About klsfriend

Mom in charge of a household of 2 teenagers( a daughter and son),plus husband, 2 dogs, and 2 cats! Self employed, and I work at a local Elementary school as well as being an avid volunteer! Interior designer at heart...lover of home renos, shopping, cooking, entertaining, gardening and all things British! Also an avid antique/collectible hunter extraordinaire! Weekends and Summer are made for our Cottage. Enjoys spending time with family, friends, and my fabulous girlfriends! A want to be Real Housewive!

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!

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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!

Painted Rattan, Studs…all things Garden and Correction!

Woke up this Friday morning to SUNSHINE! Joy of joys…out came the ballet flats( instead of “trainers”/running shoes), and on came the sunglasses!
We are off to Richmond/Kew Gardens today!
Richmond is a typically quaint British Town on the Thames! Lovely Pubs, houses and gardens!
Richmond Palace is located there…once home to Queen Elizabeth the First while she was in “exile” when her Father Henry the Eighth was not pleased with her! She is often portrayed in paintings hunting/horseback riding in Richmond Park!
To get to Richmond/ Kew…we walked to Sloan Square…only a five or so minute walk away from our “house” to catch the Tube to Richmond…from there we took an amazingly lovely walk along the Thames to Kew Gardens( a walk of more than a mile…… in the rain….would be lovely to do on a sunny day!!!!!!)!
Before taking the walk to Kew we explored Richmond a bit…as I mentioned above its a lovely quaint “Village” like City/Town. We had a few minutes to hit the “High Street” shops….I tried on a pair of shoes at LK Bennett ( where Kate and Pippa buy their shoes). I was hoping to purchase a pair.. and did try on a beautiful pair of Nude colored shoes….on sale…..for € 189.00 ! Will let you do the math, but you might as well double the cost to find out how much it would be in Canadian $ ! I did not weaken…as they were lovely, but that pair was way too high of a heel for me! Really did not have a chance to look closer at other pairs of shoes…..maybe another location of the Chain will have something more affordable?????
In the next store we had more luck! It was a Cancer Charity Shop…where clothes are donated and all proceeds go to Cancer Research! I bought a lovely, dressy Reiss top ( which there would be no way that I could afford to buy new!) for € 7, and a neat bracelet for €3! Rebecca bought a TopShop skirt for €6! Also picked up a cloth bag with the lyrics to “God Save the Queen” on it for € 3!
Then it was time for what would have been an enjoyable walk along the Thames if it was not for the cold RAIN that followed us the entire walk! I was not happy that I had been so stupid to have worn my ballet flats, when my runners would have been more appropriate, and would have kept my feet dry and warm!!!
We arrived at Kew Gardens to HAIL…that lasted for at least 10 mins and stayed on the ground! I was so upset as here we had paid a huge entrance fee to visit the Gardens and it was sooooooo not Garden visiting weather! When the hail stopped, and it had turned to rain ….we walked for another 5 mins or so to the Orangery Cafe( which is located on the premise). It felt good to be indoors and to dry off, as well as getting something to eat for lunch! I had an amazing bowl of Fresh Green Pea and Asparagus Soup, followed by a Scone with Clotted Cream and Jam…..with a pot of Tea to drink and warm me up! Everything was so yummy!
The rain continued on so it was time to make a mad dash for the Gift Shop, so we could still stay inside till the rain subsided! Did a little shopping until the rain became a drizzle! Now it was the time to tackle the indoor parts of the Garden while it was still raining! What an AMAZING place Kew is! I can only imagine what it would be like on a lovely day! We first visited the Princess of Wales Conservatory….yes, it was named after Diana, and houses many different “zones” of plants! It’s a very large Conservatory! We passed through a Fern and Orchid Zone..then onto a Desert Zone…and then to our favorite zone which was the Rain Forrest! It had a large pond and waterfall…with amazing water lilies and koi! The best part of all was that you could go “underneath” the pond! Truly amazing! There you could see all the aquatic life, and plants that live in the Pond above! After today I so want a Greenhouse/Conservatory!!! I cannot even describe the amazing plants, palm trees etc..that we saw today! My photos won’t even do them justice they were all so beautiful..the plants and the buildings that house them as well!
There were many a lovely Urn around the Garden…of course beautifully planted up with Seasonal flowers!
Believe it or not the sun came out…and we were able to have an hour or more of walking around the grounds without any wet stuff teaming down on us! As well through out our walk around the grounds we saw a lot of interesting birds. We saw some “yellow” parrot like birds, Canada Geese, and even a Peacock!
Rob and the Kids went on a treetop walk! It was the neatest thing! You walked up( there was also a lift) and you could basically walk on a “sidewalk” up in the trees! There were various look out points that they could be seen from, so I was the photographer on the ground!
We also visited a smaller Conservatory which housed mostly Water Lilies…..giant ones at that!!!
All through our outside Tour we kept an eye on the sky…and sure enough there were more grey clouds on the horizon! This time we made it back to the Victoria Gate section of the Garden where there was another Cafe and Gift Shop….By this time we were all ready for Afternoon Tea! I treated myself to another scone and Tea..The kids had Hot Chocolate and bags of Crisps( potato chips)!
Then it was time to say goodbye to Kew! If I lived here I would certainly love to be a volunteer at the Gardens( or at St George’s Chapel from yesterday’s visit)!
It was a long ride home due to rush hour traffic…
Now, you might be wondering why I called this particular Blog….Painted Rattan, Studs…and all things Garden and Correction! Well the Garden part you will have no doubt figured out that it was our trip to Kew..but the other stuff????
Well, first of all I have a confession to make….We are not staying in Mayfair…or whatever other Borough of Westminster/London that I might have said….we are in BELGRAVIA! How I could have gotten that wrong I have no idea! For those of you familiar with the old BBC/PBS series “Upstairs Downstairs” we are staying not too far from the Bellamy’s old street of Eaton Place! Our Gust House also resembles the Bellamy Townhouse….
Now for the Painted Rattan bit…one of the world’s most famous Interior Designers is Nicky Haslam. He has designed rooms/houses for the rich and famous and the Royals! His store is located just down the street from us! I can give you all an Interior Design “heads up” Painted Rattan and everything Bamboo/Rattan is very in! His store windows are full of pieces of rattan furniture…some painted and some not. Even cushions that were in the Window display had rattan designs on them!
Now for my London Fashion tip….everything Studs is in Ladies! There are Studs on shoes, sweaters, purses etc….Rebecca’ shoes that she bought from TopShop yesterday are covered in Studs, and so are the shoulders of the sweater that I bought! Studs are hot!!
Well it’s after 9 pm and my thoughts are starting to get all jumbled up…so I better close off this Blog!
Goodnight from Belgravia to one and all…..

