Friday, December 14, 2018

London: Doing Our Own Thing

David (of the incredibly beautiful "Travel with Birds") asked "what was Rick doing while you and Jenny were out at Kenwood House?"  Well, you can't keep Rick off a bike or away from music for long. And if there's a garden to see, or a historic house, I'm all for it!


So on our second day with Jenny and T, we split up. Jenny and I went to Kenwood (HERE) in the morning while Rick and T hit the road on bicycles and ventured into and around London.


Let's just say that I preferred not to think of him riding around on the opposite side of the street (we Americans drive on the right, the Brits on the left!). But I knew he was with an experienced rider, which helped tremendously.


In the afternoon, the guys went to Fenton House, a National Trust property in Hampstead, known for its collection of early keyboard instruments. One of the bonuses of visiting is that these instruments, such as the harpsichord here, are often played for guests, and which Rick and T enjoyed. The house also features an extensive art collection but all I heard about from Rick were the instruments! (For more about Fenton House and an apple festival, check out Jenny's post HERE.)


Jenny and I stayed back at the house and she took me through her garden. OK, not her totally personal garden, but the communal garden for the area she lives. But I like to think of it as Jenny's because she is one of its primary tenders, doing much of the planting.


And it was beautiful. In those last, lingering days of the flowering season -- early October -- it was in full bloom.


The roses were especially beautiful and still going strong.


The Indian Summer certainly was keeping gardens looking their best!


I love nasturtium, so this made me smile.


And so, too, did this massive rosemary plant that was nearly as tall as I was!


Parts of the garden are surrounded by hedgerows, making it very private.


And yet on the day we visited we saw people walking, reading, with their dogs and with their children. There were spots to sit and savor.


And just walking through reminded me of how important it is to have your green space when you live in the city. Outside the enclosure, the city was bustling as all major cities do.


But within, tranquility and peace.


And a lovely way to spend an autumn afternoon.


(I would have said more about Rick, but he didn't take many photos!) When we return to London posts, we'll move to a London hotel -- and one I'd highly recommend. But for the next couple of weeks, I'm going full-on Christmas! Because it would look really weird if those showed up in March!)

Travel Tips:


  • Part of the fun of traveling with someone is being with them, but if your interests are vast and somewhat differing and your time is short, splitting up is smart! In most cities you can work your way around independently (we were lucky to have Jenny and T!). And it's something fun to share at dinner.
  • Look off the beaten path for attractions. Places like Fenton House, the Musical Museum and Gunnersby don't always make it into the guide books but they can be fascinating and beautiful and well worth the time. And a bonus? Smaller crowds.
  • Don't feel compelled to go-go-go! I know. Time is at a premium and there is much to see and do! But I can't tell you how pleasant and fun it was to explore Jenny's garden (and later the bookstore and grocery, too!). It was a good break as we prepared for our move into the city center and I loved every second. If you're already in the city? Check out a park or the library!
Sharing with:  Pink Saturday     /    Let's Add Sprinkles   

31 comments:

Pam Jackson said...

Loving all the colorful flowers, ours are gone and have been gone for a while now. Looks like you had an amazing trip.

David Gascoigne said...

Thanks for the plug, Jeanie. The garden looks quite splendid and I could have easily spent the day with you there, or I could have equally derived great pleasure from looking at the musical instruments with Rick. I always have mixed feeling about harpsichords, however, although I have heard some excellent interpretations of Bach on them. They often seem a little jangly to my ear, and someone once described the sound made by a harpsichord as two skeletons making love on a tin roof! I would have had no doubt that Rick would handle traffic with aplomb - and he obviously did. We drove on the “wrong” side of the road in Australia and didn’t risk life and limb any more than once a day! I thought about Rick this morning actually. I was at my favourite baker picking up freshly made bread and I wondered whether it would meet with Rick’s approval. If ever his bike brings him anywhere close to Waterloo he had better have a loaf in his saddlebag! Enjoy the weekend coming up.

Jean R. said...

I love it all but especially that hedgerow!

Joanne Huffman said...

Good travel hints. As usual, I love the photos.

Valerie-Jael said...

Glad you were able to see so many beautiful places. The gardens are gorgeous. I used to ride a bike through London as a kid, I'm not sure I would do it today! Hugs, Valerie

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, yes, that´s awaiting me, too, the Aussies drive on the left also!

Hmmm, an apple festival!
The garden and it´s flowers are beautiful!
Yes, my hubby also tends to take just few pics. "Men", huh!

