So for New Year’s Eve just gone we decided to take ourselves off to London for a romantic weekend away, and what a fabulous time we had! We crammed so much in! If you haven’t been to London you really must go, us Brits are very lucky to have such an exciting and vibrant capital city, and although I’ve visited many times I feel there’s still so much more to explore! I usually like to be spontaneous and just take London as it comes, see what we stumble upon at the time, but on this occasion I planned our itinerary down to a fine art, I even worked out the tube stations, times and routes we would take using https://tfl.gov.uk/maps/ brilliant website, thoroughly recommend!
We left on the Friday morning by national express and arrived just after lunchtime, time to grab a bite to eat at our hotel before our room was available. Then we went up, and all I can say is WOW!! When I opened the door I was greeted by a room full of love heart balloons, love heart gems, a love heart made out of rose petals on the bed and then scattered rose petals everywhere, seriously I mean everywhere…on the floor, on the windowsill, in the shower, in the sink, it was hilarious!! They left a bottle of prosecco too, I felt very loved! We also had the best view of the London Eye, very lucky indeed. I’m sure you’re thinking that we must have stayed in a top notch expensive hotel for this to be arranged for us, but nope it was just good old travelodge by Waterloo station, but here’s the deal with that. I later found out that Dory had called travelodge to ask for all of the romanticism and they’d originally said NO! They even ballsed up and called her a man on the phone when she said she was planning this for her girlfriend! Seriously she doesn’t even sound remotely manly!! Anyway one shirty email later and they agreed to it all, at zero charge! Probably thought better of it after Mangate!! We think maybe this is the reason for all of the rose petals, they were either being extra generous and romantic, or they thought “sod them, they want rose petals they’ve bloody well got rose petals!!” We spent the first 10mins on our hands and knees picking up the blasted things before we trod them into the carpet and had soggy socks for the duration of the weekend. Nevertheless an absolutely perfect location for anyone staying in London, plus a blooming tasty buffet brekkie to set you up in the morning (extra £) https://g.co/kgs/vUDt7m
Day 1 we visited the London Dungeons, I hadn’t been for years and Dory had never been so I booked us a slot using a Kellogg’s 241 voucher. Apparently you needed another code to book online, which could be found inside the cereal pack, not very helpful when you’ve eaten the cereal and kept the vouchers under a magnet on the fridge for just such an occasion! A nice Facebook message to Kellogg’s with a picture of my vouchers, and a little suck up to them got me my special code though, and I really recommend booking online to avoid all the unnecessary queuing, even though us Brits are famous for it!! Well, what a fab couple of hours we had, a fun take on London history and a few light scares and surprises along the way! We clung to each other quite a lot, well Dory clung to me I should say, but that’s ok, I like to feel needed! And I got picked on a couple of times to be part of the story..at one point I was in a cage and the next minute a creepy man in a mask, like something from the Ku Klux Klan, came from behind me to let me out! Jumpy is not the word, I don’t like masks, or clowns, or freaky robots…too many horror films as a kid, I’m mentally scarred for life!! You finish your tour of the dungeons with a free drink in the tavern (glass of apple juice or beer) very refreshing and a good atmosphere! https://www.thedungeons.com/london/en/
We then hopped on a tube and headed to winter wonderland in Hyde Park. http://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/#5jG45ZQTh5zMs5Y2.97 It was just lovely, very Christmassy and the best atmosphere with the traditional Bavarian village, the awesome funfair and various food and gift stalls. It’s completely free to get in and you needn’t actually spend a penny, although we felt it rude not to buy a bratwurst to chow down on and a hot chocolate to finish off with nicely. We had planned to do ice skating (£15.50pp) and the observation wheel (9.50pp) although I stumbled in to a pothole at one point and after that my foot got progressively worse, so much so I couldn’t even make it to the tube! So after 4 hours in the park we took an expensive cab ride back instead, and I spent the rest of the evening being pampered by Dory with a foot massage and her waiting on me hand and foot (literally!) it was a great day!
Day 2 we got up and treated ourselves to a buffet breakfast downstairs. It was lovely and so much choice! Then we headed off to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! http://ripleyslondon.com If you haven’t been and you like discovering weird and wacky things then this is a must! I got us another bargain with this attraction using Tesco clubcard vouchers. https://secure.tesco.com/clubcard/boost/ripleys-believe-it-or-not-london/UK-009550.prd At only £8 of vouchers each it was well worth it, loads to look at, cool interactions, fun facts and simply lots of enjoyment to be had. We spent 2.5 hours in there but could have easily spent longer if we didn’t have such a packed itinerary!