I could so live here!

Woke up this morning and decided not to indulge in the full breakfast, but rather I chose to have a lie in and a cup of tea in our room, while the rest of the Family had breakfast downstairs!
When we all were fed, and ready to go we decided to head off to Windsor Castle!
As like every other day that we have been here, it’s been cloudy, cool, some showers…or even heavy rain, with the occasional break of sun! Today we actually had a thunderstorm..or two!
Off we headed to the Coach Station to get on the Green Line Bus, which heads to Windsor.
It took about an hour to get there, as there was traffic along Kensington High Street, and the M 4!
We we arrived we could see that “something” was about to happen…as Bobbies were blocking the street…What was about to happen was the “Changing of the Guard”! So in the rain we watched them parade down from the Castle…playing their Ceremonial tunes!
We then proceeded to walk across to the Castle…I was the first one…and probably would have been the only one…to note that the Royal Standard was flying above the “Tower” section of the Castle! This means that Her Majesty is in residence! Once we paid for our tickets, it was raining cats and dogs so of course…ahem…we HAD to take shelter in the first of many Gift Shops on the Castle grounds! Of course I HAD to buy something…..so I picked up several more of my Royal/UK Christmas ornaments! Actually I think we might have finished our Henry the Eighth and his Wives ornament collection! Just hope that we remembered which of the wives we did not have, and in turn bought the right wives!!!
After the rain turned to a drizzle we headed back outside to continue our sightseeing of the Castle! We headed into the Castle and came across the amazing Queen Mary’s Dollhouse and a display of 2 French Dolls and all their accessories presented to the then Princess Elizabeth and Margaret from the children of France in the thirties…It was an amazing display of all the accessories and clothing that these dolls came with! Of course Queen Mary’s Dollhouse was incredible as well ! To think that the DH has running water, and electricity to name just a few of its amazing treasures!
We then headed deeper into the Castle! We saw a woven( although it looked more like it was crocheted to me) piece that was done by Mahatma Gandhi as a present for the Royal Wedding of the now Queen and Prince Phillip!
Off to the State Rooms which were filed with amazing works of art by the likes of Holbein and Rembrandt ( his self portrait…was there)! Also saw some very familar paintings of several Royals..Henry the Eight, Elizabeth the First, Charles the First/Second ( by Van Dyke)! Amazing to be standing so close to such famous, incredible works of art!
I forgot to mention all through our visit we had an electronic device that resembled a mobile phone, an audio guide that kept us very well informed of what we were seeing and where to see it!
After hitting at least another 2 Gift Shops, and of course buying a few more souvenirs…we headed over to St George’s Chappel..which is located on the grounds of Windsor! You might recall that this is where Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall had their marriage blessed, and also where both Prince Edward and Peter Phillips were married!
I do not recall anything about the Chappel from previous visits to Windsor with my Mom in the ’70’s ! I just loved the Chappel, it’s a truly amazing place! I had no idea just how many people I “knew” were buried there! To name a few…..Henry the Eighth, and Jane Seymour….King Edward the Seventh and Queen Alexandra, King George and Queen Mary, the Queen Mum and her King George( the Queen’s Parents) and……Princess Margaret!! What a sense of history one gets being there! We were in the Chappel for going onto to 2 hours, exploring every nook and cranny…as well as sitting and admiring! Ryan and I both lit candles and said a prayer in one of the smaller Chapels! We ended our visit to St George’s by…you guessed it…heading to its gift shop! I can report that I was unable to locate any Knights of the garter,nor any Knights by the name of Brownrigg, McTurk or Friend! St George’s is the Chapel of the Knight’s of the Garter!
