Saturday, 3 November 2012

A London visit...

Get your cuppa and have a seat, it's a long one...

The Bucket family visited London this half term -  the idea being to visit the Natural History Museum, grab some lunch and then onto the Science Museum.

Well, you know what happens to best laid plans.
The Natural History Museum was our first port of call. We headed straight for the dinosaurs (what else) and it was fun to see Bucket jnr looking at the exhibits. Although the animatronix ones freaked him out slightly, he kept saying "look mummy they're REAL, they're REAL".
After a while we wandered through the other rooms, looking at bugs and things in jars (really creepy looking); walking through a big cocoon and then onto the large animals which is always a favourite.

We had a brilliant time but by lunchtime our stomachs were growling and we headed out, the queue at this point for the dinosaurs looked quite long and we patted ourselves on our backs for our early start. As we stepped outside we noticed two things - it had been raining (glad we missed that) and the queue didn't end inside, it snaked outside, round and round a barrier, out the gate and down the street. WOW!! I'm soooo glad we got there early as the kids would have hated standing around (in the rain) in a queue that long (and so would I).

Right, lunch....was a nightmare. Didn't appreciate how packed places got. We are definitely spoiled by living outside of London where you can generally get a table anywhere straight away. We'd headed to Leicester Square as has loads of choices of foodie places but it was totally heaving. We eventually found a place which seemed nice but I've never been more surprised by an interpretation of a dish. I'm gutted I didn't take a picture as it was a picture.

Try to imagine - Chicken Stroganoff with rice. Now I thought of some succulent pieces of chicken in a sauce and either on or beside some fluffy rice. Right? Like this picture...
mmm, looks yummy - what a shame I didn't get to eat this
What I got was some chargrilled chicken pieces that had been lightly brushed with sauce on some rice with piles of peas either side and across the top slices of tomato and across the bottom slices of cucumber. It was the strangest plate I have EVER seen but then again Mr Bucket ordered Beef Stroganoff which also came with the tomatoes and cucumber.

Note to self, next time don't go to a steak house restaurant that's in Chinatown.

After some discussion we gave the Science Museum a miss because time was getting on and we couldn't face more queues. We said we'd treat the kids to some toys at the Disney store and set off looking for it (I couldn't remember if it was Regent or Oxford street) which took some time. On the way we got to Hamleys - the excitement of the kids was catching and we pushed our way in (with the amount of people this was the only way).

I have to say, what a disappointment.

It's not the best laid out shop in the world and there are loads of floors to navigate but what disappointed us more was how they'd jacked up the prices on toys. Imagine you've walked around (who am I kidding, herded would be a better word), the kids have found some toys and then you look at the price and realise that you can get them at least £3 (or more) cheaper at home - cue the tears and the upset. And then because of the crowds you can't make a quick getaway out the shop. We survived, JUST!

So we set off again and, after some helpful directions, found the Disney store which was charming in its own way with soft Disney music and a more open store. We were there AGES just not by choice - the kids couldn't make up their minds.

Eventually we escaped left and as it was late decided to go home.

Bucket jnr charmed a pretty blonde lady on the tube and he whispered to me "this might sound odd mummy but I think she loves me" - altogether now "aaaahhhh".

It was a long day and our feet now hurt - it was good to get home. Sam xx

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