A quick n' dirty EasyJet flight from Scotland and we were happily back in London. The best part of this landing was that Uncle Bob was waiting for us. He’d flown from Korea the day prior. Uncle Jim (and his entire family) would be arriving the following day.
This was Bob's first meeting with Evan and it was truly touching. I have many happy memories of time spent with Uncle Bob when I was a wee lassie. It was awesome to see him interact with my own bundles of joy. After being out on our own for several weeks it felt fantastic to connect with family again.
Thanks to Jim, we checked-in to the Cavendish for a three night stay. This upscale boutique hotel is located in St. James, walking distance to many lavish things and right in the middle of all of Central London's Olympic excitement.
However, the best part of this location was the "across the street" proximity to Fortnum and Mason.
This has to be one of the greatest shopping experiences in the world. If I lived in London this place would be serious double trouble. I later discovered it is the official grocer for the Queen. Did I mention I got spritzed with the same purfume Kate wore on her wedding day? Yea, they sell that kinda fancy stuff here and ONLY here. It. is. pure. awesome. Google it.
Okay, I am pulling ... pulling ... pulling my head back into reality. Trying to focus.
Okay, I was talking about the hotel. Yes, the Cavendish staff were all very kind but I was especially
impressed with the housekeeping. They worked magic to quickly and efficiently create a family friendly
guest room out of an executive suite in about ten minutes. They even provided Evan
a hooded baby towel and a darling bib. Ava was equally delighted with a mini
robe and matching tiny foot slippers. Simply adorable.
That evening I managed ro check off one more "dream come true box" as I experienced the craftsmanship of the culinary genius Heston Bluementhal. I’ve watched his shows for a couple of years and have thoroughly enjoy all of them.
I had tried and tried to find a way to eat at the Fat Duck but the logistics were too complicated. I was absoutley thrilled to learn Heston had recently opened a restaurant in central London called Dinner by Heston. After some research I discovered they book seats 90 days out and promptly marked my calendar for 9am on July 11, minus three months.
The menu was created from historical recipes dating way back to the 1500’s. While the appetizers were crazy unique and inventive the entrees (yep, back in England) were somewhat simple. Darrin ordered the steak and I remember thinking to myself, why order a steak at Heston’s table? One bite answered that question. The idea of ordinary food done extraordinary was the name of the game. Dessert was an experience all on its own. Made to order ice cream, tableside. Served in a homemade cone with an array of delicious toppings. In a word, perfection.
The next day uncle Jim and aunt Lynn arrived with the entire Allen Family. We reveled in a "Love Acutally" type reunion in the hotel lobby. Sleep deprivation and jetlaggedness didn't really matter for a few moments as fourteen of us were together for the very first time.
That evening we left the kids with one of the amazing nannies we'd met during our first visit to London and rocked out with an incredible stage production of the Lion King. I haven’t been in a theatre for years and I have to say it felt darn good. What a fabulous show! I am still reminiscing of the miraculous sets, gorgeous costumes and incredible music. Here's our "all grown up and out to the theatre without kids in London" photo.
The following day we stepped back in time. The afternoon started with happy hour at the Dickens Inn. They've been serving beer and the like here since the 1700's. No big deal.