Ian and Danielle are heading off for 6 glorious weeks - leaving Angus in charge (questionable) of Coco, the house and himself!
  • Day1

    London Calling

    September 4, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Departure day has finally arrived - Yeah! We still have a few more hours till we head to the airport.. we are pretty much packed, so a leisurely morning ahead. Making sure Angus has everything he needs for the next six weeks is our final checklist. The route we are taking to Europe is on the QANTAS Dreamliner which has a stop in Perth and then non-stop to London. We will arrive in London on Thursday morning (5.15), and fortunately our AirBnb host has advised we can get early access to the apartment, which is fabulous. We had planned to just store our luggage and schlep around London till check-in at 3pm, but now we can go straight to the apartment, freshen up, unpack and then hit the town.

    The flight was pretty uneventful but I didn’t get much sleep. I watched 2 seasons of Fleabag, which was great, as well as a Scottish mini series called Victim. I also rewatched Rocketman and the final Harry Potter film.

    We arrived in London at 4.50am, and breezed through passport control as Australians can now use the e gates. Caught the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station, where we hung around till it was time to head over to our apartment in Covet Gardens. Unfortunately, our host got stuck on public transport, and was 30 minutes late meeting us. We are in a wonderful part of London and the apartment is lovely. After showers and a bit of getting organised, we grabbed some lunch and then walked to the Tower of London - which is quite a walk! Wandered around the Tower for a couple of hours, then headed back to our apartment making use of the underground and Oyster cards (thanks Sue and Ross).
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  • Day2

    Our London Digs

    September 5, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    We have settled into our London apartment “Tutti Fruitti”which is ideally situated. It is quite compact - but spacious enough for the two of us. Our host Lou met us at the apartment early which allowed us to unpack and shower before we headed out for the day. We spent the day out and about and clocked up over 23,000 steps.Read more

    S. L.

    That’s a plenty of steps, hope you slept well! Have a great time.

    9/7/19Reply
    Danielle and Co travels

    Yes we were a bit tired by the end of the day

    9/7/19Reply
     
  • Day2

    Tower of London

    September 5, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    As Ian had not been to the Tower of London before, and it must be over 30 years since I last visited, we decided we would check it out. We walked from our apartment, which was a fair old walk, but allowed us to absorb all our surroundings and enjoy blue sky and sunshine. Entry to the Tower is not cheap, 30.30 GBP per adult, and they call it a “donation”.

    We went to the Tower’s Mint, Traitor’s Gate, and The Bloody Tower - where sir Walter Raleigh had a study, and was also the site where King Edward the 5th and Richard of Shrewsbury (12 and 9 years of age) were imprisoned by their uncle ( Richard Duke of Gloucester), and there are rumours they were murdered as they were never seen again. We also saw the Queen’s residence, the Crown Jewels - the ones that were created after Olly Cromwell destroyed the originals in 1649. We also walked up on the Battlements and saw a display on the royal beasts. We also had a great view of Tower Bridge.

    There are 150 staff and their families who live within the Tower of London site - comprised of Welsh Guards, Beefeaters and Yeoman Warders. There are six Ravens that live at the site and, along with the Yeoman Warders, are considered the historic guardians of the Tower.
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  • Day3

    A Morning at the Museum

    September 6, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    This morning we decided to spend a couple of hours at the British Museum and check out some of the exhibitions we didn’t get to last time. It was about a 10 minute walk from our apartment, which was very convenient. We arrived just before opening, and so purchased a map and waited to head to the upper floors.

    We mainly spent the morning wandering around the Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, Middle East and Medieval Europe Exhibitions. We saw many artefacts associated with death, burial and the afterlife of the Egyptians. The Ancient Greece and Rome area was full of carvings and statues and jewellery. In the Middle East section there were artefacts from the Islamic world including beautifully hand scripted copies of the Koran, amazing tiles and mosaics, and other crafted metal ware and glass ware.

    The final area we wandered through was the Europe exhibitions with artefacts from Medieval Europe through to Europe in the 1800 to 1900’s.

