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Monday, 20 May 2013

Down to London ...

Happy Monday. my lovelies! I got back late last night, from my fun-filled weekend away in London, with my 5 bestest friends, to celebrate Sandra's 21st ... (decide for yourself what part of that sentence veers somewhat from the truth)


We started out bright and early on Friday morning, and as soon as we boarded the first class carriage at Lancaster the celebrations began ... Julie grappling with a bottle of bubbly ...


Michelle on the left and me cheesily grinning on the right ...


Sandra (the birthday girl) and Sharon


Refreshing Buck's Fizz (well it was Eurovision weekend)


and chocolate cake baked by moi ... I'm surprised it was still intact!


After checking into our hotel at Marble Arch, and a quick wash and brush-up, we made our way to the award-winning Athenaeum Hotel, where afternoon tea awaited us ....


Could get used to this!


The birthday girl with her very own cup-cake ...


A walk down the road to The Dorchester, for one or two cocktails ...


This was my creation ... no garish umbrellas and dangling monkeys here!


Hung about a bit to see if the owner of this Bentley appeared ... could it possibly belong to Leo? We then jumped in a black London taxi and went to a Lebanese restaurant for our evening meal, of fish, chicken, falafel, hummus and baklava, which was followed by entertainment, burlesque style ...


Sandra was the star of the show ...

Next morning we breakfasted like kings and made our way across town with a leisurely stroll through the shops ...



Seeing interesting sights on the way .... this is my preferred way of seeing the capital in all its glory ...


We didn't go on The Duck Tours this time, but I have in the past with my family, and can thoroughly recommend it ... a tour of London landmarks in a WW2 amphibious vehicle, then a splashdown on the Thames! Our destination today was the Thames, for a trip to The Tower of London ...


Upon Westminster Bridge ...


Viewing the sights along the way ...


The London Eye ...


Shakespeare's Globe Theatre ...


The iconic Shard ...


HMS Belfast ...


and the impressive Tower Bridge and the first sighting of The Tower of London ...


The hairs on the back of my neck always prickle when I see Traitor's Gate ... Imagine being rowed along this great river, entering this gate at the side of The Tower ...


and embarking on the other side, walking up the steps, knowing the grisly end that awaited ...


After a good few hours of Horrible History, pomp and circumstance, and a dash of bling in the form of The Crown Jewels, we had a little saunter through St Katherine Dock to a nice little bar, where we sought shelter from the cold ...


and ordered some refreshment (for medicinal purposes, you understand) ...



Girls on Tour!


Once suitably refreshed, we boarded the boat again, made our way to The Strand and our evening meal, before crossing the road to our evening's destination ...


I must admit, I wasn't really looking forward to this show, but how wrong I was ... it is my favourite to date! Thrills, spills and great songs ... I won't reveal too much in case you're planning a trip, but it got a standing ovation, and everyone came out buzzing!


We walked back to our hotel taking in the sights and sounds of Chinatown, Soho, Carnaby St ... Liberty's windows looking very springlike ...


A blurry Claridges ...


After a good night's sleep and a fabulous breakfast, once again we set off to cross London, our destination? The amazing, cosmopolitan, bohemian Covent Garden.


The vibrancy of this little corner of the capital never ceases to amaze me!

Cath had moved since last time I was there, but I located her and spent a very pleasant hour ...

Window shopping ...




and a little light refreshment, before heading back for our cases, and then the long journey home.


A lot of laughs on the journey, we were entertained (unknowingly on his part) by a fellow passenger ... my eldest son Oliver joined us on the last leg, as he was returning from visiting his girlfriend ... we arrived home, tired, happy, skint ... the perfect ending to the perfect weekend!

Hope yours was amazing too!

Lots of Love, Claire xxx




74 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend Claire! I havent been to London for years, such a spectacular place to visit.Hope you're not too hungover, those cocktails looked very interesting!!

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    1. Hello Anne, don't know about hungover, back to earth with a bump! It was worth it though ...
      Hope you've had a lovely weekend too

      Claire xx

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  2. ~ Ooh is the catch that it really is Sandra's 18th! thought soo! hehe..~ Glad you partied in style! LOVE our capital and you looked like your did a little sight seeing in between those cocktails...~ Did you go in Orla Keily ? Would have had kittens in there! ~ Can't wait to hear all....Mrs Thriftwood, see you tomorrow....~ Love Maria x

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    1. Will tell all tomorrow Rosey Maria!

      Get the kettle on ...

      Love Claire xx

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  3. never mind anything else, the choc cake and chammy does it for me!
    have a good week ahead- albeit a slightly quieter one!
    x

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    1. Cake alone does it for me usually!

      Thanks for popping in ... xxx

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  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I love visits to London.

