

Cheerio London,until next time…..

Girls on the Town Part 2

Back from our walk…..
We headed over to Victoria Tube/Train Station as Rebecca read that there was a NEXT store that was there, and I am still trying to find /buy that illusive Team GB Paralympic scarf..Found the Store..but no scarf!!
So to continue on about our Day…..
After visiting Peter Jones for tea/lunch..I had my usual cream tea…and Rebecca had a giant meringue! We were not that hungry after our large Breakfast!
We did a wee bit of shopping here..as its a great store! There was a lady that looked like Carol Middleton sitting a table away from us….but on further “subtle” glances it turned out not to be her..although all the Middleton’s shop here! Did I mention that it too holds not only a royal warrant to the Queen but also to Prince Charles as well!
As we were the “Girls on the Town” we decided to hoof it over to Harvey Nicks…If you are a fan of the BritCom Absolutely Fabulous you are very familiar with the characters of Edina and Patsy always heading to “Harvey Nicks”!
We found the store without too much of a problem…and went in through the main door which was held open by a well dressed “doorman” ..tres chic!
Unfortunately even though Rebecca and I were “living it up” we could not afford to buy anything in the store…..and we looked on every single floor to see if there was anything affordable, but no luck!
I did drool over a lovely Alice Temperley ( designs for Kate)blouse at €198 pounds, almost weakened …as this is “cheap” for the store! Tried on a pair of Victoria Beckham sunglasses for € 395! I would say that the store is in the category of Harrods, but only has fashions where Harrods has everything imaginable! Food to toys…furniture to etc…etc….etc…..
Enough of all this non- shopping we thought…..so off to another un affordable store we went…..Harrods! We had already walked through the store with Rob and Ryan, but could not find the “Harrods Store” within the store. where you can buy all the touristy stuff like keychains etc…The only stuff in the store that is affordable! Today I actually asked where it was located in the store…as we roamed around all of the downstairs…and believe you me it’s the worst store for getting around! The last time we were in the store 3 years ago we lost Rob and Rebecca! This time we stuck together like glue! I am not sure why it’s so difficult to find the various departments in the store..Yes, it’s big…but it’s more that there are “little” stores/departments within the store, and then of course there are several food courts( wine, coffee, tea, meat, fish etc..)…all which makes it super difficult to navigate! So today I was bound and determined to find the Harrods Touristy Department! It seems to have moved, or I did not at all recall that it was located on the 2nd floor! No wonder we could not find it the other day! When we made it to the floor…OMG it was completely a sea of people! Just totally craziness! I did manage to buy a Queen’s Jubilee Harrods Bag…but got so hot waiting in line I had to shed some layers….maybe it was not the heat of the Store, but rather passing though the “Luxury Goods Department” where things can cost millions of pounds!!!!!!
While at the cash I asked about the Pet Department…as I recall seeing it last time, and wanted to buy the dogs a treat! What a Pet Department they have! It’s more like a Pet Spa Department…as they is a Doggie Day care, and Spa! Got the boys each a collar…served by quite the impressive gentleman with a Russian accent! At each cash I was asked of I had a Harrods charge card! Can you imagine having one of those!!!!!! Headed across the street to Topshop where we met the guys…but then separated again as us girls were then heading off to Peggy Porschen’s for cupcakes and tea! The ” restaurant” is so yummy in its decor! Its all in pinks and whites, with real flowers, and fancy paper flowers decorating the place! Peggy’s place is just a door down from our Guest House…she makes cakes for the likes of Elton John, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Stella McCartney! Let me tell you her cupcakes are sublime!
Rebecca had a lemon one, and mine was Banoffe! Banoffe is a typical Brit dish/flavor ..made with bananas, cream and toffee! Rebecca had a hot chocolate, and I had tea! I will try to describe the Banoffee cupcake..although I will not do it justice at all! If you can imagine a banana bread base, with chocolate morsels…with a toffee centre..iced with the most delicious banana flavored icing with banana “chips”( dried banana )on top, to die for and I don’t even really like bananas! OMG…I wish I could so take a bunch home with us!!! Ms Porschen has published many cookbooks on cakes etc…and even has her own line of candles, china ( mugs, plates etc..)as well as oven mitts, “pinnies” /aprons ! I had to buy an apron as a souvenir! Hope to get back for one more cupcake before we go…
Would like to have tea at the Goring Hotel on our last day tomorrow…but not sure if time will allow! This is the Hotel that Kate and the Middleton’s stayed at before the Royal Wedding! All I can afford, if that would be the tea….will see how our timing is for tomorrow!
Cannot believe that today was our last full day…the time has just flown by!
I can tell you that my feet will be glad to get on the plane tomorrow and have a rest, as we have been doing so much walking! Which is what one does when one is in London! It’s a great City for walking around as there is so much to see everywhere you turn!
Hope to Blog one more time from the Guest House, before we have to pack up and leave tomorrow morn, as until I get to Heathrow I will not have any WiFi access, and it might be a bit difficult to Blog from there….Not sure if I want to take out my trusty IPad or not..will just have to wait and see!
We have to check out in the morning, but will leave our bags here as our flight is only at 6 pm…which means heading out to Heathrow around 4 pm!
I have to say that I have personally accomplished all that I wanted to see, buy and do on this Trip!
Making plans for the next trip though…..as there is always something new and exciting to discover and do here in London! It never gets “old”, even when revisiting places…it always seems new! I guess there are always new exhibits to see, and there is a certain amount of rotations” done..which keeps things feeling new!
Will certainly try to write one more time about our dinner at our “local” tonight!

