My husband recently bought me some tickets for Aladdin the Musical in the West End of London to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. This was a show I had been desperate to see since it was announced and I was so excited to see this. We booked a nice hotel for the night as a little treat and headed off to London.
We arrived and straight off the train went to Kew Gardens, again this is something on our London todo list and today we had a few hours to kill so decided to check this out. The last several times I have visited London I had seen the adverts on the tube for the installation, Hive, and thankfully this was still there.
It was just going into Autumn and the colours in the trees were really beginning to come through. What I hadn’t fully anticipated was the size of Kew, I knew it would be big. These places are, but this place to fully be appreciated needs a full days viewing. We managed a couple of hours and saw all the key areas I wanted to but it could have been a more relaxing experience if I had allowed longer.
Parts of the Gardens were closed such as the larger glass greenhouse and the Japanese area which was a real shame but we still managed to view loads of other areas including the Treetop Walkway. I’ll start this part off by saying I’m not a fan of heights, in fact you could say I’m terrified of heights, my knees go weak thinking about it so going up this was a real achievement. I won’t lie though, this thing is high and in the wind it moves a lot. I don’t think I could bring myself to go back up there but I did it and it was impressive. Certainly a must do when visiting Kew Gardens.
Some of the other things you must go see are the Palm House and the Princess of Wales Conservatory, especially in the Winter months, to enjoy the warmth of these greenhouses.
Of course the main event we went here for was to see Hive and this was well worth the visit. This was built as a multi-sensory experience to highlight the life of bees. The lights you see and the sounds you hear inside The Hive are triggered by bee activity in a real beehive at Kew. The intensity of the sounds and light change constantly, echoing that of the real beehive. Underneath the Hive are some little poles where you can go and try out a fun experiment. You basically take one of the small wooden sticks, grip it in between your teeth and place the end of it into the pole and you’ll get a fantastic surprise. I don’t want to ruin this for you but if you are visiting please try this.
We dashed and checked into our beautiful hotel. We stayed at the Malmaison and it was stunning. Our room was massive and had the largest comfiest bed. The hotel was lovely and the staff friendly however its location although pretty central was not fantastic. It was a bit of a walk to get to the local tube station which is a real shame for an otherwise perfect hotel.
Aladdin was fantastic. The husband had bought us some amazing seats so we were right in the middle of all the action. We had seen the stage show of this when in Disney’s California Adventure but obviously the West End show was totally different and on a larger scale. The actors were fantastic, especially the guy who played the Genie. How he managed to get through his first scene with all the signing and dancing still blows me away! There are a lot of original songs in the show and the story was slightly different which kept you interested throughout. The only thing missing was Abu.
We ended the perfect day with a few (lots) of cocktails in the hotel bar. It was a perfect way to celebrate four years with my fantastic husband. I am so lucky to have this fantastic guy in my life and can’t wait to spend the rest of my days with him by my side.