Life Lately: Stopping to Smell the Roses in London

roses at Queen Mary's Garden

I’m going to take a quick break from writing about our recent Switzerland and Italian Lakes trip to share a few musings about life lately here in local London.

Last week London experienced some gorgeous weather. I’m talking sundress with sandals, outdoor BBQ, Pimm’s cup out on the terrace at the pub kind of weather. Glorious, worth-bragging-about weather. I don’t get many chances to harp on and on about great weather here so forgive my profuse bragging.

I feel like over the past few months whenever Dan and I have returned from one of our trips elsewhere in Europe we have returned to a changed London, reawakened and cloaked in a new season. When we left for Portugal at the end of March we were still stuffed into winter boots and jackets and when we came home to London mid-April, spring had sprung. I was happy to discover several tulips had bloomed in our back garden.

Upon returning from our recent rail holiday to Switzerland and the Italian Lakes at the end of May we were treated to the arrival of early summer, which had exuberantly ushered itself in during our absence. Again the back garden yielded more surprises with the blossoming of several rose bushes that I hadn’t known existed along with the revival of the long dead hydrangeas. Now if only there was a hidden money tree back there!

Several people have kidded that with all of the mainland Europe travel under our belt this past year its a wonder we have even had a chance to exhaust exploring London yet. Dan and I are big fans of traveling during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall to enjoy the milder weather and thinner crowds so we tend to be busy jet setters during those months. And indeed the past few months have felt like a whirlwind of travel, with barely a moment to catch our breath and experience London in the few weeks in between holidays (and we’ve still got an upcoming getaway to Provence this next week to take in the dancing purple and blue swathes of the blooming lavender fields!), but we will be retiring the suitcases for a couple of months upon our return to take a lengthy stay-cation and further explore London and the United Kingdom decked out in its glorious summertime glow.

It’s inspiring and enamoring getting to be a tourist in your own city, whether you are a newbie resident or you are still living in the town you were born in. You get to stumble upon and perhaps rediscover the hidden and not so hidden gems that make your city so worth traveling to.

Fortunately for us, the best part about coming home from a trip away is that we hardly ever get vacation blues since we are returning to one of the world’s most amazing cities. And summertime is hands down the best time in London; early sunrises and late sunsets, music festivals at Hyde Park, rooftop cinemas, outdoor picnics, camping, the list goes on. Dan has spent the the past few weeks gleefully researching and purchasing camping equipment for a couple of outdoor getaways we have planned this August to the Lake District and beaches of Cornwall. Like a kid in a candy store I tell ya!

I had a chance this past week to catch a quiet moment in between the flurry of travel, documenting said travel on this blog (I wish I had a personal photo editing robot!), starting my weekly volunteering gig as stockroom assistant at SmartWorks, and catching up the needs and mounting to-do’s of daily life to start the London summer stay-cation a bit early with a walk to Queen Mary’s Garden in Regents Park to see the city’s largest collection of blooming roses.

I felt like I was in Alice and Wonderland surrounded by dozens of various colored roses, approximately 12,000 of them with 85 single variety beds on display to be accurate. The bees were busy buzzing about the fragrant petals and I competed with them to place my nose up against the best blooms to breathe in the intoxicating fragrance. In between moments of rushing about the city, it was lovely to slow down and delight in the opportunity to stop and smell the roses.

Regent's Park

roses at Queen Mary's Garden

flowers at Queen Mary's Garden

Regent's Park

So, what are your summer plans?

You may also like