Shop Fronts in London

On a child free weekend in London we didn’t need Jen’s fantastic ideas on free but fun things to do with children in London. To be honest, flying in for a night, going to an engagement and fancy dress party and staying in a hotel pretty centrally pretty much rules out the “free”. But it is amazing how much you manage to do when there are no kiddos in tow: we caught up with dear friends, partied, had fun cross dressing (what else would parents do on a child free weekend in a hotel room?), enjoyed relaxing meals in pubs and restaurants, and did some nostalgic walking along Thames and also passed most of the known sights we’ve seen the last time almost 10 years ago (we spent our first Christmas together in London). We decided against all the great museums, even Tate Modern with a free entry, because we felt we wanted just to be together. Sofa dates are great but sometimes it is nice to have more couple time together.

But there is one free thing I love in England: the shop and pub fronts. I think they often have more character in smaller towns and the suburbs, but this time I only took my mobile out when walking through the city centre. Even they look just awesome when there are plenty of them!

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I do love that London sticks to its phone booths and buses, but it was the first time I noticed that there are plenty of bike paths. Have they always been there or is it more recent to promote the bike riding? Anyway, the bike rentals seemed to be so easy to use, that a bike would be a fun way to explore the city!

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21 comments

  1. You had a great time! Fun cross dressing in hotel room? Reading all these makes me feel so envious! To have supportive grandparents is awesome and you can have peace of mind knowing they are in great hands. How long were you away from the kids? You can go back to the museums next time if the schedule is short. After visiting one, the rest seems to look the same. But I do love London’s museums except that you have to spend half a day there. I love London and the iconic phone booth and red bus. I love the Tower Bridge as well. Did you take photo of that and sing the London Bridge to your kids? πŸ™‚

    1. We went there because of an engagement party on Saturday night, and everyone was asked to come dressed to fit the roaring 20’s. In the hotel room we thought of swapping our clothes, but ended up going to the party dressed according to our gender anyway. Was funny though πŸ˜‰
      It is really awesome to know the children will be well taken care of when we are not there. But this was a quick weekend pop over, we left early Sat morning and came back at about 1am on Monday. Even though I new our kids would have fun and were in safe hands, i was a little nervous about my reception especially from my little mama’s boy. Earlier I’ve gotten huge tantrums for leaving him even though I think I’ve never been away for more than 2 nights in a row… But I took Monday off as well, which was fun, and now he is so big that he could tell me that he had fun but he missed me and he “forgot” that I would come back. Awwww….
      We crossed London bridge but didn’t think to take photos, nor sing while on it πŸ˜‰ but I agree, there’ll be time for museums another time. And I find I need to have the right state of mind to enjoy museums anyway. This time a little lazy recreation was perfect for us!

      1. Sounds a perfect arrangement for the kids and you had a rocking good time πŸ™‚ It’s good and happy to know your kids had so much fun they forgot the time you are returning, even though it may feel like you are not so much needed. I think a short separation is a good thing πŸ™‚

        1. Oh, actually Mr V “forgetting” meant he didn’t know we would be back and was a bit sad about it. But not too sad, and he was happy when we were home again. But I agree, short separations will happen anyway, one needs to just deal with it. They learn quickly: the last time dad went away for a week (which he now does every second week) the little mr just said “it’s ok, he’ll be back”. Isn’t it good that he learns to be reassured that we will be back?!

  2. Wow – child-free in London! Weekend away with just the parents! How long did it take you to get used to that again? (Not long by the looks!)

    1. Not a second; you need to make the most out of every second, and then it was fabulous to come home to lovely children!

      1. They would have missed you as well πŸ™‚

        1. Not too badly when pampering grandparents have been around πŸ˜‰

      2. (Though I’m sure they also had super-fun with whoever was taking care of them. A bit of novelty there can work wonders for everyone.)

  3. Thanks for the shout out! πŸ™‚ What a fantastic opportunity, a weekend in London without kids! I’m a bit jealous.
    I loved the store fronts as well. It made me realize every step through London, that I was in LONDON! Very exciting really.
    I’m so glad to read about your fun time. πŸ™‚

    1. No worries, your post was great, hope many finds it πŸ™‚

      It was the first time we went abroad without the kids, so it was quite special. I’ve forgotten how quickly you can get from place A to B when it is just adults moving around. Have to admit though, that being used to all the entertainment kids provide on a flight, I was almost bored πŸ˜‰

  4. Great photos! I always think English pubs look so full of character πŸ™‚

    1. They do! Irish aren’t bad either πŸ˜‰

      1. One thing we do very well!

  5. Looks lovely! I love the shop fronts! And anything time I see a dark phone booth, and in London of all places, I think of Doctor Who! But I’m glad you guys had fun!

    1. You know what, I thought of Doctor Who too when I saw the dark one!

  6. The museums are free….! Just got back from London today, and I’ve spent a packet on eating out while catching up with friends… best not dwell on it, sigh.

  7. We love London – especially just wandering and soaking up the atmosphere. Never tried a bike though, never thought about it with all that traffic. Hadn’t noticed the bike paths either, but something to look out for on our next trip there – cycling always works for us!

  8. London looks beautiful! πŸ™‚

  9. Staying in London is not cheap (and shopping can definitely break the bank – especially when converting dollars to pounds), but there is so much to see (for free!) that I just adore this city!

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