Monday, June 24, 2019

Final Days in London June 7-9

I spent the last 2 and half days of my vacation in London, where i saw Queen Victoria's sapphire diadem now on permanent loan at the V&A museum.   In fact the V&A was my first stop to see if I could get a prized ticket to the highly acclaimed Dior exhibit.  Got in line.  Plenty of people ahead of me.   I was 143 - and there were about 170 tickets available.   The line moved slowly, but finally, I was at the check out desk, where I took out my credit card to pay the £22.00.   As I had an afternoon tea engagement, I was very thankful that the museum was open late and I got a 7:15 p.m. slot.  Before heading out to do other things,  I went to the new Jewelry exhibit to see Queen Victoria's tiara, a gift from Prince Albert that was eventually passed down to King George V's only daughter, Princess Mary, who married the Earl of Harewood.

Oh that gorgeous tiara.   Then it was off to Fortnum & Mason for a bit of shopping - tea, jam and honey.  I headed back to the South Ken station to catch a bus back to my AirBnb, drop off my shopping and the catch a bus to Clapham Junction, where I caught a train to Waterloo Station.  No need to buy a rail ticket - the fare is covered by the Oyster Card.  Two stops.

 A friend took me to tea at the Oxo Tower Restaurant ... delish.  Great view.  The Tower is not too far a walk from Waterloo Station. 

I needed to work off the yummy tea so I walked to Blackfriars Bridge and across it. spotting a statue of Queen Victoria.  Took the subway one stop to Embankment.    I decided to walk across the Golden Jubilee bridge across the Thames,  looked around, saw the London Eye up close, back up the stairs to walk the other side of the bridge toward Embankment.   Tube back to South Ken, bus to Battersea.  I had wanted to try a pub right by my stop, but it didn't serve food.  Bummer.  They recommended the Draft House, a block away.  A good choice.  Convivial atmosphere.   Good food.  Decided on Pimm's (2 glasses) rather an a beer.

Saturday morning, I was up very early to go to Buckingham Palace  for the Trooping the Colour.  It was a bit overcast early on, but, thankfully, the sun did come out and the carriages were open.

Afterward, I caught up with my friend, Katrina. We met at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother statue on the Mall and walked toward the National Portrait Gallery and Leicester Square to have lunch at Bella Italia, my favorite place in London.  Good Italian food.  It was a birthday treat for me.  It was lovely to sit down and enjoy a meal and conversation.    This was followed by a walk to Pall Mall to find Schomberg House, once the home of Princesses Helena Victoria and Marie Louise.  It is now a part of the Oxford and Cambridge Club.

We walked passed the St. James's Garden (private), where we spotted a statue of William IV, then past St. James's Palace, the Queen's Chapel and back to St. James's Park for a coffee, a photo session with a media-loving squirrel, and feeding the ducks.  I think we walked the entire length of St. James's Park

 And then there was the Naked Bike Ride, an annual event,  that we got caught up in when trying to get across the Mall to get to Charing Cross Station so Katrina could catch her train home.

For me it was back on the tube to South Ken, then the 345 bus to Battersea, before heading to Kennington by bus to have dinner at the Duchy Arms, a pub owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.  The Prince of Wales is the Duke of Cornwall.

The bus passed the new United States Embassy -- and a lot of new development in that area.

Woke up Sunday morning feeling sad.  Closed the suitcases.  Breakfast - and as I did not have to leave until 12:30, I decided to spend some time at Battersea Park.  I first visited the park in June 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee flotilla.  It rained ... a lot ... that day.

I walked along the riverfront, down to the Japanese Pagoda. then to the Battersea Park Children's Zoo. The Scottish wildcats were adorable.

A brief stop at the Pear Cafe, which is by the boating lake, for an ice coffee.  Lunch would have been ideal as the weather was fantastic, but I was running out of time so headed back to the apartment ... and then it was time to go to the airport ... a wonderful 49th visit to the United Kingdom.

Duchess of Manchester's tiara

On your mark,get set, go!

Going home with me 

Amused by this ....Shack Shake is good ... but why London?

Southwark -- Oxo Tower  Great tea

From Blackfriars Bridge

From Golden Jubilee Bridge

Princess Margaret's Dior dress

On two nights in a row, I met ona fox on this street.
about 7:30a.m. Saturday morning.

William IV

A part of Schomberg House on Pall Mall, once the home of Princesses Helena Victoria and Marie Louise 

St James's Palace

Queen's Chapel 

Marlborough House 

Back to St. James's Park for a coffee

My favorite park in the world.

Quick bus ride from Battersea Bridge Road on the 49 or 345 to South Ken - 

Took a bus from Battersea to the Albert Embankment in Vauxhall to walk about 10 minutes to Duchy Arms, a pub owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. 

the Black Prince .. as I was on Black Prince Road

from the Albert Embankment

Japanese pagoda

Scottish wildcat ... aka  cutieMacCutie



Janet said...

Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful photos of your London trip! I have so enjoyed seeing things through your eyes that I dream of being able to enjoy in person one day. Believe it or not, I have taken some notes so that I can also visit places you have highlighted on your blog. I so wish you could publish a UK travel book--it would be so useful and informative for those of us who want to visit this beautiful country. Thank you again!

Candace Hinchey said...

I haven't been to London in 10 years - I've been having serious London withdrawal. Your pictures certainly were welcome. Thank you for sharing them. They are wonderful.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

my pleasure