19 April 2014

What to do in London - a unique top 10 staycation list

This year over the bank holidays we're avoiding the magical overseas destinations, airport queues and funny foreign tummy bugs, and hanging out in the capital of Ole Blighty, Madam London herself.

With fairly good weather on the horizon, we've decided that we are going to hit up a few of our favourite spots, as well as a few new goodies.

Our rock of literary ages, the British Library.
According to the official website, you can explore 14 million books, 920,000 journal and newspaper titles, 58 million patents, 3 million sound recordings, and much more. Find what you need - in the arts and humanities, sciences, or any subject.

Plan my next visit to Buckingham Palace
My schedule so far consists of
  • Drink Tea
  • Hang out with Her Majesty
  • Check out the online 'Baby George's first visit to the farthest reach of his empire' photo album with her
  • Try on all the tiaras
  • Walk the Corgis

Take a picnic to Kew Gardens & soak up the sunshine.
I am absolutely no good with plants. The cat reminds me to feed her, but plants just slowly, accusingly, wither away. It's nice to see that I'm in the minority. Perhaps my admission fee karmically makes up for all the plants I've killed over the years (there is only one I managed to keep alive, and that's because it lived on my desk and most of the times that I took a sip of water from my glass I'd feed the plant).

Pretend to be a Wizard at Kings Cross and dream about Paris from St Pancras.
This need no explanation right? (Unless of course you're a muggle...)

Wander Regents Park/Little Venice - The Grand Union Canal Path Walk
Starting the wonder at the Camden/Chalk Farm end. The Canal is pretty equidistant from each tube station, and you just walk along the High Street until you get to the bridge that spans the industrial marvel - dug by hand by Irish workers - that are local branches of the canal networks. Under the Camden Lock, is the Camden Lock food market where tantalising tidbits are laid out for your delectation.

Get a Pie Mash & Likker fix. Oh yeah.
The basic premise is you get a beef/chicken pie, creamy mash, liquor sauce (a mostly clear containing Parsley and a few secret ingredients) and quality jellied eels (if desired). It is simply the best, quick, easy cheap comfort food on a cold winters day, and I imagine that dock workers adored it on their Dinner breaks.

 Re-visit the Elfin Oak
The Elfin Oak of Kensington Gardens, the children's book which Ivor Innes published with his wife Elsie in 1930, describes how "for centuries now it has been the home of fairies, gnomes, elves, imps, and pixies. In the nooks and crannies they lurk, or peer out of holes and crevices, their natural windows and doorways

 Get some moolah for my sky rocket (Money for your pocket): Cockney Cash Machines
 If we're lucky, we'll end up on a train or in a caff cafe (there is definitely no circumflexing in the East End) with a group of proper Cockney gals and geezers, getting to listen to their musical, melodical and almost nonsensical accent and phrases.

Wander to Dr Johnson's House; Dictionary compiler, cat lover, Twitter enabler and traveller.

Say hey to the peacocks in Holland Park.
We've explored Kew Gardens, Bushey Park, Battersea Park (in a fashion) and of course the Queen's backyard but there is a special place in my heart for Holland Park.

Now just to decide where to start off this weekend... (Edit: I've just found a couple to add to my list - I knew writing a 'top 10' was a bit futile...!)

What are your favourite London activities?

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  1. Great post Emma. Been living in London for quite some time now and I haven't done many of these things. Definitely on my to-do list now!

    Gedlab.com – A blog for the modern man

  2. Hurray Kew Gardens! And I'll walk the Queens corgis with you! x

  3. I'm so glad - the trouble is there are so many wonderful things you can do in London...

  4. I don't know if you know this, but I will be there for the summer with my children. Thank you for this, I fully intend on visiting each and every spot, I had heard of them all but one.. The Elfin one! So cool!


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