This is my photo album from my summer 2012 visit!
This is my photo album from my summer 2012 visit!
Happy Olympics 2012!
It’s crazy to think that a week can feel so long and so short at the same time. I feel like I might not have toured as much as my last visit to London (I did stay 2 weeks longer in 2011), but I also did not have nearly enough time with my parents.
On my last full day in London, I decided to do something new and taking a wine tour at Vinopolis. Vinopolis is the home of a wine venue, restaurants, liquor store, and exhibit under the railway near London Bridge.
We took the wine tour, which included a 30 minute lesson on how to smell, look and taste wine. It wasn’t the most informative tour, but for an amateur like myself, it certainly had me thinking and learning a lot more than I knew. There are different packages for the tour. The standard is for 6 wines after the class and a Bombay Sapphire cocktail. My mother had the bright idea to upgrade our tour tickets to include a total of 6 wines, 1 Bombay Sapphire cocktail, 2 whiskeys, 2 beers, 2 absinthes and 2 rums. The only thing she didn’t upgrade to was the premium wines and champagne. Thank goodness! Overall, it was a fun day and we had a small antipasti platter inside the tasting area.
Thursday, June 12th, I headed back to the Victoria and Albert Museum to see the Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 exhibit. This fashion gallery had both a public/free section, as well as a paid exhibit with gowns from the catwalks!
On our way out of the museum, we took a picture of our silly horse figurine on an empty museum pedestal. Keep your eye out for him when I post the public link to my album. After a few fun pictures, we bought traditional cornish pasties for lunch. They were delicious - flakey dough, ground beef, onions all warm and perfect!
We took the afternoon to rest, as we had a late night planned. On this Thursday evening, we were planning to attend Les Miserables at Queen’s Theatre in Picadilly/ Soho. We were dressed to impress, though attendee apparel ranged from One Direction t-shirts to fancy dresses and suits. Prior to dinner, we decided to grab a bite at the most fabulous, sort-of hole in the wall Italian restaurant called Bocca di Lupa.
Bocca di Lupa is actually a very established, fine dining establishment and tends to require a reservation, but we were able to grab a spot at the bar. We ordered small dinner plates, as we weren’t super hungry and wanted to make sure we were out in time for the play. I ordered the tortalini, which was so rich in flavor and actually the perfect serving size. I also had a Godmother Sour, which is an amaretto, vodka, lemon sugar cocktail - all things I love!
After savoring every bite, we headed to Queen’s Theatre. Les Miserables is a play, which I love. Prior to this night, I had only seen the movie, but had played many of the songs for piano lessons and recitals during my youth. I was thrilled to see it in London for the first time. It was amazing - the music, the theatre, everything! I did not want it to end, and it’s a pretty long play.
As you may be putting together, this trip was really turning into art appreciation week with all the plays I was seeing, and there is still one night left!
All the best,
As with most overseas trips, time catches up to you. By Wednesday, I was pretty exhausted. While I was in another country, the purpose of this visit was to visit my parents and relax on my week off of work. Some might say, “how could you lay around all day while in London?!?” and to that I say, “because I want to - my vacation, my problems”.
Once I was awake and the sun was barely shining, I walked to Kensington Park to lay on the grass and people watch. Had it been about ten degrees warmer, I would have stayed out there all day, but it was a little chilly for my taste. I headed home after an hour and read. That is one of my favorite things about vacations: I am able to read books from start to finish with no distractions or time constraints.
Time flew as I had my nose in a book, and I realized we would eventually have to eat, and it wouldn’t kill me to do at least a little bit of something fun in London that hump day. Kensington Park had a threesixty theatre, which was performing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It was about an hour and a half before the Wednesday night showtime, but my mom and I figured we would check out the ticket availability.
There were tickets available! On a whim, we purchased tickets, quickly dressed and walked back to the park. Let me say, it was one of the best decisions we made during my trip. The play was amazing - I have chills thinking about it again. Let me explain the theater. Keep in mind, this “theater” is in the middle of Kensington Park, which is part of Kensington Palace, where Kate and Will live. From the outside it looks like a circus tent. Inside, it has seating like a circus - stadium seating and a round stage in the middle. The difference is that the actors perform on the center stage and through the aisles, but scenery is projected on the tent walls like a planetarium (hence 360 - like degrees).
If you’ve ever read the book, then you know that Aslan is a lion. It took 3 people to puppet the lion, but it was the coolest ever. Click here to watch some videos/ trailers.
After the play, which I can’t even say enough about, we ate at Byron, which is a burger joint. It had a lot of clever marketing materials, which I was sure to take as a souvenir. The Heinz ketchup was also made in the UK and had an approval stamp from the royal palace. Oh la la!
I’ve become so happy just remembering this evening. I was so thrilled with the play and performances, I can’t stop smiling! If I had one wish for you in this very moment, it would be to see this play in the threesixtytheatre.
Until next time, I wish you all the best!