A Country Kid in London

Since we live in the country, we try as often as we can to visit the capital, if not, other nearby cities, and when we can, holidays abroad.  Just to make sure that little T knows that the world isn’t just Cornwall 😉  There’s a big wide world out there little one, just waiting to be discovered 😉

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that a couple of days before Christmas, we managed to visit the capital.

I love London.  I like the cosmopolitan air, the sea of different faces from all over the globe – I imagine their stories in my head, where they’re from and what it’s like.

We passed by the Victorian St. Pancras railway station, now made famous by the Harry Potter films, though originally in the movie, it’s supposed to be the Kings Cross station, but it’s not surprising they chose the former, because of course it’s more cinematic than the latter.  Opened in 1868 and since 2007, it’s now known as St. Pancras International, where you can catch a train into the continent and of course, all over the UK.  In the 60s, the poet John Betjeman fought hard and campaigned against the proposed demolition of the beautiful St.  Pancras station.  Thank goodness for him, the grand Grade 1 listed building still stands today, as proud and handsome as ever.

In Haruki Murakami’s newest novel “The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki”, the character loved train stations.  He would sit for hours just people watching, I imagine the character falling in love with St. Pancras and never wanting to leave it.  He would sit there everyday and just breathe in its life, if I lived in London, I’d imagine myself doing this too.

It’s not just people watching.  It’s everything in it.  The architecture, the humongous clock that hovers inside and the arches.  I also love how the old meets new inside this famous railway station.  The sleek modern trains is a huge contrast to the old steel-Victorian beams that above it.

This work of art wasn’t here the last time we visited.  This sculpture is called “The Meeting Place” by Paul Day which obviously pays homage to the brave British soldiers and their families who are left behind.

From there, we took the tube to Covent Garden to have lunch and have a look around since we still had loads of time before going over to nearby Portugal road where the Peacock theatre is located.

It’s always busy here.  Apparently in the 18th century, the area was known as the red-light district of London.  I can imagine the prostitutes standing around, of course, it’s nothing like that today.  Now you can find all kinds of shops, museums, restaurants and of course the Royal Opera House and Theatre Royal.

After the show, we went to the Somerset House which apparently the first Queen Elizabeth resided in while her half-sister reigned Mary was Queen.

It was late afternoon by the time we arrived there.  And the atmosphere was just perfect for a family Christmas outing.  Beautiful!  But sadly, little T and her dad couldn’t skate.  Even before the trip, the tickets were sold out for that particular date.  We were hoping that somehow we’d be lucky enough to find extra tickets, we weren’t.

So we ended up just watching people skate.  Poor little T so wanted to skate, in the end, we just thought that it was best to leave before a melt-down happened.  She couldn’t understand why we couldn’t get tickets and was so envious of the little kids her age holding onto little bears and penguins!

We decided to go back to Covent garden and was welcomed with this:

The words “busy” and “crowded” was an understatement.  We couldn’t even find a single shop to have some coffee and cake and ended up in a Cafe Nero about a street away, not exactly the kind of cafe we envisioned.

The important thing was, little T didn’t seem to mind at all!  She had her delicious hot-chocolate with cream and two different kinds of cake slices, which of course her parents ended up eating.

It was a long and tiring day.

Was it worth it?



Are you a city or country person?

I’ve lived in a city all my life and thought I was a country-girl at heart.

But now that I live in the country, I now know that I’m really a city person.

What about you?


  1. Cheryl TimeToCraft (@CherylInTheUK)

    Love the country, but a city visit is fun. Good to broaden their outlook. Last year we realised that ours had never been on a train, other than a steam train. Eldest is 12. Hmm. We’ve put that right now! Easy to forget the new experiences that we take for granted. I can see more trips to London on our list this year. Somerset House’s rink is big. Happy New Year!

  2. I would love to see London one day. I think there’s just so much to see in the city! I am a city girl but ironically,I stay away from the crowd most of the time. So maybe I am a country girl deep inside. 🙂

    • I have feeling you are a lot like me too. When I lived in Manila, I stayed away from the crowd too, but love everything the city, any city has to offer, even the maddening chaos and traffic! I actually miss it! x

  3. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    I may have to visit London one day, you make it seem so magical! I’m totally a suburb girl! I can’t live in the country and I can’t live in the city, but put me right in the middle and I’m a happy camper! LOL

    • I’ve never really lived in the suburbs! Perhaps, that’s the place for me too? Hahaha 😉

  4. Merlinda (@pixiedusk)

    I haven’t seen you in photos yet but I can already imagine how you look like by looking at your daughter.

