Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jolly Old England Part II

A few more snaps and things from our London part of our trip..

On our first day out we decided to do Westminster Abbey which we have never managed to make it to on our previous trips. It was gorgeous and once inside you are blown away by the size of it. I had no idea how many famous Brits as well as kings and queens are buried here. The individual chapels are quite beautiful. The current church was built in the 1200's and it is thrilling to see something so old that has survived so much. 



Doors were amazingly beautiful.



The guys waiting to get in.


The front. Sorry there was no snapping this without people.

 
Lots of these guys if you look around!



I think what makes these kind of spots come alive is the stories that go along with it. Make sure you get a headset or a tour guide. You will hear why each nook and cranny has a story and it's fascinating.





So lovely. No photos inside of course.

From here we walked to some of the parks and about. Do you know there is another palace in London? We walked right past St James Palace. It was where William and Harry lived with their father Prince Charles for some time. Now it is home to Princess Anne as well as Beatrice and Eugenie in London. Funny about London, you are wandering about and there you are at another palace...



It was the first royal palace and former home to the monarchs before Buckingham Palace was built.



Nearby, we walked through St James Park.


It's smaller than Hyde Park, but quite lovely and has some very nice gardens.


 The view from the park looking straight at Buckingham Palace. You can spy it in the middle there.






We also spent some time in Hyde Park. It's 630 acres and is divided by the Serpentine.

wikipedia

Hyde Park is so huge you could wander for days and never see it all. I loved the big open spaces.  London has these park chairs you can rent, but they always appeared to be empty when we were there. It was cool June weather though. Such a thoughtful thing. You could just bring your picnic and it's already there for you. Keeps the parks looking a bit nicer, not so motley either.


Love the neat order of these chairs! Only in Britain!


The Princess Diana Memorial Playground is wonderful and fun to just wander through with it's brambles and secret paths.




There is a wonderful pirate ship that my boys are now a bit old for, but my youngest still loved the swings.







Even my husband had fun trying to figure out some of the games. As you can see there are separate little hideaways that have small games to try in each. A child behind him is on a spinning one.


My  personal favorite part is the Serpentine and waterside cafes.


This is the view from another cafe there. 


You can sit here and have a drink or a snack and rent or watch the paddle boats.



More stylish Londoners.


The Princess Diana Memorial Fountain nearby, is a large oval - fun to follow along on a warm day.

 
There is an art installation you can climb right now by the Serpentine Gallery.




 This part of the park is Kensington gardens I think.





Looking toward Kensington Palace, Kate and Will's new home under renovations.



Londoners really come here to chill at the end of the day. I like how this gentleman brought his novel and found a stump. I noticed others brought the newspaper and found a chair. It's a real gathering spot after work in the summer and the park stays open until midnight!


At the end of the day many Londoners also head to their local pub. The pub is really more a neighborhood gathering spot and so many are wonderful restaurants as well.

I love the colorful baskets of flowers that decorate almost all the pubs.







I also adore the national summertime drink which is Pimm's cup! Seems everywhere you go, monument, castle or pub you can get it. It's a very lightly alcoholic drink. It's very like an ice tea and jammed full of cucumber, fruit and mint if you get a good one.


I have made a few of my own jugs at home by the pool and they have been very well received! I like that they don't have much alcohol, which is nice in summer.


As you can see I enjoyed a few of those.


We particularly liked this gastro-pub, The Grazing Goat. Pub food has really gotten better since I was here last.


One thing that always surprises is the many places to eat outdoors in England. Even thought their weather is usually not great it's almost always an option to dine outside. That is so different than here in California where outdoor eating is harder to find. Crazy given the weather differences.


I hope I haven't droned on too long about London, but I wanted to share all the details. Tomorrow's post will be on our day trip to Windsor and The Victoria and Albert Museum. Later I'll share some about our stops in Belgium, Holland and Germany, which I promise are a lot shorter!

Thanks for reading!