    Eleanor

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    1. Hello Eleanor, lovely to see you!xxx

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  5. Hi Claire,

    Looks like you had a fabulous weekend with your friends celebrating up in London.it is such an exciting City and I enjoyed seeing all your photos. You will be glad to be back home where you can relax after all the excitement.

    Happy new week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. Back to reality Carolyn! Was a lovely weekend though ...

      Thank you for dropping in and for your kind comments xxx

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  6. Sounds wonderful! It is always great to have a girls weekend away!

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    1. Oooh I totally agree Tammy! Roll on the next one ...

      xxx

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  7. that looks like a totally amazing time was had.
    I loled at "the iconic Shard"
    my baby built that ;)

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    1. I know Eliz! I did mention the fact that I knew the Chief Engineer's sister to anyone within hearing distance .... xxxx

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  8. What a wonderful weekend you had. I love London can't wait to visit again. Thanks for sharing. Sarah x

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    1. Hello Sarah, thanks for popping in, you're always welcome!

      Love Claire xx

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  9. What fun, to spend a whole weekend with your girlfriends....in London, looks like you all had a fab time! Oh to be 21 again! :) x

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    1. Ooh was great Ada ... I'm actually 2 years older than Sandra, so getting on a bit at 23 ...

      Claire xxx

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  10. What a fabulous weekend ... throughly enjoyable!! xxx

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    1. Thanks for popping in, glad I could share it with you xxx

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  11. Looks like you all had a lovely time of it. The best things in life good friends and times.


    P x

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    1. Hello Paula, thank you ... We had a great time, we always do!

      Have a lovely week xx

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  12. Oh Claire
    What an unforgettable weekend, you packed so much in too, you and your friends looks like you had a ball!!
    Thank you for sharing your lovely trip, and Happy Birthday to your friend,
    Speak Soon
    Thea x

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    1. Hello lovely Thea! Thanks for dropping in, and for your kind comments

      Love Claire xx

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  13. It looks like you had a great time.I love London never get fed up of seeing the sites.
    x

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    1. Totally agree ... Who was it that said "he who is tired of London is tired of life?" He definitely had a point! xx

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  14. sounds fabulous! I went on one of those ducks a few years back it was great!! A friend of ours used to own a Duck, much bigger one than the ones you see in London he even took it over to Normandy and put it in the sea! He sold it for a LOT of money!

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    1. Wow, would love a duck! Don't think I'd be able to part with it though ...

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  15. Your trip to London with your friends looks like great fun Claire! What a delicious looking cake you made!

    Happy week!

    Madelief x

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    1. Thank you Madelief, it was delicious, even though I shouldn't say so myself!

      Take care, xx

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  16. Thanks for taking us along your journey! As a Londoner (who has always regretted moving out), I always long for the next trip (it's going to be next week!!!). I love all the vibrancy of Covent Garden and also the way that St Katherines Dock along with the Docklands has transformed since the 1980's from a slum to the most expensive places to eat and live (Brick Lane, how I miss you and your Bagel shop!). You certainly look as though you all had the best of times. Nothing better than enjoying London than with some good banter and laughs! Take care. Chel x

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    1. Ooh very envious of you Chel! 3 days wasn't long enough, but hopefully me and Steve are going next year for our a silver Wedding. Am going to start the planning now!

      Love Claire xx

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  17. Claire!!
    omg, that trip sounds amazing I have that same birthday (21?) coming up in October...fancy another trip...lets invite all our fave bloggers...?
    Party on eh what...
    bestest as always Daisy j xx

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    1. Sounds fab Daisy! Ooh 21 is such a good age ... Key f the door and all that xx

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  18. Oh, wow, looks like a fab weekend! Thanks for sharing. We haven't been to London for ages - your post makes me want to go again soon! X

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    1. Ooh think you really should! So much to see and do, 3 days was definitely not long enough,but my purse needs to be a lot fuller!

      Love Claire xx

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  19. Ooooh ... fab 21st birthday celebrations ... looks like you all had a ball ... Bee xx

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    1. Ooh was fab Bee, thanks for dropping in! xx

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  20. I live just outside London now but I still regard it as my town. So glad to hear that you had a great stay. I flew over the Shard coming back from Sweden last week - looks amazing from the sky!

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    1. Oh wow that sounds amazing Louise! By the way, I love your little home town ...

      Love Claire xx

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  21. Well I am exhausted after all that..... not my thing at all, girly weekends never were, but each to his own. And I must be a boring old fart as I hadn't a clue who 'Leo' was in connection with the Bentley. Different generation.....

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    1. Hi Maggie, not a boring old fart a all! Leonardo do Caprio is in The Great Gatsby film and the Bentley's registration is Gatsby ...

