Monday, 11 January 2016

Next Stop London

Took the 8.40am train to London this morning. We got to Victoria Station London about 10.30, put some funds on our much used Oyster cards, with Virginia purchasing one too, which will come in handy for visitors in the future!
Found our way to the Crowne Plaza in Kensington, thought we would just have to drop luggage off and check in later but the room was ready. Dropped the luggage off, got ourselves sorted and headed out. It was during the luggage drop off, that Virginia who had prided herself on bringing minimal luggage (all fitted in a small tescos shopping bag) realised no nightie!!!
We walked from the hotel into Knightsbridge, past the natural history museum and V&A. First port of call was Harrods. No matter how many times this shop is visited, we always find some thing new. Harvey Nichols was the next stop, had thought about lunch here, but instead free samples got us through until we could find a cafe which suited us better. This turned out to be in Waterstones on Regent Street. 
Taking the path through Green Park we got to Buckingham Palace about 3.45pm. We were told a little early for our tour, so we visited the Buckingham palace shop while we waited. Virginia, who wasn't doing the palace tour, decided she would do a tour of the queens gallery to help pass the time before she became our personal paparazzi!
After our security check and waiting on chairs inside the ambassadors entrance to the Palace, Steve our guide took us into the quadrangle and through the official entrance, just like we were Royal visitors.   A short introduction, drop off our coats and off we went going up that wonderful staircase that you see in many photos. Going into the green room, blue room, ball room (state dining room was under minor maintenance so missed out), the painting gallery and white room.
The tour took about two hours and finished with a glass of champagne and a trip to the gift shop. Once we had finished our shopping we were then escorted out to the quadrangle again and through the main gates to the awaiting paparazzi, well Virginia!
Walked to tube, got off at South Kensington, found a nice restaurant to have dinner (Wildwood). Back to hotel and relax.
Beautiful fine day!

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