We received amazing news from He♥rt Radio Hampshire this week telling us we had won the McCain Family of the month for the Hampshire area. Amazing! Matt had entered the competition on He♥rt recently in hope that we may get another chance to go to London. So exciting!

The prize includes 1 night's accommodation at the Melia White House in London's West end district, £500 to spend at John Lewis and a cooking lesson with famous UK chef Antony Warrall Thompson. What a win!

We arranged care for Storm for the weekend and headed off after lunch time on Saturday in pursuit of our latest adventure. We have officially lost count of how many times we have visited London now. The good thing about this trip is that we were heading off after lunch time, meaning we were going to have our first full evening in London. On our other visits we have had to return home so cut our evenings short. Not this time!

We had just checked into our beautiful hotel suite when there was a knock at the door. A delivery for us. ANOTHER PRIZE!!! McCain had sent us a really cool Flips digital video camera (worth around £160). This just gets better!

After a very short rest in the room we set off for the underground station across the road from the hotel... only to find that it was closed today. Nevermind! So we bought our day travel card and headed off in search of a bus. By the time we got to Leicester Square it was already dark... only 4:30pm though. We lined up to look at purchasing some West end tickets for a show but backed out at the last minute when we decided the money could be better spent (like on our trip to America next year). Next we headed off in search of the underground to get transport back to London's South bank to have dinner at Chop Stix Noodle Bar, our favourite cheap-eat in London. Just £5.99 for a full Chinese buffet... all you can eat!!! Brilliant value!

We were not to get there that easily though. We had no sooner entered the underground station when we discovered one of the lines was closed due to fires. While we were waiting... and getting very anxious... they decided to close the last line. Luckily for us, we had already given up and were on our way out of the sardine can, when the rest of the travellers decided to pile out of the chaotic scene. Talk about claustrophobic.... eeeww. Do not recommend being sandwiched so closely with other people when there is talk of fire. Scary thoughts! Once out of the underground we grabbed another bus and headed for dinner, stopping along Westminster Bridge on the way to take a long exposure of the Millennium Wheel by night. We had packed the tripod for this very photo.... the joy of planning ahead!

Dinner was well worth our travels and we all thoroughly enjoyed it... as usual! Next it was back on the buses, via Westminster Bridge for some more night photos, and off to Harrods in search of a pair of Archie Christmas Bears. Well, you couldn't miss Harrods if you were half blind at Christmas time! It was lit up like nothing we have ever encountered before.... and, oh, the Christmas windows! For our Aussie friends we can give you a good comparison. Just imagine the Brisbane Myer windows at Christmas and multiply them in volume and opulence by about 10 and you will just about have it!!!! Wow! Wow! Wow! Inside was just as decadent! We only had 15 minutes left until close so we quickly made haste through a massive beauty section towards the Christmas toys.

We saw a beautiful snow globe that almost perfectly matches the one we bought at Hamleys Toy Store last year... just a little bit smaller and twice the price. £25 is a lot to pay for a snow globe but we couldn't resist. So beautiful... and it plays 'We wish you a Merry Christmas' via a clockwork mechanism. Ahhhh! It's beginning to look A LOT like Christmas. Once we finished inside we spent the next 20 minutes or so admiring the Christmas windows, themed this year in Peter Pan. Just amazing!

By now we are totally exhausted and have just gotten back to the hotel room, after waiting for bus after bus to take us there. Turns out all the underground is now closed for the rest of tonight. Wishing that we had specified a non-smoking room. The room is beautiful but smells of smokers' past. Sweet dreams all!


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