I like to stretch fun events out as long as possible. So we started celebrating Valentine’s Day on Thursday by taking the afternoon off from work and going to see a matinee at the Trafalgar Studios theatre.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love watching big screen celebrities live on stage. So this time we went to see James McAvoy (The Chronicles of Narnia, The Last King of Scotland, Becoming Jane, Atonement, Wanted, and of course the new generation of X-Men) in The Ruling Class.

And he was so good!! He has amazing energy, and I’ve always been impressed with the amount of emotion he can get into his facial expressions. And the play was pleasantly surprising. Billed as:

Jack, a possible paranoid schizophrenic with a Messiah complex, inherits the title of the 14th Earl of Gurney after his father passes away in a bizarre accident. Singularly unsuited to a life in the upper echelons of elite society, Jack finds himself at the centre of a ruthless power struggle as his scheming family strives to uphold its reputation.

…I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a bit too serious. But it was really funny in parts. It does get a little dark toward the end however. And I can honestly say I’ve never seen a sex scene live on stage before…so that was a bit awkward for me. But the whole cast was superb. I even recognized another British actor, Ron Cook, from Charlotte Grey, which is another one of my favorite films.

Photo by  Johan Persson.

Photo by Johan Persson.

Photo by Johan Persson.

Photo by Johan Persson.

Photo by Johan Persson.

Photo by Johan Persson.

So that was a pretty great start to the weekend. On Valentine’s Day, my hubby was kind enough not to get me chocolates since I’m on a diet and trying to be good. And instead he got me a beautiful bouquet of red roses and made my favorite dish for dinner…Chicken Picatta with Lemon Butter and Capers. Mmmm!

On Sunday we took the whole family out to the Tower of London. We’ve had an annual palaces pass since last March, so it’s set to expire next month. And he and our son hadn’t been to the Tower yet. I really wanted to show our son the “Line of Kings” exhibit with all the armor and horses. Apparently it’s considered the oldest museum in Britain and has been on display since the 1600s.

Our son wasn’t quite as excited as I thought he might be, but it was surprisingly crowded (Sunday afternoon during kids’ half-term school break supposedly?). But he did think the dragon on the top floor was pretty cool and spent a good five minutes pretending to battle it with imaginary guns and swords.

The Line of Kings display at the Tower of London in 1878.

The Line of Kings display at the Tower of London in 1878.

The Tower dragon, named "Keeper." :)

The Tower dragon, named “Keeper.” 🙂

On Monday, we dropped our son off at nursery school and went to Rowley’s for lunch. We had a lovely coupon from LivingSocial for Chateaubriand for two with unlimited chips. It was cold and rainy, so we enjoyed our steak with a couple Irish coffees and some red wine.

After that we cruised over to the Wallace Collection, one of London’s hidden gems, and spent the afternoon perusing their 25 galleries of European armor and paintings, including half a dozen pieces by Canaletto, Rubens, Titian, Rembrandt, and my favorite of the collection: The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. The silk wallpaper in each room alone is worth a look.

Hertford House on Manchester Square home to the Wallace Collection since the 1800s.

Hertford House on Manchester Square home to the Wallace Collection since the 1800s.

The Great Gallery.

The Great Gallery.

The Oval Drawing Room.

The Oval Drawing Room.

"The Swing" by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1767.

“The Swing” by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1767.

So all in all, it was a pretty amazing weekend. I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day as well!!

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