Fine Art, Wedding Gowns, and a Police Box!

This is my favorite room for its skylighted ceiling, rich red backdrop, and collection of amazing 15th-17th-century paintings.

Suzi had a morning appointment on Friday and urged Cathy and me to do something on our own. She and Keith would meet us for lunch around 1. So we took the bus to Oxford Street, then walked past Selfridges to Manchester Square, home to the stunning jewel box that contains The Wallace Collection–one of London’s best kept art museum secrets.

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Fortnum & Mason at Christmas

Wine and whiskey bottles displayed in a cascade of

After Cathy’s arrival, we decided to simply hop a bus up to Piccadilly Circus and walk around as dusk fell, enjoying the lights of Piccadilly Street, Regent Street, and all the lovely little side streets that connect the two. It begins to grow dark around 4pm at that time of year, so it’s quite easy to catch all the lights without being out very late.

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Christmastime in London and Derbyshire

As a very early Christmas surprise in 2014, my husband gave me a small gift bag in November and asked me to open it. When I unwrapped the tissue paper inside, I found what looked like a Mardi Gras mask and felt completely puzzled. “You’re sending me to New Orleans?” I asked, incredulously. He laughed and told me to guess again.

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Whatever happened in 2014?

And a delightful photo of the entire group (including four extra guests who came for the promenade). Such lovely frocks and accessories!

After a year of careful planning and hard work, we did, indeed, put together a marvelous tour itinerary, revisiting some favorite spots from the 2012 tour and adding a new costumed event. But, due to a crazy change in immigration law where we live in Africa, my travel visa lapsed and could not be renewed until after the tour! Thankfully, my well-traveled and very gracious husband stepped in and lead my tour for me, and I chimed in on Skype now and again to chat with the group and see how things were going. It was a huge disappointment to miss my own trip, but I’m so glad it went off without a hitch and was a roaring success. Here are some photo highlights thanks to Cathy Hay of Your Wardrobe Unlock’d, who was a special speaker on this trip and took lots of pictures!

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