Girls Out on the Town!

Woke up,early this morning, and tried to get a bit organized for our departure tomorrow…boo hoo!
We all went down for breakfast, where Rob and Ryan plotted their day…
Rebecca and I knew what we were going to do! We were to have a ” Girls Day”!
We started off by heading to the Sloane Square Area…
First though we decided to check out a local Red Cross Charity shop! We really aced out there!! Remember that LK Bennett Store that I referred to in an earlier Blog? Kate and Pippa’s favorite shoe store, that was completely not affordable! The cheapest pair of shoes was €98 pounds! Well I found a pair at this Charity Shop today, in my size for €25! Also found a great pair of Birkenstock sandals for €10, and a lovely TopShop sweater….and best of all a pair of light blue Hunter Rain Boots for €20! Rebecca got a silk scarf, as she had been after me to buy her one! This one is an Yves Saint Laurent one! Both of us girls were very, very, happy with our purchases!
After we dropped off our above purchases at the Guest House…we then continued into the Pimlico Area..them onto Sloane Square and Kensington High Street areas…
I worked up enough “courage” to actually go into David Linley’s store….although we had difficulties figuring out if the door pulled open..or pushed in….Great classy start!
Once in the store….we were the only “clients” by the way! The Staff at least did not jump all over us, as I guess they figured out that we were not “big” spenders!
We saw a lovely box …you might call it a men’s jewelry case, although it was meant to hold watches! We thought how nice this would be for Rob, as he has quite the variety of watches! Well we did not buy it as it was close to €5000.00 !! I did spy a really nice looking catalog that I though I might be possibly able to afford…and upon asking the very spiffy salesman said it was free! We chatted a bit about where we were from, and the weather..it was quite the experience…a pleasant one at that!
We shopped at another quaint little shop along the way, I bought a crown candle holder…
Arrived with no problem at Sloane Square…a favorite area of the late Princess of Wales…Diana..as she lived in the area when she was single!
We felt a little hungry so we went into the big department store on the Square called Peter Jones, it seems to be owned or at least has some affiliation with John Lewis store as “his” name was in The PJ store….
I am going to take a pause in this Blog, as we are heading out for a walk…and to explore as the sun is back out.
Will finish more on this Blog when we get back in…

Cheerio for now!