Next up was our matinee showing of Les Mis, one of our fav films and an absolutely beautiful show. The songs make you super goose pimply in the theatre and it’s just such an intimate experience! I managed to get our tickets from See Tickets http://www.seetickets.com/content/work-with-us/?gclid=CImtsZ332tECFeQp0wodkTUPIA for under £40 each. We were up in the gods but you could see from every seat as there was a good slope, and I like being able to choose my seat online (usually securing an aisle for less restriction.) The theatre was literally a stones throw from Ripley’s….god I worked this itinerary well! And then we decided to eat at TGI’s (Piccadilly) after as we’d been given vouchers for Christmas, so another money saver for us….and an even bigger one too as I actually complained after our meal (by email) as I’d been served duck on the bone, I mean I literally had to shred it myself….I felt like a chef in a Chinese takeaway, although my shredding probably wasn’t quite as delicate! Anyway this was a new item on their fajita section of the menu and unless you like prepping your own meal at the table, I wouldn’t recommend! I managed to bag £30 of TGI vouchers as a goodwill gesture, and that’s the least I would have expected! (I must inform you that I’m an expert complainer, if I got paid to do it I think I’d make a killing! If there’s something to complain about then I will….watch this space for a blog post dedicated to my complaints!!!!)
After our full on day we ventured back to our hotel to relax, pop open the bubbly and get ready for our New Year Celebrations. This was the first year that the event was ticketed, and luckily for us Dory was on the ball enough to order our tickets in advance http://www.seetickets.com/tour/london-new-year-s-eve-fireworks and what a cracking spot she picked us…right in front of the London Eye! We left our hotel about 8.45pm as we knew lots of roads would be closed off and there would also be lots of crowds, plus the tickets stated we had to be inside our area by 10pm. It was very easy to get there, although be prepared to do some walking, and wrap up warm…there’s lots of standing around!!! Our tickets and bags were checked a few times (please note you can take food and alcohol in with you, just no glass! So stock up on those little plastic flutes from Poundland if you want to celebrate in style! We, on the other hand were happy with sipping our vodka and lemonade from plastic Evian bottles!!) and then once you’re in just walk to a good spot and set up camp while you wait. There are portaloos and a DJ so the atmosphere was great. We took a blanket to sit on and found a spot directly in front of the Eye, it was perfect! It changed colours several times, it really was the prettiest backdrop.
Then came the crucial 5mins before midnight, the time when you suddenly need the loo but think better of it incase there’s a queue and you can’t find your way back in time! So I waited, and then Dory produced a present, one that I knew she’d been holding back as it hadn’t arrived in time for Christmas, or so I thought! I then had instructions to watch a video as I was opening it and all would apparently become clear. You may think me totally naive but I honestly didn’t expect a ring, it hadn’t even crossed my mind until 2mins before unwrapping it, in fact I thought I was getting a new watch!!! But here I was, box in hand (watch shaped box I might add….Dory’s good!) and finger poised on the play button ready to watch the video. Then on the screen pops up Dudes gorgeous little face, I listen hard, getting a bit nervous as maybe I have a slight inkling now, and then I hear those words “Will you marry Mummy?” I opened the box and there was a ring. I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock but I couldn’t be happier. Only 7 months in to our relationship but I know that this is it, she’s who I want to grow old with, and I’m so glad she asked me. At the very moment I said “YES, of course!” The London sky was lit up with the most spectacular fireworks, there was not a part of the sky that wasn’t alight. It was the perfect proposal, I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d tried! We stood hand in hand for the 15 mins or so watching the gorgeous display, my legs were like jelly and I’m not ashamed to admit I even shed a little tear. But it was the only place I wanted to be right then. With the Love of my life, my fiancée, the girl I’m going to marry!
I was on cloud 9, it took 1.5 hours to get back to our hotel but I didn’t care, we rang family who had been desparate to hear the news (little did I know this had been planned months ago!) and we were both buzzing with excitement! What an amazing way to bring in the New Year!
I woke up the next day with the biggest smile on my face. We had a lovely lay in and made the most of the 12pm check out. We then took the tube back to Piccadilly Circus where we caught a glimpse of the New Years Day Parade (floats and bands march through the streets) it sounded great but there were too many crowds to be able to see anything….a good tip is to book into one of the nearby restaurants that has an upstairs and you’ll have the best view from there! Better get in early though! http://www.visitlondon.com/#BcTQcKbwQ8mdwuHZ.97 we then visited the Lego store (there was a very long queue but it moves quick so don’t let it put you off) and inside is just like a Lego museum, some really amazing models, a construction area for kids and a huge variety of kits to purchase…it’s Lego galore! https://www.lego.com/en-gb/
We left London on a complete high. I slept for most of the journey and when we got home we discovered our very special friend had been in and put an ‘engaged’ banner up and had made us a gorgeous ‘2 Birds 1 Love’ plate along with a pretty bottle of Russian Standard and 2 champagne flutes that she’s going to personalise! She’s very crafty like that! Best weekend ever! And now to plan our wedding!!!
“In London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in” ~ Paddington Bear
Let us know how and where you were proposed to…we’re suckers for romance!
2 Birds 1 Love xxx