18th August 2020 by emmadurnford

18th August 2020

Day 146 of semi lock down.

The day started well as we finally managed to sell our television to a lovely lady buying it for her niece. I think she may be a student. The television is quite large and has moved around from the upstairs bedroom, upstair landing down to the downstairs hall so we are glad to finally get it out of the way.

We skipped lunch today as we had an important appointment at 4 o'clock in central London. We caught the train from Teddington station which arrived on time. We were a little worried about travelling up town for the first time in over five months. However we both wore our face masks and were probably one of only about three people in the carriage in both the train from Teddington and then the train we transferred to going to Victoria from Clapham Junction. I have to say all the stations were very well organised with lots of helpful staff and the walkways were clearly marked to help separate people out. We felt perfectly safe as we arrived at Victoria Station, testing out the public toilets which were also very clean and socially distanced with blocked off sinks.

We decided we would walk to Piccadilly as we weren't quite ready to brave the London Underground. Our route took us past Buckingham Palace and through Green Park and I have never seen London so quiet. I've never been able to walk in a straight line on the pavement without being bumped into until today! There were a few visitors but a lot of people were wearing masks outside as well as on public transport. We were a few minutes early for our 4 o'clock appointment so we wandered up and down St James Street looking at posh shops until eventually we arrived at our destination of Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly.

Nearly 2.5 years ago Colin gave me a voucher for afternoon tea but I had not got around to using it until now. By sheer chance we found out that to encourage visitors back to the shop Fortnum and Mason were offering 2-4-1 on their afternoon tea in the Jubilee salon. Everything was very well organised, very well spaced out and all staff were wearing masks and visors.

We were eventually led to our table and enjoyed almost 2.5 hours of eating beautifully cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones and finished up with delicate pastries and patisseries. In fact we had eaten so many sandwiches - we had three plates in the end - that we had to be given a cake box to take the pastries home. I tried two different teas - one called ‘Wedding Breakfast’ and the other an afternoon blend. When we eventually left the shop unsurprisingly we were rather full so again, avoiding London Underground, we decided to walk from Piccadilly to Waterloo train station. This was actually a nice experience as London is so quiet at the moment, we walked past Eros in Piccadilly, down the Haymarket to Trafalgar Square and along the Strand to Waterloo Bridge. Here we crossed the river avoiding the underpasses to Waterloo station.

We did not get home until 8:30 and we were very tired. It was a brilliant day and despite our concerns the weather held and we walked almost 15,000 footsteps, probably still not enough to work of everything we had eaten. Unsurprisingly we did not feel like anything for dinner.

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