**Post originally written 20/01/2020**
Oh my goodness I can hardly believe it’s been over three months since my sister and I ran away to London for a much needed child free break. I was desperate to go anywhere and do anything or nothing and she was wanting to go back to her beloved London and do EVERYTHING so of course we went with that plan.
Had it been left up to me, I probably would have managed to book into a couple of restaurants and whatever gig or event I could book tickets for online (probably all last minute too so not the best options) but she spent months looking up what was going on, when tickets would be released, waiting in phone queues, arranging accommodation, getting cracking deals for us and all I had to do was hand over some cash and turn up ready to go to the airport! That’s what you call amazing service.
So Wednesday morning comes and I’m so ridiculously excited with just the slightest tinge of guilt as I say goodbye to Hamish at nursery drop off (Can I come too mum? I’m going to miss you…) thankfully the pesky tear that welled up evaporated as soon as I was back in the car and headed to my sister’s house. Got there, we have a quick ‘Hooray we’re on holiday!’ moment then get back to rearranging our suitcases and checking we have everything.
And that is where the detailed part of this story ends. I had written four more paragraphs after this one that only took us up to our ridiculously smooth transition from landing at Southend Airport to getting on the train to Liverpool Street Station (approx. 20 mins if you’re interested) and I finally realised why it has taken me so long to sit down and tackle this post. I remember almost every minute of that trip in such vivid detail that the thought of writing it all down was a bit, you guessed it, overwhelming. It would take planning, and lots of editing and most importantly, time. Time is my most precious commodity and I struggle as it is trying to find a way to realistically do what I need to do and a little of what I want to do.
So instead, I’m going to give the itinerary of each day’s activities and a few (hundred) pictures, probably two thirds of which were taken by my sister so this is her general photo credit.
I can safely say that I have never been so incredibly present on a trip in my whole life as I was for those few days. We indulged in food and drink and art and music and the theatre and culture and history and pure fun and spontaneity and meeting up with friends (from Lewis and London) and my entire being just soaked up every lavish second of it from trying to apply nail varnish on a shaky train to realising the absolute privilege my life affords me when I get caught up in the BBC Radio 2 Pimms Riots of 2019 – I got the last jug and escaped what was probably a lot of disgruntled sighs and threats of fisticuffs but all was resolved an hour or so later when more Pimms kegs were delivered. I’m honestly amazed it didn’t make headline news. Anyway back to the point I was trying to make, I felt more like me on that trip than I have in YEARS.
We had loads of time in Glasgow airport to do this…
Ever since I found out Rachel Hollis would be bringing the Rise conference to London this year I was so excited for it, I was for sure going to be there to see my bestie in the flesh! Until I realised that another weekend being let loose with my sister(s?) would afford me just as much, if not more, healing and refreshment than being in a conference centre for three days straight. Don’t get me wrong, if I had the funds to do both I ABSOLUTELY would but if I had to choose one (and I do) then a weekend running around London following my sister following a blue dot on her phone wins hands down.
Let us begin. Feel free to narrate it as though you’re reading The Hungry Caterpillar.
On Wednesday we…
Left the island
Wandered around Glasgow Airport in a wonderful child free haze then had lunch and a dram.
If I hadn’t just bought some new sunnies, these would have been mine!
Landed in Southend Airport, painted our nails on the train to Liverpool Street station and headed to The Breakfast Club/The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town for cocktails.
My cocktail looked beautiful but tasted like liquidised drawer liners, my only picture of it is covered in instagram tags so go check it out on my highlights if you are super keen!
The charming bathroom decor
INCREDIBLE dinner and views at the Duck & Waffle restaurant.
Duck & Waffle at Duck & Waffle
Checked into our gorgeous accommodation at the Half Moon Hotel
The Irwin Room
On Thursday we…
Wandered round Borough Market
Why yes, I will have all the cheese thanks!
This was from another wander around Borough Market, I didn’t have a costume change mid browse
Went on a Muggles walking tour of Harry Potter filming scenes
Met up with one of my favourite human beings on this planet and went to Buckingham Palace to do the State Rooms tour (highly recommended)
Me and the best human
Me and the best ice cream
Had a drink in The Antelope pub then dinner in Ceru round the corner – what a feast!
We ate all of it.
Headed to Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms night featuring the Aurora Orchestra – incredible performance!!
Things got pretty intense
Caught a bus and then a nightcap in the Parrot Cocktail Bar
Kathryn had to sook out of the bird’s butt. Classy.
On Friday we…
Visited the V&A Museum – one of my favourite memories of the weekend was turning around after reading about Prince’s reinforced heels on his shoes to see my sister doing a grand curtsy is some big, puffy, satin purple dress. Cue about half an hour of playing dress up.
I think it was ok, no one stopped us…
Visited Harrods for dates (the dried fruit just to clarify), the Christmas shop and to touch some Alexander McQueen clothes in real life (I made sure my hands weren’t sticky) seeing as I drool over their instagram pictures. One day, one day….
Christmas Lobster anyone??
They were scrumptious
Hit up one of the EL&N cafes..I forget which one….it had the carousel horses in it and made me feel just a little bit on the icky side of staged Instagram photos. But I took one nonetheless.
My red velvet latte was actually pretty good!
This is what some one looks like right before they regret their order
We then went to meet up with one of my sister’s pals called Vince, a proper gentleman and all round character if ever there was one then onto Saatchi Gallery for it’s ‘Sweet Harmony: Rave’ exhibition.
And good grief even with reducing it this is getting ridiculous! To be continued…