Attention, “Arrested Development” fans! The Bluth’s frozen banana stand is in London right now! It will continue to pop up in different places around the capitol until May 21 to promote the fourth season of “Arrested Development,” which kicks off May 26. LOVE IT!
Thanks to Buzzfeed for reporting on this!
So, we tried to pack light on our trip to Europe, but really, it was nearly impossible in the face of freezing cold temperatures (hello, 3 degree highs – yes, Celsius, but still!). We ended up taking two medium sized suitcases and one big suitcase (along with carry-ons and an umbrella stroller).
This was us at our most abbreviated and I’m personally proud of how light we ended up traveling (well, for us, anyway). While I was in the U.K., I read a story about Victoria Beckham flying out of England to L.A. with four children and 12 suitcases. It was written with such outrage, but I found it perfectly reasonable.
Still, for our brief jaunt to Paris, we wanted to go even lighter and so we only took one suitcase and left the other two bags in Left Luggage at Paddington Station. Left Luggage is a miraculous place where, for £8 for the first day and £5 for each additional day, this office within the train station will securely look after your bags. Our luggage situation was still unwieldy without a train station trolley, but we managed and enlisted some help from a fellow traveler – my mother in law! We invited her to join us on our mini break to the City of Lights. She took the train from Devon to Paddington to meet us and we caught a taxi together from Paddington Station to St. Pancras Station, where our Eurostar awaited.
Once we landed, we quickly made our way through security and customs, picked up our luggage and made a beeline for Heathrow Express, the super speedy train that travels to Paddington Station.
I’ve traveled on Heathrow Express so many times that I actually feel like I’ve officially arrived in London when I take it. Something about the smell of the carriage, the lighting and the news segments playing on the TV. It’s just serene and nice! The price, on the other hand, is getting a bit steep! It’s £20 for a single adult ticket, £34 for a return (or round-trip) adult ticket, £10 for a single child’s ticket, £17 for a return (or round-trip) child’s ticket. Kids under 5 are free. We found out later that it is much cheaper, when there are two or more people traveling, to take a mini cab from central London straight to Heathrow. But never mind! There is also something to be said for tradition and I loved the trip. It’s 15 minutes and you’re there! Paddington!
I love the little Paddington Bear statue at the station. There’s also a little Paddington Bear shop upstairs, which sells all manner of Paddington items – books, stuffed toys, plates, cups, aprons, tea towels, chocolates – you name it!
Paddington Station also has plenty of options for food. We stopped for lunch at Patisserie Valerie, which had a nice selection of bakery items, sandwiches and desserts. I got a simple ham and cheese sandwich on a baguette and a cappuccino (ah, can anyone explain how Europeans get coffee so very right?!). It was the perfect precursor to our trip to Paris, which was only hours away.
One thing that I love about London is that it’s constantly changing, growing, evolving, building and getting better.
I’ve blogged before about the new London Shard, which opened last year, but more skyscrapers are on the way! Check out this artist impression by Hayes Davidson of what the London skyline will look like when these are completed in the next 12 months. Thanks, Buzzfeed!
Shhh… Can you keep a secret? Time Out has a secret London map, including the Covent Garden restaurant with fire-eating acrobats, a petting zoo in Russell Square and a graffiti tunnel near Waterloo station. Categories include shops, parks, sights, bars and clubs and restaurants.
I’ve been trying to track down some good family-friendly eats in London (and when I say family-friendly, I’m not talking about the British alternative to Applebee’s, Chili’s or TGIF’s, thank you very much).
I want to simply go to an independently owned place with good food, little fussiness, no surly looks from fellow customers or waitstaff when my kids drop a fork or eschew the fork altogether in favor of taking fistfuls of pasta into their mouths. Is that too much to ask? This is what I’m investigating.
What I’ve found so far is Julie’s Restaurant, a Holland Park institution (darling) that provides a Sunday lunch as well as a creche for kids ages 2-12 run by fully qualified and vetted creche staff. Genius! I want to go to there.
Thanks to Greatlittleplace.com, I’ve discovered The Hendrick’s Lecture Series and their anthropomorphic mouse taxidermy class. Don’t worry, it’s for beginners and is offered March through July at Hackney City Farm in London. What a find!
(PS. Be sure to read their “Notes” section about the class, if you are thinking of signing up. Most important notes: All mice are ethically sourced and not killed for this class. And please don’t bring any dead animals with you to the class. Thanks!)
Gap’s London postcard T is adorable. Now on sale for $24.99. Gap also offers postcard T’s for Milan, New York City and San Francisco.
“I didn’t ever imagine it would be like this so I was both shocked and surprised at the same time. I thought we were coming to watch a film!” – one Secret Cinema attendee interviewed by BBC Newshour
I, too, had heard bits and pieces about Secret Cinema and thought it was merely a pop-up shop-style movie theater. Oh how wrong I was!
If you want to get the real scoop, listen to BBC Newshour from yesterday. One of their reporters participated in this mystery night out in London and finds herself on trial, convicted and then sent off to a prison yard a la “Shawshank Redemption.”
I was only able to source yesterday’s Newshour podcast in its entirety (if you haven’t listened to Newshour, it’s a great listen anyway!) but you can scroll to 35:46 to hear about Secret Cinema! Also, check out some of the photos taken at this recent one. Talk about experiencing a movie!
Have you gone to Secret Cinema? What did you think?