Here I am, sadly coming to the end of the extended account of my Summer, 2013, visit to England. But I am thinking ahead to our Wellington Tour in September, 2014, when Kristine and I hope many of our readers will join us, beginning in London on September 4.
Last July, Britain was commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of HM Elizabeth, and the main thoroughfares were decked in purple and gold flags. The country was also eagerly anticipating the birth of a royal heir, which occurred shortly after we returned to the US.
The Day of the Christening October 23, 2013
Prince George of Cambridge, his father, grandfather and great-grandmother, The Queen
For the past few weeks, I've been chronicling my trip with Ed, who suffered from a very sore foot and had considerable pain. Nothing can be fun when your feet are sore! But he was brave -- and determined, so he limped onward through Cambridge, touring the stately estates of Houghton and Holkham Halls, and tramping around London, from Horse Guards and St. James and Mayfair, to the St. Pancras-King's Cross neighborhood, and finally to the Wellington Arch and Apsley House.
Handsome town houses along Grosvenor Crescent
After leaving Apsley House, we tried to calculate the most direct route to our restaurant, but in the curves and corners of the adjacent streets, it was no easy task to keep Ed on his feet as little as possible. The scenery was excellent, however, fine townhouses, many converted to commercial use or serving as embassies.
More of the same
On our walk to The Grenadier
The Grenadier, a delightful pub, beloved of Wellington's troops
The modest little building has a long and celebrated history, including stories of the 1st Duke of Wellington and his troops, various ghosts, even up to the locals who were only momentarily disturbed by the limping tourists. The food is right up to date, however, and delicious.
Inside the Grenadier
Kristine and I hope to welcome you to dinner at the Grenadier, included in The Wellington Tour. We'll be here on Saturday, September 6, 2014, so make plans to join us in London and touring a bit of southern England. For details:
Charing Cross Road, London, July 17, 2013
Since it wouldn't be a trip to London without an evening of theatre, I sent Ed back to the hotel for a nap and went to find tickets for a play he'd enjoy that evening, preferably a comedy. Whether it was just good luck or London Karma, I got off the tube at Leicester Square station, and right next door was Wyndham's Theatre where a play I had on my list was selling tickets in the lobby. Eureka!
Felicity Kendal as Sheila in Relatively Speaking
Relatively Speaking by Alan Ayckbourn was first produced in 1965, but the revival held up perfectly as a funny but dark play about ironic misunderstandings and outright lies. Felicity Kendal has had a long career in television and movies, as well as the stage; I think I remember her most as Rosemary in Rosemary and Thyme, a British mystery series that has played on my local PBS station. She was perfect in her role in this play, as were the other actors. We left laughing, but what character besides Sheila was a person we'd like to know? Ayckbourn, author of about 77 plays, definitely has the last laugh.
A snap of the ceiling before they announced "No Cameras."
The play was a perfect ending to a wonderful trip, for all that was left was repacking and the Heathrow Express before winging homeward. Now, several months have passed, and Ed's foot has healed up nicely. And I have been planning, planning, planning for that September tour, perhaps with YOU.