London is one of those cities that has something for every weather, but, when the sun shines, the city comes alive. London has so many awesome outside tourist attractions and parks that are awesome to explore, wander between, and generally enjoy. Best part, many of them are free! So, when we woke up after a weekend of snow, rain, wind, and cold, and saw that it was beaming sun, we decided to plan a day in the parks, a day for walking the city! After breakfast of course…
Once we were packed up and ready to go, we dropped out bags at reception (tip: Covent Garden Travelodge has a free bag drop for guests, they ask for a small donation if you’re able that goes towards the British Heart Foundation, but that’s it!) and set out towards Leciester Square. On the way, we passed through Seven Dials. I can’t believe I’ve never been through the picturesque place before, it looks as lovely in the day all decorated as it does at night when the festive lights are shining. Our goal and endpoint was a Bombay Café around the corner called Dishoom. We had read about it online as a great place to eat in general, but we were sourcing the best affordable breakfasts and Buzzfeed had rated them highly. Trusting Buzzfeed implicitly (I mean c’mon, they told me my celebrity matches are the Hemsworth’s, I’ll live in a Mountain Lodge in Colorado, and they give drunk employees puppies, of course I trust them!) we wandered in off the street.
Dishoom was worth every single recommendation, and every single penny that we spent (it wasn’t even expensive!). The food was amazing, and as much as a bacon naan roll sounded nice and looked incredible when it arrived as Emma’s breakfast, I went for something I’d never heard of before – Akuri. Described on their menu as ‘An Irani café staple. Three spicy scrambled eggs piled up richly alongside plump, home-made buns and served with grilled tomato’, they were the best eggs I’ve ever eaten in my life and the greatest way to start the day. The house coffee was pretty good too. The staff were lovely, and as a bonus, they gave us loyalty stamp cards. I don’t want to lose those bad boys, so I’ve kept them in my phone case for next time, because let me tell you, there will definitely be a next time.
With full stomachs and happily caffeinated brains, we headed off for Trafalgar Square. Emma thought she had never been, but it turned out that she had years before on a school trip. Instead of spending too long there, we walked around, took the requisite photos, looked at the big tree (dare I say it – I think it was disappointing) and decided what to do next. We had a sort of plan that consisted of spending time in the Portrait gallery and the British Museum, but it was such a lovely morning that we ditched them and decided to walk through Admiralty Arch and down towards Buckingham Palace.
I know that I should be super impressed by the Palace, and don’t get me wrong it’s an incredibly ornate and large building, but i’ve seen it a few times, so when I saw a pigeon perfectly perched on a statues head, I may or may not have turned to snap a picture of said bird instead of the palace. We spent a bit of time looking around at the palace front, the statues, the gates, and of course looking and laughing at different poses and angles that folks were attempting. Seeing a picture being created from the wrong angle is often hilarious. Once we were palaced out, we set off towards Horse Guard’s Parade.
Instead of just walking back along the Mall, and therefore having a great view of a road, we decided to take a detour through St. James’s Park. It has the palace behind you, Horse Guard’s Parade and Whitehall ahead, and affords some awesome shots of different London landmarks, especially the London Eye. The pictures of the Eye above the lake and the colourful trees might be my favourite of the whole trip! We we soon back through Horse Guard’s parade (after laughing at the dressed up guards on their horses!) There is something a little ridiculous about the guards around London, don’t you think?
We had plenty of time left, so we headed into the Portrait gallery to spend some time. Emma has never been there, and we both don’t mind a gallery, so we decided to peruse the artwork on show and burn a little time before our train journey home. We wandered around and just had a gander at as much as we could, and remembering as much as we could for watching University Challenge. Yes, we are that sad.
We finished out trip back where we started, on the train. It was a pretty awesome weekend, and yes we spent a lot more than we expected, but, we had an absolutely awesome time. And a bonus, we’ve since been able to rearrange our Harry Potter tour for December 2018, so we’ll get to see Hogwarts in the snow after all.