Sunday, 15 November 2009

Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London

Yesterday was the day of our visit to the Country Living Fair at the London Business Centre in Islington ..... number one daughter and grandchild and me set off at 8.00 am with an extremely grey sky looming overhead.  This was Ellie's first visit to London and as you would expect of a 5 year old she was so excited.  We arrived at St Pancras station and I have to say that they have done a magnificent job of upgrading this old station .... I can remember sitting on the old station years ago waiting for the milk train home after an early hours flight into Gatwick  .... it was grotty.

We arrived in Islington just in time for the door opening at 9.30 and she was thrilled to bits to be given her own CL carrier bag with some free samples as we went in.  Inside was an array of loveliness and expensiveness in some cases ...... my only criticism is that it was a little squashed together and as the morning went on and it got busier it was very difficult to browse all the stalls properly.  Last year we went to the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia which was very similar but much bigger and seemed to be less crowded.

It would be so easy to spend an absolute fortune but I make it a rule that I don't buy anything that I could make myself.  I did treat Ellie to some pretties for her bedroom and bought some Christmas pressies for the littlies too.

By lunchtime we had seen everything and Ellie was getting a little bored so we packed all our goodies into the big Dotcom Shop bag and headed back to the Angel station and to our surprise there was a bit of blue sky and sunshine.  We headed down to Waterloo so that we could take a ride on the London Eye and when we came out of the underground the weather was horrendous but hey ho why let a bit of good old English weather get you down!   As we turned the corner by the I-Max cinema there it was ...

Even on dull wet day it still looked good and we didn't have to wait long in the queue and as a bonus there was a 4-D experience to see before the ride which was amazing .... it brought the whole experience to life and made us jump a few times!

St Paul's Cathedral dwarfed by the buildings surrounding it

I am a hopeless photographer but I love how the rainspots beating down on the pod created this 'snowscene' over the Houses of Parliament and below the red London buses on Westminster Bridge

You can just about make out The Mall and Bucket House as Ellie called it ..... she thought that the queen was probably out visiting friends !

When our ride finished we battled the elements again and headed for Piccadilly for lunch at Planet Hollywood on the Haymarket.  Ellie loved it and entertained the other diners with her moonwalk when a Michael Jackson video came on and then a rendition of Beyonce and All the Single Ladies.  She is such a little poser.  After lunch we headed up Regent Street to that toy shops ..... you know the one ..... the one where you should never really take children ;-)

On the way, whether you love it or hate it, we found a Marmite Shop!  All things Marmitey and even a Marmite Cafe upstairs.

We eventually got to Hamleys and this was one of their window displays ..... I couldn't get to the others it was heaving.

And to meet us on the door was Cooking Mama and a fairy queen

We soon gave up (well I did) it was jam packed and unbearable so we headed on up Regent Street to Oxford Circus taking a detour round Carnaby Street.  The Christmas lights on Regent Street were somewhat pathetic .... just nets strung across the road at intervals and nothing special for the centre of our capital city.  Carnaby Street was something else ....

It was the Lord Mayor's Parade and at 5 o'clock there was to be a firework display on the Thames but time was getting on, it was still piddling down and we were cream crackered so we headed back to St Pancras.  I forgot to mention earlier that there were a few cyber friends from the Shabby Chic Cafe also visiting the Country Living Fair and we had swapped phone numbers and arranged to be wearing a Little Gem brooch hoping to meet at some point during the day.  Sadly our paths didn't cross at the Fair but it's a funny old world. 

We stopped to get a drink at W H Smith at St Pancras and while I was waiting outside I got a tap on the shoulder and there stood a lady wearing a Little Gem brooch .... we were like a daft pair of secret agents ..... it was Ellieweb and The Crafty Trundler was in WHS too.  How spooky was that????  We were just destined to meet yesterday and of all the places in that big city what was it that brought us together at the same place at the same time????  Like I said it's a funny old world.

We had a quick chat on the way to the train and hopefully we will be able to meet again another day.

Hope you've enjoyed my little journey and hope I haven't bored you too much .... early night for me tonight as it's all catching up with me now!


  1. It sounds and looks like you had a fab day.
    I was hoping to of gone myself but will definately go next year and take DD with me. Even at 11 years old i'm sure she'd still love to go into Hamleys, I know I would 'hehe' haven't been in there myself since I was a little girl.
    Looks like you came back with some lovely bits.
    Beki xxx

  2. Looks like you made the most of the day despite the weather and crowds. How great that you managed to also meet up, even if it wasn't where you intended to. As you say it is a funny old world! Glad you had a good day.

  3. Love your new look! You sound to have had a wonderful day. What a lovely first visit to London for a five year old, she must have been a tired little lady when she got back. You certainly managed to pack a lot into one day! I love a day out in London, but wouldn't want to live there permanently.

  4. Goodness me, what an jam packed day! Bet you were glad to put your feet up afterwards!