On Friday night I was in London at the very posh Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington for the very glitzy ceremony to announce the winners of the 2013 MAD Blog Awards. I was one of five bloggers shortlisted in the “Most Innovative” category, thanks to all of your nominations and votes. When I started planning my trip I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to go, as money is tight at the moment, but then a friend who lives in Notting Hill, just up the road from the venue, offered to let me sleep on his sofa bed for the night. This meant I only had to pay for my train fare and my dress, which made the whole thing affordable for me. My flat-owning friend suggested that we also invite another of our friends, whose birthday just happened to be on Sunday, and we make a bit of a “weekend” of it, which we ended up doing 🙂
In the event I didn’t win the award, it went to the very deserving Annie (who, if I was a betting person, I would have put money on to win ahead of time). But I still had a lovely evening, met up with many lovely bloggers, kissed Dr Ranj (CBeebies star) on the cheek, ate a delicious meal, laughed, cried and danced. It was a great celebration of blogging. And at the end I slipped out, confused the Porter by insisting on using my Hail-O app to call a cab instead of having him call it for me, and headed over to my mate’s flat.
Our Saturday started like this:
And from there we went for a little stroll around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. We visited the Princess Diana memorial fountain, which I thought was beautiful, and I loved all the different ways the water flows around the circle.
We then stopped for lunch at the Lido cafe, where we sat and watched the geese
I tried to take some artistic photos:
On the way home we debated what to do with the rest of the day, and I suggested (following a suggestion I’d had on Twitter) that maybe an open top tourist bus would be fun. My mate grinned at me. “We can do better than that” he said, and we headed back to his flat where he put the roof down on his car and proceeded to drive us around all the sights of London in our own little private tour!
We saw Buckingham Palace…
Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament
And Big Ben
And then we drove out to the Tower of London, and drove across Tower Bridge (twice!)
Yes the skies were grey, but it was dry and not cold, so it felt great driving around with the roof down.
After our little tour was done we returned the car to its parking spot, and headed down Portobello Road on foot to see the market. I loved the multi-coloured houses at the top of Portobello Road
At the end of the day my mate’s girlfriend came over to join us, and we went out for a delicious Italian meal. I had a very nice spaghetti carbonara for my main course, but the star of the show as far as I was concerned was the Buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil salad starter:
Sunday was a quieter day – my mate and his girlfriend were heading off for a week’s holiday, so the birthday girl and I mooched around the house in the morning, went out for coffee and cake at lunchtime, and then headed off our separate ways home.
I worked out over the weekend that I have known these two friends for over twenty years each. We don’t get to see each other as much these days, but have resolved to try to get together more often, as we all had a really great time. I’m so pleased the MAD Blog Awards gave us the perfect excuse to get together 🙂