Roses Victoria and I went to London for our anniversary and Victoria’s birthday, at the weekend. It’s actually our anniversary on Wednesday and her birthday on Friday, but my parents were coming down to look after the kids and July 11th we are up north for my brothers wedding – so going away for the weekend of the 5th wasn’t really applicable.

Anyway, we travelled up by train on Saturday morning; went first class which was nice. We stayed at The Rookery Hotel in Clerkenwell, over near Farringdon station. It’s a lovely hotel; actually very romantic considering it’s probably used a lot for business people visiting the financial city. The staff were very helpful; especially as I had arranged for Flowers, Fruit, and Champagne to be in the room when we arrived. They took care of everything for me – even contacted me on the Friday to check my arrival times etc…

Henry Carey Room I’ll allow others to describe it;

So, quirky, creaky, admirably unfussy – and cosy. You can curl up by the fire with a drink from the honesty bar, or in warm weather sit in the sliver of garden, wittily enlivened by a mural of cows being herded by two smocked peasants, portraits of the hotel’s proprietors… Fiona Duncan

Click here to see the reviews of the best trail camera.

Is there a more romantic hotel in London than The Rookery? We seriously doubt it. With the vaulted beams of its wooden ceiling above, and the beautifully chosen antique furniture below this is a paradise for lovers. Add in a location that puts many of London’s best traditional restaurants in walking distance, friendly, discreet staff, and the most amazing period bathroom fixtures, and you know that you have stepped into a dreamy paradise.LondonTown.com

We did a bit of shopping during the day; Victoria was looking for a dress for Andrew’s wedding. Tried a lot of shops but didn’t find anything.

In the evening we were eating at Fifteen.
This time we were eating in the downstairs Dining Room; previously we ate in the Trattoria upstairs.

We started with appetizer of Rosemary focaccia with dressed olives and salumi ; followed by a small spoon of Scallop covered with stuff! ( Sorry can’t be more precise than that because I actually have no idea! It was lovely though! ) Victoria’s Insalate course was Freshly picked crab with raw Italian zucchini, tarragon and lemon aioli and I had Carpaccio ‘di polipo’ – Octopus with marinated Florence fennel, olives, red onions, rocket and chilli-mint dressing.. Victoria followed with Ravioli of romanesco, baked ricotta and mint with a caper butter sauce. My Primi was Pappardelle ‘fatte in casa’ with a rich lamb and beef ragu, parmesan and Fontodi oil. Victoria’s Secondi was Char-grilled wild salmon with sott ‘olio of seasonal vegetables and marjoram salmoriglio.Mine was Pot roast shoulder of Pete Gott’s rare breed pork (cooked in onions, rosemary and white wine) with borlotti beans ‘in umido’, beet leaves and pan juices. Desert was Lime and creme fraiche panna cotta with sherry sabayon, summer fruitd and Mixed nut caramel crostata with hazlenut mascarpone cream, dried banana respectively.

With the food I had the wine pairing menu; basically the wine waiter pours you a glass of a chosen wine that complements your dish – this went – Champagne, White, Red, Red, Desert… Having already drunken a bottle of champagne back at the hotel, I was starting to feel the affects of the wine by the end of the night. The wine pairing was great; I really enjoyed that.
All in all the experience was fantastic. I not sure I would choose the Dining Room over the Trattoria in future, although I would happily do it again.

Sunday morning we woke up to breakfast in the hotel – in bed; Fruit, Youghurt, danishes, bread rolls, Croissant, Jams, Orange, Coffee, and Tea.

The more shopping at casabathroomware.com.au!

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Ice Skating

We took the kids to Marwell Zoo on Sunday. It was a pre-arranged visit where we were meeting up with the OB’s and taking all the kids Ice Skating and to Santas Grotto. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The kids really liked the ice skating despite the amount of time then spent on their bottoms! 🙂 I thought that Santas Grotto was very good and value for money. The kids go in, in groups. You don’t get the usual 1-2-1 with santa, but it’s a much better story driven event. They also get chance to do some colouring and craft work.

I think the only thing going against Marwell for the whole experience is that, considering they are refurbishing the resteraunt but trying to drive more numbers through the park during the festive period, then maybe they need to pay more attention to the refreshments and in particular warm places to sit.

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Longleat Safari

Longleat Safari - GiraffeWe took the kids to Safari for a day trip on Sunday. On the whole we had a good time. I must admit that I wouldn’t choose to take the car through the monkey enclosure again having watched what they did to some of the cars that went through there.

The biggest problem we had was that the car started overheating while we were in the Monkey enclosure. Luckily we managed to get out of there unscathed but we took a 20minute lunch break on a grass verge in the small space in between enlosures in order to allow the car to cool down.

We then actually overheated in the Rhino enclosure and needed park assistance to get us working again. Another 20 minute break while we allowed the car to settle.

We then overheated again while in the Lion enclosure! the problem is that you are trying to move so little, so slowly and up and down hills that is just no good for driving. That said, I have never had a car overheat on me before and I have been in many traffic jams.

The real question is; what so you do when your car has overheated in the Lion enclosure, you can’t move because of the traffic, you can’t get out because of the lions, and because of the delays caused by car problems, you find you are bursting for a piss… and it’s at least 45 minutes before you can get to the nearest toilets?

Luckily, the overheating meant that we got assistance and they managed to get us through the traffic to a safe place which also happens to have an emergency toilet! I wonder how often that happens? 🙂

I also later found that both my front tyres needed replacing. One had actually ripped!

See: Longleat Web Site

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