A sideline project for an IT guy who likes to cook

London Jubilee

This weeks share is from London. Her majesty has given us an extra bank holiday! Bolted it onto a Friday, shuffled one from the end of May and joined them together in order to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. We were ahead of the game on our travel plans. Trying to time it best with coming out of lock down, in the end deciding to stay on the home turf and soak up some of the atmosphere about the capital city.

Can you imagine being in the same job for Seventy years!  I’m in admiration, albeit I know it’s come with a certain amount of privilege and support.  I’m definitely in the camp of it being something the nation should join together on, be it through a street party, watching the spectacle on TV or just sitting in the garden on a Friday afternoon because of the extra days holiday.

We took the train Wednesday and even that was a treat.  A Four and a half hour journey, the four of us at a table enjoying a picnic, some reading and the company.   On arrival, some sense of familiarity with Kings Cross Station, but also the feeling of being new, the bearings slightly disorientated as we topped up our old Oyster cards for the London transport system.   Next stop Hammersmith, where home would be for the next few nights.

Wednesday evening was really just about settling in, I cooked tea, supplies from the Little Waitrose round the corner.  Fresh bought Pasta (it cooks really quick), a tub of sauce (it’s allowed when travelling), some greens and a few diced thighs to satiate the protein crazed teenagers.

Thursday, the trooping of the colour.  We were just there to soak up the atmosphere to try and get close and enjoy what London had to offer.   It started with the bus in to town, where at some point the bus and traffic were all brought to a halt.   A luxury vehicle cruised by sandwiched by Police motorbikes, the bus whispers confirming it was William.  All I saw was someone’s hat!  We got off at Wellington Arch and managed to get into the top part of green park.   At which point we weren’t going to get any closer and went for a quiet coffee and a pastry.   A little explore of the streets, soaking up the sun.  My main ask was to see the fly by, which I thought would maybe the red arrows or a couple of jets.   Seventy aircraft flew over, from helicopters to big old birds, spitfires, jets in formation of a Seventy and the red arrows showing the signature red, white and blue colours.   The streets of London coming to a halt as they looked to the skies, cheers for the spitfires and cheers for the red arrows.  A great sight, and then to be part of the crowds dissipating as folk passed by in both refinery and union jacks in equals measure.   Princess Eugenie also drove past us at one point.

I’d booked a table at the River Café a few months in advance, knowing it was a stones throw from where we staying leaving the boys with Pizza for tea.  The Café as it’s name underplays the quality of the Italian food (and the cost) on offer. It’s a well known institution so commands a steep price.   Jamie Oliver famously started his career off here with a chance documentary.  Numerous cookbooks and enhanced folklore in amongst the food scene and I can see why.  I thoroughly enjoyed a crab starter (after I’d stopped embarrassingly spilling it over myself with a knock of a fork!), followed by a spatchcocked Pigeon and the infamous chocolate nemesis.  My wife, buffalo mozzarella, Monkfish and an almond tart.  A suitable bottle of wine alongside, even after I ordered it I couldn’t remember where it was from!

Friday, was about Kew Gardens, although knowing the boys wouldn’t surface for a little while that morning we went for a run along the River Thames.  My wife is the main runner in the family and she was desperate for a change of scene.  The stomping ground at home stale.  I myself was just determined to make 5k my goal.  The sun was shining and being by the side of the river and on the flat was a great help.

Saturday, more culture the boys wanted to hit the Science Museum, and my wife and I thought we’d tackle the V and A.  What a place, I’m so annoyed I’ve never been before.  The architecture itself is just astonishing, before  we even started looking at the collections.  We also came across a street party with some great food stalls a wide open park where we just soaked up the vibe and the sunshine.  Listened to a few tunes by the guys on the steel drums.  Some nice covers of Michael Jackson and David Bowie. 

Next up the bikes that frequent every corner,  £2 for 24 hours with every half hour free as long as the bike is checked in we got ourselves back home in one piece to catch the evening concert that would be going on a few miles down the road.

Sunday, the train back home. We have all taken our own individual naps at some point. My son has just shown me a photo of the both of us sleeping….is there no respect!


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

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12 Comments

  1. Astrid

    It certainly sounds like you had a great time in London! The fly by sounds awesome!

    • akeerie

      Loved the fly by. Apparently all the planes at London Heathrow had to wait for 20 mins whilst it happened.

  2. Thistles and Kiwis

    What a great trip and glad you enjoyed River Cafe too.

    • akeerie

      River Cafe, definitely an insight into the London food scene

  3. cedar51

    finally a real person talking about the Jubilee and taking the time to spend a few days in London sharing what was happening – cheers Catherine in New Zealand…

    • akeerie

      Thanks Catherine

  4. Rowena

    Wow! It would’ve been so exciting to be in London for this. I checked out the River Café online, and it does look amazing. How was the chocolate nemesis? The name alone sounds divine. I am rather partial to chocolate fondants but have only had them twice, and have never dared to make them myself. Need to overcome that hurdle.
    BTW did you see the Queen having tea with Paddington Bear? I loved it.
    Hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  5. Natalie

    What a great trip and Jubilee celebrations. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

  6. Julie

    Sounds like a very exciting event. I only followed snippets of it from the U.S. Holding a job for 70 years is quite an impressive feat. I wonder how far Netflix’s “The Crown” will go in following the Queen (albeit they took creative liberties).

    • akeerie

      Think they used a lot of artistic licence!

  7. kirstin

    Sounds like a fun time. I have a friend who is British but lives here in the states and they celebrated. Her photos were so fun> I think they went somewhere that was having a party.

    • akeerie

      A good reason to gather friends together without the pressure of buying presents!

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