As we were leaving the Union Jack flag was being raised over the Castle Tower…Her Majesty had just left…and was heading back to London/ Buckingham Palace after spending her Easter Holiday at Windsor! It was certainly nice of her to be at the Castle to welcome us there!!!!
Under threatening skies, we decided to risk the 10 min or so walk to Eton College, to check out the school and some of its buildings! We saw several students/boys walking around in their uniform of tails…very impressive !
At this time we all were feeling a bit “peckish”……so decided that it was time to have something to eat !
We found a lovely little Pub in Eton….that served….what I had been craving for…Cream Tea! First of all I started off by treating myself to a drink of Pims! Then onto the Cream Tea,,,which was comprised of 2 scones, jam and clotted/double cream! I had died and gone to Heaven! Then to top it all off, both Rebecca had I had Eton Mess for dessert as of course we were in Eton…some had to indulge! An Eton Mess ( named after the school of course) is made up of Meringue, double cream, whipped cream and strawberries…again just Heaven!
The boys just had some “ordinary” yet very good sandwiches,,.they just were not into the Teas and Desserts like us Ladies were!!!
On our way back to catch the Coach back to London( at 5:30pm) I spied some of my fav stores..namely Jigsaw( a Kate fav), Whistle’s ( another Kate fav), Links of London, Jo Malone ( perfume) …etc..etc…Ran into most of them…pretty well all window shopping, and photos of stores as they are much to pricey to purchase anything in! Did manage to buy a bracelet for Rebecca and myself at Links of London, and a purse for myself, that I had on my must purchase list at Cat Kidston’s ! A very British “oil cloth” purse!
All this was done, with a few minutes to spare before the Coach back to the City arrived at our stop.
Windsor is such a pretty Town…very quaint, and picturesque!
Our journey back to London took some time as again there was traffic due to rush hour…
On a Nature Note……..
I am in love with a Tree that I keep seeing….it’s so hard to describe…but the bark of the tree looks like peeling camouflage…of all colors of green and brown! I have taken many photos of the Tree and have to identify it before we leave! I did note today that it seems to have a “nut” on it…would love to come across one on the ground to bring home and attempt to plant!!!
I forgot to mention yesterday how again I find the Dogs in London to be so civilized, and classy( like their owners) ! In Kensington Park yesterday, there were numerous dogs of all shapes and sizes, and ages…all un leashed…all behaving and getting along…and no barking! So impressive!! Yet another reason for me to want to live here…well behaved dogs, gorgeous places/areas to live…and Pims and Cream Teas! It’s now 9:30pm and we are back in our Guest House for the evening…watching good old British Telly, and snacking on British snacks…aaahhhhh what a life!!!

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Postscript…

Fish and Chips….and Pasties for dinner! Too tired to walk several blocks to the Pub! So we are eating in our room in our jammies!
Forgot to mention a couple of amusing incidents that happened today..
First off the Swans, Ducks…Pigeons…Blackbirds…and a mystery bird..(.just remembered its called a Mandarin Duck)..are all crazy! Well at least the ones in Kensington Park’s Round Pond! I guess it’s because people feed them! One lady put a lot of bird ” food” in her daughter’s hoodie…The birds then landed RIGHT ON THE DAUGHTER…and started to peck in her hood for the food! She was covered in BIRDS!!! Rebecca was upset that we had nothing to feed them as she wanted to do the same…..Thank goodness we had nothing to feed them!!!!!! It was almost like being in the movie The Birds!!!
The second event happened to Rebecca..She was sitting admiring the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace..and a couple from Australia asked her ” if she was an American”? She replied “no I am Canadian”! “oh we did not mean to insult/offend you by calling you an American”! Chuckle, chuckle!!!!

Well it’s almost 10 pm. Time to think about turning in….

Night, night from Mayfair…London…UK!!