We made it!
One short train ride via Eurorail from Paris and we arrived in London!
Not gunna lie, we didn’t do much our first night there. We arrived around 5:30pm and as you may recall, the day before we walked about 8 miles around Versailles. However, the neighborhood we stayed in was so adorable and had more than enough stuff for us to do while staying in very close walking distance from our place. We had dinner at an AMAZING thai restaurant named Kinkao Thai. I ordered Pad se-ew (flat noodles) and Joe was so hungry he ordered a whole duck, Kai poo kao fai. Everything was delicious. Our hosts from Airbnb gave us a few great recos for the neighborhood, one of them, The Carpentars Arms. This bar was right across the street from our flat. I walked in and it hit me, I was in London. Great beer on tap, super friendly staff. A few pints later and we were ready to pass out (from exhaustion, not beers, that comes later in the post).
It was Sunday at this point. To me, Sunday means markets and brunch. Both of those wishes were met! Our hosts told us of this market on Brick Lane that happens on Sundays. Tons of great vendors, we grabbed some quick breakfast and walked down the market until we arrived at our first stop of the day, The Tower of London.
The Tower of London – a prison, palace, zoo, home of the Yeoman Warriors aka “Beefeaters,” and where the crown jewels shine. Take a tour. Just do it. The Beefeaters are hilarious and extremely passionate about The history of London and The Tower, so it’s really amazing. We walked along the river, saw Tower Bridge and had brunch on the porch at The Dickens Inn. Sausage, egg, beans, and beer. Welcome to London.
Feeling ambitious, we took the tube up to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, saw the famous (in my mind) Peter Pan statue (from Winning London, 90s babies, rejoice with me) and then relaxed in the park again because our Tampa car commuting legs were not used to all this walking. So we hopped back on the tube and went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, 221 B Baker street, of course. This isn’t necessarily a must see, but they did a really great job of staging Sherlock’s house and the souvenirs in the gift shop were some of my family’s favorites.
At this point the evening was upon us and I had a few bars I wanted to hit, but first, food. Honest Burger. So good. There are a few of them around London but Joe and I went to the one in the soho area.
Joe: The Cheese and a Honest British Steam Lager
Me: The Tribute with a Honest Cocktail consisting of Apple juice, cucumber, lemon puree, and of course, gin.
I found a post on one of the blogs I follow, Postcards from Rachel, and she had a site filled day on her A Local’s Guide to London post. So I decided to use her Day One as a guideline for our day two. Before we headed to the Westminster tube, I grabbed a coffee and a croissant (Addicted now, anyone whose been to Paris will understand) at an adorable cafe in our neighborhood, Craft Coffee.
We got off at the Westminster tube and from then the tour began – Buckingham Palace (check the website for dates and times for the changing of the guard), St. James Park, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben. Saw it all, in the rain. I would not have had it any other way. I also took Postcards for Rachel up on her reco – Borough Market. Best reco ever. It was an incredible market with so many food vendors, Joe and I couldn’t decide, so we grabbed a little bit of everything. Lattes, fudge, wraps, and a chocolate croissant we saved for later. I cant stress enough how much Joe and I loved this market.
We then walked up Thames river, passed the Millennium bridge (Harry Potter anyone?) and boarded the London Eye. Thats what we were saving the chocolate croissant for. Dont worry, we survived, then we drank (too much?).
So, Joe has already been to London, when he around 14. So when I told him I really wanted to go, I promised we would do things he had never done in London and it would be worth it. What cant you do in London when you’re 14? drink. So I looked up the oldest and coolest pubs in London and promised him a bar crawl. Here are a few we went to; Cross Keys, Lamb and Flag, and Olde Ye Cheshire Cheese. Lamb and Flag is where I discovered and fell in love with Tyrrell’s Sweet Chili and Red Pepper chips. I WILL find these in the states.
Embarrassingly enough (but not really) we finished the night with a (drunken) McDonalds meals and cab ride home. Seriously though, those cabs are too cute.
Stay Tuned for Part Two!