We got up early yesterday and left the house at 7am to drive 160 miles into central London to see the Christmas lights. Hubby was the brave driver, it wasn't as bad as I'd feared actually and we managed to get parked quickly and easily and at £21 for the day not too bad for central London! We didn't have anything planned really so we could have a mooch around in our own time.
Ruben spotted this horse head at Marble Arch and couldn't wait to point it out to his sister, she immediately took a photo with my camera.
This was the only thing I was really desperate to see! The Christmas tree at the Victoria & Albert Museum, it is blood red and made up from 79 pairs of replica deer antlers. It was so cool :)
Had to stop Ruben going around and around in the doors however as they were just in the style of the ones in our favourite Christmas movie Elf. He went round twice so not too bad and wasn't sick in the bin afterwards either. Last year in September the children paddled in this little strip of water in the centre of the museum but it has been altered with rock from China. It looks beautiful.
Inside the museum its so spectacular, its hard to imagine how they got these huge pieces inside, makes you feel very small. Ruben spotted a statue of Perseus and Medusa which he pointed out, he was really into Greek mythology for a time.
We only had a quick wander around around the V & A, Ruben wanted to see the dinosaurs in the NHM but the queue was really long so we headed to Waitrose for some sandwiches and then into Harrods. It was a little overwhelming for all of us in there as it was so busy but the children wanted to look in the toy section. They enjoyed being "Elf" on the escalators, not sure everyone else on the Egyptian escalators appreciated it much but hey ho! Then we headed see the tree at Buckingham Palace via Green Park, time for a quick snack on a bench whilst Ruben made every passerby smile with his bottle of bubbles from yesterdays party. Very sweet moment.
The tree at the palace was big but not decorated so we have no photo of it, the lights weren't even on so we felt a bit cheated!! Cordelia took these photos:
Big Ben peeking over the trees
Lots of tourists taking photos of themselves throwing leaves...
The London Eye
Cordelia loves this Latin writing because her and Piper have a running joke about Septimi
She spotted a white horse too
The Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square, Ruben and I learnt earlier in the week that it is gifted from Norway every year to show gratitude for help received during WW2.
The children were more excited about this random blue chicken on one of the plinths though?!......
After watching lots of other people climb up they could resist but its not as easy as you think, its quite slippy and a bit high to be honest so we ended up lifting Cordelia on to the front and Ruben decided to stay on the ground.
We walked on to Hamleys, the streets were packed, and Hamleys was heaving so after we had climbed all 5 sets of stairs-the escalators were bedlam-and had a quick look round we left again and walked on to some quieter streets and saw these lovely Robin decoartions in Carnaby
We've never been to Liberty's and it was pure chance that Piper and I watched about it on the BBC breakfast news last week but it was so strange because we ended up right outside it! And even though our legs ached from the stairs at Hamleys it was just too cool a building not to explore!
It is one of the most spectacular shops I have ever been in, like an Aladdin's cave. The stairs up are uneven and creaky and so old but it was such an experience. The store has been open since 1875 and there is such an eclectic mix of goods, I can't wait to visit again already
The view down from the top floor:
Love the Tudor style of the front of the shop
We were all shattered and pretty hungry by now so we headed back to the car via the lights of Oxford Street. Hard to create how lovely they are in photos as head of us the light was still quite bright but behind us it was getting dark.
We could see Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland all lit up too but we were just a bit too far for a good photograph. Such a fantatsic day in London and we all left feeling very excited about Christmas :)