This weekend Duncan and I decided that it was about time we saw how the other half of London Lived. The uber rich half.
The weekend started with a Picnic with Zilla in Hyde Park. Hyde Park is smack bang in the middle of some of Londons more exclusive suburbs. At over 350 acres it's not all green grass and trees, Hyde park has a lake and even an horse track (equestrian centre maybe??).
Once again the weather was a litte less than perfect, but we've already learnt that if we wait for good weather in London before we head into the outdoors, well, we'd never leave the house. So we ignored the grey skies and set up our little feast on the grass and enjoyed watching the passers by and the odd squirrel.
After a wander along the edge of the park, checking out the lake and local heard of elephants (see the photos) we headed towards Harrods. Big Mistake
Walking through the door of Harrods, you very quickly feel very, very, very poor (and somewhat underdressed in thongs and jeans). But you also very quickly notice that the place is teeming with tourists, and to be honest I don't think many people we saw could afford it either. Looking around I was almost too scared to touch anything. To be honest I wish I hadn't. 2000 pounds for a handbag? Really? I could buy a whole cow an make my own for that!
Next stop was THE most decedant food hall we've ever seen. The chocolate room was a favorite (yes there was a chocolate room) you could almost taste chocolate in the air! I dont' think I could even begin to describe the food - all of it looked so good. The people at David Jones need to come to Harrods to see what a food hall should look like! Not only did the food look mouth wateringly good but the decor was a site to behold in itself, chandaliers and gold mouldings are not what you'd normally expect to find in a department store food hall. But. I guess Harrods is no ordinary department store
After wandering around a few floors of clothing and shoes that cost more than what I earn in a week, we decided we'd depressed ourselves enough and decided to call it a day. Besides, we had a big day planned for Sunday............. We were catchign up with Liz.
So it turns out that Liz wasn't around when we stopped by the Palace so we joined the blue rinse brigade for a tour instead. After purchasing our tickets we were politley hearded into a large white marquee to wait, then, politley hearded into another section of the marquee............. to wait. Eventually we went through airport like security picked up our Audio Tour and began our walk through the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace.
I mentioned the blue rinse brigade - that's because I think that Duncan and I were one of the handful of people that WEREN'T alive when Liz became queen, in the room. Turns out that going to Buckingham Palace is an annual even for many of the over 50's in England. There didn't even seem to be that many tourists
Now if Saturday made us feel poor, Sunday made us feel worse than poor (whatever that is). I'm not sure if it was the 78 bathrooms, the 296 bedrooms of the 210,000 pound ballastrade on the main staircase that did it, but where Harrods felt expensive, Buckingham Palace just oozed wealth from every surface.
The tour took us through ball rooms and sitting room and reception halls and dining halls (they dont' use tableclothes at Buckingham Palace and the tables are set with such precision a set of special rulers are used to make sure each setting is exaclty the right distance from the next)
We weren't able to take photos inside, so unfortunatly we only got a few token photos of the rear of the palace and a bit of the gardens.
Buckingham Palace was an amazing place to see, suprisingly a peacful oasis smack bang in the middle of the city. From inside the Palace walls you wouldn't dream that on the other side of the brick wall all that hustle and bustle that is London is happening.
After that it was back to Putney, to our tiny flat to do our washing, cook dinner (our table doesn't have a table cloth either) and get ready for work on Monday.