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Wellington and Winnie Date Day

It’s been a while since we had an actual date day, but Sunday morning we got up early, got out the house and had an amazing day, despite spring seemingly having ended already.

Sunday morning we got up quite early, because for the first time in a while, Jess had forgotten to book something she was desperate to see and we’d left it until the last day!

We fed the cat and rode the tube when it felt like the rest of the world was asleep and we made it to the V&A as they opened the doors. The very lovely man at the ticket desk sorted us right out for the Winnie the Pooh exhibition and we didn’t need to take in another exhibition beforehand and just went right in. (Art Pass meant it was £8 for 2 of us, so great)!

The Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a classic exhibition was amazing. From the well crafter quotes, the history, the family and the child friendly ways to try and get younger kids involved in the museum were all great! I loved all the EH Shepard drawings, showing how they evolved, his huge sense of irony and sarcasm in his work, and how he looked to decorate a page with Eeyore, Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Owl.

We played Pooh Sticks on the bridge, went hunting for woozles and looked at all the amazing merchandise that AA Milne’s franchise has managed to develop over the years and we spent much of the time dwelling on nostalgia and getting weirdly emotional over watching new kids making new memories (and pissing off their parents in the process). All in all, it was an exhibition that made us feel warm inside and that we think must have had lots of parents going for their benefits rather than their children! A real shame it’s finished, but we’re excited to see what the V&A have lined up next!

We were expecting to not get in to the exhibition first try, but as we did realised we needed to stop for lunch. We walked around to Sloane Square and were headed for the Orange Public House and Hotel, as their brunch is supposed to be amazing, but as we have two exciting breaks planned in this month we thought we best not. Instead we went to Côte Brasserie right opposite the station. We LOVE Côte, it’s our go to place for most meals and their breakfast deal is amazing! £10.95 for a hot drink, fresh juice and a hot meal. Tim had a crêpe complete with cheese and bacon, orange juice and a mocha (such a rogue choice for the coffee snob), and I had a vegetarian breakfast with poached eggs, spinach, avocado and sourdough, apple juice and a latte. Exceptional. And more importantly fuel for us to continue!

We walked round to Hyde Park Corner, to the fabulous English Heritage House – Apsley House. It’s quite unassuming, a hidden gem of London as such. Hidden in plain view, it’s a large stately home in the middle of central London but is surprisingly unassuming from the outside! It is a grade 1 listed building and the former home of the 1st Duke Of Wellington, the British military hero famed for defeating Napoleon. The house now contains the Wellington collection, a vast catalogue of fine art, incredibly interiors, the largest and most opulent dining room I have ever seen, the oldest piano in the the world to feature a pedal system, and the military spoils of the duke featured in the museum room. I can’t recommend this place enough! Free with our art passes, and including an incredibly comprehensive and detailed audio guide, it is perfect for anyone with even the slightest interest in European history and/or fine art.

On the inside it’s a grand masterpiece of the Duke of Wellington, a heirloom of all Dukes of Wellington. This one, the famous one that defeated Napoleon, sure knew how to live.

Rooms full of portraits, a dining room table with space for a casual 32 for dinner, and a bigger room based on the palace of mirrors at Versailles it was exceptional.

We had one more stop as we were in the area, we had to go and get some cake from Peggy Porschen. If you don’t know of it then you either don’t have instagram, or you’ve been living under a rock (on that note, follow us @fourthousandweeks). The amazing cakes where they have so few seats you can queue to sit down for almost 2 hours, or you can walk in and get some cake for take away. We got a beautiful carrot and lemon cupcake, stopped for a quick take of the best photo we’ve ever taken, and decided that was that.

We made our way home, seemingly giggling the entire way, played with the cat and watched Bridge of spies as neither of us had seen it, and it came up in our conversations about the Cold War when we were talking about the Cold War Hotspots in Berlin (that you can read about here).

We tucked into a hearty vegetarian roast that Tim made, and got ourselves ready for our trip to Barcelona on Tuesday! All in all a very successful date day!