Nov 2nd, 2016
Today we set off for London by plane. At least we are flying BA and not Ryanair this time, although the glory days of the nice little cooked breakfast are gone for good. We had a last minute panic over our clothes as we seem to have about five times more than we would usually have due to all the formal clothes for the train. R has three suits with him and I had four pairs of shoes but had to remove one at the last minute as we couldn’t close the bags.
We arrived into a cold and sunny London just after lunch. My first attempt with the new contactless cards on the Underground was not a big success as I used my new M&S card which turned out not to be contactless at all and then couldn’t get out of the barrier at the other end. I was “helped” by a singularly unhelpful and surly member of London Underground staff, who seemed to be under the impression I’d done it deliberately. We’d been intending to go to the zoo, but turns out that it closes at 4pm in winter, so we just walked over to Regent’s Park and pootled, watching all the different water fowl (and one free flying parrot) and the antics of the grey squirrels who like our reds are heavily engaged at this time of the year in burying nuts.
We had a nice if slightly pretentious meal at Bronte’s restaurant. To illustrate what I mean, my fish and chips was accompanied by “twin purees of celeriac and edamame beans”. Whatever happened to good old mushy peas? The Horseguards Hotel was pretty fancy but slightly faded, as though it had been given a major workover about 10 years ago and was getting to the stage of needing another one. We had a lovely view though – and a complemenatry mini-bar. We had an early night ready to go and board the train the next morning.
The picture is of the spectacular sunset over Trafalgar Square as we went back to our hotel.