Sunday, 18 December 2016

Saturday 17th Dec: A Family Day Out In London

Yesterday we had a family day out in London.
As always it was a great, but tiring day, this is how we filled it...
...we started in Leicester Square, with the new Lego store...
...with plenty of nods to it's location...
...then it was a walk round a very pleasant Christmas Market, with beautiful wooden decorations, which I had to force myself to resist buying!
I loved this stall too and was tempted to buy something, but thought I would rather try and make it myself than spend £12 on one.
This fake snow was amazing, not only is it cold and feels like snow, it reverts back to its original powder form after a couple of weeks and can be stored and reused indefinitely.
Teen Two had some money as an early Christmas present from our old neighbour, so he used it to buy some and I know he will have many happy hours with it.
We then headed over to Covent Garden, where yet more Lego was in situ...
...a lifesize Santa and his workshop.
The Apple Market was beautifully decorated with giant mistletoe.... of our favourite shops is Whittards, and this branch is the prettiest I also has a tea shop...just look at these delectable treats....
....and a mountain of scones!! Mmmm my favourite!
Next it was to watch the street entertainment, always fun....
...then it was around the corner to our favourite pizza restaurant, Fire and Stone.
They always have unusual toppings...this was new to us...and I really enjoyed it, not least because it didn't have a tomato base.
I love tomatoes but am not a huge fan of tomato in sauces or pizza bases for some reason.
We then made the most of our travel cards and used a bus to go to Knightsbridge.
You get to see so much more on the buses, and Hubby was particularly delighted as it was a new "Boris Bus!"
Our destination at Knightsbridge was of course Harrods.
The Teens hadn't been before, and likely won't want to go again!
It was heaving with people, impossible to see very much and way too big to wander round.
We daren't go into the middle for fear we would never make it out again!
We contented ourselves with a peek at the food hall..

We resisted the temptation but I did bring one or two ideas home with me

But we did treat ourselves to two choccies each from the very amazing chocolate department.
It really was very decadent and if I am completely honest, whilst the chocolates did taste nice ( especially the peanut butter cup I chose!) I would rather have 8 bars of Cadbury's Dairy Milk or Galaxy next time ( but not all in one go you understand!)
Teen One and I did take a peek in the clothes department, but only made it as far as the Designer floor and it was all so awful, let alone expensive, we didn't hang around.
By the time we left it was dark and the shop was lit up beautifully...shame my camera took such a bad shot!
We then walked up the Brompton Road to the Science will have to imagine a serene scene of people gliding round an ice rink, with lights all around and festive really was a sight to behold...but my camera just didn't like the lighting.
It was no better inside the Science Museum, here is Hubby showing Teen Two the Command Module that went round the moon, but try as I might the camera did not want to play!
This piece of technology scans your face, then from a data base of a zillion ( or so!) faces, it tells you your age, gender and how happy you are.
Well I forgot to smile so was only 20% happy, it got my gender right and said I was 25!
I'll settle with that!
Teen One was said to be 14, where as Teen Two pulled a funny face and it said he was 45!
We were almost at the end of our visit, with just the lights of Oxford Street to see, and we thought we would walk through Hyde Park to see the much acclaimed Winter Wonderland.
However, we wish we hadn't bothered!
Not only was it a very long walk at the end of a very long day, the crowds had to be seen to be believed and it was one big money pit!
Add a whole load of noise and the inability to do anything other than pigeon toed walking most of the way, we couldn't get out of the place fast enough!
There was a Christmas Market, which was more what we were interested in, but the stalls were duplicates of the ones we had seen earlier in the day at Leicester Square, where we had enjoyed peace and tranquillity as we admired the wares.
As we finally made it through the exit channel, we saw a mile long queue, about 15 people deep and thought thank goodness we didn't have to endure that to be so disappointed once finally inside!
So...we won't be doing that again!
The Oxford Street lights were however, not a disappointment...
...and neither were the window displays...
...Selfridges were the great, with Santa in various forms of transport....
...very ingenious indeed...
...but the cut away underground scenes based on the John Lewis ad, really were a triumph...
...each scene had so much detail, it was hard to capture it....
..and of course the loveable boxer was in each scene, wondering what was going on beneath him...
...I love this one of the soft toys all being squirrelled away!
The final leg of the journey was the walk down to the tube station, then picking up the mainline at Waterloo, to take us to Hampton Court where we had parked the car.
Teen Two was shattered, as were we all!
But it was a great day...and I have a whole year to summons up the energy to do it all over again!

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