When we think of London we think of tea, crumpets, and bustling city life. Over the few days we spent there, we didn’t indulge in the tea and crumpets but thoroughly enjoyed the city! It did feel a lot like we were back in the States though! One subtle, or maybe not so subtle, difference being that they drive on the opposite side of the road. Standing at a crosswalk, we noticed that whichever way we needed to look before crossing was painted on the ground… helpful because inevitably we looked the wrong way! Excluding the city’s historic side, hearing English and seeing fast foods like Chipotle and Krispy Kreme made it feel familiar, which was a funny feeling to have being so far from home!
Wandering around the city, we couldn’t help but notice the phenomenal aroma of the endless food options. We headed to dinner in Chinatown, lanterns lining the streets along the way. Another thing we couldn’t help but notice was the cost… yikes. The pricing for a meal was comparable to Swiss prices ($$$). Between food, drink, and transportation our cash was easily spent.
We were lucky enough to see sunny skies one of the days we were there allowing us to spend that day touring the city. We started out near Windsor Castle, wandering and admiring the architecture as we went. Within a few seconds you can walk by a very modern building set next to a classical and worn one. We stopped to take in the views of Tower Bridge before heading to the Borough Market for lunch. Again, the smells that filled the air in the market were amazing. Grilled meats, mac and cheese, sausages, and giant blocks of fudge were among the things you could find.
We showed up to Buckingham Palace just in time to see the changing of the guards. Throngs of people were there to watch alongside us as the guards marched down the streets. Travelling via the tube (London’s underground metro) was the most efficient way to make it around the city. It’s much bigger than we’d imagined! We did make an effort to walk as much as we could while it was nice out, as the rest of our trip was frigid and snowy. The parks in London are well manicured, even in the winter cold.
After a stroll through the park we decided to tour the Churchill War Rooms. Highly recommend if you’re into that sort of thing! It was self-guided with individual audio which we appreciate as it allows us to go at our own pace. There were a lot of interactive aspects to the tour and a ton of artifacts to check out. It was fun to see some unique items from Churchill’s life, how he lived, and learn more in depth history of what he accomplished.
We met up with mutual friends and locals to the area that took us around to some of their favorite spots for dinner and drinks. At one point, we found ourselves out on a uniquely lit dance floor letting loose to some of our favorite throwbacks. An American influence that we noticed was definitely the music we heard. It’s not typical to go somewhere in Switzerland and know every song played. It was refreshing!
Espresso martinis (along with tea of course) are popular in London so we naturally had to have one to accompany our brunch the next morning. Very tasty! With jalapeño cornbread and poached eggs, breakfast was a winner. After filling our bellies, we headed to the pub to catch a rugby game… England vs Ireland. It was insanely packed and we expected it to get rowdy! We were told that it’s common for locals to eat dinner early and proceed to drink into the night, causing some to get a little boisterous! Despite England’s loss, everyone was in good spirits and having a great time.
Fish and chips is for Friday’s but family roast is for Sunday’s. We took part on Sunday at one of our friends’ favorite spots, The Pig and Butcher. We split the pulled pork shoulder and are glad we did because the amount of food placed before us was hefty. Potatoes, creamed veggies, and pudding (which is essentially a puffy piece of bread) were included. Food coma set in as we finished, grabbing a coffee before heading back home. Being easy to access from Switzerland and somewhat easy from the States, London hasn’t seen the last of us! This year has already been flying by. Some down time from trips and weekend ski sessions will do some good for the body and soul. Amsterdam is on the horizon as we will be visiting in April… just in time to see the tulips!