I thought I would just let you know what’s been happening in the Burgess household over recent weeks. It’s been a very stressful and hectic time spent helping my aunt move into a retirement home near to me. As her next of kin, I have been worried that she was living alone in Hertfordshire and becoming even more lonely as her old friends have died or moved to be near their relatives too. Dougie and I have been trekking up and down to sort out the house move and now she is here, there has been lots to do physically in terms of paperwork and emotionally in terms of helping her to settle in. It’s not been easy and there is still a lot to do with regard to selling her Hertfordshire home but we’re getting there.
It was a real treat, therefore, to have two nights in London this week. We had organised it some time ago because we had tickets to the Statoil Masters Tennis tournament at the Royal Albert Hall so we thought we would tie it in with some Christmas shopping.
Thursday afternoon was wonderful. Having checked into our hotel in South Kensington (more on that separately) we had a saunter along the King’s Road, Sloane Street and Knightsbridge. I bought some bargains for myself from the Joseph sale shop, we managed a few Christmas presents, had tea and cream cakes in L’Eto and even had some complimentary Prosecco in one shop, which lifted our mood and opened our wallets. As darkness descended the twinkly lights made the experience much more exciting. The windows of Harvey Nichols and Harrods were fabulous, people were generally in a good mood and we found a warm, comforting Italian restaurant. Pappa Roma, just off the Old Brompton Road, to end the evening with full-bodied red wine and some time to sit together and relax.
Contrast that with Friday which in terms of shopping was a complete disaster. Wandering up and down Regent Street and Oxford Street, not sure what we wanted, too many people – it all became too tiring and stressful. Thankfully we escaped back to South Kensington to change for the tennis and, needing a quick bite, managed to find another super eatery, Franco Manca. Yes, Italian again, but this time purely pizza and, my god, were these pizzas divine and amazing value (sourdough pizzas fired in a special ‘Tufae’ brick oven). They have ten restaurants in the city and are well-worth hunting out. We had seen queues outside this one, on the Old Brompton Road, the previous day, so had a hunch it would be good. It was.
Tennis in the Royal Albert Hall might sound strange but the venue was superb. We had excellent views from our seats in the choir stalls and were treated to an entertaining singles match between John McEnroe and Henri Leconte and a fast and furious doubles match between Tim Henman and Andy Roddick v Jamie Murray and Ross Hutchins. It was televised live on ITV 4 – did you see me?
Hopefully I can now get cracking on decorating the house for Christmas before going down to Exeter next weekend to bring our boy home. Three months without seeing him. That boy is going to be hugged and hugged and hugged…
In the meantime, here are a few snaps from our little break-away.
|L’Eto Caffé – I chose the raspberry one.|
|Spot the Paddingtons around the city. We only saw this one,
despite walking past the Peruvian Embassy and thinking there was
bound to be one there…there wasn’t (someone missed a trick there, surely).
|One of Harvey Nichols cool windows.|
|More from Harvey Nicks|
|One of Harrods’ windows. My favourite windows, which I forgot to photograph (too absorbed looking at them), were the small ones full of miniature mice scenes – The Land of Make Believe – enchanting.|
|Burlington Arcade – very classy.|
|Ready to watch the tennis – excellent seats (with no heads in the way!)|
|The Royal Albert Hall looking beautiful on a crisp winter’s night.|