    It was a very enjoyable way to spend our morning.
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  • Day3

    Divine Indian Lunch

    September 6, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Ian had seen this restaurant featured on the Netflix series The Chef’s Table and suggested we try to get in whilst we are in London. The interesting thing about this restaurant is that the owner (Asma Khan from Calcutta) only employs women because being a chef in India it is not a career considered appropriate for women and she felt she wanted to give women that opportunity. The restaurant is located in Knightly court on the top floor and runs off of Carnaby Street, Soho. The cuisine is predominantly Indian Rajput and Bengali. We had Puchkas, Lamb Kanab, Beetroot Chop, Chicken Mughlai, Lemon Pulao, Paratha and Kachumbar salad. We had a French rosé with the meal. She particularly supports second daughters who in Indian culture can be a disappointment when the family were hoping for a boy.Read more

  • Day3

    Tate Modern

    September 6, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Following our delicious lunch we made our way across town to the Tate Modern, which is based in the former Bankside Power Station, an imposing red-brick building. It is a huge and unusual space - very industrial feel to the place. The Tate holds the National collection of British art from 1900 to the present day, and international modern and contemporary art.

    There was some interesting art on display as well as some really weird stuff. There were a number of art installations that I didn’t enjoy. We spent a couple hours wandering around the various display spaces.

    I have included photos of some of the art that I connected with or that elicited an emotional response.
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  • Day3

    Pre-theatre drinks and snacks

    September 6, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We have a range of restaurants, wine bars and cafés at our doorstep in Covent Gardens. This evening we went to the 10 Cases wine bar, located at the base of our building, for a glass of wine, and some tapas to accompany the wine. We started with Padron Peppers, Polenta chips, Iberico ham croquettes, and a charcuterie board. It was a fairly light meal but delicious and definitely enough following our lunch at the Darjeeling Express.Read more

  • Day3

    Simply the Best

    September 6, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    This evening we attended our first West End musical. Tina - the Tina Turner Musical which was on at the Aldwych Theatre, located at the corner of the Aldwych Street and Drury Lane. The cast, including the young Anna Mae Bullock, were terrific and Nkeki Obi-Melekwe was sensational as Tina. The production was fast paced, and all the songs from the early days through to her more recent ones were included. We even got a mini concert of 3 songs at the end where we were encouraged to singalong and get up and dance - didn’t need to be asked twice - the whole audience jumped in. Nkeki had such a powerful voice - she was fantastic. A really enjoyable show.Read more

    S. L.

    A bit of trivia, watching an old episode of spicks and specks, and simply the best was written by an Australian, Mike Chapman.

    9/7/19Reply
     
  • Day4

    Facetime

    September 7, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    This morning we were scheduled to do a ”Secret London” walking tour of markets and graffiti, but it was cancelled at the last minute - not happy Jan! So, as we had a totally free day, we decided to head off to the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery, located not far away on one end of Trafalgar Square, which was very crowded.

    The National Portrait Gallery was fabulous - they had a display of the entrants to the BP Portrait Awards - some were amazing. We then wandered around the remainder of the Gallery seeing a range of portraits from 14th or 15th century onwards, up to modern times. Many portraits of the royals - they really weren’t a very attractive lot back in the day. We saw portraits of famous explorers, writers, poets, scientists and leaders, which were interesting. There were also much more recent ones of rock stars, actors and political activists. Definitely worth a visit.
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  • Day4

    National Gallery

    September 7, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    After the National Portrait Gallery we headed to the National Gallery, located just around the corner, to check out some of their collections - it is a huge building which contains many artworks. We decided to head for the impressionist and post-impressionist area, our favourite periods and styles. There was a wonderful collection of works from artists such as Cezanne, Renoir, Pissarro, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Manet, Gaugin, Toulouse-Lautrec, and also quite a few from the BritsTurners and Constable. We even came across an Arthur Streeton and a Gustav Klimt.Read more