We've been away for a couple of nights.
S had another hospital appointment in Cambridge, G had a ticket to see Rush at the 02 and with school inset days and half term looming we thought we would combine the whole lot and stay in London.
We booked two nights in the Travelodge at Bethnal Green.
Very easy access for G coming back from the 02, it was five minutes walk from the Tube station, the staff were really friendly and the family room was a good size.
There are lots of photos but I want to record as much as possible.
Our first stop was the Museum of Childhood. It's part of the V&A and is free. There was something in there for everyone. G and I walked round saying 'Oh I remember that' and there are more modern day items that S and T also recognise.
I really like this chandelier hanging in the entrance made from various kitchen utensils, genius!
Everyone liked the sensory section which had panels containing lots of different textures to run your hands over and lots of lights constantly changing colour.
The dolls house collection is worth the visit on it's own. There aren't a huge number but what they have is stunning. These huge houses made for the children of wealthy families must have cost a fortune. The oldest one is from 1673. The detail in them is staggering.
The red cracker is from the 1920's and still has it's original contents intact as it has never been used. Great for the museum to have but such a shame it was never used and enjoyed.
This little girl's dress was made during the war. The information card states how the mother of the little girl sat up all night making this patchwork dress for her so she would have something 'new' to wear to a birthday party she had been invited to.
The highlight of our visit was a game of draughts between me and T. We have loads of different board games here at home but we've never played draughts. It was really good fun seeing him planning his moves and with a bit of help from G he beat me! I think we need to buy a draught set now for the re-match. It's a game I used to play with my sisters for hours.
The building the museum is housed in is lovely. There is a cafe on the ground floor which we didn't use as we had not long eaten our breakfast. Well worth a visit all round.
From Bethnal we hopped on a bus which dropped us by the Gherkin
and from there we took another to Trafalgar Square. By now it was heading towards lunchtime and so we thought we would try the cafe just down the round from where G used to work when he travelled to London each day, only to find it wasn't there anymore! Plan B was another little sandwich shop he used to go to which thankfully was still there as by then we were pretty wet from the rain.
Our destination after lunch was the London Museum of Film. Using vouchers we had downloaded from the internet combined with showing our train tickets we were able to make use of a buy one get one free admission cost for an adult and a child ticket.
Now if I'm being totally honest although it was enjoyable and interesting in parts and it worked in well with the rest of our plans because we needed to be in this part of the City for later on in the afternoon, it's not somewhere I would recommend as a must-see. The way the exhibits are on show does not flow well, some things are tucked away in dark and dusty rooms and others are in long corridors as though someone has left them there to collect later.
Highlights included the original gong from the Rank movies, which is made out of wood and so never made 'that' noise.
Whilst G was pressing his nose up against the wall of this display cabinet I read out the card stating that this was Kenneth Williams' costume from Carry On Don't Lose Your Head. T asked 'Didn't he have any legs then?' Made me laugh!
There is an exhibition to the works of Ray Harryhausen. My dad love the film Jason and the Argonauts and would have loved to have seen this.
An old TARDIS and a couple of daleks
an original Wonka bar from the newest Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie
and part of a Sherlock Holmes TV set from when Jeremy Brett played the Baker Streer detective.
The reason we needed to be in this part of London was G had booked us onto a Thames Clipper for a speedy ride up the river to the 02. After we had finished in the museum we had about 30 minutes to wait and wandered down the South Bank where there was a bar and eating area set up.
I wouldn't mind one of these Pimms summerhouses in the back garden
I liked this idea of recycling, old drums used as tables fitted with wooden tops.
I love the carousel and squealed excitedly to T when I spotted one of the horses had his name painted on it, he wasn't too impressed it was against a pink background though!
The boat ride was really good, S said it was her favourite bit of the weekend, maybe we'll do another at a slower pace to take it all in again properly another time. Great view of the cable car when we arrived at the 02.
Well done if you are still with this, not many more to go now.
The following day we dropped our case at Waterloo and then with the help of a Treasure Hunt we wandered down the South Bank towards Southwark Cathedral where we were going to meet up with G's sister.
I am a bit annoyed as I thought I had memorised the name of the website explaining what is happening here but I now can't find it. There are lots of wooden raised beds being built and there were loads of tomato plants and other edibles waiting to be planted and I really liked the mismatched window frames they are using too.
Beautiful ice cream van
and who doesn't love an Airstream trailer? I liked the style of the advertising boards too, they had a retro look about them.
and ate our lunch with many other tourists sat on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.
One final bus trip took us back to Waterloo so we could catch the train home after a busy and very enjoyable couple of days.