London Life

Can we really be in the last month of Autumn already? Sigh. The time has just flown by - especially this week, so I haven't had time to post much. Apologies!

Anyway, if you're an Instagram addict like me you'll have noticed me spamming your feed with lots of lovely London pictures.  I thought it was about time that I wrote up our little weekend away, even if there is relatively little food involved (shock horror!).

I'd been to London years ago; but being eight years old spent most of the time in Hamleys! This year I vowed to do some super exploring.

We stayed with some friends just outside the centre of the city. One thing that struck me was how easily you could travel everywhere - we took the train, the Underground and one of the famous red buses during our stay. Nomatter where you were, in the centre there was always an Underground station close by!

Our first day kicked off with a morning visit to the London Eye. It was barely eleven o'clock, yet the crowds were already swarming!
The pods continue to move (albeit slowly) whilst you are boarding them, so I had to hop/jump my way on - probably looking like a bit of a fool. Once inside, though, you can barely feel the movement.

We had spectacular views of the city from our pod.

There were even little screens placed all around the pod to help you recognise the landmarks. A very worthwhile trip, even if the tickets are rather expensive!

Next, we took a boat tour from right beside the Eye down the river, to the Tower of London. Laziness at its best! Our guide was very funny and told us all about the main features of the city, adding in short facts and humorous anecdotes. It was a great way to learn a little bit of history whilst not spending hours trudging through wet streets! (Did you know that it's forbidden to advertise on the banks of the river? And that the Michael Caine used to work as a porter in Billingsgate market?)

We approached the spectacular Tower Bridge and slowed down to stop at the Tower of London. I'm ashamed to admit that I thought it was just one tower (yes, you can slap me if you wish)! One of the things that I found amazing was being able to walk in the exact same steps as many kings, queens and nobles, such as William the Conqueror, Henry VII and Elizabeth I. Mindblowing stuff - the history nerd in me was going crazy!

We saw Henry VIII's intricate armour. The engraved patterns on these were amazing - and can't even be seen unless you are close up!

There were many other exhibitions and because we wanted to see as much of the city as possible, decided to keep those for another day. Still, the trip wouldn't have been complete without a visit to see the Crown Jewels!

You are taken on a journey through the history of the Jewels - from their creation in the 14th century to their destruction in 1649 following the abolition of monarchy. Once Charles II returned to the throne, new jewels were made and they still exist today.

One word: sparkly.

The jewels are absolutely breathtaking. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires... Rich gold thread and purple velvet, gold and silver. settings...

Naturally, security is very high so no photos allowed!

It was nearly time to meet for dinner so we had a quick trip to see the Houses of Parliament and hear Big Ben in action. We walked round to Westminster Abbey and then took a bus to our penultimate destination - Garfunkel's restaurant.

I'd never heard of this restaurant before (surprise surprise, it doesn't exist in NI!) but apparently it's quite common in London. It was certainly busy!

We made sure to get in early and have our dinner before the Friday evening rush.

Thin, crispy pizza.

A meaty lasagne with chips for dipping into the cheesy sauce.

Lemon and herb roast chicken with a baked potato.

We finished off with coffee and an indulgent slice of cheesecake.

Can you guess where we went?

I can tell you now that this play is worth all the hype. I've read the book and seen the film, so naturally was a little sceptical of how the play would match up - but it did not disappoint. The scenery was simple but effective, the acting was brilliant...and the puppets! I hadn't realised that they were controlled by people actually on stage - and whilst at first it was a little strange, after a little while I forgot all about them. The movements were so realistic; I truly believed that there was a horse on stage!

This story has funny parts but it will also make you cry. I saw it the week before Remembrance Sunday and it made me think about the sacrifice people make in war - both soldiers and those at home.

A very powerful production and I would recommend it without a second thought.

It had been a long day, and by the time we reached the station I was ready to fall asleep. Being to see the city at night was the only thing keeping me awake!


  1. It looks like you had a jam-packed time! I love going to do all of the touristy things in London as well :)

    Lucy x


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