Friday, April 21, 2006

A visit to one of the world's largest antique fairs at Portobello Road in London

April 1: Today, we got up early (I was awake by 3:15 a.m. anyway!) and took the underground over to Portobello Road to explore the world's largest antique fair. As we had been warned, the prices were pretty steep but we managed to find some things anyway (you know me!). My sister bought a Dutch half doll, some beautiful antique lace for some doll costumes she is making, some antique bottles and crockery for her husband, a delicate circa 1880s cameo, and a floral design embellished biscuit jar (English style cookie jar).

At the booth that Jane bought her husband's bottles and crockery, I found an English porcelain ointment jar with
an 18th century scene for only 40 pounds. I have admired them in US antique shops for a number of years but in the US they sell for between $225 and $375. I also found a shop that sold meticulously painted military figurines. I purchased a lead Napoleonic Era mounted French Cavalry Officer, hand-painted in Spain, for only 45 pounds and a hand painted resin 90 mm figure of a Napoleonic-era Sharpe's Rifleman for only 20 pounds.

The crowds were horrendous and, without any benches to rest, I wore out by
noon (We had been there since 6:30 a.m.) so we went back to the hotel for a nap. Jane turned the TV on and up popped John Wayne in "In Harm's Way". We both burst out laughing. At commercial, the announcer told us to stay tuned for NCIS, Miami Vice - New York, and Law and Order!

After a rest we wandered down the street to a Portugese spiced Chicken eatery and ordered a very tasty sandwich each then shared a tangy coleslaw and chips. We topped it off with a custard tart and a coconut tart. The coconut tart was much like a plump coconut macaroon. I preferred the custard tart myself. This was also the first restaurant we have encountered so far that offered free soda refills.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped into an upscale supermarket (sort of like Market of Choice) but found a much more diverse variety of products including cups of creme brulee! Even their frozen dinners looked better than ours! We plan to go back there Monday evening and pick up some breakfast items for Tuesday morning as we must catch our tour bus for Stratford-On-Avon before the hotel opens its continental breakfast center.

Tomorrow we will be heading over to the
British Museum. Then on our way back we will stop off at Buckingham Palace and tour the Queen's Mews (stables). I also want to get more pictures of the Victoria Monument while we are there.
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