Kim

22 comments :

  1. Love all your pictures Kim. Looks like a fantastic vacation with lots of great insight and information. I can't wait to read and see part two.

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    1. HI Lori!

      Thanks so much for leaving a note! You are very sweet. Working on the next parts and cranking them out asap!

      xo

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  2. It's always fun to visit London especially Westminster Abbey so historical. Hyde Park is so huge that it is always surprising to discover something in there. Yes, Pub food is getting better over there. Yum, those Pimm's are so refreshing to drink. Everyone in your Family seemed to have fun!

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    1. Pam,
      Thanks for the note! It was fun and went too fast! I didn't get to see everything on my list, especially Daylesford from your blog! Hopefully next time.

      xx

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  3. Hi Kim, just found your blog and I'm following. If you love fashion and I love fashion we should be friends, right? Big hug from Houston....

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    1. Hi Marsha,
      Just popped over to visit! Thanks so much!

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  4. I have never tried Pimms. I want to!

    Love your shots of London, I really want to visit Westminster Abbey, I love places with so much history. You and your posse look like you all had fun on your trip!

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    1. You would love it! Perfect summer drink! We had fun. I wish it wasn't over so soon!

      Happy weekend!
      xx

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  5. Gorgeous pics Kim. Of course I love your posts on London ;-) xx

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    1. Hi Vannessa! Thanks so much! Happy Friday.

      :)

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  6. Oh Kim, you got to go on such a marvelous trip. Wow! I love Westminster Abbey, one of my favorite places in the world, along with the Tower of London! Thank you for these pictures, I feel like I just got a little vacation. I have been on an English kick for sure, what with the Royal Baby Prince George and all! Completely unrelated side note: Think about joining Adrienne and me for "How I Wear My: Casual Party Outfit" we are accepting pictures until July 31. We would love to have you with us again! XO, Jill

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    1. Hi Jill!
      I agree Westminster Abbey was one of the highlights of this trip. Last time we did the Tower and it was so amazing. Some seriously great stories there! I know I feel like there has been so much about the U. K. out there lately. Especially excited about George!! It's been a thrilling week there!

      I will try to rise to the occasion for the party outfit gig! I am trying to get one together for a few summer parties and a high school reunion.

      Have a great weekend !

      xo

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  7. amazing blog!

    would you like to follow each other?

    www.fashionshores.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Victoria,
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I am popping by now to visit!

      Kim

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  8. Kim I love each picture and story you share here! i was in London for the first time last November and loved it so! Seeing your pictures makes me realize how very little I saw of London. Thank you so very much for sharing your adventures in traveling!

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    1. Hi Tamera,
      Thanks so much! Really enjoyed reading about your trip as well! Isn't it funny how everyone sees different things when they travel? Looking forward to reading more of yours too!

      xx

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  9. Hi Kim, I'm loving all your glimpses of the neighborhoods and parks. I'm seeing a very different side of London than I did over the holidays. Westminster Abbey is so incredible. We also toured St. Paul's Cathedral on our last trip. Gorgeous! Love the details here. Another fabulous trip with your family.
    xx, Heather

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    1. Hi Heather!
      Thanks so very much! I wish we got to St Pauls. It's on my next time list ! I really enjoyed your post on your trip as well. You are right. It's so different during the Winter too.

      Have a great weekend!
      xxKim

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  10. Hi Kim! I'm so glad you stopped by my blog because now I know about your blog. It is darling! Love all your pics. It is getting me excited for my October trip. I will check back often.

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    1. Hi KIm!
      Thanks so much for stopping by! I loved your blog and you visits to Oxford and other spots! I can't wait to read more!

      Kim:)

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  11. St James Park is my favourite too as there are so many stunning views. You made me smile when you mentioned the deck chairs all in order - only in Britain, so true! Even though I'm English and like to think I know England quite well, I'm still learning snippets of information from your trip! I didn't know about the playground. I think I might enjoy those secret paths!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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