Tuesday, 1 December 2015

A Grand Tour

The young aristocrats partaking in an eighteenth century trek through Italy in search of art and culture usually departed by boat from Dover. We are arriving by train in to London and are more in search of good food, wine and local experiences. Nevertheless I consider this trip to be our very own 'Grand Tour'.

It has been a couple of years since we visited the Capital on one of our pre Christmas trips and Fortnum and Mason beckoned. We topped up our Oyster cards and took the tube from Kings Cross to Green Park. Unusually for us we are travelling with small suitcases which means it is an easy stroll through the park to Pall Mall and St James's St.

Everything a gentleman could need can be found in this street......

Fine wines for the cellar
Hand made shoes

Hunting, shooting, fishing
Even a yacht, should that take their fancy!
Around the corner, on Piccadilly, is the aforementioned Fortnum & Mason, where we stock up on Christmas goodies, including our favourite 'Brigadier Nicolson's Mango Chutney. The Christmas windows are as gorgeous as ever, as are the decorations in store.

Walking along Piccadilly brings us to Eros....
.......and then Regent St. This year they have the most unusual decorations called Timeless Elegance. This is inspired by the history of watch making on the street and is far better to our eyes than the film tie in's that  have  been displayed in recent years
On to Bond St where we see the 'Allies' Sculpture
We have afternoon tea booked at Dukes Hotel which is delightfully decked out for the festive season.

Chef Nigel Mendham produced a wonderful seasonal feast, the star of which were the light as a feather cinnamon scones served with home made plum jam & clotted cream - swoon!
Our walk to Victora Rail Station & the Gatwick Express affords us twilight views of  Big Ben and Buckingham Palace 

Our room at Bloc Hotel, Gatwick Airport is tiny but luxuriously appointed and it is where we enjoy a late supper of cheese, recommended by the cheesemonger at Fortnum & Mason, a Very Ordinary Claret from Berry, Bros & Rudd and a lovely chewy baguette from Paul.


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