The big surprise came at my mum’s birthday, she turned 50. My parents talked already some time about going to London, but that day, the 31st of January, it became reality.
‘We’re going to London for mum’s fiftieth birthday!’, oh the joy we felt! Now we had to plan our little family trip, with a sister at the age of 22 and working her first year as a nurse and myself being 19, it wasn’t that obvious for us to pin a date, but at last, we succeeded.
We went to London at the beginning of July for four days and it was truly amazing. If you compare it to Belgium, it’s like a whole new world, suddenly appearing in front of your eyes. We arrived nearby our beautiful hotel ‘The Cavendish’, located in Piccadilly. You immediately feel like some VIP or something when you walk in, even the hallway was already beautiful. Then they take your suitcase and bring it to your room, which was not that big, but yet lovely and carefully furnished.
My parents aren’t really the we-must-see-everything-this-city-has-to-offer types and I am truly grateful for that. I can’t really enjoy a city trip where you have to rush your way in and out all the things worth viewing. We rather skip one or two and enjoy a nice coffee or we go and eat our lunch in the park and watch the people that come by (and of course my sister and me give our outspoken opinion about them).
Our trip was the perfect combination of sightseeing, enjoying our family-moments and of course a little bit of shopping, what is quite inevitable with three women, and actually also eating, if I’m completely honest. The first thing we actually bought, where cupcakes in Fortnum and Masons. My sister and me love cupcakes but we actually don’t ever make them ourselves because we know we can’t leave them alone when they’re standing and smelling there, totally seductive, in the kitchen. But oooh these cupcakes we’re divine. I chose Red velvet and I actually don’t remember which one my sister took, but the taste was also amazing. We also went to see the Big Ben and the House of Parliament, Buckingham palace, Westminster Abbey and the Natural History museum. It was all wonderfull, but the museum kinda let us down. We thought of it as a typical museum you go to with your school, many things are explained in more of a childish way and normally that’s okay, but not if the whole museum is that way.
The one thing that stood by me the most, was the musical of the Lion King. It is not like any other musical you’ve ever seen. The decor and the costumes are so beautiful and the show is magnificent. The actors have these amazing voices and the details are outstanding. I can’t give a good description really, you have to see it with your own eyes.
For shopping, we had a small, but very effective list. We had to limit it a little, otherwise dad probably wouldn’t have survived. Our favorite (and of every other teenage girl in Londen) was Victoria’s Secret, I think it’s the closest to heaven I’ve ever been. The store is beautiful and the service is unique. They practically follow you with a bag in their hand and carry everything you want to try on. I know, if you think of it, it’s actually a little bit over the top, but who doesn’t enjoy some luxury now and then? It was funny though to see all the guys sitting and waiting in front of the store. They all had the same is-it-almost-over look on their face and when we came out and saw our dad sitting amongst them, we really couldn’t help ourselfs, it was too funny. We also did Abercrombie&Fitch, but we didn’t buy anything there, I personally find their style a little bit more for younger teenagers, but hey who am I to judge?
I also really wanted to take a look in Primark, we don’t have one in Belgium and there is a huge fuzz about it, so my curiosity took over. It is really cheap and you really have to look for the beautiful things amongst the other, not-so-beautiful stuff. But at the end, I had some really nice clothes for almost no money. I bought a nice top, a blouse, dungarees and a pair of shoes and I love every one of them.
Last but certainly not least, we went to Selfridges. For those who don’t know it, it’s actually a huge store complex with multiple areas. So you have beauty, clothes, food and drinks, sports, multimedia… It is certainly not a shopping center, but it also has many different brands. Here I got new Rayban sunglasses from my parents (I had to pay half, but I really love them so I didn’t care too much), it’s very hard for me to find myself a pair of sunglasses that doesn’t make me look absolutely ridiculous, so I grabbed my chance!
For lunch, we went two times to ‘le Pain Quotidien’, it’s sandwiches and all the other things they have, are really delicious! For dining, we went one evening to ‘Jamie’s italian’, from Jamie Oliver. Of course he doesn’t really cook there, but the food was very nice. The other evenings, we went for more local restaurants, but sadly I don’t remember their names anymore…
The trip was amazing, we don’t have many family moments these last times, so we did enjoy every second of it. If you’re looking for a city trip and you haven’t been to London, I would recommend you to go there some time, it really is worthwhile.