London Calling – part two

Did you enjoy your icecream? πŸ˜‰ Well, the curtain is about to go up and we’re on to the Second Act of our London trip…

The kids had heard all about Hamley’s Toy Shop in Regent Street from a schoolfriend. We went there on Saturday afternoon and, incredibly, it wasn’t too busy. I have to say I was slightly disappointed as I thought it was going to be more ‘fairy tale’ like, more like F.A.O. Schwarz in New York). It’s not a cosy place. Just a huge shop on 5 or 6 floors with stark lighting and decor. And shelves and shelves of toys.

The kids, as you can imagine, were impressed nonetheless πŸ˜‰ DD7 stopped after the first floor and declared she already knew what she would like to buy (a Hello Kitty Build-a-Bear) and didn’t need to look any further. Manage to persuade her to take a peek at the other floors and of course, she changed her mind several times from a painting set, to magic pens to cuddly dogs…not all of them pocket-size.

She finally decided (very wisely, I must add) on a special sticker set. And DS10 got some Club Penguin cards which he had been reading about on the net (they haven’t made it over to Denmark just yet).

To our surprise the weather in London was mild – no snow to be seen – so it was nice to be able to walk around without hats, scarves and gloves as we’ve been doing back in Copenhagen for the past three months. But it rained quite a lot on Monday morning so we decided to ditch visiting the Tower of London and head indoors to the Natural History Museum. This was a real eye-opener and, in contrast to Hamleys Toy Shop, I wasn’t disappointed but highly impressed. We entered from Cromwell Street and came into a very modern part of the museum, complete with shining crystal globes.

And a huge escalator which took you up into the skies and on a journey to the centre of the earth – or so it seemed for our two little visitors πŸ™‚

We started off by looking at volcanos, earthquakes, solar system, birds etc and ended up in the museum’s current ‘star attraction’ – the Dinosaur exhibition, complete with a lifesize moving T-Rex.

The old part of the museum building looks exactly like the set from the film “Night at the Museum”. But this dinosaur sadly doesn’t chase bones… And unfortunately for Mum, there is no ‘Larry’ on duty πŸ˜‰

Older kids and adults will enjoy the Cocoon part of the museum. Here you can see ‘real’ researchers at work and there are plenty of interactive activities – what and how to pack for a field trip etc. And staff on hand to explain the equipment used when collecting specimens etc.

Had a great sandwich and caffelatte at the Deli CafΓ© (there are several places to eat) and the shops had a good range of gifts. Though I had to laugh when I saw that they were selling ‘make your own volcano’ kits. We made our own one for free a couple of weeks ago – see my Crafty Tuesday post – She’s gonna blow! But the shop did have some really nice jewellry so I splashed out (Β£4, circa $8) on a couple of gemstone rings! πŸ˜‰

Which reminds me that I need to go reapply my nailvarnish before I can wear them and post a pic…time to get moving.

Normal service will be resumed on the blog tomorrow, which means Menu Planning as it’s Thursday. Have a wonderful Wednesday! πŸ™‚

London Calling – part one

Got back late last night from a terrific long weekend in London! πŸ™‚

We were invited to a birthday party in Greenwich on Saturday night. A good friend and former colleague (from DH and I’s heady days working in Luxembourg) was holding a very belated 40th birthday party. Two years late to be precise πŸ˜‰ We decided to make a mini-holiday out of it and took DD7 and DS10 with us. A great time was had by all and yes, DD7, even cried when we left… πŸ˜‰

I could probably write a whole new blog about the trip but I’m going to condense it into two blog posts. Starting with Sunday’s highlights…

A tour booked with on a London “Duck”…an amphibian vehicle from the 2nd World War used for the D-Day landings. We were aboard the good ‘ship’ Cleopatra.

First you see all the London sights by road (Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The Ritz Hotel, London Eye, etc, etc, etc) then, in the same vehicle, you ‘splash down’ into the River Thames to get a closer view.

Amazingly it was warmer when we were down on the water than up on land (the engine has to work incredibly hard to sail just at a speed of a few knots, so it ‘heats’ up the inside of the vehicle). The ‘Duck’ sits very low in the water.

I took plenty of photos, including this one for my twitter friend Candace. It’s a megafancy apartment block (just beside MI6 headquarters) and the residents are British MPs, authors and actors. If you look very closely, you might just be able to get a glimpse of Dr Who David Tenant’s flat… πŸ˜‰

We were a bit chilly after our sightseeing trip, so stoked ourselves up on buns and hot chocolate. Then went back to our friends house in Islington to have a little rest before getting glammed up for our evening out. We wanted to eat dinner out with the kids so we ended up here.

Started with crispy duck pancakes…

Then on to (fluorescent) sweet and sour chicken and shredded chili beef which came nicely presented with a little pink flower on the side…

We decided not to eat the flower…

Then it was ‘showtime’! Because no trip to London would be complete without a show at the West End. We couldn’t get tickets for “We Will Rock You” (our first choice) so decided on Thriller Live (as the kids have been learning Michael Jackson songs at school). A great show with lots of loud music, spangly outfits, discodancing, breakdancing and moonwalking. Add in plenty of glitter and fireworks and, voilΓ , DD7 couldn’t stop clapping πŸ˜‰ You’re not allowed to film/take pictures of the show, so you’ll have to make do with this one of the curtain.

I’ll be back tomorrow with ‘the second act’ so, until then, sit back and enjoy your icecream…

Bon appΓ©tit and happy Tuesday! πŸ™‚