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What can you bring me back from the U.K.?

If anyone asks me what they can bring me back from the U.K., the answer is always the same.

Percy Pigs.

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These delish gummy candies from Marks and Spencer are just the best. There are spin-offs with Percy piglets, hearts, sheep and cows but no, nothing compares to the classic Percy Pig.

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A tea drawer

There was one night in London where we couldn’t get a room at Premier Inn. So we stayed at the Holiday Inn King’s Cross/Bloomsbury.

It was good – two double beds – and check this out. I opened up one of the drawers that appear to be a desk and …. TEA DRAWER!

A tea drawer

(Note, I did make the tea that is in there. I didn’t open the drawer to find two hot cups of tea!)

London’s ball pit bar

Okay, this is seriously mad, but also looks like fun! Sorry we didn’t check it out when we were there!

Why Premier Inn is the hotel destination for families

When we visit London, we stay at the Premier Inn, which remains our go-to hotel.

For some reason, it is just hard to get a room in London for a family of four. Seriously. Either their rooms do not have the capacity for four people or they are quite expensive. It’s almost like an outlandish request if you want to stay together in one room, with your two small children.

But not at Premier Inn. We get the family room and they provide a double (which is basically an American queen) bed for us and two cots for the kids all in the same room for about £120/night. We stayed at one in London Southwark near the Tate Modern, and tried another one near King’s Cross. Both were ridiculously quiet, efficient, clean and consistent.

Even the check-in process is streamlined so you can use a glorified vending machine to get your keys. I’ve never seen anything like it in the U.S.

Plus, kids get a free hot buffet breakfast the next morning (and about £10.50 per adult). We ordered it every morning that we stayed at a Premier Inn because it’s just easier with small kids to be able to get breakfast quickly and taken care of – but the spread was very traditional, with fried eggs, British bacon (boo!), black pudding (double boo!), tomato, beans, croissants (plain, chocolate and almond varieties, yay!), cereal, fresh fruit, toast, crumpets, pancakes, coffee, tea. You name it! It was a smorgasbord of great options! Better than any Embassy Suites breakfast and I don’t say that lightly!

(Note: I am not being paid to say any of these lovely things about Premier Inn. But they really are awesome.)

Premier Inn check in


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London when it’s completely empty

Ever wonder what London would look like if it were completely empty?

Well, wonder no more! Freelance photographer Genaro Bardy has put together a series of photos, captured when London was completely deserted (namely Christmas Day!).

See the full staggering collection for yourself!

St. Paul's Cathedral

Oxford Street

Piccadilly Circus

10 best things about being a British woman

Adele

Adele knows it’s awesome to be a British woman.

So maybe the World Health Organization declared that British women had the second lowest life expectancies in Europe … at least they’re not Denmark! Can I get a high five?!

Check out Lauren Laverne’s thoughtful roundup of reasons why it’s still very cool to be a British woman (especially #3, #4 and #5!).

Giving Public Enemy a lift

When Kevin Wells met Public Enemy

Photographer Kevin Wells drove the members of Public Enemy to their show.
Photo credit: Kevin Wells/Twitter

When rap group Public Enemy had a no-show taxi in Sheffield, England, British photographer Kevin Wells offered to drive the group in his Ford Focus. Hilarity ensues.

I love this story.

(And yes, that is Flava Flav back there with the glasses and hat. Where’s his clock necklace?!)

Teignmouth at sunset

I’ve blogged before about the idyllic little Devon seaside village, where my husband grew up – Teignmouth.

For those who haven’t been, check out this drone video taken at sunset – it’s a little moment of zen.

Straight Outta Teignmouth

Oh, Interwebs … you are a true time suck, but so many gems abound.

Take, for instance, this little beauty I found on my Facebook feed.

For anyone who has passed through the west coast of Devon, you may know Teignmouth. It’s a pretty little seaside town, where my husband grew up, and I find this video so amusing and evocative – I feel like I’ve just visited. Amazing.

15 surprising things about parenting in England

Erin Moore and her husband, Tom, have spent the last seven years in London, where they live with their four-year-old daughter Anne—and another baby on the way

Erin Moore and her husband, Tom, have spent the last seven years in London, where they live with their four-year-old daughter Anne—and another baby on the way.

I liked this Cup of Jo post by Erin Moore, an American, on the 15 surprising things about parenting in England. I became a mom after we moved back to the states so am intrigued by the cultural differences. Particularly the differences on compliments, on never bragging and on drinking (even at an under-fives birthday party at 10 a.m. on a Sunday! Love it!). Read on.