Strolling the Streets of London
We made it to the Apollo Theatre, London, were Riverdance became an “international” touring phenomenon. This famous venue was the first place Riverdance played after completing its initial run in Dublin’s Point Theatre. We’d get the chance to perform there once again, but not before a few very well deserved days off. After completing 16 shows in a row, our feet were tired, but not tired enough to stroll the amazing streets of London.
We started with Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We’d been through Christmas Markets in other UK cities, but none were even close to the enormous scale of London’s version. There were rides big and small, games and every sweet treat you could imagine. The markets were 99 per cent Christmas magic, but as you’ll see in the photo below, one per cent not going to sleep at night; imagine these guys coming down your chimney Christmas eve.
I was lucky to have my partner (also named Ryan) visit me from Canada this week. He hadn’t had high tea before, so I took him to the Royal Garden Hotel, located just outside of Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace, the former home of Diana, Princess of Whales, and current home of William and Kate. We sipped on mulled wine before diving into some amazing sandwiches, cakes and selection of teas. We took a walk through the park in hopes of spotting William and Kate, but no luck. All good though – if you read my earlier blogs you’d know that I already met the Queen, but also the (not very chatty) couple in Blackpool!
Next was the funky neighborhood of Notting Hill, only one tube stop north of us on the Underground. Notting Hill is home to Portobello Market, a long street full of eclectic one-of-a-kind finds, bookshops and cafes. We had brunch there before finishing our day with a visit to Covent Gardens, a touristy, but very nice area of London. Christmas was in full swing here, with Christmas decorations filling every street.
The cast was able to catch some West End shows while in London. Between us, we saw Wicked, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, The Lion King and The Book of Mormon, my personal favorite! Andy, Natasha, Bobby, Ryan and I caught dinner before heading to the most inappropriate, but hilarious, show I’ve ever seen.
I’m pretty sure most of the cast spent their entire weeks wages here, but how could we not!? The shows, nightlife and shopping are some of the best in the world. It was an amazing week topped off by five sold-out shows at the Apollo; a great end to our time in the UK.
We’re now in Zurich, which beats out Covent Garden as the most Christmassy place I’ve ever been.
I’ll tell you all about it next week. Until then…