We country mice escaped for an interlude in the big bad city last week. It might seem an odd holiday venue, given that we don't live too far away. But somehow, staying in London, trumps any number of day trips and boy did we luck out with a place to stay this time.
This is the Town Hall Hotel and Aprtments where we stayed - it's in Bethnal Green (a hop step from the Museum of Childhood) and is, hands down, the best hotel I have stayed in. An architecturally interesting building, renovated impeccably, filled with quirky modern art and equipped in a way which shows incredible thought and attention to detail (we're talking proper milk in the fridge, ipod docks and a rubber ducky for the bath). With four of us (one of whom is increasingly adult sized) we often struggle with the classic 'double bed plus sofa bed' hotel room offering, but not here, where we had a two room apartment with living room and kitchen too - bliss. Really, if you're needing a place to rest your head in London anytime soon, I recommed you check it out.
It was something of a miracle we managed to drag ourselves away from the pool and gym (the treadmill proving to be a surprising hit with Johnny), but we squeezed in some tourism too. Dodging the showers, we wnt for a nose around the Olympic Park. There's a path called the Greenway which gives really great views of the main Stadium, Aquatic Centre and the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture thingummy.
In fact, sport was a bit of a theme of our break, as it co-incided with the London Marathon. Though I'm not sure watching with our feet up from the window of Pret a Manger is exactly total immersion.
Don't tut - we spent a fair chunk of time roadside too. Those runners are hard core. Really - I am in awe, and not at all tempted to join in. My legs were tired enough with all the walking we did. The Bank of England, where you can lift a 2 stone gold bar and crack a safe, the Cutty Sark, Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory (and a great sausage shop pit stop lunch).
And the obligatory (in the children's eyes) visit to the Harrods toy department.
I love these unstructured breaks. A perfect change of pace, free from the distractions of being at home. Time to explore, see different things. And when there is so much to enjoy practically on your doorstep, there doesn't really seem to be a good reason for having to go further. Here's to holidays on your own doorstep.