Apologies, but here’s a belated mini round-up of our adventures during MasterB’s birthday and half-term.
We celebrated young B’s 11th birthday in the morning with presents and croissants – Kipster had to help too! Although it has to be said she was a little disappointed that none of these were for her. She’s too used to receiving her own birthday and Christmas presents (spoilt pooch or what).
Once presents had been opened and the last bits popped in the suitcase we hot-footed it up to London for a three day break – although MrD hadn’t planned the timing too well, bearing in mind it was the Rugby World Cup semi-finals!!! We were subsequently held up in traffic and diverted, but we arrived in London as excited as ever. MasterB has been known to stand on the platform of the tube station and sigh ‘Ahhhh I’m home‘ – how scary is that – I just know my baby is gonna move to London the first chance he gets.
It’s sort of become a bit of a tradition that during the October half term we head to London where we stay at The Grange Hotel, Holburn. For us this is perfect because it’s so central to everything and you can even walk to Covent Garden from there. The hotel is very nice and pleasant without being over the top and has the advantage of a swimming pool and spa. The boys can go swimming first thing, whilst I enjoy a nice massage – – – everyone’s a winner!
We had planned to go to the London Film Museum in the afternoon where they were showcasing the Bond in Motion Exhibition with actual vehicles used in past and present films.
I have to say it was really interesting seeing real life relics from the Bond films (including Bond’s passport) and MrD being a bit of a 007 fan was in heaven and enjoyed explaining things to MasterB.
We all enjoyed it very much and it’s definitely worth a visit if you have a chance.
We had a VIP tour of the Houses of Parliament. A dear friend of mine (who mixes in high circles) arranged this for us and was conducted by a friend of hers, Stephen Benn. Stephen took precious time out of his schedule to give us an amazing insight into what goes on and we were all fascinated by the ins and outs of parliament. We really were very lucky indeed (Stephen is a wealth of knowledge with dates, names and places at the tip of his tongue when recalling stories to us) but did you know you can arrange for your local MP to give you a tour of the HofP?
We normally try to fit a show in whilst we are up in the big smoke and this time we were lucky enough to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I have to say, it’s not my favourite show we’ve been to see, but it was enjoyable and the sets were amazing and the young boy who played Charlie the night we were there was brilliant – well done him!
We had meals out, including the Rain Forest Cafe, Piccadilly on MasterB’s birthday evening as his chosen restaurant where we enjoyed huuuge burgers and ribs. They also made the poor boy stand on his chair whilst the whole restaurant sang happy birthday to him (embarrassed doesn’t come close!!).
We had cake…
and enjoyed drinks in the hotel lobby after long days on our feet…
I popped in to Liberty of London (my fave store) with a couple of friends whilst the boys did Hamleys. Again everyone was a winner! I made a small purchase in Liberty, which I will share with you in a separate post – so look out for that one.
MasterB also attended a comic workshop at the Cartoon Museum where he was helped by a professional cartoonist to create his own character and a comic-strip. He had great fun for a couple of hours, whilst MrD and I headed to the British Museum.
Look out for the Cartoon Museum’s workshops during school holidays, because it’s incredibly cheap and great fun for them to take part in if you happen to be in London.
On the Wednesday before we headed home, we met up with some other friends for frozen yoghurt (as you do when you’re in London) at fro-go and then headed over to the Shard.
Having promised MasterB we’d take him up the Shard, but hadn’t had time before, we suggested a little trip up to Aqua, one of the bars on the 32nd floor.
This is a shot looking up at the Shard – it really is an amazing glass building. And look at that sky for a November day too!
Unfortunately, we just missed out on the last table (as children aren’t allowed to stand at the bar) and as we hadn’t booked, grrrrr, we weren’t able to stay. But I did manage to get this shot before we left…
How spectacular is that! It’s fabulous up there and next time we will definitely be booking a table.
We crammed so much into this visit, we all came home exhausted. Happy but exhausted.
London really is an amazing place – there’s just so much to see and do all of the time. Every time we go we experience new things.
It certainly was a birthday to remember for MasterB!
Do you like visiting London? What’s your favourite place to go?
Carpe Diem x