On the first night, Ian rustled up a fine vegan meal with meaty jackfruit and roasted chick peas as well as lollo rosso lettuce and couscous with red peppers. Then we had water melon and mango pieces for dessert. All very nice and so for those few hours I was vegan. I still wonder why some people get hot under the collar about veganism - making ill-informed judgements and sweeping generalisations.
On Saturday we hoped to visit The Chelsea Physic Garden near The Royal Hospital. It is a very old garden in which a wide range of medicinal plants are displayed for the public's pleasure. Annoyingly it is closed on Saturdays so we could not venture in. One of us should have checked.
We walked on to Sloane Square and the nearby Saatchi Art Gallery. Its gardens were hosting a food festival with dozens of little stalls. It felt very hot with the temperature pushing 32 degrees. and many visitors were sheltering in the shade of the big plane trees.
The famous London Underground has several different lines and the one that runs up to The Tower of London is called The District Line. Unfortunately, much of it was closed last weekend for engineering works and so we found ourselves walking from the Embankment station to Tower Hill. We took our time. There was no rush and we stopped for refreshing drinks at "The Ship Inn" - tucked away up an alleyway near The Monument to The Great Fire of London.
We arrived at The Tower of London around 4pm, ready to see the amazing "Superbloom" display of wild flowers in the moat. What a brilliant idea! There were masses and masses of wild flowers and whoever hatched this idea deserves a medal. Apparently, it will keep running for a good few years.
After drinking and dining in a restaurant by St Katharine's Docks, we did something I had never done before - walked across Tower Bridge - opened in 1894 towards the end of Queen Victoria's reign. What a bold statement of national pride that bridge is. No expense was spared. We had good views up and down The Thames.
There was more waiting around to do before we attended The Ceremony of the Keys in The Tower. Our tickets were courtesy of one of Sarah's brothers who is an officer in The Irish Guards. It was a rare privilege to be in The Tower after dark witnessing history. Photography was verboten.
On Sunday, we reserved a table for lunch in "The Captain Cook" near Ian and Sarah's house. It was just perfect and afterwards Shirley and I headed up to St Pancras Station for our train back to Sheffield. That was cancelled so we had to jump on the next train - leaving just after four. We were lucky to find two seats as the train was understandably crowded. Our tickets weren't even checked.