Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

London Swings

Like a Pendulum Do
Bobbies on Bicycles Two by Two
Westminster Abbey and the Tour of Big Ben
Rosy Red Cheeks of the Little Children

We went to London for the Chelsea Flower Show . . . but we ended up staying two nights and three days -- a holiday within a holiday!!!

And what a grand time we had . . . because son-in-law Andy had points and with those points he booked us rooms at . . .

The Trafalgar

On Trafalgar Square -- a wonderful hotel that's old on the outside and new on the inside. Posh beds and an even posher bath. And a full English breakfast the next morning. Life, perhaps, can't get any better than this!

And the day after the flower show . . . we walked to

Westminster Abbey

There are no words that can truly describe the Abbey. It is British History -- with touches of American History as well. One of the most moving things that we saw was the grave of the Unknown Soldier . . . at the foot of which was a wreath laid there a few days before by President Obama . . . but on the column nearest the grave was an American Medal of Honor -- given to the Unknown Soldier by General Pershing!

Poet's Corner, the Kings's graves, the grave of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth . . . and the magnificent architecture of the Abbey surrounding all.

And . . . not quite a month before the wedding took place there.

If one word can describe Westminster -- that word is awesome!

And across the street from Westminster is

Parliment and Big Ben!

The building itself is awesome and Big Ben still rings the time!!! Just listening to those bells!

And on the way to Westminster, we walked through St. James Park and found . . .

The Bird Keeper's Cottage and Garden

Built during Queen Victoria's time, it's a charming Swiss Chalet surrounded by a magnificent cottage garden featuring both flowers and vegetables.

An unexpected surprise in a city park!

Husband Jim and I even managed to navigate . . .

The Tube!!!

Taking not one train but two to get to our destination . . .

And since it was a busy Saturday the crowds were horrendous and most of the time we stood!

But the reward for taking the Tube?


Who can go to London and not visit Harrod's? It's an amazing store and on this holiday weekend buzzing with shoppers. We took a quick trip through several departments (think china and silver and cookware) and our only purchase was sandwiches for lunch!!!

We like to hotel hop and so the second night we moved to . . .

The Waldorf

And yes, life does get better !!! For this was an even better hotel with superb service, a breakfast reminiscent of an English Country House breakfast. Lots of pillows, a great duvet and the best shower head ever! It dripped luxury!!!

And, of course, you can't go to London without visiting a Pub . . . our pub of choice?

Punch Tavern

Chosen because of our son-in-law who is a Punch!!! There is nothing like Pub Food and London has the best!!!

Our hotel was a few blocks from the Theatre District and

Covent Gardens

Which gained fame from My Fair Lady and seeing the theatres and the gardens, songs from My Fair Lady kept going through my head!

It was market day at the garden and besides food vendors there were craft vendors there as well with an amazing array of handmade goods.

And on our last day we headed towards
Tower Bridge

Across which we traveled to the Tower of London. Both Daughter Sarah and I expected one big tower into which those in disfavor were thrown but instead we found a castle -- a castle not "tarted up" as a amusement park like Warwick. A castle with an amazing amount of history.

And in the castle . . .

The Crown Jewels

An amazing collections of crowns and scepters encrusted with precious gems. I can't believe that in all these trips to England we haven't ever seen them. They were amazing!!!

And while at the Tower, I made a new friend . . .

A Raven

Quote the Raven, "never more"!!!

He decided that my purse looked like something he would like to have so he followed me around for a while, pecking at my purse! I've never seen a raven so "up close and personal" and was surprised at their size!!!

Our holiday in London was an amazing fun packed three days. We didn't see it all but we saw a lot and I felt like we walked a hundred miles and climbed a million stairs.

I can't believe on all of the trips we've taken before we've avoided London, preferring the countryside. We shouldn't have . . . but then, had we "did" London earlier, we wouldn't have had the special feeling -- that stars in our eyes feeling -- that feeling of wonderment that we had those three days as the four of us saw the most famous that London has to offer! It would have been "old hat"!

We're back at Blue Row and it is nice to leave the hustle and bustle of the city for the quiet of the country.


Pondside said...

I love the idea of a holiday within a holiday - what a sweetie your son-in-law is!

Rose H (UK) said...

Finally I'm able to post comments again Martha!
So pleased you're having such a fabulous time - green with envy about Chelsea flower show, the nearest I get is on the TV!
The Ravens at the tower have a lot of pressure on their shoulders - should the Ravens ever leave the Tower will fall! See here for more details.
It's been MANY years since I visited the Tower, but the beauty of the Crown Jewels has stayed with me, it's so difficult to believe all those fabulous riches are REAL.

Coo, a night at The Waldorf - does it get better?

Best wishes for a continued fabulous holiday.

Rose H

Rosemary said...

Fun, fun post! Trust me, a return visit to London will never feel 'old hat'! It is a magnificent city with lots to offer. Loved all your photos and descriptions. Great trip!

Linda Jennings said...

I'm enjoying traveling along with you!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

You make it sound so very inviting! I'm glad you shared your little vacation within a vacation with us.

Cass @ That Old House said...

Watch out for those ravens at the Tower! Not only may they bite a visitor, but they have a big responsibility; legend has it that if the Ravens should ever desert the Tower, the Kingdom & the Tower will both fall.

So you don't want a Raven following you home! (Plus Oliver would not like that one bit! Those Ravens are HUGE.)

What a wonderful mini-vacation within your maxi-vacation!

You are making me lonesome for London. As Samuel Johnson famously said, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life."

Or a woman, too, especially during January sales ....


Barbara said...

I am so glad you enjoyed my city so much. Wish I had known you were there.

Have been posting on London myself.

Bernideen said...

Glad to see these photos and what a great time you are having!

afternoon tea said...

Wow! What a time you must have had. So much wonderment in a few days.

It all sounds lovely.