London Is Open

After nine days of touring around museums, everyone’s brains were on information overload. We decided instead that we would walk from one end of Hyde Park to the other, and just take our time outdoors, kick a soccer ball around, that sort of thing. Over breakfast, we read the news that there had been an explosion on a train at Parsons Green, a station about ten stops from Bayswater and Queensway where we usually got on the tube. The kids all got a milkshake from Moor and Hitch as we’d promised that the night before for being well mannered over dinner. We continued on with our plan to walk and play, and grabbed some coffee before commencing our slow wander through the trees. The news eventually filtered through that the explosion had been a home made bomb, that had only partially exploded injuring 22 people (most of those in the panic to escape). Terrible news, but not as bad as previous incidents, and at the risk of sounding glib, Londoners didn’t appear to react at all. People continued on their business as usual, making the social media #LondonIsOpen truth.

Meanwhile, we saw horses being ridden along the bridlepath in Hyde Park, and I contemplated paying for ride, however, they only went at walking speed, so the boredom of walking on fat hacks outweighed the potential cool factor of riding a horse in Hyde Park. And that’s without pondering the cost. As we walked along the edge of Rotten Row, we found a company of the Queen’s horses practicing riding in formation, so we watched them for ages as they learnt how to turn together. The kids explored a playground, and then we were all hungry, and walked towards the oldest pub in London.

This pub has a corny Disney name, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, but is actually old with 12th century cellars and the above ground section rebuilt in 1667 after the great fire. We ate in the oldest portion of the pub, down in the cellar, thereby satisfying our desire for the ancient, and the food was also great. A different menu to the franchised pubs (although still the basic English food menu – perfectly fine given we wanted the English experience). I had a chicken pie with suet pastry, the kids had burger and chips, and Mr Engineer had a sandwich.

The front step at Ye Olde Cheddar Cheese is so worn, they need a grate to make it safe to use.

From here, we continued walking to the Museum of London – which gives a history of the London location from pre-Roman times, through the different iterations of the city. It’s a great museum, but we are pretty tired of museums after seeing so many in the last eight days. We stayed in there from early pre-London history, to the Romans, through to the Great Fire, but didn’t bother with anything more modern than that. Perhaps on another visit as it is a useful reference for London’s long and varied history. In the book shop, there was a whole section on the suffragettes, so I bought several books for research purposes.

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