Oh. My. God. We’re finally here. It’s taken three weeks of touring around, but on Monday morning (after successfully removing roosting pheasants from the roof of our car) we navigated our way through the M4 traffic jams, into the city and, more importantly, into Victoria Station- where we needed to drop the car back. Argument free. Yes folks, argument free. Who would have thunk it?
We’re staying in this cute little B&B hotel about 20mins walk from Victoria Station. It has possibly the world’s smallest (but functional) bathroom (I took the photo below from the door), but I’ll tell you more about it later.
It’s in Belgravia, and the streets around us are quite posh. Our street, and the few around it, are full of these houses that would have once been owned by a single family, but have now been converted to private hotels, embassies and restaurants.
Just down the road is the seriously posh part of Belgravia. The landlord in the pub we found for lunch on the first day- Belgravia SW1- was telling us about who lives around there. There being Eaton Place and Eaton Square. Some of the houses- and they all look like this from the outside- are in the main pic.
The old stables, or Mews, have been converted into garages for the private use of residents. In one block we saw no fewer than five rolls royces- some parked (with chauffeurs), some driving around. Then there were the Bentleys, a couple of maseratis, one porsche, and a few handfuls of top of the line range rovers.
Naturally I peeked in the windows of the real estate agent. OMFG. In the window was one place on the market for 8.5M pounds. For 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 reception rooms, parking space and a share of freehold. Man!
Map in hand we spent the few hours of remaining daylight (the sun is down by just before 4pm) getting our bearings on foot- in my mind, the best possible way to get one’s bearings in a new city.
In the process we ticked off some big ticket items.
What we like to call the wedding cake statue- but is really the Queen Victoria one…
a wander through St James’s Park…
and a chat to the local inhabitants.
At the end of St James’s Park is William Churchill’s War Rooms and the home of the Household Guards…who were, incidentally, doing their changing thing as we walked through at 4pm.
From here we strolled past Downing St- you can’t actually see No. 10, but it’s down past the gates just behind the Christmas tree…or so we were told by a friendly policeman…
and got our first look at the river and the London Eye in what was left of the twilight.
Then it was across the road to Westminster for a grainy shot of Big Ben,
and an even more grainy one of the Houses of Parliament…
and a sneaky between the bars peek at the Christmas tree.
Across the road is Westminster Abbey. This is on the list for tomorrow morning, but here are a few pics to be going on with.
Back tomorrow for a closer look…