Primrose and Marilyn

London is an amazing place to visit and is eminently walkable if the weather’s fine and you’re up for it. This was us yesterday when we went up to celebrate Helen’s birthday.

We were going up for a cinema trip, more of which later, and had the whole day to kill before it. The weather was changeable, a day when you spend more time taking your jumper on and off then you do making any real progress, but dry so we were up for a bit of a walk.

What I like about London is it is surprisingly varied. One minute you are in a built up area with some stunning buildings, then a park, then strolling by a canal and then back to a built-up area again. That very much summed up our day yesterday. We were booked into a hotel in Marylebone and so we made our way there on foot from Paddington in order to first drop off the bag.

As a side note, hotel receptionists always promise that they are going to find the best room for us but invariably this is the view that comes with that “best room”. We really should spend more.

Given its amazing views over London I had assumed that Primrose Hill must be a long way out of the city. Turns out that is is only a 30 minute walk from Marylebone and that is predominantly through Regent’s Park. So this was a very pleasant walk which numerous others were also making. The walk through the park is flat past London Zoo (where I was able to peer over the fence and see the penguins) onto Regent’s canal which is a lovely walk in itself from Paddington to Camden. It is then just a short climb up Primrose Hill itself to the view point.

While it was busy up there it wasn’t oppressively so which meant that we were able to get a really good view across from Canary Wharf in the East to, well, I’m not quite sure where in the West but it’d take you a long time to traverse that distance by tube! The list of what you can see from up there is long: Canary Wharf Tower, The Shard, Parliament, London Eye, The Post Office Tower (yes, yes I know it’s not called that any more) and The Gherkin to name a few. I was glad to have finally made my way up there.

The main reason we were up in London was that we had been given as a present a trip to a private cinema within the Courthouse Hotel. This seats about 100 people and shows cult films every weekend. When you arrive you are presented with a glass of champagne (which I quickly swapped for an orange juice) to enjoy in the bar, using one of the old cells if you are lucky. All very civilised.

We had chosen to go and see Some Like it Hot, the Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis classic. It is such a great film and really good to be able to see it on a big screen. It’s funny and cheeky and the cast are just perfect. What was interesting to see was just how quickly we have gone from shapely actresses to the size zero that seems to be de rigueur today – bring back the Monroe look I say!