After many years of stopping into antique stores and markets I finally find a set of antique tea cups that capture my attention as we wander through the Portobello Market on a Friday morning. Hand painted gold rim and a beautiful teal design, simple yet elegant in an art deco style. Mister sees my eyes sparkle at the thought of taking them home and has the woman at the stand wrap them up for me. We stroll through the rest of the stalls and I take everything in. The buildings, the locals, the stores off of Westbourne Grove, and the endless inspiration of fashion. As we make our way home Isla pulls on my sleeve and pulls me close, and then nestles her head into my shoulder. My heart melts.
We spend a Saturday with the plans of seeing Buckingham Palace and although it takes us all day to get there, it is the most fabulous of days of walking through the centre of London enjoying the architecture as well as running into a fabulously dressed wedding party of guests. We stop into an Italian restaurant in Mayfair and we are proud of our daughter as she eats pasta along side us, completely content to enjoy her meal.
There are many meals shared with my small family, and we always walk away exclaiming how well mannered she is. How we anticipate when she will break down but also know how much she enjoys food that it can easily distract her.
An afternoon spent on our last weekend in London we take the train to Greenwich to the Royal Observatory and there we meet the beautiful Victorian structure of Greenwich Mean time. But even more breath taking is the view from the top of the hill and it quickly becomes my favourite view of London. The park grounds now filled with autumn colours, the Old Royal Naval Collage below and then the city scape ever flowing behind it. We linger for as long as we can before the chill starts to set into our bones.
I have a morning to myself and schedule a viewing at 18 Stafford Terrace and quickly become swept away into the old Victorian home. I become inspired by the welcoming atmosphere, the endless paintings and drawings on the wall – leaving a story and mark, the silver tray, the ornate handwriting of social engagements and dinner menus, the William Morris wall paper, staff to tend to housekeeping and cooking and taking care of the children, of horseback riding in Hyde Park. All of it surrounds me in a beautiful portrayal of life in the late 1800’s and I’m captivated. Later I walk around the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea completely at peace to linger at street corners imagining what it would have been like to be born in the same year as the first World Expo and then to pass away before the start of World War I, what an exciting and elegant time in history.
As our time in London came to an end I become completely enchanted and captivated with the city – more than I ever have before. And throughout it all there is an energy, an inspiration bursting from me and I find myself writing and blogging like never before. I feel moved to dream bigger while continuing to soak up the dream we are living.
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