London, United Kingdom
Monday 5/3 and Tuesday 6/3
I thought this day would never come. Not just because of the turmoil of last year but, because I had spent 6 hrs at St Vincent’s the night before with some further complications. I am slowly, but surely, working my way through every department at St Vincent’s Hospital. I’m thinking that they should offer a Frequent User rewards system like Qantas. Mark would certainly have earned a Gold partner status by now too! Anyway, we got through the check in and, then, I actually started to believe that this holiday might just eventuate!
The flight was long but comfortable. One of the stewards, a similar tumour survivor, gave us two very nice bottles of wine to see us both off on the start of our trip. One of them is in the fridge at our apartment; the other spent its short life spilt on the floor of Heathrow tube station!
We landed on a typical Spring day for London, cloudy and 2 degrees! We purchased our travel oyster cards and caught the tube into Piccadilly Circus as our apartment was only a short 5 min walk away. We were greeted by a very friendly ‘Nick’ who commented that he had never been given so many arrival updates by any other guest. He did hasten to add that it made his job that much easier.
The apartment is only small with one bedroom, like so much of what is available in this trendy Soho part of London, but it is referred to as the Penthouse given its 15th floor status and spectacular views. The views are to die for.
We settled in to the apartment and Skyped the kids before venturing out to get some breakfast supplies. We didn’t have to wander far as there are beautiful Old English style pubs, shops, cafes and farmers markets all within a 5 min radius. This is certainly an area, and an apartment, that one would come back to.
It was about 11 am by the time those chores were finished so we decided to set out walking so as to try to manage the jet lag. And, walk we did checking out more of Soho before jumping on the tube to head out to Kensington High Street. We stopped for lunch at an old pub, the Goat Tavern, which was rather disappointing. From there we went to TK Max for a look and then explored the amazing food and produce market of ‘Whole Food’, a new concept store since we had last been to London. They are dotted around the place and apparently there is one right near us here in Soho which we want to check out as well. From Kensington High St we jumped back on the tube to head towards Hyde Park Corner. We then walked past Buckingham Palace, through St James Park, on and up to Trafalgar square and then back down to Westminster and the Houses of Parliament and to Westminster Abbey. This was exhausting and required yet another beer at Westminster before jumping on the tube to head back to Piccadilly Circus. We were absolutely exhausted and decided to head to the local pub for an early dinner, the Crown and two Chairmen, suggested by Susan Foster. The thing is though, I’m sure she must have told a lot of other guys too as it was pumping even at 5pm! This was an ideal venue for us for dinner though as we were able to order our meal before 6pm given that many other venues weren’t open by then. We were actually home by a bout 7pm and hit the sack after a very full few days indeed!