The evening departure on Thursday evening meant I put in a full day at work. From there, I went directly to the airport, had a light supper in the First Class Lounge, and then I was off. My flight time would put me on the ground Friday afternoon, getting me to my hotel in the late afternoon. This was my first time arriving at the new Terminal 2 at Heathrow. It was a long (expected) walk to immigration and baggage claim, and then a bit of a walk to the train platform. I had booked a reservation at one of me favorite places to eat (Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs) for the second seating at 7:30pm, which gave me just enough time to check in, get settled, and then leave for the restaurant.
Given how many times I have been to Kitchen table, I'm always surprised and pleased with the quality and creativity of the food presentations. While some of the featured ingredients are the same as previous visits, how they are used was mostly different.
For the full write-up of my visit to Kitchen table, click here.
The next day would be Saturday and my only full free day in London. I spent the time doing a little shopping and checking in at some of my favorite sites: British Museum and British Library. I also visited The London Silver Vaults, a collection of small silver vendors located in the former vaults where silver goods were stored.
Prior to arriving in London, I had not planned for any additional food adventures. But at Kitchen table, the restaurant proprietors suggested I check out a place they had dined at recently and enjoyed called Hedone. After dinner, I looked up the place online, found they were not only bookable via OpenTable, but they had a slot for one person available early Saturday evening. I also determined that the location was in a suburb called Chiswick, but it would be an easy trip out via the Underground.
After about a 45-minute ride to Chiswick Park station, and a 5-minute walk to the main street, I easily found the restaurant and had a very nice experience. The food was interesting and inventive, and I had a nice chat with some local diners who sat next to me at the counter.
The next day, I had to be at the meeting point, Gloucester Tube Station, by 9:00 am. I was there a little early and gradually saw people gather. Our tour guides arrived on time, checked us in and led us to our bus.
The plan for the day was to first travel out to the village used as "Downton Village". It was a town called Brampton, located about 90 minutes west of London. The town was picked specifically because it had the look they wanted and would be easy enough to adapt to look like an early 20th Century village in England.