Monday, June 28, 2010

A Trip To London by Sandra Mackness/Toni Sands

Sandra Mackness/Toni Sands shares her enjoyment of a few days in London...

Earlier this month I spent some time in London with my niece. We stayed at the New Cavendish Club. After schlepping down Oxford Street we sipped early evening cocktails and ate dreamy desserts in Gordon’s Bar (Selfridges). I enjoy writing food descriptions and this pit stop was a very decadent treat. Usually I have a quick glug of wine while aiming to get supper on the table for 6.30pm to fit my (diabetic) partner’s routine. He’s very supportive of my writing and he works at home too so I try not to get so immersed in a story that I eventually drift downstairs to find him opening a can of baked beans.

On the Saturday, while walking to the Tube we encountered the Household Cavalry, boots (and hooves) well-polished for Trooping the Colour later. This great start to the day continued with a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum where we saw all those amazing quilts – each one a story with much love and fortitude sewn in. We oohed and aahed at the Grace Kelly exhibition too. It was back to Leicester Square for early dinner then to the Garrick Theatre to meet up with my partner, whose son, Chris Holland was performing the role of lean, mean Harvey (usually played by Christopher Timothy) in the musical, All the Fun of the Fair. It was great to see Chris on stage alongside David Essex. Lots of David fans outside stage door afterwards. A man walking past called out ‘Ooh, David’ and we all cracked up. Songs are still playing in my head.

Sunday we visited Kew Gardens where we met up with more family. I loved the big Palm house and the butterfly houses - very restful. There were lots of inspirational sights and sounds and after walking for miles it was back to the New Cav for a large G and T and so to bed.

Monday morning we rode the London Eye. I heard John McEnroe being asked on TV this week if he’d experienced it yet. He commented that being at the top would be very scary. Well, I can honestly say that we felt very secure in our ‘pod’ and the cars move so slowly that there’s a seamless transition from ‘down here’ to ‘up there.’ Unmissable. Afterwards, we took a stroll in St James’ Park and almost got mugged by a squirrel. Why are English squirrels so much more aggressive than Welsh ones?

We escaped and took refuge in the Churchill War Cabinet exhibition which included a great audio commentary by Robert Shaw - who else? A staff member passed us, looking flirty with her crimped hair and crimson lips and fingernails contrasting with her utility skirt and blouse. We felt we really had dropped into another era.

At Leicester Square we had a cool drink at a pavement cafĂ© and watched passers-by happily raindrop dodging. A few minutes’ queuing at the ticket office produced two stalls seats for the evening performance of We Will Rock You. Tottenham Court Road’s only one stop away so there was time for a bite to eat and a glass of wine before the show. Some clever writing has gone into this show. Easy trip home afterwards and so to bed.

Sandra Mackness

Out this month from Sandra/Toni

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Liz Fielding said...

Thanks so much for sharing your London adventures, Sandra. I love the Brass Rail in Selfridges - salt beef, pickles and beer - not quite as sophisticated as Gordon's!

Totally envy your V&A outing - desperate to see both quilts and Grace Kelly exhibition. As for David Essex, we have spoken on that subject. I now have a copy of The River to enjoy at my leisure :)

Chris Stovell said...

I enjoyed reading about your trip to London, Sandra, especially since I'm so hopeless about finding my own way round the place!

Heathrow Airport Hotels said...

Thank you for sharing your London trip. I really enjoyed it :)