      Love your honesty and it would be incredibly dull if we all liked exactly the same things wouldn't it? One man's meat is another man's poison and all that.

      Enjoy your evening

      Love Claire xx

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  22. Thanks for sharing your wonderful weekend. Those cocktails look amazing. Wonderful photos, I love Covent Garden. I have the same feeling when I see Traitors Gate, must be an over active imagination. Hope your suitably recovered from your lovely girly getaway. Take care.
    Ali x

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    1. Hi Ali ... Probably is an over active imagination ... I can't just look at something without imagining a tale behind it, can you?

      Down to earth with a bump now ... Could do it all again this weekend!

      Love Claire xx

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  23. There's no better way to celebrate a landmark birthday than with good long-time friends! How did you ever manage to see so much and drink all those cocktails as well! Last time I was in London was about 22 years ago ... when you were all little crying babies!! These happy memories should last you another 21 years. I'm so glad you had such an amazing time away! You'll be smiling now for the rest of the week ... enjoy! Wendy xox

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    1. Hi Wendy, we're quite good at multi-tasking I think!

      You really need to come to London soon ... And then a trip t the North West too!

      Love what you've done in the garden

      Claire xx

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  24. What a great way of celebrating a friends birthday it looks like you had a fabulous time.
    Sarah x

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  25. Hello Sarah, lovely of you tool in, you"re always welcome! xx

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  26. Oh what a fabulous post!! It sounds like you had a totally brilliant time. I had afternoon tea at the Athenaeum about a year ago and it was amazing, worth every penny. Such a relaxing, glamorous place...now I've read your post I want to go back! x

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  27. Hello Gillian, it was the best! We loved the Athenaeum, very luxurious, and nothing too much trouble ... would definitely go back again ...

    Love Claire xx

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  28. Holy moly what a weekend! I am exhausted after just reading it ;) You sound like you had an amazing time! xxx Hazel

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  29. Haha Hazel ... there's life in the old girl yet!

    Love Claire xxx

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  30. Ooh it really was! Can't wait for the next one ...

    Xxx

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  31. What a FABULOUS weekend! wow wow wow!
    happy belated birthday to your friend
    love jooles xx

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    1. Hello Jooles, lovely if you to drop in!

      Happy weekend

      Xx

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  32. Phew! Thank you for that packed outings - quite giddy on all the goings on. You know how to have a good time - and lots of cake too! I was in London last week but working....not quite the same!

    Best wishes
    Jenny

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    1. It was very hectic, I must admit, but very enjoyable too ... Couldn't do it very weekend!

      xx

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  33. Oh it looks like a fab weekend Claire ! Happy 21st to your friend hehe x Gail x

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    1. Hi Gail, thanks for your lovely comments!

      See you soon xx

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  34. Wow, what a wonderful weekend! I love a trip to London and you and your lovely friends packed so much in to yours! I enjoyed seeing all your fab pictures, and it sounds like so much fun :)
    Helen x

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    1. Hello Helen, I love a trip to London, and can't wait for the next one ... Just wish it was abit nearer!

      Enjoy your bank holiday xx

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  35. What a wonderful weekend you had, I'm so envious! Happy Birthday to you friend, I'm still not sure which bit of the sentence isn't true! ;)

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  36. Hello Jay, thanks for dropping in, always lovely to see you!

    xx

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  37. Cocktails, tea, cake and shopping?!!
    Now THAT really is an amazing weekend!
    Nicky
    x

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  38. A perfect combination Nicky!

    Hope you're enjoying your Bank Holiday weekend

    Love Claire xx

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  39. How fantastic, you all look like you're having such an amazing time.

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  40. Wish we could door all over again! Thanks for popping in and hope you're having a lovely Bank Holiday xx

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  41. That looks like an absolutely fabulous weekend! And everything always even more fun when you're with chums :)

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    1. Hello Annie, thanks for popping in! Dropped in on you earlier too xx

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  42. Hi Claire....I am trying to catch up with my blog reading...just wanted to pop in and say hello..and what a fab trip to London! Lovely photos - looks like huge fun. :)

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  43. Hello Wendz, lovely to see you ... It all seems a long time ago now!

    Hope you've had a nice bank holiday weekend

    Claire xx

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  44. Hi Claire
    Sandra gave me the link to your blog
    Great to see the first of the birthday celebrations
    Pictures and commentary are fabulous
    Sue Pettigrew

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  45. Hi sue, what a lovely surprise! Glad you enjoyed it, we really did too!

    Love Claire xx

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I love to hear what you think of my ramblings and value all your comments ... I will try and get back to you, but am sorry if I don't always manage this ... sometimes real life just gets in the way! Claire xxx