What does one do during five free days in England? Play tourist, that’s what! My family and I recently jetted off to London and spent our time walking through the city, walking through museums and walking through the most hateful airport I’ve ever seen. After so long away, I had forgotten how it felt to be back in one of my favorite cities. I’m so happy I got to spend this week in London, but it only makes me more excited to go back!
(Side note: please, please never travel internationally through Boston Logan. Especially as we were making a connection, the entire thing was a nightmare–a smelly, disorganized nightmare.)
After flying into Heathrow and getting through customs, we took the Tube into King’s Cross and then continued on to our AirBnB in Clerkenwell. We took a brief journey to the Museum of London and had some unsatisfying soup from Sainsbury’s (lighten up on the sugar please!).
The next day of this week in London was filled with trips to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain, with an unexpected boat trip across the river. We picked up some tea, candles and jams at Fortnum & Mason, which is definitely the place to go if you’ve got a hankering for historic department stores. With some new (delicious!) tea in my bag, we sauntered over to Piccadilly Circus and got fish, chips and mushy peas at the Queen’s Head. We drank, we laughed, and my hair caught on fire… it was neat.
Wednesday, we had tickets to see Westminster Abbey. We went into the city, and when we got out of Westminster station, we were surprised to see crowds of people, road blocks, and members of the Queen’s Guard, Royal Navy and London Police. Little did we know that Her Majesty the Queen was opening Parliament that rainy Wednesday in May, and we were lucky enough to see her pass by in her carriage! Sadly, I didn’t get any good photos, but it was still an unbelievable experience. I met people who had lived in London their entire lives without seeing the Queen.
The next day saw us traveling to Borough Market, where we gorged ourselves on cheese and pasties. (Pasties, for those of you who don’t know, are traditional British pies with meat and vegetables inside!) I was also introduced to Scotch eggs, which I don’t even know how to describe except to say that they’re yummy!
We traveled to Brighton the next day, before going to Portobello Market. I found all kinds of things at Portobello, ranging from 80-year-old boxing gloves and antique maps and furs to street food, less-antique maps and furs, and vintage stores. There were pastries–lots of pastries–and colorful fruits and vegetables. After hunting for souvenirs, we went on an hour-long hunt for food, trying to escape the inevitability of shelling out a ton of money for lunch in Notting Hill. The winner ended up being Luna Rossa. I immediately loved this place because the staff were all speaking to one another in Italian. The food lived up to all expectations; we had grilled artichokes, ricotta + truffle oil crostini and blush wine to start, and then I gorged myself on the best carbonara I had ever had. (I told myself it was ok because I was walking all day, and it’s not like you can save carbonara for later, right?) This place was yummy af. But I digress.
I finished off this week in London by taking in Spitalfields Market (grabbing a veggie lunch and a new coat along the way!) and then making a trek across town to the Hammersmith area. West London is beautiful. You should go. That’s pretty much all that I have to say about that, because I was day-drunk in Hammersmith by 3 p.m. and it was gr8.
I can’t wait to be back in London!
What would you do during a week in London?