City breaks

London: An action-packed James Bond 007 weekend with kids (pt 2)

Continuing the weekend of

themed 3, 2, 1… Go London! fun

We had an action packed day thus far.  The Littlest already bailed, but Angelina and Hugo had been keen to go out and find some answers to the Top Secret mission.

Mission #6: Even spies need to eat, rest and eat again

On their return we had some light snacks in the room and after a short DVD we all fell asleep before 8.  No Martinis in the bar for mummy and daddy!

Sunday was a slow start.  A leisurely breakfast followed by more exploring around the hotel to gather any more clues that were needed.

A photo posted by Monika (@mumonthebrink) on

 

Mission #7: Finding more clues around London

We checked out of our room , leaving bags at the hotel.

The first clue of the day led us to Queen Victoria’s statue in front of Buckingham Palace.  From there we walked along St James’ Park and  It was fun sightseeing with task to do along the way, details to find out.

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Angelina with her Top Secret mission pack sets off to find more of the answers

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London is so much fun: where else do you see an amphibian vehicle and police on horseback in the same street?!

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People watching 🙂

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Truly beautiful, even with overcast skies.

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People watching from a different vantage point.

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Every family outing needs some mucking around!

Mission #8: From covert to overt in the Household Cavalry museum

Tucked away in the corner of Horseguards’ Parade is the Household Cavalry museum.  We didn’t know it was there till we were drawn closer by some happenings in the square: a parade was in preparation.  We decided to have a look inside.

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The museum is just 3 rooms.  There is an interactive audio guide with a choice of 20 minute or 60 minute tour.  Hugo and the Madventurer took the 20 minute tour, while Angelina, Max and I just wandered around.

The first room highlights the uniform and traditions of the Household Cavalry.

The middle section has a viewing window to the actual stables, where you can see comings and goings of the guards. They also have some armour and dressing up things for the kids.  This was excellent!

The final room is about the battles in which the Household Cavalry took part and artefacts linked to these.  There are curiosities like a snuff box made from the hoof of Napoleon’s horse, but also items from and information on more recent conflicts. This was quite good in de-romanticising the notion of war.

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That chest plate was HEAVY!  I don’t know how Max actually carried it.

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“Now I’ll look serious, ok?”- said Hugo  😀

Mission #9: Plans foiled for the Imperial War Museum

Our plan was to wander back along Whitehall, passing by the Cenotaph to see the wreaths laid last week by the royals, foreign and UK dignitaries, and then head across to the Imperial War Museum- with the Secret War exhibit.

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Image courtesy of Imperial War Museum © IWM

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Image courtesy of Imperial War Museum © IWM

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Image courtesy of Imperial War Museum © IWM

Unfortunately, Whitehall was closed due to a gathering so we had to go to Trafalgar Square.

Since we were there, we made good on a promise from last week’s Van Gogh tour: we went to the National Gallery to see Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, before meandering back to St Ermin’s Hotel. (Max had fallen asleep and we were grateful for the rescued sling to carry him.)

Mission #10: Reporting back to HQ and a cocktail “shaken not stirred”

At the hotel, the Angelina and Hugo proudly showed their completed sheets.  They got their spy passes and were told to go to the bar and get their special cocktails “shaken, not stirred”.

The cosy bar, with split into smaller sections with an open fire do transport you to an era of intrigue and mystery.  You really can feel how this place could be the informal hub of  spies.

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Mission completed, we enjoyed a late afternoon tea before heading home.

A fantastic weekend in London by all accounts!

What would you include in a James Bond weekend with kids?

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