When we were at The O2 in January to see Ronan he announced that Boyzone were celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and would be doing an anniversary tour. I immediately volunteered to host at Superbreak for their date at The O2.
The Grand Central train from York to London was surprisingly quiet. We arrived mid morning and wandered to our hotel looking in the odd shop as we went. As it was the final weekend before Christmas we thought it may be wise to avoid the shops as much as possible, something that my husband agreed to very quickly! We were staying at The Strand Palace Hotel which, as the name suggests, was situated on The Strand, a very central location. The hotel has had a recent refurbishment and was very nice, clean and tidy. The room was only small, as a lot of hotel rooms are in London where space is at a premium, however we did not intend to spend much time in our room. The bathroom was particularly small although it had everything needed. Toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities and a hair drier were all provided.
We had decided to try the Emirates Air-Line to cross the River to The O2. We caught the DSLR from Tower Hill to Royal Victoria where we boarded for our flight. We had not realised how windy it was until we were suspended over The Thames by which time it was too late to change our mind! There were great views of the surrounding area including the Thames Barrier. It was a fun experience and one I would recommend. We arrived safely at the other side with time to eat before the main event, the Boyzone BZ20 Anniversary Tour.
Surprisingly the event was not a sell out and there were a few empty seats when the boys appeared on stage. They provided excellent entertainment for about an hour and forty minutes, singing some of their original songs as well as some of their new material produced specifically to compliment this tour. They all took part in a moving tribute to Steven Gateley who passed away four years ago, I do not think there was a dry eye in the house. The audience were of a wide age range and Boyzone themselves acknowledged that their original fans were now bringing their children with them as well as a few husbands amongst the audience. A great night was had by all.
After a full English breakfast at the hotel next day we made our way to Southwark to The View from the Shard. I had booked this as a surprise for my husband as he has watched programmes on the television showing the building of this icon. Unfortunately it was a December day so not as clear and sunny as it could have been however there was still an incredible view. Free telescopes are provided which name all the notable buildings and give a brief explanation of their origins. The wind howled when we stepped outside onto the open air viewing platform however it was not as cold as it sounded as the glass panels protected us from the full force of the wind, an experience not to be missed when you have ascended so far. When we left The Shard we visited the Borough Market which was just down the road. This was a food market with fruit and vegetables, meat, bread and other edible delights on offer. It all looked very appetising, I am sure I put on a few pounds just looking!
We caught the tube back to Westminster and wandered via Covent Garden to the station as it was time to return home and reflect on a perfect short break.