Our Local

Last night after the boys made it home from their day of sightseeing, we took a chance that perhaps our Local( our local..meaning a pub that is located “locally”) was not busy…as it was a Sunday night.
Any other time we have walked by the Pub, it was so packed that people were spilling out onto the terrace of the place!
Well last night we were in luck! There was only 2 other tables that were occupied!
Rob had a Pint for starters, and Rebecca and I both had Pims( loaded with fruit)!
Ryan had lasagna for this dinner, Rebecca had a chicken baguette platter, and both Rob and I had the traditional English Sunday Roast! Our meal was the Complete English dinner…Roast beef, Yorkshire Pudding, Gravy, Mashed Cauliflower, Peas, Carrots…and Roasted Potatoes! Soooooo yummy! I had another Pims with dinner!
For dessert I had a yummy Apple Crumble, topped off with Custard!
A fabulous meal….we hope that it’s not busy and can head there again for dinner on our last night boo hoo!
So totally do not want to leave…..already starting to plan our next trip back!!!

So civilized….and John Lewis!

Woke up to another sunny day in London Town!
Today was the running of the London Marathon…although we were not in any way inconvenienced by any re routing of streets etc…
As it is Sunday, Rob chose a lovely Church that is renown for its music program…It is called St George’s Church Hanover Square. The Church dates back to 1721 and of course is a C of E Church ( Anglican)! It was the perfect Church to go to today as it is St George’s Day….who of course is the patron Saint of England!
The Church Service was lovely, all done in an hour…quite impressive! The Choir is very talented…and numbered about 10 in all! I am sure that they were ( if not all) mostly paid professionals..
After the Service was over…the Sidemen, or Wardens passed around champagne in real flute type glasses…accompanied by cheese straws! What can I say…but how civilized is this!!!!!!!!!!
We had our “refreshments” and then Rebecca and I spilt from the “gentleman” as we were going to spend the rest of the day shopping….on Regent Street and Oxford Street,
First off we went to Fortnum and Mason….I wanted to have tea here, but as its Sunday and the stores close at 5pm I did not want to take anytime from our shopping time!
At F&M I bought some specially blended tea for the Queen’s Jubilee, and some of their “ordinary” Earl Grey tea…as well as a lovely musical ( plays God Save the Queen) tim with cookies in it! Alps picked up one of their shopping bags, especially made for the Jubilee!
Checked out Ted Baker, and Karen Millen stores…but did not go in…
Then it was off to John Lewis’s ….JL holds a role warrant to HM The Queen. Quite a posh store….Kate often shops here!
I weakened and finally bought by Pippa Modula purse, as well as a Cat Kidston wallet…and an Emma Bridgewater tea pot cozy!
We had our “tea” here…of course scones, clotted cream and jam!
Off too Rebecca’s stores of Miss Selfridges and Topshop….she walked around in a daze as she was in Heaven!!! So much jewelry ( costume) that she did not know where to look, or where to go!! She ended up being very happy with all her purchases…as am I!
We also managed to check out Liberty of London…one of the oldest stores in London! Rebecca was very impressed with the Alexander McQueen scarf that both she and I covet….at €300 plus pounds!! Liberty is housed in an amazing Tudor building…
We ladies, managed to find our way all around the shopping areas, and also managed to locate the
73 Coach that would take us back to Victoria Station! Really easy to find your way around in London..and you totally feel safe! Not like the episode of yesterday at the Market!!
We are now relaxing back at the Guest House, looking over our purchases…awaiting the return of the gentleman! Bought Ryan a Chelsea Football ( Soccer) Gym bag, and a pair of Union Jack boxers…so he does not feel left out of the shopping!!!
Now once they get back we will have to decide which Pub to hit….
The skies are blue again…after having a couple of showers this afternoon…
Did not see any signs of any runners in the Marathon in all of our walking around..guess they were routed away from the busy/tourist/ shopping areas..
Still have to find my Next Scarf…although chances of finding it are slim as it appears to have sold out…
Off to get ready for dinner…

Cheerio for now!!

Lions. tigers and bears…oh my!

