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London (the East End)

When you get a message from your cousin (who you haven't seen in almost eight years) saying she is flying down to London from Aberdeen and - would you like to meet up?! Of course the answer was going to be yes!

So, last Sunday we met up with some of our family in Shoreditch. My auntie had chosen a restaurant and I had our family and friends railcard at the ready (it arrived just in the nick of time - saving us £16).

(Not sure what the strange rat face is all about Shannon??)

We live roughly 10 miles from London so it's pretty easy for us to jump on a train - we got off at Old Street tube station and took a little wander around as we were a bit early. My great-great grandmother was from Bethnal Green, so I intend do some proper exploring at some point!

Shoreditch is in the heart of London's East End - there's plenty of Banksy style street art to look at and really colourful buildings.

I'm going to start making more of an effort to discover different parts of London this year, we are so close and don't make the most of it, a bit like people who live near the sea but hardly ever go to the beach!

We were right next to Hoxton Square so the kids had a little run around on the green chasing pigeons.

Just over the road on Rivington Street is the Tramshed , it's a chicken and steak restaurant in a former East-End tram generator building - inside it features a Damian Hirst installation of a cow and a chicken in a tank! This caused many questions to be asked by my son: "How did they die? Did they get shot? How are they still standing up?"

Personally, I think they died of natural causes, that's what I told him!

Kids under 10 eat free, so Fin and Shannon had two hefty fishfingers with chips and mushy peas and Kiki had a steak burger with chips.

The restaurant is all about chicken and steak, so that's basically what's on the menu but, there are also vegetarian options too. I had a chicken burger whilst Lee opted for a steak burger - some of the dishes coming out looked amazing!

It was so lovely to catch up with everyone - especially in such a cool place!

We will be making the most of our discount railcard over the half term and heading to the London Aquarium next weekend for Shannon's 8th birthday.

Thank you to my family for treating us to lunch - London, we'll see you again soon!

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