Tag Archives: natural history museum

Postcard from London. β™‘

This past week I have been fortunate enough to have spent some time in my nation’s Capital London. And what a wonderful week !  Our trip was all in aid of celebrating my baby sister’s upcoming 40th Birthday. We managed to pack quite a bit in. Here are a few photos of what we got up to in this beautiful city. πŸ™‚

Travel in Style.

Far the best way to travel to London ( unless you have your own private plane πŸ˜‰ ) is by train. You can often find relatively cheap First Class Tickets, so your journey is speedy and comfortable with plenty of food and drink included. We booked with Virgin Β£80 each return from Preston and had use of Virgin’s complimentary First Class Lounge at Euston. ;0).

london 004
Natural History.
london 016

The Natural History Museum

 is well worth visiting, if only for the Dinosaurs !  Like many of London’s museums it’s free and is  so vast you could easily spend the whole day here.  I especially liked the moving Deinonychus above.  One of the best ways of getting around the city is via The London Underground and the nearest tube stops are Gloucester Road and South Kensington. Underground travel has gotten simpler with the use of contactless payment. Remember though , the money doesn’t go out of your account until a couple of days later.

Typically I hunted for Green Spaces in the city, and there are plenty. One day  Wil, my brother and I bought a picnic from Harrods ( like you do) and sat down to eat it in Hyde Park. We then walked through Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park , back to our hotel near Trafalgar Square.  It was a nice way of seeing London and the various wildlife that makes the park its home.  Look out for the Parakeets!

My sister wanted to see a show whilst we were away and which better to experience than The Lion King which plays at The Lyceum and has since 1999. Its an amazing piece of musical theatre and we loved it.  Highly recommended.

Even in London it is possible to stumble upon almost secret places.  Colourful Neals Yard  in Covent Garden is an Instagrammers delight with its multi – coloured buildings. Its also a lovely spot for a coffee or a bite to eat. The perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.

Neals Yard.
An Instagrammers Delight. β™‘

If you are going to celebrate a special Birthday in the Capital then you might as well go the whole hog and book a luxurious Afternoon Tea in one of London’s high class hotels. πŸ™‚   Claridges  in Mayfair offers a delicious array of finger sandwiches, warm scones with Marco Polo jelly & Cornish clotted cream,  a varied  selection of teas and a tray of delectable cakes and desserts from Β£60 per person. The setting in the grand art-deco inspired foyer and the attentiveness of the friendly staff add to this sublime experience.

Afternoon Tea at Claridges.

A must for everyone’s London trip is a river cruise down the Thames, taking in all the cities famed landmarks, old and new.  We  used  City Cruises  to plan a return jaunt to Greenwich which is definitely worth a visit.

Another way of enjoying stunning views of London is to go some place high. Very high !  Like The Shard  The Sky Garden  commands a spectacular vista of the city. Unlike The Shard, it is absolutely free !  You still need to book online and tickets are usually available from three weeks before you go.  We enjoyed cocktails ,amazing views and an unusual garden setting from 155 metres above. πŸ™‚

So there you have it, just a small selection of what we got up to in London town.  It was a fabulously memorable holiday and a fun way to spend time with family too.  Hopefully I will try and blog about some of our adventures in more detail soon.

Thanks for reading and a Very Happy Birthday to my sister Yvonne. πŸ™‚

London Trip.

I very recently returned from a fab trip to london with my friend B. Lots to blog about but I thought I would start with a picture post of what we got up to, and I’ll go into more detail later.

As you can see from the above photo I’m posing ( terribly) with one of the manyΒ Shaun the Sheep who are gracing the capital until the 31st of May. Artists, celebs and designers have created the sculptures which will be auctioned off for various charities at the end of the year. If you miss the London lambies don’t worry , a further flock can be spotted in Bristol from the 6th July. Check out this Shaun in the city link. πŸ™‚

london 012

My friend’s Β brother lives in Fulham and he was kind enough to let us stop with him. We got to wake up to this great view of the Thames every morning. I spied lots of different water fowl ( I wish I had brought the better camera) as it turned out the London Wetland CentreΒ was just over the river.

Savage Beauty at the V&A (image off Pinterest).
Savage Beauty at the V&A (image off Pinterest).

Speaking of birds, I never realised that the late ‘Alexander McQueen’ was interested in ornatholigy. I learn’t this at the stunning Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A. A spectacular theatrical homage to the talented fashion designer, this is a must see….even if your not interested in fashion. An immersion of the senses, a feast for the eyes, I cannot describe how fantastic the exhibition is. McQueens designs took inspiration from nature, from the tortured history of his native Scotland, from Victorian Jack the Ripper England, from the lost city of Atlanta & more. His collections are put on show to the most astounding effect. Highlights for me included the room entitled ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ and a ghostly floaty hologram of Kate Moss.

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea Pot.
Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea Pot.

Of course no trip to London would be complete without an afternoon Tea or two. Yep B and I just had to sample two. And I’m sure I will be blogging about them in the next few weeks. There was an elegant and very English afternoon tea at the Bentley Hotel in Knightsbridge and a curiously quirky ‘Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea’ at the Sanderson Hotel near Soho. They were both fun in different ways. πŸ™‚

Afternoon Tea at the Bentley.
Afternoon Tea at the Bentley.
Big Ben in the London rain.
Big Ben in the London rain.
On the London Eye in the rain.
On the London Eye in the rain.

The British weather had to rain on our parade at some point and of course it chose Thursday to absolutely puddle it down because we had booked a ride on a giant ferris wheel. The London Eye is a great way of seeing the city’s famous landmarks….even on a rainy day. My pics are pretty terrible though and my not very waterproof pumps meant I felt like I had been roaming around on wet sponges all afternoon. I looked like a cross between a not very happy bunny and a drowned rat…

Food Hall in Harrods.
Food Hall in Harrods.

One of the places you can hang out when its raining is of course the iconic department store Harrods and we spent a lot of time here. Its easy to get lost in! Since I last visited five years ago a Chocolate cafe and an Ice cream parlour have opened inside. I shall put them on my bucket list for the next time I visit! There are also lots of free museums. We made sure to visit the Natural History museum to see the famous giant diplodocus in the beautiful entrance hall. Apparently its going to be dismantled next year so now is the time to pay your respects to this particular dinosaur.

Dippy at the Natural History Museum.
Dippy at the Natural History Museum.
Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium at Bethnal Green.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium at Bethnal Green.

B and I being crazy cat ladies, just had to visit London’s only cat cafe Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium near Brick Lane. Its a cute little cafe which is also home to 12 gorgeous cats. I shall certainly blog about our time here in more detail soon. Let me just say we spent a purrfect couple of hours enjoying the company of Carbonelle, Wookie & co. And the food wasn’t bad either. ~^^~

There's a cat face in my brew.
There’s a cat face in my brew.

And I will end this post with a couple of pics of some surprising ( to me !) visitors to a park B and I were relaxing in one afternoon. I nearly jumped out of my skin when four bright green parakeets flew above us. For Londoners though this is simply an everyday occurrence. πŸ˜‰

Hello there!
Hello there!

london 142

Catch you soon. X