Sunday, May 2, 2010


My friend, Leslie, and I are planning a late summer trip to Belgium and England. Both of us have been to London many times but there is always something new to see or something old worth revisiting. Half the fun is planning the itinerary. It's been a while since I've spent much time in London so I'm taking a pre-trip tour on the web visiting various London sites.

While arm-chair touring, I came upon a few things which reminded me of why I love London:

This from the Liberty of London store: "Liberty is open seven days a week to allow you extra time to spend with us." Isn't that a much lovlier way to say, "Open 7 days a week"?

Abbott and Holder is a favorite shop where I've picked up a few watercolors for my home:

"This site introduces you to Abbott and Holder Ltd and to our stock. While some pictures are illustrated and images of all others can be e.mailed we intend that the site remains secondary to 30 Museum Street where English watercolours, drawings, prints and oil paintings from the last 250 years are on view over three floors and five gallery rooms." Clearly, this is an establishment not overtaken by the Internet. I'm guessing they aren't tweeting or facebooking.

I could live at Fortnum and Mason, Grocers to the Prince of Wales don't-you-know, where one can pick up lovely picnic hampers, groceries, kitchen items, and such. I'll for sure be purchasing this little reusable bag for 4 pounds.

I could spend the day reading the descriptions of the grocery items at Fortnum and Mason. They are so very British. Read this description of English Shropshire Honey:

"After a busy time pollinating crops for grateful farmers, the bees' well earned vacation in the river-bank flowers, ancient lime trees and organic clover adds distinction to this complex blend." And don't you love these lidded jars? My friend, Lisa, filled the empty jars with cotton balls--wouldn't that be pretty on your bathroom counter?

How about this description of Welsh Heather Honey:
"This is honey as it should be eaten – pure, clear and complete with the crumbly honeycomb that it came from, a sight that makes you want to put your whole paw right in. Very good on sourdough bread with unsalted butter."

Or, finally, this description of Rose Petal Jelly:

"This is a preserve pièce de résistance, made with rose petals grown in a single garden in Oxfordshire. The petals are picked in the evening when they are at their most scented and ripe, and transferred the next morning to the jelly, thus capturing the fine fragrance. Other such jellies use dried rose petals, but they can be chewy, so we prefer to use fresh petals for a more delicate texture. This is divine with scones and cream or spread on soft, yeasty white bread with unsalted butter. It also works well as a savoury with white meats. Use sparingly – it is so aromatic that less is easily more."

One of the highlights of our time in London, will be to visit the Grace Kelly: Style Icon Exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I'm about to purchase tickets online because we certainly don't want to take any chances not getting into this exhibit. The V&A does the most interesting exhibits. I remember one summer with my Dad and sisters touring the V&A Tiara exhibit. Tiaras small and grand were gathered up and displayed in several rooms. We felt like royalty just visiting.

And for the best Sticky Toffee Pudding we will be dining at Rules, London's oldest restaurant. I've made reservations for our first night in London at this classic eatery.

Later that night we will be participating in the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. Leslie has secured tickets for this coveted event.

Less than three months and counting....


  1. I'm SO excited for you two! (And a little jealous, of course.) LOVE that reusable F&M bag! Any chance you could stow away an extra for me if I prepay my order? :-)

  2. What the heck!!!!! You forgot the most exciting....Madame Tassuads, and the Bollywood wax figures we get to have our pictures with!!!! I thought that would be at the top of your list!!! You are a good friend to humor me!

  3. J: Of course, I will bring you back a bag.

    L: I didn't forget about Tussauds, I just didn't want to brag too much!

  4. We spent John’s 40th Birthday at Rules… dessert EVER.

    Please bring me something from V & A. Grace Kelly is my favorite of all time. I just finally broke down and bought High Society.

    Ashley Ragan