Buckingham Mews Tour London

Last Friday we made a quick dash weekend trip to Roydon, just outside of London. This was actually the third time I've been this year to Roydon Marina, its in a perfect location for getting into London for the day. The train station is literally just outside the marina and is about a 5 minute walk along the canal.

My niece decided she wanted to go and check out the Buckingham Mews tour, so we booked it online before we went. Shes already done the Buckingham Palace tour and absolutely loved it but this time she wanted to check out the horses. The Mews tour is quiet good in that you dont have to book a time slot you can just turn up at anytime of day with your ticket and go in. It is located at the side of Buckingham Palace on Palace road, (who wouldn't want to live on PALACE ROAD)!

Once inside you receive a helpful audio guide in the way of a little tablet and some headphones and as you walk round you click the relevant dialogue. Its actually really good and tells you a lot of things you probably didn't already know. My niece loved listening to it and looking at the horses, the queen names every single one of them herself.

After meeting Claudia, Storm and Firework, we walked outside into the courtyard to look at the carriages. The Queen has a different carriage for each state tour, including Ireland and Scotland.

The carriages are gorgeous and a marvel to engineering and architectural abilities. The attention to detail is amazing and the paintwork is incredible. I love our royals and everything that our country stands for. I found it interesting to know that Buckingham Palace has eight chauffeurs but only three drive the Royal herself. I did wonder who drives her to the shop late at night when she decides she has a craving for Hobnobs!.

The most dazzling coach on display at Buckingham Mews has to be the The Golden State Coach, it is used at coronations and such like.

"The gilded eight horse-drawn State Coach. Designed by William Chambers (1723-96) and made by the coachmaker Samuel Butler; featuring painted panels by Giovanni Cipriani (1727-85) and richly gilded carved sculpture by the carver Joseph Wilton (1722-1803), the gilder Henry Pujolas and the metal chaser George Coyte. Three cherubs on the roof (representing England, Ireland and Scotland) support the Imperial Crown and four tritons, one at each corner (representing Britain's imperial power). The body of the coach is slung by braces covered with Morocco leather with gilt buckles. The interior is lined and upholstered with velvet and satin."

The tour itself is good value for money and worth a wander around, you will probably only need around an hour to do it in full. Its easy to slip into a hectic day in London if you want to do a little bit of sightseeing too. We then headed off to Oxford Street for tea and cake at Cafe Concerto, (the staff in there could do with some manners if im being honest)! Then over to Harrods to linger over the chocolate counters and expensive clothing and for my niece to NOT decide which car in the kids collection she wanted! 

Have you visited anywhere worth seeing in London? Anything thats a little off the beaten tourist track? Im always looking for new and exciting places to visit in and outside of London or anywhere in the UK, so comment with your recommendations! 

Autumn Reading List

Its safe to say I am a massive reading fan, I can get into pretty much anything, but have a particular love for YA. I am one of those original book nerds though, Kindles or E readers just dont seem right. I understand the ease of use when travelling and storage but they just dont give the same feel as actually holding a book and smelling (yes I did say smelling, yano you all do it too) the new pages. I freak out if someone bends my books back to far, you better believe there is an etiquette to book handling! That being said I thought I would share with you my current To Be Read list. The pile keeps growing as I seem to have less and less time to actually read but more and more time to buy books.

#1 - So first up I decided to start reading this on Sunday night and could NOT put it down! I am already over half way through and glad that it gripped me back into reading again. Author M J Arlidge has brought together several books in the Helen Grace series and I actually have to admit that book 7 - Love Me Not is the only one I have seen. I have however already started looking into getting the others because of how hooked I am by this one. 

Love Me Not

A woman's body lies in the road. At first it looks like a tragic accident. But when Helen Grace arrives on the scene it's clear she's looking at a coldblooded killing. But why would anyone target a much-loved wife and mother?

She Loves Me Not

Across town, a shopkeeper is killed while his customers are left unharmed. But what lies behind the killer's choices?

She Loves Me

Who lives? Who dies? Who's next? The clock is ticking.

She Loves Me Not

If Helen can't solve this deadly puzzle then more blood will be shed. But any mistake and it might be her own ...

Helen Grace, now back at Southampton Central following her release from prison, is first on the scene.

#2 - Next on my TBR list is going to be The Break by Marian Keyes, I already own several books by this author and have favourited most of her work. Her style of writing and audience engagement is excellent and the books always have a story that touches the heart in one way or another.

The Break
Amy's husband Hugh has run away to 'find himself'. But will he ever come back?
'Myself and Hugh . . . We're taking a break.'
'A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?'
If only.
Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her.  He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.
Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up – yet…
However, for Amy it's enough to send her - along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers - teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she…
#3 - Another book I have purchased recently is also by Marian Keyes - The Mystery of Mercy Close. I am a stickler for Marian as I said before but reading the blurb (as you have to) really got me wanting this one.

The Mystery of Mercy Close
Helen Walsh doesn't believe in fear - it's just a thing invented by men to get all the money and good jobs - and yet she's sinking. Her work as a Private Investigator has dried up, her flat has been repossessed and now some old demons have resurfaced.
Not least in the form of her charming but dodgy ex-boyfriend Jay Parker, who shows up with a missing persons case. Money is tight and Jay is awash with cash, so Helen is forced to take on the task of finding Wayne Diffney, the 'Wacky One' from boyband Laddz.
Things ended messily with Jay. And she's never going back there. Besides she has a new boyfriend now, the very sexy detective Artie Devlin and it's all going well. But the reappearance of Jay is stirring up all kinds of stuff she thought she'd left behind.
Playing by her own rules, Helen is drawn into a dark and glamorous world, where her worst enemy is her own head and where increasingly the only person she feels connected to is Wayne, a man she's never even met.
#4 - I saw this book on a lot of other blogs so thought I would give it a try, it has some really good reviews and after all thats why we write about them, to tell you guys if its worth a read. I haven't read anything by author Sara Barnard before so shes going to be a completely new writer for me, but I like mixing it up. This book was also selected for Zoella's Book Club.

Beautiful Broken Things

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie - confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne's past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realizes, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

#5 - Finally for my autumn reads is another new author to me, Helen Fitzgerald. I literally picked this up because of the words on the front cover. I was intrigued, after all in this day and age everything you do ends up somewhere on social media and the entire world knows about it, Good or Bad.

So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety-six people have seen me online.
Su has always been the successful sister. It's Leah who is wild and often angry. But when they go to Magaluf to celebrate their exam results, Su disappears.
Su is on the run, humiliated and afraid. There's an online video of her performing multiple sex acts in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.
Their mother Ruth, a prominent court judge, is furious. Can she bring justice to the men who took advantage of her daughter, and what will it take to bring Su home?

Thats my Autumn reading list complete, I will be sure to review each one when I finally get round to finishing them. Feel free to share your autumn book reads in the comments below, im always up for trying something new by recommendation! 

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