Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve

So, how does one celebrate New Years in London? We knew that there was going to be a big fireworks display at Southbank and thought that would be worth seeing. Not particularly interested in the mayhem we knew we'd find on the banks of the Thames, some internet browsing indicated that the park in the suburb of Primrose Hill would be a good viewpoint. 

Primrose Hill is apparently one of the most exclusive and expensive residential areas of London. It is home to Kate Moss (she seems to be a big deal over here..?), Jeremy Clarkson, Jamie Oliver, John Cleese and Tim Burton, amongst others. 

John Cleese
Jeremy Clarkson


We were uncertain how busy the Underground would be, so we left in plenty of time. Plenty too much unfortunately. We arrived not long after 10pm, and not long after that it started drizzling....

We decided we should find somewhere warm and dry to wait, and Google informed us there was a McDonalds not too far away. So off we went, with our mini umbrella for protection and the GPS on our phone for guidance. Unfortunately the umbrella proved useless in the light breeze, and the distance to McDs was longer than it looked on the phone. By the time we got there it had just closed, and besides, it was time to get back to the park to get a spot. Never mind, we got to see a bit of Primrose Hill.

On the way back to the park at the top of the hill, we saw an impressive fireworks display nearby. We assumed maybe it was the local council display or similar, but as we got closer it turned out it was just some people in the street, outside a flash looking house. While the display was good, not impressed was the man whose fancy car was parked beside where they were letting them off, and it looked like a fight might soon break out! We didn't hang around to find out.

We made it back to the park, where the crowd had picked up from earlier. I expect there would have been a few thousand people there by midnight.

There was a good view towards the London Eye, where the fireworks were being let off, and it looked like a good display but unfortunately we were just a bit far away to really enjoy the spectacle (don't worry though, as you'll find out in the future, an impressive fireworks display was not to elude us for long).

So overall our New Years experience wasn't quite as exciting as we hoped - but still an adventure, and there is still next year :)

To end on a more positive note - a few days later Michelle tried out one of her Christmas presents from Adam - a chocolate mould. As you can see, the results were impressive (pleasing to the eye and the taste buds!)