Memories Of London

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Ok, so we hightailed it over the Channel, or should I say ‘under’, via the Eurostar, for a whirlwind introduction to London for the boys. We seriously whooped it up in our 5 days there and did everything a good London tourist would do….

Tick!

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There was plenty to sing about!

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It was just after Christmas, so everything was Christmas pretty. This was the window of our apartment in South Kensington.

I have received quite a few questions via email about how I planned this trip. I basically booked and planned the whole thing in 2 days much to the delight of the travel agent who booked our flights! I based my entire scheming around what people say about everything on Trip Advisor. If anything got a bad rap anywhere, I steered clear of it … hotels, transport, tourist attractions. I found our London apartment via Trip Advisor and booked it through Expedia. It pays to compare prices. There was not a bad word said about the place, on Trip Advisor, and I can not say a bad word about it! For me, having lived in London in a 4 share BEDROOM in a 3 bed dump in St Johns Wood (yeah 10 people), and then a seriously depressing hospital VMO quarters in Northwood …. this was LUXURY!!!! I danced through the apartment, saying, “boys, this is so not real London living, you have no idea how depressing London is when you have no money to do anything”. I truly believe you have not experienced poor backpacker London unless you have had to make the decision, ‘will I eat tonight, or will I have this beer?’

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First thing we did, when we got off the train, was make a bee-line to a pub!

When in London.

It was cold and the pub was warm. Perfect.

Bangers and mash and all that.

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Kensington Park/Hyde Park was right at the end of our street so we went searching for squirrels in winter.

Bucket list for youngest. He was determined.

Clutching blueberries, as our Dr Katherine swears by them …. for attracting squirrels … even though her story is based in Spring, in Hyde Park.

Princess Diana Memorial Walk. So, so beautiful.

These really were ‘mad dogs and Englishmen’. There was just no midday sun. Just a light mist of rain, which made everything moody and magical!

Here squirrel, squirrel ….

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Bingo!

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He even came down to accept his blueberry gift.

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Ok, so Hyde Park just so happened to have the ‘Christmas Winter Wonderland’ amusement park still set up and we stumbled upon it at opening time when there was NO-ONE around! My youngest seriously embraced the roller coasters and dragged his compliant big brother onto everything.

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Except this. No way any of the rest of us were getting on this. So the attendants started up the ride just for my little tacker. He was the only pair of screaming legs on the ride. I had to walk away. What if he was petrified and couldn’t get off? How could I save him? My heart!

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I fell into the ‘whimp’ category …. for many reasons … too whimpy to even watch my baby ride it.

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I shouldn’t have worried. This was the result.

Fearless.

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So we did the tube thing …

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… and seriously wandered.

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Experienced the magic of Hamleys Toy Store …

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… sampled many a hot chocolate…

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… and MANY gastronomical delights!

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Still kept up the cheese intake.

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Savoured the Natural History Museum …

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… while I savoured the building!!!

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By the time we left, the dinosaurs queue was 3 hours long. Pays to get up with the sparrows!

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Saw lots of ‘British-y’ stuff … although my eldest noted that in the whole time we were there he never heard a British accent.

Interesting.

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Explored the local neighbourhood…

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Did the gruesome ‘Jack The Ripper’ walking tour late one night, in the East End ….. in the cold and the gentle rain .. making it even spookier!

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And learnt heaps about the gory days of body snatching (all in the name of improving surgical techniques back in the 19th century…. we owe those early surgeons so much! ) at the ‘Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men’ exhibition, at The Museum Of London.

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Hospital amputation records. If you broke a bone back then, you most likely had your limb amputated, with no anaesthetic… and you most likely died, from shock or infection. Doctors didn’t wear gloves when they operated. Bugs were a secret back then.

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One cheap British Airways flight to Geneva (the whole damn place was cheap…. how things have changed in 20 years!) and we were off on the next leg of our adventure …

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Reduced to four quid at the end of the day! At the airport!!!! I rest my case.

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Over the Alps! …

A quick brush up on our French again, on the way!

… and straight on to a streamlined, immaculate, on time, Swiss train to Montreux, on Lake Geneva.

Next stop? … Switzerland, in all her snowy glory!

A-M xx

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30 Responses to Memories Of London

  1. Gail says:

    Love the looks on your boys’ faces – adorable.

  2. Great trip. Hope you are OK coming home. I always get so down after and international holiday.
    CArolyn

  3. cybill says:

    You need to sell that itinerary! The whole trip just sounds amazing and I am loving these posts.

