Monday, November 12, 2012

Last Days in London




Monday morning we went for breakfast at a place called Giraffe that was located in the shopping mall near Russell Square station - your typical beans and toast with a little something different - avocado - this partly because we discovered the sausage wasn't vegan...Fraser also finally got to have some nice porridge!

Then on this rainy day it was off in search of the Vegan Shop where Fraser bought some sneakers/shoes much like his much loved hemp shoes from Moo Shoes in New York...we dropped into this little tea and gift shop en route and a had a lovely cuppa..with our own china pot and teacups. The place also offered a variety of workshops in the evening including one on making yourself glamourously retro with hair and makeup - what fun!

Our beloved Oyster pass meant we could also take a train out to Hampton Court - someplace I was longing to visit after reading so many Philippa Gregory novels..

 The grounds are enormous and it's very thrilling to wander around knowing that Henry the VIII did so...
 These very manicured trees I believe we added during the late 17th century - and indeed the palace itself is in two parts with the Tudor archictecture being at the entrance and where I'm standing a vast renovation under the reign of William and Mary and Christopher Wren's plans. A more baroque style if you will..
The palace was originally built by Cardinal Wolsey, who wisely bestowed it upon his king when he admired it...thus keeping his head.
 Here is the kitchen required to keep Henry and his many courtiers and entourage..

And speaking of that Tudor monarch..why here he is making an appearance. Fraser was chosen along with the other few men on the tour to be on the King's council and to help deciding on the very important matter of whether Henry should break with the Church of Rome in order to proceed with his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and marriage to Anne Boleyn...


Fraser was even so brave as to disagree with the King - which makes sense since he was a Bishop representing the Catholic Church. During these proceedings George Boleyn, Anne's brother brought news that she had run off in a fit of pique...so we went in search of her...

Anne's brother George who would, unfortunately also lose his head, having been accused of incestuous relations with her - by
his own scheming wife.













Ah, the happy couple (at least for now) re-united...


After this entertainment we decided to try our hand and figuring out the maze..

Back to London for dinner - as we hadn't brought servants with us like Henry. This evening it was Mildred's in SoHo..which was scrumptious!

 My pie was mushroom and ale and I forget what Fraser's was...those chips were amazing!
And of course, Fraser had to take a photo of the "Puddings" menu for posterity..we had a fruit crisp

Post meal we checked out the upstairs bar at Ronnie Scott's...kind of a funny layout for listening - not as well thought out as the main club downstairs...


There was construction work going on in the street in front of Mildred's - but it didn't deter customers any...

The next morning and our last in England started - for me - with a latte in Russell Square Park - they had a little cafe in there and true to form another funny sign - this one advising patrons that they would not replace food that the pigeons had eaten..



I look kind of frightened there - maybe it was a pigeon after my latte? Anyway, we did a rapid tour of the National Portrait Gallery - and saw images of everyone from Bryon to Judi Dench! Also a quick run through the National Gallery and then some lunch at this place, an Asian buffet:

Our meanderings took us up to where they were installing the "Frieze London" Art Show...




And alas our last trip through Russell Square Tube station...

We really, really loved our time in Britain and hope to get back there sometime soon..in particular to Edinburgh and more Highlands! In the meantime we have our memories and some lovely whisky!

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