London and the spring countryside

We had a brilliant short trip back to the UK, packing a lot of places, friends, family, and food into only 10 days. Links to restaurants and places are embedded in the text. Apologies for the Instagram photos as I didn’t bring my SLR and I only got a new small Lumix halfway through.

Hanoi is now well and truly into hot and sticky summer so having 12 degree blue sky days back in the UK was wonderful. Our first stop was East Molesey by Hampton Court Palace where I got to spend time with my brother, sister-in-law, and their two little girls. I had a couple of beautiful 8k runs through nearby Bushy Park and saw several herds of deer.

Hampton Court Palace (from my instagram)

Hampton Court Palace (from my Instagram)

We then moved on into central London where we stayed at the Travellers Club on Pall Mall.


The Travellers Club – nestled between the Athenaeum and the Reform Club

In London, we caught up with friends and my parents, who managed a brief stop on their way back from Iceland.  We had delicious dinners at Little Social, Jason Atherton’s French style Bistro on Pollen Street, and Medlar on the King’s Road. Great grazing was had at Borough Market including probably the best cheese toastie in the world at Kappacasein and a lovely little fresh pasta stall with tortellini, ravioli, and gnocchi called La Tua Pasta – thanks to to the super useful London food blog – Rocket and Squash for the recommendation on the latter. We also had more Italian at Polpo in Soho, where the food was great, but service rather scatty. In between eating we squeezed in the Viking exhibit at the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, World War I portraits at the National Portrait Gallery and Martin Creed’s exhibit at the Hayward Gallery.

We then rented a little car and headed off into the countryside driving through Surrey and down to Hampshire where we stayed at a quintessentially English pub – The Anchor at Lower Froyle. It has clearly been renovated recently but very sympathetically keeping with the pub’s original character. It was great to do some typical countryside things which we can’t do in Vietnam such as walks in the bluebell woods and fields, fly fishing on a chalk stream for my husband and a visit a National Trust property – Hinton Ampner for me.

Finally, we went to some of our good friends’ (from Hanoi, who now live in Dubai) beautiful wedding. The next day we did a long walk around the Devil’s Punchbowl in Surrey.