  4. ZMS says:

    Hi A-M,
    Sounds like an amazing trip – absolutely love the Natural History Museum. Do you mind if I ask the name of the apartment you stayed in near Kensington? Sounds like a great location. We are looking at going in June so busy doing some research!

    Many thanks
    ZS

  5. Jill Flory says:

    Oh how I want to go to London someday! I would be delighted to just make all the arrangements and take of with the family and go. Maybe I should start making a travel fund a priority.

  6. Siobhan says:

    More wonder!! I am really heartened by the fact that things are more affordable over there now…

  7. Tracey says:

    We are also fans of trip advisor, though my husband is usually the one who does all our research (I am thankful for his obsessive scientist streak sometimes!)
    I too have lived in dodgy VMO quarters in Londons East End. They were scary days! I like reading your blog posts after following the trip in Instagram.

  8. kl says:

    Your littlie has such an expressive face! The joy, wonder and excitement so tangible! Lovely post A-M! x KL

  9. Pat Smith says:

    What an experience all around. But I must ask…don’t you have squirrels in AU? You should see our bird feeder! Bold little devils.

  10. Leonie-Australia says:

    It must have been an amazing adventure for you all, but I can’t help but love the photo of your little guy waiting to feed the squirrels, just goes to show sometimes its the simple things that kids love.

  11. sweetness says:

    Oh… I love London. Makes me miss living over there so much!

    I especially love London at Christmas time. Squirrels are just the sweetest!

    Adore the wonder on your boys faces-they really made the most of it!!

  12. JP says:

    Thanks for the tips and the wonderful photos. I have VERY itchy feet..

  13. Julie B.[Holland] says:

    I really laughed out loud at the comment your eldest son made, that he never heard a”british”
    accent the whole time there ! Too funny! Me being American and all I hear them all! What beautiful photos A-M , keep them coming. I feel like I was hidden in your suitcase. xo

    • A-M says:

      Thanks Julie from Holland! I know, it’s funny what kids notice! I think maybe he was hoping the street soundtrack would be like a British sitcom! xx

  14. Kitty says:

    Oh, lovely. I am being driven insane by your wonderful photos. Now I’m thinking we have to take Georgie back to Europe again this year. It’s just SO BEAUTIFUL. Dilemma.

    k XX

  15. erv says:

    I really enjoyed following the stories and photos of your trip A-M. Our next holiday to Europe will probably copy your itnerary so you need to do a detailed post about that – PLEASE! But I agree about never hearing British accent while we were there. I wonder what happened to it?

    • A-M says:

      We pretty much did Paris, London and Switzerland. I will blog about our Switzerland itinerary in my next post or two! xx

  16. Anastasia says:

    Cant wait to take my boys to London and Europe – your trip looks amazing! Awesome family time!
    Mine are still young 8yrs and 10yrs so we’re off to the West Coast of USA in 7weeks, Disney and all that kind of fun stuff! Cant wait!!

  17. Faux Fuchsia says:

    I luff London and luff seeing all these travel snaps!!!! Keep them coming x

  18. Ann says:

    Those photos are magical. Thanks for taking me away (in my imagination!)

  19. boomerang jane says:

    Loved this. Such beautiful photographs of such amazing memories. But giggled myself silly when you walked away from your little one’s adventures on that gawd awful looking amusement ride. I did the EXACT same thing with my then 9 year old daughter at Disneyland. She wanted to ride the new ‘California Screamin’. A horrific rollercoaster. She was a wee little nine year old, but bold as your beautiful boy (they both share such similar traits). My oldest (who soooooo reminds me of your oldest in looks and lovely personality) wasn’t having a bar of it. The line was an hour long, and I let you join the line. Not really giving it much thought (she barely made the ‘must be this high to ride’ sign). Anywho, she was sooo cute, people were so impressed with her courage, she got passed to the front of the line. There she went, panic ensued (from me!). What if she hates it and wants to get off, I was thinking. They happened to have photos displayed of the people as they go through the scariest point on the ride. I went over to the photo thinking, maybe I would feel better if I could see her giant smiling face. Bad move. The photo must have been taken at the point where she could barely keep her little head up against the pull of gravity and it looked like she was vomiting. I cried. I felt like the worst, but wussiest mum in the entire world! But she, like your boy wonder, got off with a giant smile on her face and asked if she could do it again! First grey hair right there :-)

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