Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Strolling Piccadilly

During my last week in London, friends and I headed out to play, as we often did on any given day. It was rare during my stay in London that we weren't gathering almost every day for some adventure, and this early summer day was no exception. Taking the double decker bus towards Piccadilly, we were forced to stop for the Queen's troops who were headed to Green Park for a 41 gun salute for the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.

Seeing the Queen's troops around town was not an unusual sighting--putting life on a short pause to take it all in.

The city was decked out on Piccadilly Street with banners for the commemoration.

Our destination was off Carnaby Street

for burgers, Hawaiian style, at Kua 'Aina, a London outpost of the famous hamburger restaurant where Obama always eats when he's in Hawaii.

Just down the street from Kua 'Aina is an unassuming corner store, called Choccywoccydoodah,

which as you might assume from the name is not so ordinary of a spot. Tucked inside is a decadent wonderland of over-the-top handmade cakes and

delicious chocolate delights. To make it even more special, there's a little coffee shop inside and a "secret room" upstairs for private events when you can have your own chocolate feast. Sounds divine!

I love stumbling on surprises like this one walking around London!

We carried on and joined a London Walk group for a new tour of the Piccadilly area, that took us in and around the area seeing both some familiar spots and some that were new to us.

We spotted several of the private gentlemen's clubs, like The Athenaeum started in 1824 

as well as others, which are often still private clubs today.

We stopped by the St. James Church, a Christopher Wren church on Piccadilly Street,

and stepped off into its quiet garden space unknown to many, just steps from the hectic traffic of Piccadilly Street.

From there we could look down upon Jermyn Street, which for centuries has been known as the best place to find gentlemen's clothing. Floris is the oldest English retailer of toiletries and accessories, where men have shopped since 1730.

We made our way through several of the covered shopping arcades which date from the 19th century, the Royal Opera Arcade,

the Prince's Arcade

and the Royal Arcade

where we stopped in at Charbonnel et Walker

and got samples of one of my favorite treats, Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles.

After the walk, I enjoyed a stroll through Mayfair and stumbled upon this very pleasant garden with school children 

enjoying the nice weather while it lasted. Nothing cuter than the British schoolchildren in their uniforms  celebrating at the end of the school day.

Which reminds me, there's a very special child on the way this month!

The future King or Queen of Britain--be anticipating an announcement from Buckingham Palace soon!


  1. Hi Debi, I thoroughly enjoyed this tour and seeing the secret places around Piccadilly. I'm so familiar with the area, at least I thought I was, that finding new places gives me even more to look forward to on my next visit.

    This is somewhat bittersweet as I can't believe this is (maybe only temporarily) the last of your London posts. It's been such a great treat to join you!

    Happy 4th to you and yours!


  2. Hi!
    I really love your blog and I wanna thank you because I'm in London at the moment and thanks to this guide I was able to really enjoy my time here.

  3. And how do you pronounce Choccywoccydoodah??????

  4. Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.