Tag Archives: Parliament

Thames River Cruise

The London Thames is definitely not the place you expect to find a Mississippi paddle steamer, but that was exactly what I found myself climbing aboard the other night for dinner.

The glossy wood-panelled Elizabethan is a lovingly recreated replica of the iconic American stern-wheeled riverboats that Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher would have felt right at home on.

It picked us up at Cadogan Pier in Chelsea beneath the twinkling lights of Albert Bridge.

London Thames Albert Bridge at Night Lights

Albert Bridge

Boat Elizabethan

Boat Champagne

Glasses of bubbles in hand, everyone swept up the carpeted stairs to the spacious upper deck to mingle with old friends.

Boat Smiles Glasses

And watch the brightly lit sights of London pass by along the riverbank.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

London Eye

London Eye

Thames Eye

The Shard

The Shard

Boat Bruvs

Boat Smiles

Boat Smile Lights

After catching up with the latest news of marriages, babies, jobs, and – most importantly – football scores, we migrated below deck into the dining room for the dinner service.

Boat Talking

Boat Dinner

Boat Dinner Smiles

Boat Dinner Smile

After coffee, it was time to buckle up my dancing Choos and head upstairs where the band was kicking things off.

Boat Shoes

Boat Band 4

Boat Band

Everyone was alternating between having a boogie on the dancefloor and popping outside on the balcony to take in the views and the cool air.

A little bit of silliness may also have taken place.

Boat Smiles Buoy

Boat Smiles Us

London Thames Walk Chelsea Streetlamp

Just an incredibly relaxed evening aboard a beautiful boat surrounded by good people – let the holiday party season begin! 

 

 

London Spring & Wedding Rings

This Saturday in London started off with some essential wedmin – picking out wedding bands!

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The visit to the jeweler, and actually trying on the ring, was a rather heady experience.

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My favorite bit was picking out the engraving for the inside of the band!

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I was not expecting wedding band shopping to be so exciting but I was breathless and floating above the sidewalk afterwards. We had a long walk to lunch, so I gulped down a coconut water to hydrate for the journey.

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We strolled along the Thames, all the way down to Westminster, where we passed beneath all the spring blossoms outside of Parliament.

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Everything seemed to be coming up daisies!

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We had lunch at a wonderful French restaurant, Casse-Croûte on Bermondsey Street. The name means “snacks”, which is exactly what we were looking for after our grueling cross-city hike.

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Utterly charming inside and out, we shared a tiny checkered tabletop by the cafe-curtained window.

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As London is now France’s sixth largest city (due to the sheer amount of Frenchies living here), I think this place is as authentic a tiny local French cafe as any other on the continent!

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Dandelion salad with lardons and soft egg

Dandelion salad with lardons and soft egg

Quail with tabouleh and frisee

Quail with tabouleh and frisee

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We listened to French radio playing softly as we dined. It was such an authentic and timeless experience!

Côte de boeuf

Côte de boeuf

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Gratin

Gratin

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A nice bottle of wine, and an incredible plate of steak made the perfect late Saturday lunch. We had to walk off our meal afterwards, so we ambled up to Tower Bridge (stopping for some cliché local photo opps along the way)!

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Cutting through the Tower of London on our walk back along the river, we marvelled at the medieval history underfoot.

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After a full day of zealous exploration, we prowled back home to West London, feeling like cats who got the cream.

 

London Wonderground

London is my playground. And there’s no better place to amuse my inner hyperactive wildchild than along the festive strip of Southbank. On the south bank of the Thames, you’ll find the London Eye, the National Theatre, and the über-trendy Southbank Centre – plus their pop-up sideshow fair London Wonderground. All summer, you can frolic inside the fairground supping a bracingly cool cup of Pimm’s with friends – and take in one of many ticketed side shows.

parI headed over this week – across Westminster Bridge and past the stately houses of Parliament – to sample the amusements. Limbo is part-circus, part-jam-session and part-cover-your-eyes-in-apprehension as an edgy series of spectacles play out onstage and above the audience. There were Cirque du Soleil acrobatics, pulse-thumping dance numbers, and one seriously bendy contortionist who was basically a human rubberband. Swept up in the excitement, I fell head over heels for a beatboxing French pole-dancer wearing heavy makeup  – never have I been a sucker for a carny in guyliner until tonight. Just one of many ways Limbo enthralled me!

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Southbank

Southbank

Pimm's - a British summer tradition

Falling off the Pimm’s wagon

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limbo2

Inside the big-top

Inside the big-top

Ringside seats for all the action

Ringside seats for all the action

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The London Eye

The London Eye