London – Day 6 – Palace of Westminster to Gordon’s Wine Bar

….day six continues along the River Thames

After leaving the Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey we continued walking towards the River Thames. Right behind the Abbey lies the Palace of Westminster which holds both houses of Parliament for the United Kingdom. It was originally built in the eleventh century and rebuild in the 1800s after it burned down.

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As you can see from the photos the structure was under quite a bit of construction. The one big disappointment was that Big Ben was also under construction but we knew this before we arrived in London. What I didn’t know was that the entire tower would be covered in scaffolding. The refurbishing is scheduled to take three years to complete and during the renovation the clock bells have been turned off.IMG-8945

From many parts of London one of the sites that stands out above many of the building is the giant Ferris wheel called the London Eye. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames in London and is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually.IMG-6999
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As we continued along the River Thames we came across the Golden Jubilee bridge built in 2000. It is a steel truss bridge located in Lambeth borough.

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From here we headed over to Gordon’s Wine Bar but on the way we passed through the Courtauld Institute of Art. At the time we had no idea what we were looking at but we liked the sculptures and the architecture.IMG-8961
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Gordon’s Wine Bar is located on the Strand. It is thought to be the oldest wine bar in London having been established in 1890. The bar is very much a family affair, owned by Wendy Gordon who is the wife of the late much loved Luis Gordon, and now overseen by Luis’ eldest son Simon. The building itself was a warehouse built in 1790 and in 1880 it was converted to accommodations.

We entered through the cellar doors. You need to stoop to get to your rickety candlelit table – anonymity is guaranteed! If the sun is out you can also sit outside in Watergate Walk and enjoy watching the world go by. The bar is loved by many and seems to be a place where time has stood still. It serves only wine, sherries and port and simple food, ranging from homemade pies to mature cheese. If you’re in London you should definitely check this place out. You can find more information here.

A word of warning. If you do go into the cellar watch your head because the ceilings are low and it takes awhile for your eyes to adjust to the dark. I hit my head three times in the space of a minute making my way to our table.

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Happy Birthday Frances

….December 13, 2018

I can’t believe that our dog, Frances is already 12 years old. We got her as a puppy from our daughter when she got a new job that made it impossible for her to properly train a new puppy. Frances immediately became my husband’s dog. It was love at first sight.

Over the years Frances has brought us a lot of joy. She’s a strange mix and whenever people ask about her breed they’re surprised by the answer. To the best of our knowledge she’s a cross between an Australian Sheppard and a Dachshund.

Here are a few photos of her over the last 12 years.
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Bringing Home the Tree

…..a tradition that happens sporadically 

Is it a tradition if you don’t do it every year?

This year we decided as a family to cut down our Christmas trees. We’ve done it in the past and always get a lot of joy out of it. Two years ago there was a ton of snow on the ground and this year there was next to nothing. Nonetheless we had a lot of fun and I discovered a new landmark that I didn’t know existed.

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The tree farm we used this year was a smaller place, owned by an older couple. There were no sleigh rides or wagons, hot cocoa or tree balers. It didn’t matter though because we were able to walk through the grounds at our own pace and not worry about hoards of people all eyeing the same tree. The dogs were also allowed to run freely. We just had to make sure that they didn’t wander off because there are coyotes in the area.

I don’t think the place even had a name. We just looked for the signs directing us to ‘Cut Your Own Christmas Tree’. From Toronto we drove westbound along the QEW and Hyw. 403 until we reached Hwy. 6 going north. From there we drove till we hit concession road #6 and went east. Luckily we had our daughter, Gaelan on the phone and she directed us onto the property.

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In the next post I’ll describe the surprising landmark that we discovered while out ‘hunting’ for the perfect Christmas tree.

Pic and a Word Challenge – Steps

….thanks to Pic and a Word Challenge for this week’s theme – Steps

Every day I walk

Ten thousand steps, sometimes more

Sometimes less – feels good

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