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Hello Friends!

I’ve been neglecting my blog and I’m so sorry but we took a trip to London and I’m finally just getting caught up with High School Registration for my son, taking our oldest cat to the vet for a potty problem and don’t even get me started about the mail!

Anyways, I’m finally going through my pictures, all 827 of them, and trying to figure out the best way to share them. So let’s start off with the Portobello Market in Notting Hill. We went on a Saturday morning specifically looking for antiques. Let me tell you that there was a lot of looking and not very much buying from me, because the exchange rate between the British Pound and the US dollar is not very good!  I did, however, find a couple things that just had to go home with me.

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The instructions to find this market were to get off the Underground train at Notting Hill Gate and follow all the people. Um. Yeah. There were hundreds of people all going in different directions at the station so that really wasn’t helpful at all, especially since this was our first day ever riding the tube. Eventually we picked a direction and were so happy to see this Portobello Road sign!


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Looks like we found all the people!


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Yes, we’re on the right road!


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Aren’t these flats pretty?  I just adore the pastel colors!


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We had to fight through this crowd to get into the shops. Saturday is not a good day to go to the market if you’re claustrophobic, it’s ridiculously crowded both inside and outside the shops. I felt like I was in a bee hive with the people buzzing all around me!


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The street is lined with Antique shops full of all sorts of treasures and bric-a-brac. Let’s try this one!


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Antique and vintage camera’s are a great start!  What else can we find?


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The outdoor stall dealers were more willing to make a deal. You wouldn’t believe how much Wedgewood they sell there. I think it was just about in every booth!


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Wow, gorgeous!  Can I have one of each, please? We’ll take the drum for my husband, Phil.


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And then there was this gem of a stall, hidden within one of the indoor antique shops. I finally hit the jackpot! Wait til you see what’s in the next case!


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Can you believe this wedding finery?  I swooned over these tiaras, headbands, wax flowers and pearls.


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I brought home some pretty antique glass buttons, vintage french black and white buttons and some delicate lace.


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Some Moon shaped gold bullion-embellished costume decorations.


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And more beautiful lace! (Can you hear Mr Bennett from Pride & Predjudice saying “No lace. No lace, Mrs Bennett, I beg you!”) And, there will be more pictures of luscious lace when I share my treasures from the Old Spitalfields Market, I promise!


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After fighting the crowds (literally, i was yelled at by some lady for hitting her with my purse. I think maybe it brushed past her, but who could help it in the crowded mess?) we headed for a restaurant to have a quiet lunch.  I adored the flowers and the romantic candles in this sweet cafe.

So, that’s what we did on our first day in London. We would have done more but there was a protest in the park and because of that the bus stops were shut down in Notting Hill so we just got on the Underground and headed back to our hotel to regroup.

I’m trying to decide what to share with you next. I went to two other markets (Greenwich and Old Spital Fields), attended a Tottenham Hotspur soccer game, dropped Trevor off at Soccer camp with a dining hall that looked like it came straight out of Harry Potter, toured London in the rain on a hop on, hop off bus, saw the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, visited Oxford and Bampton Village, spent an afternoon eating scones with real Devonshire Cream and sipping tea at Downton Abbey, went to the Victoria and Albert museum to see the Wedding Dresses exhibit, visited Selfridge’s, rode around in cabs, double decker buses and figured out how to read the Underground maps, visited Cambridge and Greenwich, rode the Emirates Air Line, discovered the charms and helicopter pad of Charingworth Manor, and enjoyed an afternoon with Phil driving on the wrong side of the road (I suppose it’s the correct side in the UK) while sipping copious amounts of cappuccino throughout the Cotswolds and ended that day sipping champagne and enjoying a deluxe afternoon tea in Bath.

Let me know in the comments what you want to hear about next?  I’m sure it will be Downton Abbey, but I’ll be saving the best for last!



Christine Barker