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London’s calling

I’d like to tell you about our day yesterday. Mr Frog and I had a rare experience; a whole day off, with the kids. It was lovely and although I have already thanked them, I would like to officially thank Grandma and Grandad Chicken for ruling the roost in our absence. It was/is very much appreciated.

What to do with this day of freedom? Well we’ve been planning and then postponing a day out to the big smoke. Rain has played a large part in our delay and so, in typical fashion, it rained persistently yesterday, despite the fact that it has been glorious sunshine for weeks now! But we didn’t care. I professed in the morning, ‘It’s warm rain, it will be fine.’ I was right, mostly…

London is a big place, full of stuff. Some of the stuff we have seen numerous times before and other stuff is split into two sub-categories. The first being stuff that we do not want to see, ever and the second being stuff that we don’t know much about and therefore haven’t a clue where to begin. But then, (fanfare please), in swept Francesca Fenn one day way back when and she introduced us to her ‘Step Outside Guides’ of London. The guides are so fab, that we stock them at Chicken and Frog. You can buy them singly, or in this rather lovely little gift box set that now graces our shelves.

londonThe boy chose Book 1 because it has a cute picture of an elephant on the front and who were we to argue with that kind of selection process? So on Tuesday morning, in the summer rain, off we drove to Harold Wood Station to embark on our adventure.

This is what we saw:

Chancery Lane Underground
Chancery Lane Underground

I love a big lorry and a bit of scaffolding! And on we went, in search of Prince Albert at Holborn Circus. Unfortunately the Prince was off out for the day too, so we waved to these guys instead:

IMG_1322Moving swiftly on, we gazed longingly into shop windows in Hatton Garden, trying desperately not to look drenched and poor (not sure if we succeeded). We did find lots of lovely shiny things though, as boy wonder will show you:

IMG_1324

Huge and detailed pic on the stairwell of Holborn Viaduct
Huge and detailed pic on the stairwell of Holborn Viaduct
Dragons! Very cool - there are loads to be found if you look hard enough.
Dragons! Very cool – there are loads to be found if you look hard enough.

After all of that we stopped off for a quick snack – the first of many if I’m honest. I can’t recommend Paul‘s highly enough. Divine.

This contained raspberries, so counts as one of my 5 a day.
This contained raspberries, so counts as one of my 5 a day.

Following on from the sugar fest, we wandered along to the Old Curiosity Shop. Pretty cool eh? Slightly odd that the current owners sell shoes, but still. Note the umbrella and pulled up hood. We carried on regardless…we’re so brave!

Wowser, what a beautiful building.
Wowser, what a beautiful building.

I shall finish with some random pictures and a note to say that these guides are quite frankly fabulous. We spent the whole day seeking out unfamiliar treasures and we had fun. That is all!

Psst, Holly, there's a penguin next to you!
Psst, Holly, there’s a penguin next to you!
Mmm, ice cream at Harrods (not part of the guide, but well worth the detour).
Mmm, ice cream at Harrods (not part of the guide, but well worth the detour).

No seats during rush hour

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The independent children's bookshop, tuition centre and cafe corner in the heart of Brentwood, Essex. Owned and run by Mr Frog & Mrs Chicken (happily married book-nerds), with the sole aim of bringing high quality books and tuition to our community.