Saturday 17 June
Another ferry crossing with old cars leaving after a rally and an extraordinarily empty road south to an overnight in a Birmingham hotel.
Sunday 18 June
Visit to Flic, Gary and Cody outside Reading; it is getting hot and the temperatures here are approaching 30C. Cody in particular is suffering in the heat.
Monday 19 June
Train to London with a change at Reading, the trains are all disrupted because of the heat that might buckle the rails so we arrive about 90 minutes late into Paddington.
Too late for a visit anywhere other than to our hotel as we are meeting Phillip & Sylvia at the Goring Hotel for pre dinner drinks so chill out at the Intercontinental Hotel Mayfair using our free night using the points we had collected in the past.
Bus down to the Goring following the perimeter road around Buckingham Palace and some pre meal drinks with Phillip & Sylvia before we set off for an Indian meal at Quilon at Buckingham Gate.
An interesting Indian restaurant which generally has good reviews although I will say it wasn’t anything special in my opinion (see comments later!!).
Back at the Goring, we had a after dinner drink in their seaside themed garden, an oasis of quiet in the middle of London.
Tuesday 20 June
We managed to stay in Central London without spending a penny on accommodation or food in the hotel we stayed in as for breakfast I went out to a nearby Pret at Green Park for a croissant rather than the £20 or so breakfast in the hotel – not sure they will let us back in again at the hotel!
I’m off to a Hidden London tour in August but not to this one, Down Street Tube Station – perhaps another day – it was just around the corner form the Intercontinental Hotel, Mayfair and near the Pret at Green Park.
Back to Reading (it was too hot to stay in London) and then we set off to Essex for a few days, staying a couple of nights at a Crowne Plaza holiday complex near Maldon.
Wednesday 21 June
Explored a few interesting and not so interesting areas around the area, including a vineyard and a walk along the coast at Clacton.
The lowlight of this was a drive through Jaywick – certainly a place to avoid although some of the house architecture was interesting! A place to be avoided.
By now, the effects of the Indian Meal had begun to bite and with a vengeance. Too cut a long story short, we had to stay pretty close to some public conveniences for the next 7 days and learnt later that Phillip had to return home early from London due to what he was told was food poisoning. Think that is what we had as well – not good Quilon, which is why my marks for the restaurant would be somewhat down the scale.
It was still very hot, so even a drive was exhausting so we headed back to the hotel for a rest and a meal in the hotel. Meal pretty good for a hotel.
Thursday 22 June
Drive up to the NE London/Essex borders to Pete & Lorraine’s for a get together. Pete is still working silly hours on the fruit markets and Lorraine is still working but plan their week so that they have at least Thursday off.
A lovely meal in Leonardos in nearby Buckhurst Hill and a photo opportunity on Queen’s Road which is well known to “The Only Way is Essex” fans.
Back to our hotel in deepest Essex for a restful night.
Friday 23 June
A country drive towards Cambridge for a catch up with Sally’s brother, Nick and his wife Ute. Peter, eldest son, had just sat an A level so arrived after an hour or so, Paul was on holiday with some friends so we never got to see him.
A great, as always, meal cooked up by Nick and a good catch up before we head off for an overnight with John & Deirdre in Bedford.
A new addition to the family in Bedford is Lucy, a cockapoo who is a lively little creature that seems to be causing a bit of havoc to the garden at least.
Deirdre was adamant when we were on the cruise that she was getting a dog and had her heart set upon a cockapoo.
John however, well that is another story – at least his medical issues have gone away
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June
More of the same with Lucy, whilst John & Deirdre are helping at the church for a function.
Monday 26 June
Sett off for a long drive to Chester stopping off at a few shops for some supplies we can’t get at home but not before a sneaky photo of our 5 (between us) children taken a very long time ago – the one at the top of the blog which was taken c 1989.
Tomorrow is of course a steam train trip from Chester to Carlisle across the famous Ribblehead Viaduct – only the 2nd time I have been across this famous landmark and unfortunately the weather appears to be about the same as it was the last time, some 30+ years ago.
Look out for my next blog.