The Tudors and all that
Thu. December 8, 2016
We’ve wanted to take the children to London for ages and some months ago, whilst looking at some uninspiring accommodation ideas, Tim said ‘what about Landmark’. Amazingly we found The Georgian House at Hampton Court which was available for four nights in mid November at a price which wasn’t going to break the Bowen budget. Our first day was spent exploring Hampton Court; the kitchens were our highlight. As residents of the GH we were allowed to wander the corridors and courtyards after closing time – a little spooky but the children prevented us from getting too scared.
We saw a few volleys of real tennis and wandered around the grounds and saw the wild parakeets.
Day two we hit London’s theatreland to see Matilda the musical – wow what a production! Tim Minchin is a genius. Fortunately we bought the CD of the show and listened to it ALL the way home and EVERY time we are in the car! We ate proper Pizza (at Tomi’s request) in an Italian off Seven Dials and then wandered around Covent Garden in the evening.
Covent Garden has changed; I don’t mean from the days when there were cabbages on the ground in the evening, although I am old enough to remember them…just, I remembered more small independent shops and stalls. If you wanted Hermes and Chanel you had to go to Bond St or Sloane St. Not that we don’t love a bit of luxury, but the Bowen’s find luxury elsewhere these days. Talking of luxury nearly forgot, we began day two at Fortnum & Mason to see the Christmas windows and use their lovely loos!
Taking short trips in cabs to save tired, overworked legs also allowed the children to see a bit of the city and enjoy chats with proper London Cabbies. Day three we took the train to Waterloo and did the London Eye and then caught the water bus (good old London Transport what a fantastic service) to The Tower of London. We had to bypass the gory bits to avoid overstimulating small peoples imaginations but we all thoroughly enjoyed the Fusilier Museum and checking out the crown jewels. Back on the water bus to Westminster in time to see Big Ben chime and then a walk over Westminster Bridge to Waterloo. We caught the train back to Hampton Court for supper and bed. Our last day was spent at The Natural History Museum. Tomi was very excited about seeing the dinosaurs but half way round decided that he’d prefer to go to the shop to buy one instead. The interactive information in the cocoon kept Morwenna enthralled whilst everyone peace was disturbed by Megan and Tomi running up and down the corridors (I blame the parents!).
As we left the magical building which will always be associated with Paddington and his near demise for all of us, the children had a trip on the carousel – not as good as the one in Folly Farm but still great fun.