Woke up this Sat. to a lovely Sunny morning in Belgravia!
Had the complete English “fry up” for Breakfast.
Decided that it was the perfect day to head to London Zoo!
Off we set …as the Zoo is located 2 short Bus rides away in Regent’s Park..
We had a slight mishap trying to find the second Bus that we needed…but it was an advantageous mishap as it was located in a shopping area!! Was able to pop into 2 NEXT Stores looking for the Paralympic 2012 scarf that I want..looks like it might be a bit of a challenge as each store stocks different items…and it might very well be sold out!!!!
I did however manage to pick up a Team GB sweatshirt and t-shirt, plus a cool Union Jack t-shirt, as well as some neat Union Jack jewelry!
Finally arrived at the Zoo…and what a Zoo it is!! Totally worth the visit/cost of admittance!!
We saw so many animals….too numerous to mention! I think my highlight(s) would be the Tiger, Penguins,Monkeys….and Gorillas!
We first encountered the Gorillas..when at one point upon entering the Gorilla area…I happened to look up and there starring down at me from an enclosed platform above me was a huge Gorilla!!! We had quite the staring contest….she was trying to settle down for a nap, and just could not get comfortable…I can sympathize!!
Further into the area was the Gorilla compound! Wow…I have an amazing video of one of the young females…playing…actually taking a rope of burlap and swinging( like she would in the Jungle from tree to tree) right in from of me!!! Way too cool!
The Tiger was equally amazing! When we got to the Tiger area…unfortunately they had just gone in! We found out that this was only because some lucky people were allowed in to “feed” the Tigers! We watched them put out chunks of meat in strategic locations…on the shelf behind glass that was right in from of me! The meat by the way, is imported from France and is Horse meat…ugh! Actually there was a leg, complete with hair/fur put on top of the Tiger’s little shelter! Quite gross…..
It was so exciting when the Tigers( there are 2 of them..one male, one female) came out!! The Zoo Volunteer that was standing there explaining everything..said that they were not too hungry as they took their time finding the food! The Female…got a hold of the “leg” and took it into the shelter to have a feed! The male came right up in front of me to take the meat that had been placed there…..I got such great photos of him!!!
The Monkeys were too cute and funny! We saw all different shapes and sizes and colors of them!
The Penquins are very much the entertainers! It’s as if they no that they are performing and being watched! Got amazing close up photos of them swimming by….
We had a nice lunch there at one of their numerous Cafes. I had a Ploughman’s sandwich again….cheddar cheese and pickles( chutney )..yum!
We spent that entire day at the Zoo, and only had one shower the whole time! We really lucked out!
On arriving at the Zoo they take your photo against a “green screen” , and you are able to purchase really neat photos of you with the animals( computer generated of course)I could not resist as its a wonderful souvenir of a great day! Also bought 2 little wooden carved Penquins, a Zoo magnet, and 3 of their reusable shopping bags as souvenirs as well…
At one point in the afternoon the kids and I had a treat of some “ice lolly’s” even though it was not at all warm! We just could not resist!!
Rob wanted to go check out Camden Market, once we left the Zoo( which was around 6 pm)! We arrived there after just a short bus ride….but I quickly vetoed the whole Camden experience as it was a sea of people( lots of “interesting” people wanting to know of you wanted a tattoo)…and I really was not interested in buying anything at the Market. From what I could see there was a lot of “cheap” clothing, and “kitschy” merchandise.
Our next stop, although it nearly killed me…as I detest taking the escalators here in some of the Underground Stations, as there are so bloody steep that some might consider them like an amusement park ride! I certainly understand why during the War people took shelter in the Underground from the German Bombs…as they are sooooo deep underground!
What we were trying to do…(but for some reason we could not do)was to get abroad the train at King’s Cross via Platform 9 3/4! Any idea why????
Will let you ponder on this one…….
For dinner tonight we wanted to go to a great restaurant that we discovered on our last visit here….but once we got there it was to only find out that it had gone! We did however find a delicious Portuguese Chicken Place nearby that was yummy and family style! Of course being Sat night a lot of the Pubs/Restaurants would not let the kids in….Rebecca did have a Beer with her dinner tonight! When in Rome do as the Romans do!!
It was drizzling and cool when we got back to our Guest House, we did stop in at a local Marks and Spencer’s for some evening snacks! Rebecca is addicted to “Percy Pigs” candies!!
Well it’s now 10:08pm and I am beyond tired…so I will end this Blog for tonight!
Goodnight from Belgravia, London, UK!