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Camden and the Queen’s Roses
Dawgs, Hills, and Pottery!
  • Writer's picturesbcrosby .

Hello Again, London!

London welcomed us back on Saturday with beautiful blue skies and a cool breeze. After checking into our hotel, we walked around the area and enjoyed the crisp air before grabbing dinner at The Ship Tavern. Recommended by our hotel concierge, the pub opened in 1549 and claims to be the oldest in London. That’s a 475-year-old restaurant – just let that sink in! It has quite the storied past, including serving the shipyard and dock workers on the nearby Thames; rumor has it that the tavern was involved in smuggling in piracy during those early years. During King Edward VI’s reign, The Ship provided an underground place of worship for catholics (Henry VIII, Edward’s father, outlawed catholicism in 1533). And to think we were simply looking for a place nearby with the best fish and chips! I’m happy to report the old, storied tavern delivered with a fantastic meal, complete with the best minty, mushy peas you could ask for.

A little about our hotel – L’Oscar. Located on Southampton Row and just a few minutes walk to Soho, Covent Garden, and West End, the hotel was built in 1903 and originally served as the headquarters of the Baptist Church of London. This architectural gem now reflects the opulence of the Baroque era throughout the property, yet still has a few remnants of its history, including a baptistery archway leading to the bathroom in our room!

Sunday brought another beautiful day with cool, crisp weather. Our plan was to head to Harrod’s (Mark has never been). We arrived at 11:00 am only to discover it didn’t open until 12:00 – not checking their hours ahead of time was a rookie mistake. This mistake, however, turned into an opportunity. We ended up enjoying a long and lovely stroll through Hyde Park. We saw flowers in full bloom, ducks and swans galore, plus bikers, walkers, and runners, as well as dozens of happy dogs, and even horses. There are actually two designated routes for horse riding along the north and south ends of the massive park. We also visited the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, a tranquil feature Queen Elizabeth commissioned in 2004 in honor of the late, iconic princess.

After a quick look inside of Harrod’s – mainly in their famous food halls – we made our way to Sketch for afternoon tea. Sketch is more than just a restaurant in an 18th century townhouse. It’s quirky, beautiful, odd, full of art, and unique settings for multiple restaurants (and bars) within its walls. In fact, the Lecture Room & Library is a three-Michelin-star establishment. A visit to Sketch is an experience you don’t want to miss. And be sure to check out the restrooms!

Later, we enjoyed an evening walk to the West End to see Six. This is my third time seeing this great musical – featuring the six wives of Henry VIII (divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived!). The energy, the music, the performers – I love this show!!

After a nightcap back at our hotel (it was still full daylight at 9:00 pm), we toasted to a fantastic day in jolly old London. Cheerio!


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