Posts Tagged ‘shortbread’

Picadilly Circus


We are having an interlude from our Canadian adventure and are in London walking down Regent Street! I can’t believe it, this is the land of my birth and I feel a strange sense of kinship even though I have lived in the colonies all my life. Maybe it is because my parents kept IT all alive for me with the Enid Blyton books, tales about England, the music and we even wore our tartan. The twinkling spider web of Christmas lights and the bustling traffic bring me back to reality as I am lured into the shops by brightly decorated windows. My Woolies substitute, Marks and Spencer’s, has tempted me into a shopping spree and I succumb to a few sensible buys. It is with some regret that I eventually drag myself out into the drizzly streets, but there is so much to see. I have made a conscious effort not to “do London”, but to savour the sights and to take in just enough.

The Victorian buildings that line the street remind me that the historical side of London beckons me and I make my way down to the Thames. The autumn leaves crunch under my boots as I amble over Lambeth Bridge and I peer over the thick wall to watch a barge as it slips underneath. The Museum of Garden History is closed and I am grateful for the lucky find that morning of a DVD of all the magnificent gardens of England. It is 5 hours of pure viewing bliss which I am sure to pull out when the man cave at home is reverberating with loud cheering from the men in the family.

A crowd of well-wishers had gathered along the embankment around a newly married couple. She shivered in her elegant white gown as he proudly gazed down at her. It had begun to drizzle again but I was not going to let this deter me, as I knew I would have to toughen up to adverse weather conditions now that we had chosen to live in Canada.  The path meandered along the Thames and I parked myself on a bench directly opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. I sat quietly and watched the city go about its daily tasks as tourists and young mothers bustled past me. The whole world seemed to be in a hurry! Big Ben broke the spell as it chimed out across the Thames, it was already 3pm and it would be dark soon. I felt the chilly wind around my feet and decided to make my way back to the hotel.

The doorman of this gracious 150 year old hotel welcomed me as I ran up the broad staircase. I was ushered into the tearoom which is one of the novelties that the hotel offers; indeed they claim to have invested “afternoon tea”. It is a formal tearoom where you can sip your English Breakfast out of dainty porcelain china and you can nibble on the shortbread and the array of scrumptious chocolate cakes. So the Queen never made it for tea but instead I ordered a piece of irresistible cake and made sure  that I finished off her portion too. 

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