Thursday, August 11, 2011

England 1985


August 6
Sunny, blustery, 61 degrees. Inverness Court Hotel – terrible. We are tired. Walked through Hyde Park to Albert Hall – then on to Harrods. We enjoyed Beauchamp Street with its lovely shops. Picked up theatre tickets for “Run for your Wife” for tomorrow night. We took the tube back to our hotel and had a quick sandwich before going to bed. John stayed up trying to figure out how and where to get another hotel.

Priscilla’s Christmas Gift “Country Inns and Back Roads’ Britain and Ireland” saved the day for us!

August 7

London – Inverness Court. Off and on light showers, 60 degrees, blustery. Walked through Hyde Park over to South Kensington to see Number 16 (our new hotel). This is lovely and we move tomorrow. We had a bit of trouble finding it, as there is no Hotel sign – just #16. Summer Place. The streets are not well marked. We took the tube to St. Paul’s and literally spent the day there. Rain into Bob & Sue in the crypt and made plans to meet them for dinner at Rules – found it closed temporarily for redecorating, so ended up at a steak house before the theatre “Run for your Wife” – hilarious!!!  I am still laughing!

Highlight: American Chapel

August 8

Number 16, London. Cool, sunny, 60 degrees.

Gorgeous sunny day – new hotel is fabulous like a private home – breakfast will be served in our room. Today we saw Parliament, 10 Dawning Street, Westminster Abbey, Changing of House Guards – lunch at Fortnum and Masons on Regent Street – best food yet and a fabulous store. Shopped Regent Street, Oxford Street and Bond Street. Most wonderful shops! Burlington Arcade off Bond St. has lovely silver, antique, sweaters, shoes, etc shops. We stopped at Bentley’s Pub Wine Bar for supper before going to the London Symphony’s first night of Pops with George Shearing as soloist. What a concert!! Barbican Center is magnificent. Great evening. The people are very warm and friendly, eager to be helpful. Order Welch Rarebit – lunch elegant.
boat house

August 9

#16 Summer Place, South Kensington. Cloudy, warm. Breakfast arrived and woke us up at 9 – we started our day at Swaine Adeny and Brigg to buy our umbrella on Piccadilly. We checked out Turnbull and Asser, shirt makers to the Prince and a few shoe stores. Then off to Westminster Abbey. Lunch at Westminster Pub – we spent the afternoon at the Abbey – took the super tour – then off to Punch and Judy Pub in Covent Garden. Met some great local people at the pub. Have really enjoyed the people here. Then the tube to Mayfair and dinner at Tiddy Dols, really a fabulous spot. After dinner, dessert (gingerbread) in the music room. Great entertainment, then to the Hilton Roof for after dinner drinks – great view, as it is a clear night.

August 10

Cool but sunny. Rained all night.

We took the tube to Westminster Dock. Met mother and daughter from Colorado taking boat up Thames to Hampton Court also. They turned out to be interesting companions. The boat left at noon for 3½-hour trip. Views along Thames were interesting. Each bridge is a history story by itself. The other boats were old and some shabby. Many occupied as homes. Hampton Court is a magnificent palace built by Thomas Wolsey during reign of Henry VIII. The art works are grand and the gardens spectacular. We came back to London by bus in about 30 minutes. Dinner at Fagin’s Pub with New Jersey couple – we had meat pie, of course.

August 11

Cool, cloudy.

John left at 7 for the airport and I went to 9 o’clock Mass at Westminster Cathedral. It was a 35-minute service. The many different marbles used were unusual. The church dates back to 1220. Many London homeless attending the service also. Gram arrived safely and we took a guided bus tour in the afternoon. It is a good way to become oriented to the city, and it was even fun for us to hear more anecdotes about things already seen. Dinner at the Brasserie in S. Kensington was fabulous and really busy about 8:30-9 on a Sunday night.
With Grandma Heneghan
Changing of the guard

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