Monday 27 January 2014

What we got up to at the weekend

I love surprises, particularly planning them. I love getting an idea in my head about what to buy someone or where to take them, then meticulously planning every detail so the whole surprise is perfect. I always feel impatient with excitement, wanting to give the game away, but I've become very good at playing the waiting game, often planning things in secret months in advance.

This weekend was one I had planned since August. It's hubs' birthday today and I knew we'd be needing a little break for just the two of is and with it falling just after the first pay day of 2015, we deserved a treat.

Hubs is a huge fan of the musical Les Miserables even though he's never been to see the live show. He knows all the songs by heart and so I decided it was about time he saw the stage show in London.

After researching tickets to see where the best seats in the house were for the best price, I planned our weekend inside out.

On Saturday, we took Ethan over to his Nanny and Grandad's along with Watson who seemed rather excited to be going on an adventure. After unloading the car, full of Ethan's chairs, toys, milk and food, clothes, nappies, changing bag and everything else besides, we waved goodbye and took a taxi into town. A quick Starbucks later and we were on the train to London. 

Hubs still didn't know what we were doing and it was nice having the anticipation of what was to come. When we arrived, we took the underground over to Covent Garden, my favourite place in all of London. I love the architecture and the mix of shops; it just has such a great vibe. We joined the queue for Shake Shack - a stylish American burger joint with just one UK location - and ordered two cheeseburgers and fries with shack sauce and a peanut butter malt shake. It was delicious, even through it was pricey, and didn't last that long as we were pretty hungry.

We then hopped back on the underground and after a couple of changes, arrived in Southwark. We were staying at the rather cool and original hotel, Citizen M - somewhere I had been once before and I couldn't wait for hubs to see.

Despite it's great room rates, this hotel is somewhere you'll definitely remember. There's a wealth of art and literature to enjoy in the lobby and bar areas and the rooms are unlike anything you've seen before. They have a super king size bed that fits wall to wall and right against the window. It's so big, you're not sure which way round to sleep! 

 To read "The bathroom curves into the room and the wall is made of an opaque acrylic sheet (from Simply Plastics) which is lit up and can be changed to any colour to suit your mood."

The whole room is controlled by a Samsung tablet, from the blinds, lights and colour mood lighting of the bathroom to the TV, radio, alarm clock and temperature setting. You can set the room as a whole to suit your mood if you like. 

There's a huge selection of recent movies, all of which are free, and wifi is also included as standard.

It's a really unique experience and it makes you want to stay in rather than go out.

But go out we did. Once we were dressed up, we headed back to Covent Garden and another different kind of eatery . Fire and Stone specialise in pizzas with a twist, with 17 varieties inspired by 17 cities from across the world. I had the San Sebastián (chorizo, rosemary potatoes, red peppers and garlic mayo) whilst hubs had a Texas influenced pizza. Yum!

We had to get a wriggle on and made it to the Queens Theatre with minutes to spare - just enough time to grab a G&T and a programme. I'm not a big fan of musicals but I've come to love some of the songs of Les Mis and I really enjoyed the performance.

Hubs was so pleased to have seen the show at last and I was relieved to have pulled off a fun weekend of surprises for him.

On Sunday, we crossed the road to eat at one of my favourite places in London - The Refinery - where we enjoyed brunch and a big pot of English tea. A hop and a skip later, across the wet pavements of Southbank and another trip on the underground, and we were back at Euston to get our train home.

It's always nice to have a little break from your daily routine and it was nice to have some time for just the two of us. However, coming home to Ethan was lovely - we had missed him so much - and today we're enjoying hubs' actual birthday as a family, before our routine gets all muddled up again.


  1. Sounds like a lovely weekend, bet your hubby was thrilled! I went to see les mis a few years ago and really enjoyed it, the songs in it are amazing :)

    1. He was! He's used to my need to plan surprises but still loves them all the same :) It sounds obvious, but it's the songs that make Les Mis. Stars is a personal fave x

  2. Anonymous15.2.14

    Wow! What a lovely surprise! Sometimes it really makes a huge difference just to take a day out xx


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