'London Calling'

Last week my sister and I took a long overdue break to London. It's not the most obvious choice for relaxation, but a change of scenery was certainly on the agenda. We also had tickets to see Tom Hanks speak at the Southbank Centre with his new book 'Uncommon Type', so that in itself was a good enough reason to head on over to London.

We decided to take things easy and stroll to our favourite spots; one of which is Covent Garden. A little oasis of whimsy and charm. The Christmas decorations were already festooned over the iron clad beams, and the shop windows were displaying their festive wares and sentiments. There was a lovely cosy sense in the air, that already had me giddy in anticipation for the coming season. Another important reason why we wandered into Covent Garden was to visit Ben's Cookies; quite simply the most delicious cookies you'll ever eat! They have a wonderfully indulgent 'half baked' texture and taste, and are poked with huge chunks of chocolate chips, coconut, peanut butter or nuts. They are amazing on their own, and even better accompanied by a luscious cup of velvety hot chocolate. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of the cookies, as we were far too busy gobbling them down. We also saved some for later in the evening when we watched the 'Great British Bake Off' final back at the hotel (yes, we're hardcore fans!).

We explored the bustling, noisy streets of London on foot, and although it's tiring, we stumbled upon many sights you wouldn't normally encounter when using the tube or the bus. Unconventional shop fronts, quirky abodes and charmingly authentic tea rooms and emporiums punctuated the street corners. We strolled through St. James park; shimmering in Autumnal splendour, had afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason, and we were brought back in time to 1939 at the Churchill War Rooms; the most fascinating museum in London (in my opinion). The War Rooms are an intriguing glimpse into Churchill's life, and the operations undertaken by his cabinet; held within an underground bunker close to Downing Street. It's a definite must see for any history buff, and you can easily spend half a day down there. 

On exiting the bunker, your eyes meet the imposing and sombre Guards Division memorial. My sister and I are currently exploring and researching our family history, and we discovered that our great-grandad fought in WWI. We both purchased a poppy in memory of him and his bravery under the most extreme circumstances imaginable. We're looking forward to finding out more about him through military records and online research. This Saturday will mark the 99th anniversary of WWI on Armistice day and I'll be wearing my poppy with pride.

For now it is back to the bustle of the Lost Forest studio, farewell London.