    I always love Murakami’s. I also love people watching and in Manila I can do this all day and yes even on our train stations. I am so interested in people and their movements.

    I need to go to London to sort my passport and I wish I can visit the places that you have mentioned here.

    Lovely post.


    • Covent garden and Somerset house is walking distance from the Philippine embassy in Suffolk street! Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes 😉 Make sure you schedule your appointment early in the morning, so hopefully by midday you’ll be done and have enough time to do some sightseeing 😉 x

  5. MontgomeryFest

    oh, I love that meeting place sculpture! looks like a lovely trip! happy new year Dean! xxo

    • Yes, it was – thanks 🙂 And a lovely New Year too, to both of you 🙂 xxx

  6. Zena's Suitcase (@zenas_suitcase)

    I love to visit the city too, but haven’t been for a few years now. It’s such a shame you didn’t get tickets for the skating, the capital is so busy this time of year #countrykids

    • We’ve learned our lesson! Next Christmas, we hope to book months in advance 🙂

  7. I was born a city girl but absolutely a country girl, I feel lost in the city. My little girl keeps asking to go to London, she wants to see all the sights. I think I will be taking her in the holidays this year!

    • I’m sure you’re little girl will enjoy London too, so much to see and do! 🙂 x

  8. thereadingresidence

    Oh, Little T doesn’t look in the least bit disappointed with that hot chocolate! Beautiful photos, looks like a fab and exhausting day. We are ‘townies’ – we like popping to big cities and Birmingham’s just 20 minutes from us, we like roaming the quiet countryside that flanks us on the other side, but the convenience of a town and all it’s amenities wins me over! x

    • 20 mins away from a big city like Birmingham is ideal! Our nearest is either Exeter or Truro and both are about an hours drive away, if we’re lucky 😉

  9. Oh goodness me how busy was London! I lived there for a couple of years while I was training but I’m not sure I’d go back for more than a day trip now!

  10. Emma T (@ETusty)

    Looks like you fitted in a lot. I’ve never been once it’s dark to see the lights since having N, but maybe next year we’ll make it.

    I’m not sure if I’m country or city. I love living in villages and love the great outdoors when it’s lovely weather, but I do find walking fields really boring which is what we have near us. So I rarely get outside unless I take N out somewhere more interesting. However, when I lived in cities or towns, I would go out every light evening and walk, anywhere, I love looking at things, and it’s so different in urban areas. I’m not sure I’d particularly want to live in a big city, or town, but a big village where I could still walk to things would be perfect. If we want to walk anywhere, we have to go on a proper hike to get there and back.

    • It’s the same here, though we do have a lovely headland nearby where we usually take our dog for a walk. But to get to somewhere interesting, we have to get in our car and drive for a bit. I guess it’s also a case of the grass is always greener on the other end 😉

  11. That sounds like a wonderful day out. St Pancras station is beautiful and I love Covent Garden. What a shame you weren’t able to skate though.

  12. Coombe Mill

    It’s great that you try to make sure Little T gets to experience different places as she grows up, I try and allow my kids to get out and do different things as they get older. You packed a lot into your day, it’s great that you visited a range of different things for Little T to see. It’s a shame Little T didn’t get to go ice skating but there’s still plenty of opportunity for her. Thanks for linking up to Country Kids.

    • Yes, we certainly did pack a lot in a day. The 23rd was our only free day to go to London and we didn’t want to waste it. So worth it though, in spite not being able to skate in Somerset House 🙂 x

  13. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    I do love visiting London, having lived there for ten years it’s always nice to get back to visit. Your day looks lovely, and the lights are so pretty. Shame about the skating, but the rest of your trip sounds wonderful. I can’t decide if I’m country or city, I think the ideal for me is to live somewhere small just outside a big city 🙂

    • I think living outside a big city is a good compromise 😉 Like I mentioned in another comment, the nearest city to us is either Exeter or Truro and both takes an hour and a bit to get to – if we’re lucky! 😉 x

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