London Calling

Updated with winners below

My family and I just returned from a trip to three unbelievably wonderful cities: London, Venice and Paris. I have traveled to Italy before, but prior to this trip, had not visited any other European countries. We had a fantastic time.

My London highlights:

On the beaten path: The Tower of London. I highly recommend taking the Beefeater’s tour. Learned a lot about executions (both the public and private variety) and saw the famed crown jewels.

Off the beaten path: World’s End boutique. This shop is Vivienne Westwood’s and contains some of her really cool (albeit expensive) clothing/accessories. That’s not why I loved it though. It is also the former site of the store, SEX, which was opened by Westwood and the recently deceased, Malcolm McLaren in 1971. It was in this store that John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) auditioned for the Sex Pistols and where rock icons such as Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders and Sid Vicious of the aforementioned Sex Pistols worked as sales clerks. We spent a good 30 minutes in the store chatting with the store manager–who liked to gossip. The building and decor has changed very little in the past 39 years which made imagining what it must have been like back in the early days of punk rock, very easy.

Food: We really didn’t go out of our way to find good food in London and as a result didn’t. Next time.

Accomodations: Loved the Lanesborough Hotel. Conveniently located on Hyde Park Corner, it was the perfect place to stay. When on vacation, we prefer to walk and much of what we wanted to visit was within walking distance of the hotel. The staff, including Colin the concierge who sounded just like Bob Hoskins, were friendly and informative. My only complaint? They didn’t tell us it was the Queen who was coming to dinner.

The only real downside to London was the weather. We had rain almost every day. Cold rain.

I brought back some uniquely British treats to share with a few lucky blog readers.

It is difficult to tell in this photo, but I am giving away the following: Three tea caddies from London’s Finest Teas–English Breakfast, Afternoon and Earl Grey, Toffee from the British Collection, Wilkins & Sons preserves– strawberry, orange marmalade and black currant and a really fun Tea Towel that features her highness herself as shown on the 20 pound note.

Here’s what you have to do to be eligible for the random drawing:

Leave a comment on which of these items you’d like to win and why. Or leave a tip about travel to London. Or, if you really want to be creative, leave the name of a song that contains the word “London” in the title.

Tweet a link to this post and then come back here and leave a comment letting me know about your Tweet.

You don’t have to do all of the above but if you do, you’ll be entered four times. I am going to select four winners using the random number generator and will give the items out as they are listed above–teas first, tea towel last. Good luck!

Updated I usually respond to comments that are made on my blog but did not want my posts to mess this up, so I tried to refrain–it was tough! The one comment I made was removed from the count. Without further ado…

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

6 1 9 10
Timestamp: 2010-04-15 12:12:20 UTC

Which means: Whaletraveled (6) got the tea, Tommy F. (1) won the toffee, connie tolentino (9) will be getting the preserves and San Diego Momma (10) your are the owner of the highly coveted tea towel! Please e-mail, send me message on FB, or Tweet me your addresses! Congrats!


14 responses

  1. Welcome Back! Oh, I cannot wait to hear details of your trip, I absolutely LOVE London and have many stories to tell from that city though not very appropriate for this comments sections. Remind me to tell you a few at lunch. One thing I can say is that my first born, Lily was possibly conceived there (or Paris, not sure) and if I could live anywhere else it would be there. I agree with Tommy F that September is the best time.
    I have to disagree with him though about the tea towel because I would like the tea towel to give to my mom for Mother’s Day. She is a HUGE fan of her Majesty and actually had the opportunity to meet her and have dinner with her (and my dad) back in the 80’s. Another story for lunch.

  2. Funny story – I have a picture of my Grandmother that we all swear looks just like the queen. Really.

    Would love to go to London someday. Heck, would love to visit a bit of Europe, too!

    I’d go for the preserves, or the toffee. Yum. And I was totally going to say London Calling, even though it does seem like the obvious first choice.

    Can’t wait to hear about the trip – we need to do Burger Lounge soon!

  3. I wish to throw my name in the hat for the toffee. Why? Because I like toffee and I am betting my wife and kids would enjoy it too. I will go with Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” though if it would count… I would prefer to use the album title from The Housemartins debut, “London 0, Hull 4.”

    Glad you had a fun trip and are sharing some of it with us. How was your mom’s show/exhibit?

  4. London Bridge is falling down is my song and it sounds like fun was had by all on your trip. Would love the tea or towel. Would love to shop in any of the three cities.

  5. I would love to win anything at all. I’ve never been lucky so it would be great!!! London would be a wonderful city to visit but, I don’t travel much any more. I love hearing about thr traveling you do and I feel as if I’ve been there with you.

  6. So THAT’s where you were…

    I’ve been so out of the loop, I didn’t even know you were gone until you came back! (This is more a statement about me than you.)

    There’s an old song by Malcolm McLaren I absolutely loved. It was on the No Small Affair soundtrack (circa 1984) and the refrain went something like “I love Eiffel, sexy Eiffel Tower…”

    Totally rad man.

    Appropos of nothing.


    • As I said on your (wonderful) site–I was blown away by both the city and its peeps! I found the Parisians to be genuinely friendly. And the ones we met, didn’t seem to have any problem with the fact we did not speak French–or if they did, they hid it well. Have fun!

  7. HI, Jennifer,

    I enjoyed this blog on London. OMG! you were soooo close to getting to see the Queen and when you were at the Tower of London-you should have stopped by Zandra Rhodes’ museum right there in the Bermondsey area as well. next time!! we’re heading that way later this summer…if that darn Icelandic volcano calms down and frees up travel for everyone again!!

    cheerio! keep on blogging!

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