Little London Recap

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I am lucky enough to visit London annually with Rom since his family is nearby. I’ve been over many times (I think 7 now) and try to do something new each visit.

Amanda Palmer (Photo: The Guardian)

Amanda Palmer (Photo: The Guardian)

Our stay in London started with a bang when we took in a show by one of my idols, Amanda Palmer! It was even more than I thought it would be. She sang, took requests, answered questions, read from her book, and was joined on stage by several guest performers. She sang a capella, sang duets with a guest, accompanied herself on piano (her main instrument) and included a few ukulele tunes. She performed Dresden Dolls material, solo material and covers. She talked a lot and was funny and irreverent (all the more so for being in a church). It was a brilliant show! My pictures were crap so if you’d like to check out the visuals, go here. She played for two nights and I wish I had seen both!

We then had two full days to play with, and here’s how they went:

Day 1

Rom on Denmark Street. He has one of these guitars, but not the  4599 pound one :)

Rom on Denmark Street. He has one of these guitars, but not the 4599 pound one 🙂

Picked up tickets to see the musical The Commitments that evening, shopped near Covent Garden and Seven Dials (people lined up down the street for Monmouth Coffee – has anyone tried it?)

Museum of Childhood. Lots of interactive stuff and play areas but also very simpatico for adults.

Museum of Childhood. Lots of interactive stuff and play areas but also very simpatico for adults.

Wonderful morning at the V & A Museum of Childhood. I was worried it would be over-run by children (LOL!) but it is very appropriate for adults. The main exhibits were the history of toys and the history of the nursery, and there was a temporary exhibit of how Alice in Wonderland influenced fashion and pop culture. We liked the cafe, and the toy/bookshop was surprisingly restrained. We loved this place!

Portobello Market, Notting Hill

Portobello Market, Notting Hill

To Notting Hill for the afternoon to check out the Portobello Market. We churlishly did not look up landmarks from the movie. I thought this market was great: antiques, vintage and estate finds. The perfect step up from Camden Market when you’ve grown up a bit 🙂 I devoured a massive homemade doughnut. Jam-filled, nom nom!

Had a fabulous casual dinner at Food for Thought, a veggie mainstay, before the show. Upon our return to Canada, I read that the spot closed permanently just a few days later! I hurriedly ordered their cookbook online. We had time to look around the new-and-improved Foyle’s book store.

At the Palace Theatre

At the Palace Theatre

The Commitments was based on the book and the 1991 movie. As a show, it was pretty much a soul music revue. As when we went to see We Will Rock You, it was a fun night out, short on emotion and plot but long on entertaining tunes.

Day 2

En route!

En route!

A trip to Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens). Here are things I liked:

Gigantic oak tree

Gigantic oak tree

The horse chestnut trees in full bloom

The horse chestnut trees in full bloom

Canopy walk!

Canopy walk!

Lily pads as big as wading pools

Lily pads as big as wading pools!

And Rom's favourite site - an ice cream truck like the ones he remembered from his childhood!

And Rom’s favourite sight – an ice cream truck like the ones he remembered from his childhood

After many hours of exploring, we walked along the Thames riverbank to Richmond for shopping and dinner. A lovely relaxing day!

The next day was all rush rush to the airport, and the next day after that, back to work. But we had a great “City Break” after our two weeks in the countryside!

If you travel, do you like vacationing in the city or country?

PS: Of note: No rain!


  1. jamielredmond

    I hope Amanda Palmer was well.
    Museum of Childhood – I hadn’t heard of it. Must look into it!
    Those lillypads!

  2. Now that is a tree hugger. Great pictures.

  3. Fi

    I thought the lily pads were fake at first! (They’re real, aren’t they?)

    How wonderful to see Amanda Palmer (and The Commitments as well.) It sounds like a great balance of culture, shopping and nature. I hope the return to work so soon wasn’t too traumatic!

    Love the pictures and thanks for the ‘virtual London’ fix!

  4. Juhli

    You are inspiring me to plan a visit to Paris and London!

  5. Love the movie and the music The Commitments, I too would go more for the music than the play itself. It sounds like you have a wonderful time. I would love to visit London and tour it. And no rain…….that’s a first…LOL

  6. Sounds awesome! I do love visiting places over and over, seeing some favorites each time, but also seeing new stuff. I’d really like to see those giant lily pads in person!

    The Portobello Road sign made me think of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, hah! Haven’t seen that movie in ages.

  7. The Botanic Gardens looks fabulous! I love the big lily pads. You walked through the canopy walk? It looks high! GULP. O_O!

  8. Mel

    Never heard of Amanda Palmer BUT have been to and thoroughly enjoyed The Museum of Childhood!

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