London town

After an emotional welcome at Heathrow, we headed into London on the tube to our hotel in The Strand.

We must mention the arrival.   We started well with Roy being able to tag along with Bernice through the UK line for a quick  entry.  Then to baggage claim where our bags were not among the last at this point we were given an option to walk out as nothing to declare or go through customs.  We seemed to be  the only ones who headed thru the red lane from the three flights that had just landed so they were not exactly busy.  A very pleasant young man asked us what we had to declare, we told him of the biscuits, etc and he said no problems, carry on!   Didn’t want to look, no checking, so we were quickly on our way out the other side.

Alex had found us a great hotel located right in the middle of The Strand, after lugging our bags along the streets from the tube station we left the bags at the hotel and we headed back up the road to Covent Gardens for a bite to eat and a drink and to soak up the atmosphere of the Sunday buskers.   We looked around for a wee while before heading back to the hotel for a much needed shower and change of clothes.   By this time the tiredness was catching up with us, so we said hooray to Alex whilst Roy and I hit the hay.

We woke at around 3am local time and could not get back to sleep.  By 6am we were hitting the streets looking for somewhere open for breakfast.   After wandering around we came across a cafe in Drury Lane that was open.  Let’s just say that the breakfast was a disaster, the scrambled eggs had been done in the microwave and hence had the consistency of poor quality foam rubber!!!!!  when asked for two pieces of toast and jam we were presented with two thin slices of toast that had been sandwiched together with jam between, at least it tasted of jam.  Will probably not breakfast there tomorrow.   Have developed an immediate aversion to scrambled eggs in the UK and can believe now some of those competitors in Top Chef who do not know how to scramble eggs!!!   It was back to the hotel then for a quick 10 min resting of the eye lids before Alex arrived.

We headed off on one of the hop on hop off bus tours hoping our Vancouver experience was not to be repeated.  After seeing all the highlights of London (Big Ben, Trafalgar sq, Westminster, St Paul’s etc, etc), and playing Monopoly with the street names, we hopped on a boat for a river cruise down to Greenwich.   I should mention that all morning it had been very cool and we had returned to the hotel at the end of the bus tour to pick up jackets and to have a bite to eat.  Wagamama is nearby so headed there for a really nice lunch, would recommend it to anyone.   Back to the boat in brilliant sunshine which quickly heated things up.  By the time we got to Greenwich late in the afternoon, we were feeling the affects of the sun and we had no need for jackets although we could have used some sun screen.  It was a quick turn around and back to London with Greenwich on our list of places to return to.

On our return journey to the hotel, Alex and I decided for dinner we would buy some provisions to have in our room.   Dinner consisted of carrot sticks and hummus, feta, avocados, blue Brie, ham, crackers, vine baby tomatoes, all washed down with a nice bottle of bubbly followed by fresh raspberries.  Delicious.

We realized that in NZ it would be the 17th and Mum’s birthday and we were sure she would not mind an early morning wake up call! That done, Alex left us taking our washing with her and we crashed into bed by 9.30pm.

P.S.  This time a food award for a lovely Cornish Pasty

Also just heard the great news that Riverstone Kitchen has taken the Cuisine Restaurant of the year Overall prize,  Our congratulations and best wishes to Bevan and Monique

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