Although my husband Billy and I are often in London for work, it is rare we have a chance to enjoy what this wonderful city has to offer. So this weekend we decided to spend a few days being tourists.
(First stop a pub in Covent Garden for a selfie.)
Here is a record of what we packed in, plus, of course, the flowers we saw. I can thoroughly recommend it as a fantastic way to spend a weekend.
One of my favourite stores is Fortnum & Mason. We took the lift to the fourth floor and then wandered down amongst the perfumes, hats, china, stationery and gifts to the food on the ground floor. On the first floor you will even find an ice-cream parlour. In the basement is where you will discover the flowers.
I wasn't sure whether to smell this rose or eat it!
Near the flowers we came across an ingenious machine dispensing tasting measures of wine. Great fun.
Next stop, just across the road, to the Royal Academy for The Summer Exhibition.
Well, what can I say ....
I think The Ladybird book of The Gallery says it better than I can!
Exhausted by trying not to laugh at the art we walked down New Bond Street to Claridges. I had never been inside before but I had always rather fancied having afternoon tea here.
It is the most beautiful setting - and the flowers were heavenly.
(It is also worth poking around and looking into the bars and the ladies' loos.)
We started with Champagne and sandwiches before moving onto scones and tea. The jam Claridges serve is made from a secret recipe. I am guessing strawberry and possibly elderflower and vanilla, or maybe even a touch of rhubarb... but who knows ...
Then it was time for cakes ... lemon ... raspberry ...chocolate ... almonds ...and edible flowers.
It is without doubt the most expensive tea and cakes I will ever eat but I absolutely LOVED it.
After meeting my daughter Libby for drinks we ended the evening in our hotel watching the late coverage of the Olympics. Go GB!!
For the first two nights we stayed in the Premier Inn in Covent Garden. Fantastic location, very funky room but be prepared for a super compact set up. More of a pod than a room.
Day 2: We explored the streets just off Covent Garden, and in particular a small alleyway, Cecil Court, which is packed with small shops selling maps, antique books and coins. In the main Covent Garden Piazza it was great to see the flower displays that were a homage to the old flower market.
We had lunch booked in the restaurant at the top floor of the National Portrait Gallery. It has one of the best views of the roof tops of London and the food and wine were wonderful.
Then we meandered our slightly drunken way through the galleries. There are too many amazing portraits to mention so I just took a quick photo of this of a young Queen Victoria as I was intrigued by the flowers that made up her posy.
Later that evening we had tickets for The Bolshoi Ballet at Covent Garden.
A treat for me. And for Billy? Well all I can say is my husband is a patient man!
The following day we met friends for breakfast in Bills in St Martin's Courtyard,
also home of The Academy of Flowers.
For our final night we moved out of The Premier Inn
and into The Savoy!
Oh how I love a beautiful bathroom. What can I say, this was divine.
And as you would expect,
so were the flowers.