On Saturday I turned the big thirty. Instead of celebrating with hubby and kids, I decided to go away for the weekend. I was undecided at first whether I should travel around Ireland or going to London. In the end I went for London. Last time I was only there for 24 hours when the Blogfest was on so I didn’t really have much time to explore.
I took the Friday off work which meant I had a good solid three days to spend in London Baby. My flight was pretty early. I left the house at 6.30am. The kids weren’t even awake at that time yet. So I sneaked off. My flight was with Ryanair which is always straight forward enough. I didn’t check in a bag. A carry on suitcase with 100ml toiletries is the handiest for a weekend trip. The plane got into Stansted airport at around 9.30am. The problem was that check in wasn’t until 2pm. This left me plenty of time to tick off a few sights.
It can be quite restricted doing sightseeing with a suitcase. My hotel was located near the Victoria Station. Buckingham Palace was in walking distance so I decided to walk up. I was just in time for the change of the guards. Hundreds of people had settled in front of the palace and around. Due to my suitcase I couldn’t go near the gate. I suppose safety reasons. It was really cold and chilly but the sun was shining which made it all worth.
Shortly after I went back to Victoria and bought a dress for Chloe in GAP. I just couldn’t find anything online and rather getting it shipped, I thought I’d pick it up in store. Still loads of time left until I was able to check into my hotel which was not until 2pm. Down I went to London Eye and the South Bank. It was heading toward lunch time so I popped into a Subway on the way and had something to eat first to refill my energy. Unfortunately the London Eye was closed for refurbishment until Wednesday. That was that off the list then. I picked up a die cast taxi and bus for Matthew and a magnet for my collection and enjoyed the view in the beautiful but cold weather.
It was heading towards 2pm and I walked back to check into my hotel. The hotel I stayed in was called Park Plaza Victoria. It was only a few steps from Victoria underground and rail station. Very central as I was getting the tube from there to wherever I needed to go. The hotel was very impressive. I think it’s four star. I had breakfast included because I can never function without a proper breakfast to start the day.
My room was very impressive I have to say. First of all I had a king size bed. A whole bed to myself, with uninterrupted sleep for two nights. Second of all, how cool was the remote on the table and on the wall to control temperature of the room, the light for reading, or the light for the night. But to control the curtains via the remote to open and close them was the coolest thing. You can probably imagine I played with that for a bit. By the way, check out the carpet they have throughout the bedrooms and hallway.
As it was getting close to sunset, I took the tube to Tower Hill to see the Tower of London and Tower Bridge while the sun sets over the Tower Bridge. It was a different photo opportunity rather than a boring photo of the bridge during the day. Before heading over onto the other side, I’ve done a quick pitstop at Starbucks for a hot chocolate. It was cold after all and that was the right medicine for a cold winter day. That day I did a good bit of walking and my body is still aching now particularly my legs. I went from Tower Bridge to London Bridge. 21000 steps that day.
I took the tube from Monument station up to Kings Cross. I was planning to go and do the Harry Potter Studio Tour, but because it was over seven hours long, I decided against it as that would have been a whole day gone. Instead I went to platform 9 3/4. I didn’t queue to get my picture taken though, which I do regret now. I bought a mug that changes to the secret map when it gets hot and Bertie Botts Beans. There was so much stuff you could buy, even wands!
It was time to go back to the hotel, put the feet up and decide where to go for dinner. There was an Asian restaurant just around the corner. I am glad I went because it was the most delicious Asian I had in a long time. As the starter I had duck spring rolls and main course was Chicken Teriyaki with noodles. Divine. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. The place is called dim t. Seems like a great place for bigger groups as well. They have little couch corners.
Saturday morning started at around 8am. My inner clock doesn’t want to sleep in whether there are kids or not. Anyway I had a good uninterrupted sleep which is worth a lot more. It started off with an English fry, some fruit, a chocolate muffin and of course a cup of coffee. Shortly after I got ready to head to Greenwich, where East meets West. First of I went to see the Cutty Sark, then off to Greenwich Park, making my way to the top of the Royal Observatory and see London from way up high. The walk up the hill was killing me. Out of breath for sure. You had to pay admission to be able to access the meridian line. I didn’t pay but if anyone is looking to visit, it’s £9.50. I also visited Greenwich Market. It’s like every market in London to be honest.
As this was my actual birthday (Yay I turned the big 30) the rest of the day was spent shopping, eating and drinking. I took the tube to Oxford Street. Nearby where Oxford Street meets Regent Street I went for lunch in Kingly Court which was on my list. It’s a cute little food court. I went to Pizza Pilgrims for some well deserved pizza. Generally I don’t manage to eat a whole pizza but this pizza purely Italian and so delicious. Definitely worth a visit. I was lucky enough to get a seat because after me it was getting busier.
After some successful and some not so successful shopping, I drove back to the hotel and chilled out a bit with some TV. I planned to have my birthday dinner in London’s Hard Rock Cafe. Yes, on a Saturday evening which is probably the most busiest time. It can be quite handy when you’re dining there on your own. I mean you have to sit at the bar and eat your dinner but you certainly get a chair almost instant. People who require a table could wait for an hour. I was able to get in straight away. I got the usual which is the Big Cheeseburger. They do new chips with garlic and herb. I had to try them our and they were the most delicious chips I have to say. I couldn’t manage to eat it all unfortunately.
With my meal I treated myself to a cocktail too. You only live once after all. I was chatting away to the waiter and he asked why I was in London and he soon found out I was here to celebrate my birthday. Well, that evening I even received a free birthday Sunday Ice Cream with a candle in it. It is a thing they do when it is someone’s birthday. How cool is that. (At least one treat off someone !! ) Like every other Hard Rock Cafe, I had to pick up a T-shirt from London’s one too after.
Sunday was the day of checkout. Breakfast first. I checked out at around 11.45am and drove to Kings Cross to see what the queue is like for the platform 9 3/4. It was massive so I decided against queuing. After that I took a few tubes to get to Harrods. Unfortunately they have the policy not to take any suitcases into the building and to leave it in a lock. I couldn’t be bothered with it and left to go back to Oxford Street and visit Europeans biggest Disney Store store. Here I picked some small gifts for hubby and the kids. I was a bit disappointed because there was a lot of princesses and Moana going on. I was struggling to pick something up for Chloe.
It was on route to Liverpool Street. That weekend the trains were replaced with buses. I treated myself to a small Mc Donalds meal and took the bus to London Stanstead airport. A bit earlier than expected. But better early then too late. Overall I really enjoyed three days away and just do whatever I want.