Thursday, March 21, 2013

Going with the Flow

Sometimes the best plans just don't happen, no matter how well you've planned,  and this past week in London, with the spring weather turning into snowy weather, our trip to the countryside with the American Women's Club group to see Chartwell and Ightham Mote was cancelled. So what do aspiring gals do who have the day already cleared for a day trip?

We improvise! After some research by our fearless leader, Eve, we headed to the beautiful 16th century grand house, Syon House, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, where his family has lived for over 400 years.

It was opening day for the spring season, and the guides could not have been more "chatty," sharing stories and anecdotes about the tales and visitors to this beautiful home.

Interior pictures were not allowed but you can see plenty here on the Syon Park website. The home was largely refurbished in the 18th century by Robert Adams, the most famous architect of his time, who designed a suite of rooms that will knock your socks off with their loveliness.

In between snow showers and frigid temperatures, we toured the grounds after the home tour, where we saw the Grand Conservatory, built in 1830.

Attached to the home is an amazing garden store

which makes for fun shopping in the shadow of the grand house.

Dressed for the frigid weather and armed with our maps,

we turned what was a disappointing experience to a fun day just outside of the city near Richmond.

To top it off, we had a delightful lunch, with the yummiest carrot-coriander soup I've ever tried. Must look for a recipe for myself.

That evening I was scheduled to join Cristen, along with her mother and aunt, to see the extremely popular Matilda musical. After trekking all the way there in misty cold weather, we arrived to find that the area was experiencing a black-out, and sadly, the show was cancelled.

So disappointing, but for the second time that day, we racked out brains for an alternative game plan.

How can you go wrong with a nightcap at Laduree? We headed to their Covent Garden location

for a treat to comfort us in our distress.

Instead of their traditional macarons, I opted for one of their delicious lemon tarts. So, so rich and decadent, that I thought I would just eat half and save the other half for the next day. Alas, the waiter wasn't willing to wrap it up for me to take it home, so what does a gal do?

"Force" myself to finish every single crumb.

And let it be said, it was blissful torture!


  1. i've feasted at the covent garden laduree,
    too! almost as good as matilda, i bet.

  2. I love to see a group of ladies with a plan and yours was very clever thinking. Glad to see you are still living the good life in London much to enjoy. I miss it...even the slush and snow.
    Warm wishes from Saigon...
    Jeanne :)

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  4. I had no idea Dahl's Matilda had been made into a musical. Fun!!! Sorry it was cancelled. Hope you get to see it soon.