Sunday, May 4, 2014


It is absurd and I have no excuse.  For my darling niece's 16th birthday I took her on a ten day trip to London and Paris.  Last October.  As in seven months ago.  Can you believe that I did not post about this magical trip immediately upon our arrival home? Me, neither. I'm in the mood to relive this trip so I think a few posts are in order.

Let me tell you, it is so fun to go to London with someone who has never been before.  You get to relive all that first-time-to-London excitement--it is contagious!  This trip was about hitting all the obvious places and at least one new stop for me (both in London and Paris).

My niece thought everything was a blast from the long lines to clear immigration to the "mind the gap" at the tube stations and even loved the two measly ice cubes floating in her soda.

We arrived mid-afternoon--first stop was to check-in at our hotel, St. Ermin's.  We loved this hotel!  Friendly staff, pretty lobby and breakfast rooms, nice touches throughout (which I will show more of later) and the location was perfect for this trip.

                                              A little vanilla fudge upon our arrival.

                                          When do you ever find double beds in London?

Now, off around the corner to Westminster Abbey for Evensong....

Then around the corner for Big Ben and the House of Parliament....

And then around the corner for fish and chips....

                                                   This cute girl knew she was in London!

Then a quick dash over to the National Gallery and a quick peek at St. Martin in the Fields ending with dessert in the crypt--she really thought that was neat.

And finished the night overlooking Trafalgar Square.

Oddly, on this trip I took most of our pics with my iPhone--even though I had a fabulous camera in my bag.  Don't know why, really.  I won't do that again.

Dark clouds loomed throughout our trip but we only had about a day and a half of rain--not bad for  London/Paris in October.

After three and half hours at the Tower of London I had to drag my niece away so that we could get to the Churchill War Rooms (like me, she loves history) and then over to Buckingham Palace to meet up with some friends of mine who are living just outside of London.

                             After another good night's sleep, we were on to the next stop.

                                   Of course, we had to do the London Eye--perfect day for it!

                                                                      Crystal. Clear.

                    We are both fans of Sherlock Holmes so a stop at the museum was in order.
Lunch at the Wolseley (no pic, what's up with that?)--and then just down the street for her first visit to Fortnum and Mason.  She loved it!  She is definitely staying in my will, now.

                                                    Bought some of that yummy honey...

and took home a jar of damson preserves from the Highgrove Estate of HRH Prince of Wales.

And if you are at Fortnum and Mason you might as well walk on over to Liberty, right?

My niece loved this place, too.  And, for once, I was at Liberty for a sale--hooray for that! So, I bought a scarf and a few other fun little items.

          Put your glasses away, it's not you.  It's a horribly blurry picture but look at all of those gorgeous Christmas crackers!

                           Back to the hotel we go--not the grand entrance but a pretty side door.


  1. Beautiful!

  2. Best trip everrrrrr. And I'm so happy to know I'm still in the will! Let's go back!

  3. I spy Big Ben, I love visiting there.

  4. Julie Johnson HopkinsMay 5, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    I think you are the best auntie ever!! What an amazing trip.

  5. That's one birthday Ellen will never forget! Beyond amazing.