After a really late night on Friday we were woken up pretty early on Sunday by Ro's friends asking if we wanted to join them on the London Loop Walk to Richmond. Since we were anyway awake, we decided to give it a shot, and boy did we make the right decision. The day was as gorgeous as ever and the place even more beautiful and serene. We were about 5 adults, 1 three year old, 1 baby and 1 over enthusiastic dog. The trip started off with us missing the first train to Richmond and commotion at the ticket gate when the 2 buggies got stuck and Auro (the dog) wouldn't barge without his master. Me and Ro stood back and enjoyed the commotion (how very helpful right?). So we managed to take the next train out and got to Richmond at about 11.30am. The town is pretty quaint and the shops there gave me a feeling it was very expensive. Other than the big brands, there were also individual labels which are usually a sign of being in a high-end area. We walked further down and got to the river and voila..was i right or what..huge mansions by the river side and apartments with great views, offered for a minimum rent of 3000 quid a month. Expensive restaurants, swanky yachts, joggers with expensive dog breeds etc. are some of the other qualities that made me realize it was an expensive area. So, down the drain went my dream of living there. Like a friend mentioned, 'you have to be rich to be living in Richmond.' After taking a nappy and feeding break for the kids we decided to trek up Richmond Hill and on to Richmond Park. At one point me and Ro were stuck with a buggy and Auro and we were completely lost. Ro even banged the buggy on a tree in his struggle to get it moving. And Auro gets very restless when he doesn't see his master who, by the way, was very brave and brought along his 8 month old so the mommy could have some alone time. I think that was a very kind gesture and he was unbelievably awesome with the baby and she, a darling to the core, not bothering anyone.. all the time cooing and smiling and then sleeping in her buggy. Auro required more attention than her. But the good part was...we now know what buggy to buy and how to handle it to an extent :)
Richmond Hill apparently is/was home to a lot of celebrities the most known of them being Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones). The houses were massive on the hill top and the views from there were so beautiful, it would have cost them a bomb to stay there. The restaurants and pubs on the hill were also on the expensive side and quite empty as for that matter. We made our way through to Richmond Park which stretches for acres and acres and is supposedly three time bigger than Central Park in New York and the largest park in London. After the boys spent a good 15 minutes trying to figure our where we were on the map and how to get to point B where we would have lunch, and after a few phone calls to locate a pub which was child and dog friendly (yes they are very strict on that), we made our way through the park. We spotted a few red and fallow deer and Ro managed to get a few close-up's which was pure luck though. There were a few weddings taking place in the park and we saw the grooms-men and ladies in fancy dresses and hats make their way through to the scenic areas. It was a glorious day to have a wedding, i thought aloud. The walk was longer than expected but built our appetite quite a bit. We waded through thick flora and fauna and at certain points the views were brilliant. After a one hour trek through the park we finally made it to the New Inn, a child and dog friendly pub with a huge beer garden. Settled down with our drinks and the rains welcomed us. Bag, baggage, buggie, baby we rushed inside and restlessly waited for the food. Stuffed ourselves with BBQ ribs, Chicken Fajitas, Pork Chops, Lamb Cuts, Fries and Cheese and pints of cider and beer. The bill came up to a whopping 100 odd and we were convinced that Richmond was definitely not the place for us. For the money we paid, the food didn't come up to mark, but left us satisfied for the time being. We were in no mood to walk again after the heavy meal and so decided to take the bus back into Richmond town and then take the train out from there into Central London. The day didn't end that way. We headed back to a friends place and stayed there till the wee hours of the night, partying and merry making and was so so pooped by the time we got back, we didn't wake up till 11am the next day. Aching legs and back didn't stop us from staying at home on Sunday..shopped till we dropped and caught a movie too.
On another level, we have started house hunting again and cant believe 6 months just passed by so quickly. For those of you who have been following my blog from day one, you would have read the drama attached to the house hunting session. I completely dread the whole scene all over again, but looks like we are lucky this time. Its very rarely that me and Ro agree on the same topic, but we somehow seemed to have agreed on a particular property and am keeping my fingers crossed on this one. Its a 2 bedroom property and our only logical reason for moving into a bigger apartment was either because we had family visiting or we were going the family way. Winter is approaching and no family is visiting us for another six months..and the family way..we still haven't reached a conclusion on that. But taking everything into consideration i think this is a good deal, money-wise and also apartment-wise. Will update on the scene laters.
In the meantime, here are some pics of the Richmond trip. Not the best because it was a bit over cast at times.