Currently #1, #2 and I are in London.
It was meant to be a day of culture, sight seeing, soaking in the history and learning new things. If you ask the kids what the best part so far has been, they’re going to say M&M world. Cultural fail right there. Personally? It was sitting next to Naveen Andrews on the tube for 3 stops but hey…everyone has different likes.
On the train on the way down the gentleman opposite mused that I was ‘very brave’ bringing two kids into London on my own. Hardly. Yes, London is busy, and ‘everyone looks miserable’ according to #1, but it is totally manageable with children, although granted we left #3 at home because I’m not that brave.
We caught the only direct train from Dunbar at 6:09am this morning, arriving in Kings Cross at 10:42am. Within 15 minutes we had dumped the luggage at left luggage, purchased our day passes for the tube/train/bus/hot air balloon and were heading to the Circle Line intent on starting at Tower Bridge and working our way back to M&M world at Leicester Sq.
Like all the best plans though, both tube lines we needed were out for ‘essential repair works’ so we reversed the itinerary and headed to Leicester Sq first. The shop didn’t disappoint. 4 levels of wall to wall M&Ms all colour coordinated into separate tubes for you to purchase at your pleasure. It’s the most I’ve spent on chocolate in one sitting – £33 to be exact.
We headed to Trafalgar Sq next and after persuading #1 that she probably shouldn’t run through the fountains or try and scale the monument we headed to see the horses guard and walked through St. James Park towards the palace. At this point #2 remembered she hates walking, and so ensued the 4 mile moan of ‘my legs are tired, I’m hungry, I hate London’. But we did manage to squeeze Big, Ben, the Parliament Buildings and Westminster Abbey in before my ‘I’m about to lose my shit’ levels reached almost boring point. #1 has developed a love for posing so we’ve also now got a bunch of slightly inappropriate photos next to Churchill’s statue.
On the tube on the way back to Piccadilly Circus (I had promised them ice cream and this place was meant to be awesome) a 3 man Sax band started playing on the tube, much to the kids delight. And after only two embarrassing incidents of ‘mummy why is that lady wearing a cape over her face’ we were back on foot and heading to ice cream heaven. Except, turned out the ice cream place was vying for quirky artisan establishment of the year and the kids were horrified. If ‘ricotta with chilli and blackcurrant leaves’ ice cream is your thing then you would’ve loved it. It’s not our thing however so we were back to hating London.
We made a quick stop at the hotel to rest our legs, and I booked some tickets for the London Eye. Marginally rested we headed back out, grabbed some pretty exceptional food down at Las Iguanas on the Embankment and then head to the Eye. It was dark when we boarded and London actually looks pretty magical at night time, the kids loved it. I hated the entire thing. It’s high, it’s an over priced (£95 for the 3 of us for a 10 minute ride) ferris wheel and to be honest, you could avoid it and not miss anything. They also take your photo before you board and then try and fleece you for £20 for the pleasure of purchasing it after. So unless you really really feel the need to go up, don’t.
We were back in the hotel by 8pm, tired legs all round. But we survived. We ‘did’ London in just over 8 hours. We didn’t lose any children, we navigated the tube with ease and we all had a great time.
The main event looms tomorrow…Harry Potter world/land/tour. It’s cost the same as the Eye did just to walk through the door but I have high hopes it’ll deliver on a slightly higher level.
In the meantime, #3 is at home in Scotland with Grandma…hating the fact she has to wear a gilet now it’s October. So at some point today everyone has been miserable. Aren’t children great!