London, Baby! Ballet, Food, Quirky Streets

Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Lion, London

My daughter and I took a little trip to London, baby! (originally posted 2014). It was a heady mix of excitement, fun, sore feet, poignant memories, ballet and food. This post is a veritable photo bomb, so continue reading only if you possess extreme picture viewing fortitude.

Covent Garden in London, baby!

Above is the bridge that joins the Royal Ballet School to the Opera House. Below is bronze of a little dancer opposite the Opera House.

the bridge between the royal ballet school and opera house.
little dancer beside the Opera House in Covent Garden, London, England

We stayed in Covent Garden. We saw Bill Nighy in the street in Covent Garden. He frowned at us. We like Covent Garden.

Cake in the apple market, and the statue above, feature in my novel, TENDU:

excerpt from Tendu by Ailish Sinclair

Neal’s Yard

Neal's Yard, London

The Tube

Covent Garden tube station, London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

The Moomin Shop

the moomin shop, London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

Quirky Streets

Brydges Place is the narrowest alleyway in London, measuring just 15 inches across where it comes out beside The Coliseum theatre.

Brydges Place, the narrowest street in London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

This one had fun shops:

Cucumber Alley, London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

Self-indulgent memory alert

The Freed shop was one of the last places I visited before leaving London many years ago. It was to buy a pair of shoes to teach in rather than to dance in, after my body had crumbled… A much happier, sunnier day is shown below, for us if not the staff; there was an angry man in there trying to buy many pairs of shoes in sizes they didn’t have. It was all very dramatic.

Freed of London, dancewear shop. UK. Ailish Sinclair | Author

Ballet Shoes

Many, many Bloch ballet shoes in a window. London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

Trafalgar Square

I don’t get the blue cock (that is what it’s called) in Trafalgar Square. I’ve read the various excuses explanations for it and they don’t make sense. It’s like a blue joke in an otherwise dignified play… but it is photogenic, so my dislike is not total:

blue cockrel in Trafalgar Square, London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

But I prefer the mermaids:

mermaids in the fountain, Trafalgar Square. Ailish Sinclair | Author


We saw the Kings of the Dance at The Coliseum. They were phenomenal, but of course, no photos, other than this pre-show one:

The Coliseum theatre, London

The bar sold chocolate. Just thought I would mention because that impressed me. Right, high heeled boots are abandoned in favour of Bloch dance trainers (an emergency purchase) and on we go.

Shakespeare in Leicester Square. Prime London, Baby!

Shakespeare in Leicester Square, London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

 M&M store

M&M store, London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

Piccadilly Circus

Big red bus in Piccadilly Circus, London. Ailish Sinclair | Author


Chinatown, London

Year of the Horse

Year of the horse statue, Chinatown, London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

The Rudest Restaurant in London (and one of the best and cheapest)

Wong Kei, formerly the ‘rudest restaurant in London’ (still quite curt and bossy to be honest), and a haunt of my youth due to the excellent and cheap food:

Wong Kei, London

The jasmine tea is free and unlimited, just leave the lid of your pot open and it will be replaced.

jasmine tea at Wong Kei. Ailish Sinclair | Author

British Museum

British Museum ceiling, London. Ailish Sinclair | Author

This iron age helmet was found in the River Thames beside Waterloo Bridge. I want one.

horned helmet, British museum, London. baby! Ailish Sinclair | Author

Naked statues in Soho Square

Naked statues in Soho Square. Ailish Sinclair | Author

And finally (I promise)…

The London Eye

My camera really doesn’t do night.

The London Eye. Ailish Sinclair | Author
London Eye at night. UK. Ailish Sinclair | Author

Well done. One and all.

Series: A Dancer’s Journey

A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair

My dance background and love of history and spicy stories are what inspired this heady mix of contemporary romance and ballet set in a castle. Readers of my historical fiction will recognise the castle and stone circle that feature in these books.

A Dancer’s Journey is available in paperback, Kindle and on Kindle Unlimited.

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Tendu romps on the tube in London, Baby!

Enjoy a kiss on the London tube in TENDU. Romp up and down the castle stairs! Dance in a stone circle. Attend a Ceilidh in the great hall. Have your brain studied in the dungeon. All fun, I assure you. Well, not quite all…

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39 Replies to “London, Baby! Ballet, Food, Quirky Streets”

  1. The Lad and I loved your photos, Ailish. You’ve heightened our desire to go back to the U.K soon (he’s never been, so that would be quite the experience for a seven-year-old). “She’s good at convincing her reader,” he told me just now. He’s a fan of old architecture, buildings, and statues, as well as ballet, so this hit all the right notes. And ah, you’ve made me miss London!

  2. Yes, ‘London, baby’ was a mind mantra for me too!

    Diane, it was Lucy above who made me miss London with tales of her trip. Such inspiration leads on to good things, I hope you get to go soon 🙂

  3. Lovely photos! There are many venues here that I have frequented. Not in my youth, but patiently waiting for my daughter to finish her dance lessons. I used to see how many people, in an anonymous city, would return a smile when offered one 🙂

  4. A picture tells a thousand words! I almost feel like I was there with you – a delightful picture story. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for sharing your photos. I was in London a year ago with the family and your pictures brought back many fun memories. It looks like you had a great time.

  6. So much fun to see London through your camera lens. Thank you for the quick escape vacation (Cucumber Alley and the Blue Rooster made me smile)

  7. These are brilliant photos! I’ve just finished my first year living here, and I’ve found it quite easy to get disenchanted with the city. This reminds to keep looking and seeing and experiencing it, rather than always rushing my way through it.

  8. London used to be one of my all time favourite haunts when I was posted there a long time ago. London is actually two cities, most people are not aware of this.

  9. Fabulous photos, thanks for brightening my day! Also I was intrigued by the retro ‘Cats’ poster in the Freed of London shop window. I saw the original cast production back in 1980s and all I can say is ‘timeless’ just like London 🙂 Gretchen.

  10. The photos were amazing! I lived in London for two and a half years, I enjoyed my time living there.

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