Christmas Cheer

John and I had a wonderful day yesterday wandering around London to enjoy the Christmas spirit. We started by getting off the train at BlackFriars to go to the Christmas Market on the South Bank. We got a bit side tracked first though because from there you can quickly see the amazing Tate modern building in an old power station…

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Beside there is the Globe Theatre…

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History collides as it does all over London because beside the Globe is the Millennium bridge…

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What a view to St. Paul’s…

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We walked to the middle of the bridge and took a look…

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On the way to the market we saw some interesting shopping areas and the home of James Bond (MI6)!…

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Check out this neat skate park…

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Finally we found the market along the Thames to Big Ben. It was great. We had to have some mulled wine…

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Don’t you just love these teeny Christmas trees. John says that’s a pretty normal size for here, very cute…

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We should have got some classic roasted chestnuts too…

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It was a beautiful day and the views were amazing from this side of the river…

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We had quite the walk as well because we then trotted through the horse guard parade area…

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Past the Canada building in Trafalgar Square…

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And to the shopping area of Covent Garden where we ate at this amazing vegetarian restaurant…

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It was crazy busy. You ate in the very small basement where ever you could get a seat and there were people lined up on the stairs to get in…

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It was sooooo worth the wait.

Afterwards we walked around the Covent Garden are and stumbled on some unique sights. A gospel choir singing in the cold…

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I have a video of them singing but can’t seem to work out how to add it to the blog yet. I’ll get John’s help.

At the actual Covent Garden covered shopping centre site there was another Christmas market…

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Again a group playing music. It was magical.

The best was this huge advent calendar that will be opened everyday…

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It was a Christmas treat to walk around with John all day! I sure feel in the spirit now.

Gogo Little Red’s Grandparents

I’ve been so lucky to have had my Grandparents here for the last week. I haven’t posted because my Grandparents have worn me out! They are more Gogo than I am, they are amazing. Here’s a quick update on our activities…

We started with a very posh tea at the near by Luton Hoo Estate with John’s parents…

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Thursday we zipped into London to drool at the Harrod’s food hall which was already decked out for Christmas…

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The veggie display at Harrods really got me going of course!…

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After a lunch at the beautiful Victoria and Albert museum cafe we scuttled over to Liberty for some fabric shopping. They had the new Liberty cotton craft range in, oooo ahhhhh…

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Check out these new hexagon packs too…love it…

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Grammie and Pa were also good sports when I wanted to try two new recipes from River Cottage, a tasty cabbage, date and orange salad and an arugula, parsnip and puy lentil salad…

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On the weekend we drove to the Peak District to visit Pa’s Cousin. On the way home we hit Stratford-Upon-Avon…

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and the Cotswold’s…

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These were just some of the highlights of my half-term break, back to work now. I’m so happy Grammie and Pa were able to visit. I can’t believe how the time flies!

Touristy Weekend Update

We enjoyed a long weekend with my good friends Nancy and Anu who were making their summer tour through London on their way to Paris and Amsterdam. It was fab to see them and they inspired an ultra tourist weekend.

First thing was St. Paul’s cathedral. I’d been there about 10 years ago but had forgotten what it looked like except for the fact that you could walk way up high. I thought I would try but alas my new found vertigo got the better of me! I got up to the first level and just lost it. I was almost in tears as the lady showed me the way down!!! Oh well, I tried. John and the crew made it all the way and got these great pics of London…

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Another beautiful view of St.Paul’s…don’t think I was supposed to take pictures actually…oops…

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After this we hiked it over to Westminster Abbey. John and I had been fairly recently so we took a walk to the other side of the Thames and had a little lunch over looking Big Ben and the Parliament buildings…my favourite view of London…

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John looks like he’s having fun too in front of the Eye!…

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There were no flies on us, as John would say, as we decided to do a tour of Parliament. This was the best thing all day, even if the tour guide was long winded and I almost got kicked out by a guard for standing in the wrong place! Only me! You could only take pictures in Westminster Hall where there have been a lot of state events. It is a gorgeous example of a medieval hall…

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We got to see the entrance in which the Queen enters when she comes to open Parliament once a year. We walked in her footsteps from her Robing Room through to the House of Lords and the House of Commons. It was incredible! I wish we could have taken more pictures, oh well.

After this we hightailed it to Notting Hill to have dinner with a childhood friend of Nancy’s, Suelynn. We ate at a lovely upscale pub called Bumpkin that serves only British grown food…

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Needless to say, John and I chilled out on Sunday and watched stage 1 of the Tour!…

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Early weekend update!

We are normally so busy on the weekend that I don’t have a lot of time to sit and write a post, or am too tired! We are home early this Sunday night though and I thought I would write in almost real time. Also, my mom comes on Tuesday and will be super busy with her very soon!!!

Our weekend started early this time with a trip into London on Friday for John’s work. He had a meeting until about 2 so I went with him and we explored afterwards. We took a quick jaunt down Portabello Road in Notting Hill but it was not market day so it was more quiet than usual I think. Although, it was still a pretty happening place regardless. It was a very eclectic area with vintage shops mixed in with cafes and high street shops, bizarre but obviously very spirited! Here are a couple of good shots…

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I hope to bring mom back on a market day to see the place in full action.

It was about 6 when we decided to head home and the thought of getting in a crowded tube made me cringe so I shocked the stuffing out of John by suggesting that we start walking to St. Pancras and just catch a tube if we got tired. (FYI, I hate walking. It’s too slow! I prefer to do other exercise and then be able to park as close to things as I want!) I sucked it up this time though because the weather was perfect and I think you miss so much of the city if you always just take the tube. I’m glad we did because we walked about an hour and saw some beautiful sights that John had never seen…

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We found out later that this is the area called Little Venice, going into a very posh area called St. John’s Wood.

I love St. Pancras station. There is so much to see and do and some nice restaurants too. There is also a grand old hotel there built around the 1860’s. We ate at it’s restaurant in the old Booking Office. I had the best truffle chips! Yum. John was wandering around and found the renovated hotel staircase…wow…

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As you can see St. Pancras is ready for the Olympics!…

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Very randomly…today we went to a Jubliee Air Show at Duxford. I had no idea John loved airplanes so much. He was like a kid in a candy store. We ate our lunch by a tank…as you do…

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I got a few pictures of the show but it’s hard without a fancy dancy camera…

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The planes did some cool tricks. I’ll leave you tonight with a message of love from Duxford!…

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