On that list, one of his life’s ambitions was to meet a penguin. As a lot of the things he wants to do involve things like buying Lamborghinis and not getting fat, I thought getting him to meet a penguin was actually one I could make possible. So for his birthday this year I bought him a zoo experience with London Zoo so he could do just that!
A couple of weekends ago we hopped on the train and made our way to London to go to the zoo!
It’s not cheap to do, the zoo is an expensive day out but we had a great time! We honestly thought we were going to be in there for a couple of hours and then we’d have a few hours to do some other bits in London before meeting a friend in Notting Hill for dinner. We were there all day! There was so much to see – a real ‘something for everyone’ kind of place.
I loved seeing the meerkats (I haven’t understood all the meerkat love in the UK – but seeing real ones – they’re fascinating!), the otters that sound like mandrakes (the things in Harry Potter that they pull from the plant pots in the first film), finding out that piranha are glittery, the posing monkey – vogue, watching an upside down hanging sloth take an age to lift his arm to pick up a piece of fruit (they really are so slow at doing anything!), the free-range silkie chickens, and the jellyfish were mesmerising – it seems impossible that they’re alive.
I’m not going to lie and say that all the following photos are mine – because well, they’re not. I may have had a couple of freak-outs in some of the areas where the animals were just free to roam around…like the butterflies, and the birds, and the monkeys, and the bats…OK so the bats were behind glass – but I could feel them on me and in my hair! (Note: they weren’t on me – that would have been impossible as they were BEHIND GLASS – but my brain doesn’t worry about small details like that). And yes you did read that right, I am afraid of butterflies. I know. But I didn’t fully know that until I went into the butterfly enclosure. Not a great time to find that out, I can tell you. The original point of this – not all the photos are mine as I was too busy freaking out to take photos at certain times – so credit goes to Dan for those ones. I’ve also put in some of his from when he was having his penguin meeting experience, so enjoy those!
After the zoo we headed to Notting Hill and had dinner at the Churchill’s Arms pub. I have never been anywhere like that in my life. It was incredible. Everything about it. Covered in flowers on the outside, covered in WWII memorabilia inside and then you’re taken through to the back – which is a Thai restaurant..! – and enter what I can only describe as a seriously overgrown greenhouse. Just look at this:
That was above my head. A crazy space. And the food was amazing. Oh my, the food! As I write this I am full up from today’s dinner – but still able to drool over the thought of eating there again.
Once dinner was over out host took us on a tour of the local area and just casually dropped into the conversation “Oh, this is where Agatha Christie lived” as we were walking past it! Of course I had to stop and take a photo. Couldn’t really see anything but it was nice to be there anyway.
We were then taken to Holland Park which was beautiful – I didn’t get any photos as it was getting dark by this time – apart from this one of a peacock that we saw whilst we were there:
Next we headed back to Covent Garden and saw the latest installation – which I know nothing about – I think I heard it was something to with a heart beat…but don’t quote me on it:
I do love going to London. There’s always so much to do and see. Dan loved meeting the penguins, we had a great day at the zoo (freak-outs included) and we got to see new areas of the city.
Although I no longer feel like I want to live in London (unless in a penthouse in Chelsea Harbour), I love knowing that London is only an hour away on the train and there’s still so many new places to explore.
Have you visited anywhere good in London recently that you’d recommend a trip to? I think a visit to the Royal Opera House should be high on our list for London, we walked past it in Convent Garden and realised that neither Dan nor I have been before – surely that’s a must!