Mom's trip

We visited Spitalfields and Camden markets, where for lunch we shared a falafel wrap so big we had to cancel our dinner reservations in Notting Hill. But then we went for a walk through Greenwich and ended up eating at Bianco, an Italian restaurant where all the servers are Italian and most of the diners are, too. We shared gnocchi and pizza, which was delicious. I know Italians drink beer with their pizza, but I ordered Chianti.

That Saturday we visited Buckingham Palace’s State Rooms, open from July-October while the queen is away. We saw Kate’s dress (sorry no photos allowed) and the wedding cake (made up of a tower of 17 cakes that took two months to build and no one ate).

After the palace we strolled on up to Harrods, where my mom fell up the escalator and had to receive first aid in the high-end piano department. If you’re going to cut your toe open, I recommend doing it there: They treated us very well; a July Christmas display brought holiday cheer; and a woman sang opera by the Egyptian elevator.

Next we went to Bea’s of Bloomsbury (the one near St. Paul) for high tea. The scones and other baked goods were great, but the upstairs dining room was so hot we finished an entire pitcher of water before we left. The air was much cooler outside, where a few of the tables sat empty, but our waiter said those who order high tea are not allowed to eat out there because they might steal the tiered-tray. As you can see, there are legs.

Tower of London. Henry VIII had polar bears and lions in his own private zoo here. However, I think the most fascinating story about the Tower involves the two princes murdered there as children. They had been away when their father, Edward V, died and their uncle called them back to London, supposedly to protect them. They were locked in the Tower for two years and then disappeared, after which their uncle—Richard III—took over the throne. Later, during the War of the Roses, Richard was murdered and the new king, Henry VII, married the sister of the murdered princes. So, in the end, one of the children of Edward V was returned to the monarchy.

Veggie chili made by Mom.

An Italian feast made by Mom.