I had to wonder if this was planned in advance- The London Pride Parade was the day after the US Supreme Court Decision on gay marriage in the USA. How appropriate.

We ran into the parade last year, unknowingly whilst out for lunch on Oxford Street. We exited the restaurant, headed for the main road, and BAM! A million brightly dressed people with costumes and whistles galore. In the middle of Oxford Street. Didn’t expect that one.

But HEY! Why not go with it?

This year we actually planned to go though, which meant getting there with plenty of time to kill and being able to mosey throughout the shops. And ultimately led me to find an amazing black dress for £10. Seriously.

We went to a few places, but the flagship store we stopped in is one I’ve been wanting to go to for years. Liberty. The ultimate arts and crafts department store. It has all things kitschy, floral, elegant, artsy, and more. And it’s all laid out in an English garden type of style. The character of the building is highlighted rather than covered, with old vaults and original window fixtures. It’s seriously a treasure tucked away in the city.

Once we finally peeled ourselves away, it was back to the crowds, whistles, speedos, and colour. We made our way to Piccadilly Circus for a stop into Tesco for drinks, then decided we were done with the crowds and noise. It was time for some peace and quiet.

The way back meant heading to Green Park, which passes by some really neat little shops, and some well-known ones too. Our favourite? Davidoff. Yes, quality cigars, pipes, whiskey, and any accessories you can think of. The pipe selection behind the counter was huge, with sliding doors revealing another layer and another layer behind that, to nearby 6-fold. And the humidors were beautiful. The wood was so perfectly finished, and the intricate details on some of them were astounding. And given the price tags, I would say must have been handmade.

We ended up getting a couple cigars to enjoy tonight on the balcony, given the temperature lends itself to shorts and there’s not a cloud in the sky. The flavours of the cigars were bold, yet smooth. Robust, yet had subtle hints of other flavours. A Partagás Serie D No. 6 and a Regius Carona kept us outside talking for an hour or so. Highly recommended for any cigar aficionados. The perfect night-cap to a wonderful day!