Happy Friday everyone! Any fun weekend plans ahead? Steven and I are flying to Los Angeles tomorrow to celebrate two friends' birthdays. Also, to meet his sister and her husband's new puppy!
Since I have not written in so long, I'm going to do another trip recap/itinerary for your reading pleasure. I think this will be a fun way for me to remember my trips and give you some ideas if you are planning a trip to somewhere I've been. WIN-WIN in my book!
Steven and I flew to London for a long weekend in April. I had spontaneously bought tickets to see the Harry Potter play way back in August, so we knew the trip was on the books. If you didn't know, Steven is a pilot, so we fly standby which makes travel less expensive. But, it is also more uncertain which is a big struggle for my type A planner self! Fortunately, the flight we wanted worked out AND we flew business class. Small miracles!
We arrived to London on Thursday afternoon. The flight from the west coast is killer... 11 loooong hours. We stayed in the Ibis Hotel in Blackfriars. It was clean but nothing special. It was very close to the metro station and not too expensive (everything in London is expensive!). We rested up a bit at the hotel and headed out to find food and drinks! Our first stop was the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub which has been around since 1538. The pub was very charming with its many tiny staircases and nook-like rooms. Also, it is said that Charles Dickens (and many other literary figures) used to frequent the pub. I highly recommend going especially if you are into history. We had dinner at a random Pub down the street which was just ok, but we were starving (you can see how excited I am to eat below). Afterwards, we went to Gordon's Wine Bar which is in a candle-lit and in cellar/cave room. It was very cool! I definitely recommend trying it out if you like wine!
Our second day began with a tour around west London through Strawberry Tours. Our tour guide (Matthew) was wonderful and we saw a lot of the big tourist sites we wanted to see including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey. If I ever return to London, I would take another one of their tours. Maybe the Harry Potter tour!
That afternoon, we had tea at the Wolseley and it was divine! You can make reservations online which is a huge plus. We got the full tea for 2 people at 29.75 pounds each and while this seems expensive, the Wolseley offers one of the more reasonable options. Tea is serious business in London. The amount of food was crazy. For future reference, two people can split one tea service.
After tea, we went back to the hotel to relax a bit. I also found my new favorite show - Come Dine with Me. It was hilarious and a cooking show...both things I look for in quality TV! I need to find out how to stream it in the US. That night, we went to dinner at Mother Mash for some pies and mash. It was very good and I loved all the different styles of potatoes. I was in heaven (mashed potatoes are my favorite food)! The restaurant was also in this very cool section of town (Soho) with tons of bars and twinkly lights. After dinner, we walked over to The Bloomsbury Club were we had a 10pm drinks reservation. The bar was a lush little patio garden with fancy cocktails. I of course got wine anyway. ;-)
Saturday, we headed over to Bricklane to find some good Indian food. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed and the food we had was TERRIBLE. The area is very cool though with tons of street art and etsy-like shopping.
The rest of the day we just spent time exploring the city and saw the Tower of London, London Bridge, Borough Market, Tower Bridge, and the Globe Theater. We didn't pay to go inside any of these places just because of timing. Maybe on another trip! That night we had wine and tapas at Cork & Bottle in Leicester Square. They have an extensive wine list, so it was a must-see for me!
This was finally the day I'd been waiting for! We saw both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in one day. I won't give away any secrets but, it was magical! Part 1 began at 1pm and was around 2.5 hours and then we had a bit of a break until part 2 at 6:30pm. During the break, we walked over to the British Museum (free!) to see a few exhibits. We also had Italian food before heading back in to see the second half of the play. I loved every second!! I will DEF see it again when it comes to NYC.
The next day, we left in the morning to catch the train to the airport for our long flight back to Oakland (where we did not get business class BOO!). It was a great trip and I hope to return to London someday!
Question of the Day?
Have you ever been to London? If not, what is your favorite trip you've taken?
Hi! I'm Amanda and I've been living in SF for the past 4 years. Originally from North Carolina, I love traveling, planning, exploring new places in SF, group exercise, and wine.