Jubilee Weekend In Greenwich

It was the Queens jubilee weekend and where else would we head to but the big smoke itself. We managed to squeeze ourselves into the car with a picnic including bacon sandwiches, banana bread and a flask of coffee. We checked the flags were secured proudly on our car and we headed off to see the Queen. Well, we highly doubted we would get anywhere near the Queen but we thought it best to head to where all the big street parties were happening and so we arrived in Greenwich just in time to explore our hotel and grab a traditional english summer drink, why Pimms of course.

We appeared to be a real life version of the Queen Vic pub from Eastenders. I half expected a brawl, possibly a karaoke session and the yells of ‘Get out of my pub!’. Alas, none of this occurred but we soaked up the jubilee atmosphere in Greenwich. I have never seen so many flags in all sorts of shapes and sizes including bunting strung on every available surface. It felt like the whole of the UK had a smattering of flags. This might have been normal for America where the flag flies outside many of homes. However, in the UK this isn’t the done thing which is a shame really. People even had flags painted on various parts of their face and goodness knows where else. I thought it was best not to dwell too much on that.

We awoke early on the day of the big Flotilla , had a quick breakfast, and headed to the Greenwich street party where people were setting up delicious food stalls and a huge picnic table. There was even the great english pastime of welly throwing in the midst of all the picnickers. Luckily no ones pork pie, or eyes, were damaged. We had a chance to look around the painted hall and the church, which Luke and I somehow found our way along a secret passage underground and ended up on the completely opposite side to everyone else. Still we got to see Admiral Nelson‘s coat of arms painted delicately into the walls which seemed very fitting.
Once we had found our way overground again we took our places in the midst of the crowd and just as the flotilla began the rain began to pour. Yet, being hardy Brits no one let it dampen the party mood and we grabbed an assortment of strawberries and cream, dumplings (after braving a perilously smokey BBQ which made tears stream down our faces, but they were so worth it), sausage rolls (which had been taxed as they were still warm) and a bottle of Pimms. You were fine as long as no one moved their umbrellas as then your drink was inadvertently watered down.

It was then time to welcome in the fleet of commonwealth boats, boats with bells on, rowing boats and random little boats. Unfortunately, the Queens boat didn’t come to where we were but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was in much need of a cup of tea and a warm fire. It was with patriotic sentiment that we headed back to dry off in the pub before going in search of an all time classic British dish ; battered fish, mushy peas, tartar sauce and chunky chips. We savoured this treat in the shadow of The Cutty Sark before retiring to bed. Despite all the rain it was a fantastic day and there was a fantastic sense of community. Surprisingly , I didn’t get lost once. Maybe I am improving?

There were even street parties being set up the next day as well and we avoided everyone scuttling around with ladders, bunting and piles of food. I did worry when one man carrying the last two was halfway up a ladder at the same time! I feared for the cakes.

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