Prepare yourself, this is going to be a long one!
Last weekend turned out to be one of my best so far, as my boyfriend John came to visit! He arrived mid morning on Friday, and after a slight mishap where he somehow managed to get on a bus for international transfers rather than coming straight into Terminal 1 from the plane, we were reunited in Heathrow!
We went straight back to mine for pancakes, and relaxed a bit before heading into London to meet up with two of John’s old friends. We were a bit early, so went for a wander around Chelsea which was really lovely. Who would have thought there would be so many pretty green areas and trees hidden in central London?
After our wander, we returned to Paddington Station where we were meeting Michele and Trish, only to find that a brass band had set up in the middle of the station!
London is full of surprises it seems! Drinks were then had with the girls in a Brazilian bar/restaurant near Paddington, where there was a giant indoor fountain with a pond full of huge koi.
The following day, we made our way into London again and strolled in the sunshine in Hyde Park. I decided I wanted to be soppy, so we rented a row boat in the Serpentine Lake and spent an hour arguing over who was a better rower (I am more skilled, but John has more strength).
Hyde Park is really gorgeous, and was full of interesting things like this cute little house, and a funny chap who was posing for photos.
We then made our way to Soho for dinner in a restaurant called Pho. This lovely Vietnamese place specialises in a traditional soup called (you guessed it!) Pho! To start, we shared summer rolls, which despite being served cold (we were both expecting something like spring rolls) turned out to be really yummy.
Our mains were so tasty I forgot to take pictures! But the Pho is served with a plate of herbs on the side, so you can flavour it to your own taste. For dessert, we shared a chocolate truffle slab with green tea on the side.
After our dinner, we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The Musical. This was really wonderful, from the amazingly talented children to the beautiful sets and the Great Glass Elevator! I really enjoyed that it was based on the book rather than the two films, as I am a big Roald Dahl fan. My only gripe would be the music. Apart from “Pure Imagination” which was taken from the Gene Wilder film, the score and musical numbers were nothing to write home about.
Unfortunately, we came to the end of the nice weather at this point, as the heavens opened on Sunday. We decided that a morning spent catching up on Game of Thrones was on the cards, and that we deserved a spot of relaxation after our busy Saturday. Once the rain had eased a bit, we drove out to Windsor and visited Windsor Castle. However, I’m sorry to say that the the rain never completely stopped so I was too wet and cold to consider taking pictures!
We had our fill of Royal poshness, then drove to picturesque Marlow for dinner. Unfortunately, the Slug and Lettuce restaurant was quite disappointing, but we very much enjoyed seeing Captain America: The Winter Solider at the cinema afterwards.
Monday dawned sunny once again, so we went for a walk around my local fields that I have previously written about. It wasn’t to last however, as dark clouds came rolling in and it began to rain once again. We decided to drive to Cookham, which is yet another picturesque village nearby. The rain prevented us from having a proper look around, but it is definitely somewhere I would like to return to.
We finished off our long weekend with an early dinner at The Golden Ball. John had yummy BBQ chicken and I had scampi and chips. Afterwards, we made the drive back to Heathrow where our weekend began. Strangely, saying goodbye to John was even harder than leaving home both times has been. I suppose it has felt like I’ve had two separate lives, an Irish and a British one, and it was quite an odd feeling to have them both collide.
However, one of the nice things about being far away from John is that I appreciate our time together so much more. And with me being in the UK, we now have the opportunity to explore many more places together when he visits! I’m already planning his next trip!