If you follow this here blog, you will know that London is where I have lived for the last 11 years until approximately 6 months ago when I moved back to my hometown of Leeds.
London will always be in my heart. My best friends live there, I studied there, met my husband there, had my baby/now toddler of 19 months there and I still go back for meetings and work in the Capital. I love Leeds but I know, deep down my heart will always belong to the Big Smoke.
London runs through me stick of rock like, inscribed within me, it defines me and that’s just the way it is. This last weekend, my husband Peter and our little Oliver had a long weekend back there. Thankfully we missed the London Riots and are very saddened by what is happening right now in London.
This is what we did:
Played on a ‘beach’ which rivalled Cannes at the British Gas’ Big Dip on Clapham Common. Along with my friends and their children, we had sun, sand and sea (OK, not sea but 2 heated pools) so nearly sea and it was scorchio. I will be reviewing it on the British Gas blog soon.
Journeyed on The London Eye thanks to Superbreak Community as the sun set on the city. Oliver was the most transfixed I’ve ever seen him, so happy in our little capsule of happiness as we rode around the city in the sky.
Little O made friends with some young girls and together they squealed with delight shouting “car, car” at the minature toy sized cars below us. Please check the Visit London link for details.
Quite literally ‘played’ with my closest of friends (and child although we loved the playtime more it must be noted) in the most picturesque park in Notting Hill, you know the kind of park you imagine Claudia Schiffer takes her kids.
Here exists a swing for mothers who can sway babes in arms and a bin that is in fact a porcelain bear. Only in West London. I’d like to live there. Right there, in the park.
Planet Organic. I remember this haven from when I lived in Queensway although I must admit I’d forgotten just quite how amazing it is. My gorgeous friend treated us to slabs of dark chocolate, organic strawberries, blueberries, yoghurt and gourmet ice cream all consumed at her place afterwards. We rolled into London several hours later.
Hotels. Again thanks to the wonderful people at Superbreak Community, we stayed at the beautifully decadent International Hotel, which overlooked a lake and was truly my favourite kind of hotel, wall to wall with thick, lush red carpets, heavy curtains and ornate oil paintings. Oh and a swimming pool.
Oliver and I splashed around for hours in an appropriately styled Ancient Greek designed pool. It was so much fun!
We visited The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition which Oliver thoroughly enjoyed. As an art lover, I’m so happy Oliver is a creative little mister, painting and drawing from a young age. He loved the sculptures in particular and seemed to attract quite a lot of attention at the gallery himself, jumping in the waterfalls at the front entrance when the sun came out and later in the gallery shop, determined to buy cards featuring dogs and birds.
As he screamed through the shop queue (believing we were taking his cards away when in fact we were trying to pay for them) I took a bow, explaining this was in fact a live installation art piece. Not sure everyone bought it but a man clapped at the back. Celebrity trivia includes bumping into Margerate, former aide to Lord Sugar from the Apprentice, who gave Oliver that special raised eyebrow look of her’s as he laughed at a watercolour. Hilarious.
Was also very proud to see friend and fabulous artist/Royal Acadamician Kenneth Draper’s vibrantly stunning works exhibited there too.
Finally, and this really topped the last few days away. As we drove through North London, about to get on the M1 around 10pm on our last day, a man, yes an actual man was lying on the bonnet of his friend’s car filming himself as his mate drove off. As I was about to call the police, they pulled up. Only in London.
Did I mention I love London? Oh, good.
Photographs ©Vicki Psarias-Broadbent.