My London Birthday

I turned 34 while on this trip and it was one of the best birthdays of my life. April 12th dawned clear and bright and Jeff’s aunt and uncle took us to Kenwood House in Hampstead as our first stop. I hadn’t had a proper breakfast, but no matter, there was a cafe inside that served a scrumptious chocolate layer cake, so I had a large slice with my tea.

(If you’re wondering what happened to April 11th, we went to the National Gallery, poked around the shops of Carnaby Street, Regent Street and Oxford Circus and gorged on Indian food in Cockfosters that night. All we seem to have from that day, photographically speaking, are blurry shots of Jeff and I holding up a huge bottles of Cobra beer).

Kenwood House was beautiful, as were the grounds.

After that, we went to a pub near Cockfosters, where I had the most divine lunch of my life.

We stopped at the house for a little while to freshen up and dress in accordance with The Ritz’s dress code. Good thing Jeff packed a blazer and had an uncle handy to borrow a tie from.

We were a bit early so we walked over to Berkeley Square. Jeff and I have always loved the old song “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” so it was fun to see it for ourselves.
It was time for our reservation at The Ritz. Since it was an evening sitting of “afternoon tea”, champagne was included. Everything was lovely – glorious table linens, heavy silverware and teapots, fine china, and a trio of violin, cello and piano played in the background. Service was flawless, except our server was a little concerned that we hadn’t eaten enough pastries. Between the tea, the champagne, the many, many sandwiches, and the sweet preserves, I was in danger of a sugar-related panic attack.

High on caffeine, tipsy from the champagne, and out of our minds on sugar rushes we wandered around, not quite ready for the long tube ride back to Cockfosters.
Picadilly Circus at night.