A Walk in the West End

Stepping away from the kitchen for a day, we took the kids into London for lunch and a walk around the West End. This is where Hubby and I met, where we used to work and where, in its various cafés and alleyways (that’s a story for when you’re older), our relationship bloomed.

The weather wasn’t overly pleasant (that top image of a blue sky in Piccadilly Circus was taken by Hubby on another, sunnier, day) but when can we ever count on British weather to cooperate? We pulled up our hoods, stuck out our stiff upper lips and got on with the business of enjoying our touristy selves. (All the other photos, by the way, were taken with my iPhone because of course I forgot to take my real camera with me.)

The first thing we stumbled upon, in Covent Garden, was a fabulous egg-xhibit. (Sorry – had to be done.) These were the culmination of the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt that had taken place all over London during the preceding weeks. How very thoughtful of them to bring the eggs all together in one place for us – save us all that running around!

Just as we were rounding the corner, we heard the most incredible voice. I wish I had better filming skills. I wish I had captured more of her songs. I wish I had asked her name…

For lunch we eschewed the chain restaurants that seem to have swallowed up central London, and found an old favourite haunt tucked away in New Row. The food isn’t worth mentioning but the cosy, eclectic atmosphere, and memories of our early days, more than made up for it.

Bellies and hearts full, we took the kids around the corner to the candy shop. Not just any candy shop, mind you. Cyber Candy specializes in imported, and wildly-priced, American sweets. I grabbed a Skor bar, a York Peppermint Patty and a pack of Sweetarts, for nostalgia’s sake. The kids wanted Betty Crocker lip balm. I’m not sure they realized they couldn’t eat it. In fact, based on the number of applications they go through in a day, I think they are eating it.

We continued on through Leicester Square, then back along Charing Cross Road, where we first met. Along the way we passed my favourite alley in London, home to specialist antiquarian book sellers. If I had a fortune, I would spend it here.

Down past the St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the church which presides over Trafalgar Square, and then into that vast space itself, now almost completely pedestrianized and (rather sadly for me) de-pigeonized. The kids were hoisted up for the requisite ‘lion shot’, despite complaining about the resulting wet bottoms!

And then, just as quickly as we had zipped into London, we were gone again. When we moved away I knew I’d miss it, but being only an hour’s drive out I figured we’d still come into town often enough. And yet we don’t. Not anywhere near as frequently as I’d like to anyway. I need to change that. We have so many other walks to take. Places I used to hang my hat, like the South Bank and Camden Town, and new neighbourhoods to discover. Is it too late in the year to make a New Year’s resolution?