Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Day 10 and Day 11 - June 9 -10 Shopping and a Trip to Penshurst Place

After my visit to Hardwick Hall where my Pacer app declared that I was highly active,  I decided to have a quiet day, which involved shopping and the theatre.

Decided to walk to the St. James' Street Overground, and pick up a coffee and muffin at St J's, a local coffee shop, before getting on the train to Liverpool Street, where I transferred to the Central line for Marble Arch.  I headed to Boots, where I indulged in a few No 7 facial products.   The American drugstore chain, Walgreen's, is the majority owner of Boots.  I can get No 7 products at Walgreen's, of course, as well as Target and Ulta.  Boots, however, has better special deals. 

 I also bought 2 Boots Sunscreen bottles as European sunscreen is better than ours.  The FDA has been delinquent in upgrading American sunscreens.

Not only did I get a good deal -  Buy 2 get one free - the cashier also used a £5.00 coupon for my final total.   Sweet.   Crossed off several items from the shopping list.    I walked back toward Marble Arch and caught a bus up Edgeware Road to visit a few supermarkets. In the early 2000s,  I stayed several times at the Hilton London Metropole so was familiar with the area (but miss the cinema that was on the corner of Edgeware Road and Marble Arch.)  I stopped in at Waitrose and Tesco.  I wanted to buy Fairy Liquid (I  like the name), 2 cans of British cat food, several packages of Dreamies (Temptations in the US), and Malteser spread.   I got everything on my list (as well as the July issue of Tatler -- yea) with the exception of Malteser spread.  

I also checked Sainsbury's and M&S as well.   I am down to my last jar. Perhaps Mars is no longer making the delectable crunchy chocolate spread.

I bought one of each of the Dreamies

Caught a bus toward Oxford Street and Oxford Circus and then the tube to Green Park.  Next stop: Fortnum & Mason.

I usually stock up on tea and jam at Fortnum's but this time I did not need anything but wanted a few things.  Last October, had a six-hour layover in Terminal 5, which allowed me to stock up at F&M (tea and jam) without worrying about adding weight to my suitcase.   I have a large carry bag so plenty of room for tea and jam.  

First things first.  Time for lunch.  I chose The Parlour on the first floor (2nd floor in American English), where I chose the Parlour Tea - lunch and scones.   Perfect.  I selected the Classic or Pea and Mint Scotch Egg with the scones with the new Platinum Jubilee Tea.  

For the record,  I put jam, then cream on one scone, and cream, then jam on the other scone.   The meal was excellent.   I purchased the Platinum Jubilee tea (only loose tea, no bags) and three jars of jam.  Much to my chagrin, I left my F&M card at home, but I proved who I was (and answer the appropriate questions) so I was able to charge the tea and jam.  The saleswoman double-wrapped the jars and did not charge me for the two shopping bags.

I walked up Piccadilly and window shopped, before heading back to Walthamstow to drop off my packages and change for the theatre.

It was Bear & Staff in Leicester Square for dinner -- another excellent chicken, avocado and bacon salad ... and 2 glasses of Pimm's

Six was fantastic!!!!  Highly recommended.

This sign cracks me up ... what a deal!!!!!!

On Friday morning,  took the tube to Charing Cross station to catch a train to Royal Tunbridge Wells.  For an unexplained reason (delay), I was told to take the train to London Bridge and get the Tunbridge Wells train there ... fine.  I bought coffee and breakfast at the station and got on the train.

Tunbridge Wells is one of three stations close to Penshurst Place, the home of Viscount De L'Isle and his family.   Penshurst was built in the 14th century and was owned by Henry VIII who gave it to his son the future Edward VI  It was acquired by the Sidney family in 1552. The Sidney family has lived at Penshurst place for more than 460 years.

No worries about walking today.  I hailed a cab but he did not take credit cards so I moved to the second cab.  A very nice lady named Toni drove me to Penshurst.  She gave me her card so I could call her to come and take me back to the train station.  She said if she were not available she would get someone else/

Stretching is very important

Greeted by a pretty kitty

The Other Boleyn Girl was filmed at Penshurst.  Several of the costumes are on display

Penshurst Place was also the home of the Elizabethan poet, Philip Sidney

I enjoyed my visit to Penshurst.  It was off to the gift shop, where I bought a fridge magnet and the guidebook.  The saleswoman called Toni for me. Toni would be sending another driver as she was out on the school run.  This allowed me time to have lunch at Porcupine Pantry Cafe where I had a bacon, brie and cranberry panini, a Cok,e and local ice cream, which I ate inthe  taxi back to Tunbridge  Wells.

The driver did not have a credit card machine, but he called Toni and she and I agreed to meet at the train station at 3 pm so I could pay her.  I said: "I promise you I will be there."    The driver dropped me off at the Pantiles, as I had about 45 minutes before meeting Toni.   The Pantiles includes a number of boutiques, restaurant,s and a great coffee shop, where I bought an ice vanilla latte (light ice please) and sat on a bench where I met this dog who preferred to carry her own leash.

I also spotted a pet store so I had to go in and see what they have.  I came out with a new toy for Fleur and Harper. I walked back to the train station and waited for Toni.   She got out of her cab and the first thing she said to me: "you have restored my faith in humanity."   I said.  I am American.  It would look really bad if I stiffed you.  Of course, I was going to pay.    While I was waiting for Toni,  I browsed through Twitter and saw the announcement that Covid tests were no longer required to come or return to the US. 

After getting off at Charing Cross I took the tube to St Pancras, went upstairs to the Covid testing center, and asked how I could cancel my test, scheduled for June 14, the day before my departure.   I was given all the details and called the company the next day.  Gave my order number and within minutes I received two emails, one canceling the appointment and the other refusing the £29.99 I paid in advance for the test.

Easy peasy.  

Once that was done, I decided to go to St. James's Park, which is my favorite London park.  A nice wall through the park to Westminster for another view of the restored Big Ben.  So sparkly!!!!

Still cannot get near the Palace as workmen are deconstructing the set and seats from the concert.

Blending in - one of the invasive parrots, which the British call parakeets.

2016 was the last I had seen Big Ben's face

A nice relaxing dinner at a local pub ... and 2 Camden Ales before heading back to Walthamstow. 

Day 12 awaits - a day full of BLING!

An interview with Viscount De L'Isle:


Barbara said...

Marlene, I love the stories and pictures of your adventures. There is always something new to discover. We should send you on walkabout more often!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

I will need new sneakers:)

thanks .. it is fun looking back at the trip. Seems so long ago, but it was only last month