After a very interrupted sleep, attending meetings back in Australia between 12.30 and 2.30am, plus a couple of early morning meetings back home and follow up with RNIB and Vision Ireland, we get off to a slow start.

But we make the most of the rest of the day. We walk from our hotel to Oxford Street and then all the way to Buckingham Palace.  The route takes us past Savile Row, famous for menswear, Chinatown and then onto Trafalgar Square and along Pall Mall, where we turn left and onto The Mall and up to Buckingham Palace. All told around a 3Km walk. The traffic on Savile Row and Pall Mall is bumper to bumper. You know, you have in your mind what these places look like, quiet streets lined with high end shops or businesses, a sort of sophisticated outdoor space devoid of human interference. The reverse is true. Savile Row is packed with traffic, vans and lorries line the street as they deliver and pick up goods for shipping and the sidewalk is packed with the ever present tango between tourist and local. Pall Mall is no different, although throw in a few cabs and honking horns, shut your eyes and you’re walking along 6th Avenue in Manhattan. The traffic is just unrelenting, we walk past stopped cars, buses, trucks and taxis, making much better time than they are.

We then approach the Palace, Constitution Hill and Spur Road are just as busy as they circle past the Victoria Memorial, and endless stream of traffic carries people past the Palace, some probably not even noticing where they are. We look around the area, there are as many cars as there are people, all wanting a glimpse at Royalty. We wander away, back through Green Park. We head home for a rest.

We have plans to go to Fortnum and Mason for a later afternoon tea. We take the chance for a mid-afternoon break and I also do some work from the room, catching up on meetings, emails and papers I am writing.

Later on, we walk to Fortnum & Mason, an iconic British department store established in 1707. It is renowned for its luxurious food offerings, exquisite hampers, and high-end goods. Located in the heart of Piccadilly, London, this storied retailer has long been associated with exceptional quality and impeccable service. Its lavishly decorated storefront and beautifully arranged displays beckon shoppers from around the world. Famous for its selection of teas, preserves, and fine wines, Fortnum & Mason has maintained a reputation for elegance and tradition. The store also boasts a selection of unique gifts, homeware, and an acclaimed food hall that has catered to the tastes of royalty and discerning customers alike for over three centuries.

We enjoy a lavish afternoon tea of sandwiches, cakes and scones, paired with some delicious teas. The food is exquisite. Our readers will know of our love of a little tea cafe in New York called Bosie. Sadly Bosie has closed, but we still love our tea and scone service! Fortnum and Mason may be the perfect place for you to enjoy an afternoon. We sit and admire our surroundings as we finish and then explore the store. It is a feast for the senses with rich smelling coffees, teas and chocolates, combined with luxury items for use in the kitchen, bathroom and beyond. We buy some candles, everything is so very expensive, but the candles offer a great scent and memento.

Sipping champagne at Fortnum and Mason

We wander back to the hotel, I’ve got a few more meetings to go before bed and another couple of late-night ones!

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