Our first full day in London dawned sunny and with the promise of blue sky. Actually, "dawn" is not quite the right work 'cos in these here parts, it doesn't actually get light until about 9am. However, we were buoyed by the prospect of warmer temps (8 degrees C) so FOOLISHLY left our scarves and gloves behind as we set off with our Very Expensive day travel passes, which we are realising are quite good value to get around. Our first port of call was The London Eye, something that really needs to done when one is a rampant tourist in London. Of course, about 4,734 other people had the same urge as us. Luckily they are very used to crowds here and in no time at all, we were suspended above the River Thames admiring the sights of London in the same way a seagull might do. I think the colourful buildings in the photo above are at Covent Garden. I liked that splash of colour in the sea of grey.
We next ended up in the legal district of London, walking along flowerboxed mews with brass name plates of QCs and complimentary Aston Martin's parked out front. Thank goodness I won't be needing a London barrister any time soon! (should I be touching wood as I type this?) It was all very elegant (mum's favourite word of the holiday). This little road brought us out onto Fleet St, right near the Royal Courts of Justice. We hopped on a red bus down to St Paul's Cathedral, where we listened to the most glorious choir at their Sunday service, which just happened to be on when we dropped by - along with about 2,342 other tourists. Crossing the icy, wind-blown Millenium Bridge, we ended up at the Tate Modern where we queued, along with 10,498 other tourists and enjoyed the warmth.
Mum took us out to afternoon tea at Brown's Hotel in Mayfair, which was surreal. It was like nothing Spud or I have ever experienced. We sank into soft banquettes by the open fire (with real wood and flames!) and ate the most exquisite scones with jam and clotted cream. My future husband, Fabien Ecuvillon, award-winning pastry chef at Brown's (who is yet to realise he is betrothed to moi) created The Most Sensational Macaroon I've ever tasted in my short, yet prolific history of macaroon munching. It was love, love, love at first bite. Anyway, this photo above is a window display at the nearby Tiffany & Co. Isn't it exquisite? The entire display is made of white paper. Framing the windows were wreaths of real fir and I found myself burying my face in them, inhaling the aroma (with no fear of a bee sting). The area around Brown's Hotel is full of very high class shops such as Asprey, Boodles, Chanel (below photo), Dolce & Gabbana etc and the window displays were absolutely smashing and SO creative! They are like mini art galleries and it puts a new spin on the concept of window shopping.