We're Off to London

At breakfast this morning while sharing our experiences in the Cotswolds with Carole, the owner of the Cornerways B &B in Chipping Campden where we are staying, the doorbell rang. It was a neighbor bringing her a loaf of whole grain brown bread hot out of the oven.  She surprised us with several toasted slices and it was delicious. 

Even though it was Sunday, several of the shops were open including one called Dandelion. In their  window I had noticed some pretty hand painted ceramic necklaces. It turns out they are made by the owner. The shop has artsy handbags, photo cards that capture the daily life in the Cotswolds perfectly, and scarves decorated with hares and dogs. I love shops with items truly from the English countryside and not wooden signs saying, "A polite thank you for not parking here." I find myself lingering over the items. 

Lots of road work on the way to London. Traffic cones are lined up like soldiers and on the side of the road are life size photos of children saying, "Our dad or mum works on this road project."  This is a friendlier sign than the one they have that says  bluntly "High Risk Crash Zone."  We stopped at a roadside stop for Costa coffee, similar to a Starbucks.  When I was a child I used to amuse myself reading my parent's Egon Ronay's guide to England which often included brutally honest reviews of roadside stops saying  "the hamburgers taste like a horse hair mattress." Those days are over but the two roadside stops we visited have some peculiar things: slot machines,  Christmas Tree Shop type knick knacks, and even tents.

After returning the rental car we took an express bus to London to Victoria Station. We are staying in a budget type B&B in a very nice neighborhood. It's clean and tidy.  We ate in an atmospheric pub and walked walked down to Buckingham Palace. It was dusk and I thought it would have floodlights showcasing it, but it didn't.  People were photographing the guards who stood still like statues.  We walked a little further and suddenly Big Ben appeared behind some trees. I have seen it before, but close up with it looming ahead of us it was like seeing it for the first time. It's dark now so we decided to head back to the hotel to get a good nights sleep for a full day of sightseeing tomorrow.


Susan Erickson said…
What is an atmospheric pub?

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