I agree. Enjoying a quiet time off is really a good and wise thing to do.
(But Christmas-pics in March... why not? It´s be bring back the jolly time)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

That's great that Rick was able to explore the city on bike with a seasoned rider. It's nice when a couple can split up and do their own thing when their have different interests that don't quite overlap! Then everyone wins!

That garden is so beautiful! That's so cool that your friend is so involved! What a great way to give back to her neighborhood. I love shared green spaces in cities. Proximity to a park is something that really matters to us when we are looking for our next home because we know our yard will be really small and likely won't have room for a play set. So being able to walk to a local park will be important!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I especially like your tips, Jeanie. I loved the garden, and all the beautiful photos you took there. I also love to visit places not shown on travel maps or travel magazines. They turn out to be the most special, in my opinion.

Pamela said...

What a fabulous garden!

Carol Slater said...

Touring a city by bike would be one way of seeing what you wanted to see. Beautiful photos!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the garden views are lovely. I think seeing London by bicycle could be interesting. I would want to stop and take too many photos. I agree about having greenspaces in the bi cities, it is important. The hedgerows are beautiful. Lovely roses. Beautiful photos and post. Enjoy your day and have a happy weekend!

William Kendall said...

Those gardens are very well looked after!

Joyful said...

Looks like Rick and T had a fabulous bike tour. Jenny's garden is superb! Wow, I would love to look out on that garden every day :-)

Susan Kane said...

Your adventures are exciting and beautiful.

Louca por porcelana said...

WOW!Fabulous garden!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Thanks for the tips and the pictures, Jeanie! I would have enjoyed wandering around that garden. I agree that taking it easy for a bit is just as important as seeing the sights. I found it so interesting to just go through a grocery store in England and a little corner shop. -Jenn

My name is Erika. said...

Seeing the garden is a treat. You and Rick travel smart being able to seperate. It is sometimes much more rewarding to slow down, isn't it? I love doing more "local" things. Thanks for taking us on a little fall journey on a dark december night. Hugs-Erika

DUTA said...

Gardens and musical instruments - that's a happy combination.
Biking in London sounds a wonderful adventure. Good for Rick!

Lynne said...

Love seeing and hearing about your time with Jenny and T . . .
Loved her “green space” . . . I would have enjoyed it as well . . .
Wonderful for Rick to have a bike break with T . . . BRAVE, smile, smile.
I am looking forward to “Jeanie Christmas!” TOO . . .

Lynne said...

Yay . . . Such relief when a comment goes right through . . .
Some with 15-20 tries are getting impossible!

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Sounds like you two both had a great day! I enjoyed the pictures of the garden area. Glad you clarified that it was in October because I was curious about how green everything is there at this time of year! LOL...

Running on empty said...

Driving on the left is very sensible, stops us running into the people going the other way! ;p

I like a harpsichord myself. Cath in Aus.

La Table De Nana said...

Tehe rosemary is just like that in Provence..Looks like you two had a ball..
I have loved meeting a friend for a day while traveling..it made the trip even more special..but we would never travel WITH someone ...apart from Jacques or my daughters.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, I have thoroughly enjoyed your traveling post. I would have loved hearing the harpsichord. Wow, what a gorgeous communal garden tucked right in the city. It was particularly lovely on that October day!

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds like a lovely day was had by all.

Carola Bartz said...

I admire everybody who actually dares to ride a bicycle in London. The traffic is crazy - even driving a car can be challenging, but a bicycle? Wow. I'm afraid my biking husband would just do that...
I'd be in the gardens tough. Those are the lovely places, and the English just know how to garden. I have yet to see an English garden that I don't like.

Sketchbook Wandering said...

What a colorful and interesting time you had!! Oh, the colors in that garden!
I agree with you. My J and I travel this way. Once he actually took an afternoon bus trip while I hung out and sketched in the French town in which we were staying. And coming back together is part of the fun of separating!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

So pretty, Jeanie. Even though London is a big bustling city, I always think of England in the terms of its countryside. That beautiful garden is a perfect example. It sure looks like you took advantage of the best that your vacation had to offer..Merry Christmas. I have enjoyed it all. xxoJudy

Sandra Cox said...

What a glorious garden. I love rosemary 'bushes':)
Great pic of Rick.

Marilyn Miller said...

How special to have a friend to venture out and about with while Rick rode with another friend. Those are the things that make travel so extra special.

Olka said...

Oh, I miss London so much...
I think I was born in the wrong country, haha :D

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