What I’m Wearing:
Blouse: H&M, Denim Shorts: American Eagle, Hat: Forever 21, Shoes: ASOS, Sunglasses: Topshop, Bag: H&M
Oxford Circus felt like a zoo, but I didn’t mind. Crowds of people on the sidewalks poured into shopping stores. Both Oxford and Piccadilly Circus are like mini versions of Times Square. After meeting up with my boss, and making a pit stop at Selfridge’s, we ended up at South African restaurant Cape Town Fish Market. Tucked away on Argyll St, it was the perfect spot to sit outside on a gorgeous London evening away from the crowds on Oxford. What I am about to tell you is very important. If you are ever in the London area, you need to eat at this restaurant and you NEED to order the Seafood Potjiekos. First, you are given a bowl of white rice, followed by a small caldron filled with a spicy tomato broth, chunks of fish, shrimp, scallops, muscles, potatoes, and vegetables that you pour over the rice. Hands down, it is one of the best meals I have ever had. Ever.
Post dinner, we wandered down to Leicester Square, Covent Garden (I needed to see Pretty Green), and Trafalgar Square. Every block we crossed, the more I took in. Every street performer, bar, store and park we passed, London became more magical for me after just a few hours. Now obviously you can find these things in any major city, but the vibe in London was something unexplainable. But as travel exhaustion and food coma began to set in, I had to leave my London high for the night and make my way back to the hotel to pass out and re-energize.
The next day, we made a quick trip back to Oxford Circus to shop at a few stores I missed the night prior. After doing some credit card damage at Topshop, we made our way back to the Tower Bridge area to explore landmarks like the Tower of London, and walk the bridge itself. We crossed Tower Bridge just before sunset over the Thames. On the other side, we walked the path along the Thames to find various art sculptures and City Hall. We settled into a dinner at Strada with the perfect view of Tower Bridge as it lit up at nightfall. It was here we splurged on pasta, wine and gourmet deserts. Thankfully, our hotel was a block from the bridge, as I crossed the border between buzzed and drunk, and giggled my way back across. Let me tell you, after having a few drinks in you, there is nothing more fascinating than watching the bridge rise for marine traffic.
Back at the hotel in my wine haze, I attempt to hydrate and sober myself up faster in attempt to not wake up hung over on our last day in London. Morning had an early start, for we had saved the best for last. Next stop, Westminster & Abbey Road.
To be continued…
This was more than just a honeymoon. For as long as I can remember, I have been a massive Anglophile. I can’t pinpoint why or when my fascination for England started, but this was a place I had been trying to get to for years. Last month, the time finally came for me to step on English soil. Here is the first part of my London recap.
It started with a four-hour bus trip from Boston to NYC, then a five-hour flight from NYC to Iceland, and another three-hour flight from Iceland to London. With the time difference, it felt like I had been traveling for two days straight. But physical exhaustion was not enough to put me to sleep on the flights. While everyone snoozed, I was busy keeping myself occupied with re-run episodes of Friends, and an epic sunrise over Greenland. After a quick layover in Iceland, morning had dawned over western Europe. My eyes were glued to the map on the in-flight TV. Three hours felt like a lifetime.
As we began our decent into London, the clouds began to clear, and it was then I had my first look at England. Although London is the most recognizable destination, we passed over Northern England where I spotted some familiar sights, like Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. We landed at Heathrow, and after spending about an hour in line at customs, we finally met up with our driver. Heading into the city, I was exhausted, but my eyes were glued out the window. We had arrived in London.
The driver graciously took us through different parts of the city en route to the hotel. It was here I had my first looks at Kensington, Harrods, Buckingham Palace and Westminster. For years people questioned my love for England, because I had never been. Some even joked that ‘it would be funny’ if I finally went there and ‘hated it.’ But there was no hate to be felt. Just like I knew I would, I fell in love even more.
We checked into the Grange at Tower Bridge, and were welcomed by exceptional views and the most amazing hotel room I have ever stayed in. The bathroom was small, but filled with marble and mirrors, with a jacuzzi tub, vessel sink, and a shower packed with multiple heads like you see in those swanky Kohler commercials. The rest of the room boasted modern interior finishes, and floor to ceiling windows. I didn’t waste any time. Immediately after getting to the room, I showered up, and got ready to head out. Ironically, my boss (who is British), was in London at the same time visiting family, and insisted on meeting us for dinner and shopping. We mapped out our route on the Tube and set out the city. First stop: Oxford Circus.
To be continued….