Friday, March 29, 2013

me, mom, the medieval & the modern

last weekend I had the lovely leisure of having my mom hop across the pond for a visit! I was beyond excited to spend the weekend together & despite the frigid forecast, absolutely no part of our chosen activities were less than perfect. 

day one
after arriving mid-day thursday, I faked a sore throat & skipped my afternoon nap - I mean international marketing class! and met my mom at the hotel, positioned right next to the tower of london. I showed her my silly small apartment/dorm room before we ventured to visit the snap fashion team, grab a coffee & head over to the national galleries. they quite nearly carried us out of the impressionist room at the national gallery at closing so we made the excellent decision to go around the corner to the portrait gallery where to our surprise, live music & champagne were supplied as we perused the portraits! to top off the night in the most british of fashions, we found the cutest fish & chips place on the map and munched away with a cold beer in hand. 

 i see big ben
taking in trafalgar square
bubbly & beautiful portraits
 fish & chips at its cutest
the menu printed tastefully on the wall
the fish & chips! (I know we cheated a little ordering grilled but look at that bowl of chips!)
the cheddar

day two
friday in one word was 'fantastic!' a very slow start due to sleeping in and crabby waitresses at the breakfast restaurant eventually took us to the tower of london. my mom and her random knowledge of the medieval monarchy made a fantastic tour guide : the kind that makes you find your family name carved into walls of the prisoner towers in the 1500s and encourages multiple trips past the crown jewels! (we're talking diamonds literally the size of my fist..) when we started getting a hint of hunger, we walked along the thames path to for my mom's first time at borough market! we snacked our way through an array of chocolates, cheese, brownies and bread before picking out an awesome mushroom pate, british block of cheese & a baguette for cocktail hour later. too close not to make a stop, it was off to the tate modern after the market! I made sure to say hello to all my favorites before deciding on a double espresso (mom got a late) at the top floor cafe, which hosts the most amazing view of london from across the thames. 

how does our day get any better? tickets to THE LION KING!!! I'm pretty sure we had smiles smacked on our faces through the entire production as we watched the elaborate costumes prance around the stage and belt out the best songs disney has to offer. too giddy to end our night there, we hit up & closed out the pub near the hotel : chosen because its name is the cheshire cheese (naturally becoming 'the cheddar' when we refereed to it). a night cap at the hotel bar & friday was finished!

the medieval & the modern!
what did our ancestor edmund do? 
can't believe those english pooles were wreaking such havoc in 1564! 
 the tower bridge from inside the tower
not our cutest moment, but we were having fun with our pre-show champagne glasses

day three
saturday we slowed down a little bit, starting with a trip through westminster abbey : the eerie atmosphere only heightened by the cold snow & low light outside... my mom had been before & was a bit more prepared for just how many people were buried inside there of the utmost importance. of course we spent quite a bit of time trying to picture how princess kate had made it look so fantastic on her wedding day (inspiring a viewing of the wedding reruns later...) to warm up the mood : we went to the victoria & albert museum to enjoy not only their insane jewelry collection & historic fashions but also the best museum cafe I have ever cared to sit in for extensive periods of time. it was time for a nap before gearing up for the best indian food in london on brick lane! so excited to share the decently sketchy experience with my mom, we marched on down as I haggled for the starter, main, naan & wine package. she was happily impressed with my negotiating skills & the spice of our prawn madras! the night was topped off with a round of drinks at an incredibly cool pub that offered the best people watching of the weekend including a modern jack sparrow-like figure.

the side of westminster abbey
definitely cheated & ignored the 'no pictures' signs...

one of my absolute favorite museums! 

day four
by sunday we were in need of a little extra sleep before we headed to holborn station to tour the area near my school. bloomsbury square is an adorable sight even when it's trying to snow & I made my mom stop in the stamp store on our way to covent garden market. shopping is a shared hobby & we perused a few high street stores, fell in love with the paul & joe sister line, picked out a pearl necklace & maybe tried a couple macarons at laduree... after that it was off to afternoon tea at the topham hotel near victoria station. practically endless english breakfast tea, cucumber sandwiches, mini sweets, scones & a glass of champagne had us happily chatting for the entire allotted two hours. too sad to admit our weekend was at its end, I pretended to get caught up on homework as we hung out at the hotel & grabbed a late soup & salad dinner. thanks for such a wonderful weekend!  

 our fantastic afternoon tea assortment
the tophams hotel

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