The longest part of creating these blog posts is the selection of photos. Trying to choose a few photos from hundreds that you love is no easy task. I do love the highlight reel that I am creating which I can always look back on. The week started off with a trip to Boots to pick up my online shopping haul. Can you believe that three Soap n Glory scrubs, three Soap n Glory body butters and two Origin mask packs only cost £68? I will let you in on my secret, whenever there is online shopping to be done, I always do a Google check for any available vouchers. I scored myself a 10% off disount voucher for purchases over £60 and used a £3 off Soap n Glory voucher on a seperate transaction. It was also great that all Soap n Glory was 3 for 2 and the Origins set was on special for £20 pounds. I totally win at this online shopping thing right? It was both convenient and easy to order online and pick up at a store location near me. I had to buy the Soap n Glory Breakfast Scrub because it smells so darn delicious. The Righteous Body Butter is more moisturizing than The Body Shop but the strong floral scent just isn’t for me.
Roxane and Pieter, a lovely South African couple I know from home were kind enough to invite me to their house for dinner. I had never mentioned the type of food I liked to them, so imagine my surprise to find out that Pieter had prepared my favourite meal, chicken pesto pasta with zucchini and parmesan. He even made the pesto himself! It honestly is the best pesto pasta I have eaten. On Friday I attended a pool night at The 1920’s bar for a work function. It was a little boring because other than Roxane and Baveshan people didn’t attempt to socialize or talk out of their usual social groups. After eating my fill of canapés I headed home for an early night.
I had a brief glimpse into the many artworks and artefacts housed in the British Museum during my first week in London. That quick walk through wasn’t enough and I knew I had to go back. There are no words to explain the surreal feeling once you step inside. People’s voices create a unique background hum below the magnificent glass ceiling. The sheer number of rooms and items to see can be overwhelming. After my confusing visit to the VnA in the previous week, I was armed with a pencil and map to cross of the rooms I had been to. OCD problems, I know!
There is so much to see that you could visit this museum a hundred times and see something you hadn’t noticed before. My favourite works were definitely the Greek and Egyptian pieces. Michelle joined me at the museum after bravely walking all the way from Westminster Bridge. Suffice to say both our feet were killing us as we made our way to the Wellcome Collection. We had a giggle at the sex exhibition and found ogled at the weird and wonderful pieces in the permanent collection. The library is my favourite part of the building. A beautiful space to escape to or relax in.
We caught an Uber to the Terrace Bar and Grill for our girls night out. The restaurant is beautiful with ceiling to floor glass. I had the Cromer crab and Scottish lobster bisque with garlic crostini and saffron aioli for starters, Gin and Tonic sorbet palate cleanser and the pan seared fillet of sea bream with pearl barley and butterbean risotto, roasted garlic herb oil and Berkswell cheese shavings for the main. The most delicious part of our dinner was the dessert. We all saw chocolate and immediately ordered the chocolate pistachio mousse with Chantilly cream, soaked raspberries and lychee sorbet. When the dish arrived we were all disappointed to see no chocolate, this quickly disappeared once we tasted it. Nothing short of sublime is the best description I can give.
I had a late start to my Sunday but there is plenty you can see in six hours on foot in London. My first stop was at Monument station which is a short walk away from the spectacularly beautiful Leadenhall market. It may seem more shopping centre than market but it is a Victorian styled market. It was even used as the Diagon Alley location in the Harry Potter films. I think it’s even more stunning when it’s empty on the weekend. Just around the corner from the market are the recognizable buildings of the Cheesegrater, the Gherkin, The Heron Tower and Lloyds. I am sure you can tell by now I am a little bit obsessed with buildings so it really was a must for me to see these up close and snap a photo or two or many.
Google Maps is amazing for navigating around the city, I found it up to date with regards to the tube service but not so much for the buses. There were several bus stops not in use in the area I was in so it took me awhile to find an in use bus stop that would transport me to Columbia Road Flower market. Boy, oh boy, was this narrow street market packed with people with no breathing room at all. I think the afternoons get quite busy because of people hoping to get closing specials. The market itself is small, the flowers are pretty but I didn’t see anything special nor would I say that it forms part of a must see in London on a trip.
It was then back on the bus to check out the Old Spitalfields market. This market had a few food stalls, surrounded by restaurants and plenty of strange clothes stalls of which I have no idea who would buy and wear! It is a more modern market with plenty of space which makes it lack both the ambience and hustle and bustle that makes markets special.
On the walk to the Whitechapel Art Gallery I spotted Christ Church Spitalfields and a graffiti artist at work. The gallery visit was quick due to it being rather small and disappointing. Not being in the mood to walk further than I had to, lazy me took the tube one stop to see boats at St Katharine Docks near Tower Bridge. My plan was then to walk across Tower Bridge when I noticed it was bridge lift time. This time I was on the bridge during the lift and although the pictures weren’t as great I still thought it was pretty cool. After walking along the south bank and snapping pictures of Tower Bridge, Tower of London, the city skyscrapers, City hall, London Bridge, the Shard and Borough Market it was time to go home on the tube from London Bridge. As you can see even if you only have a few hours of walking to spare you can see plenty of London if you are prepared to walk. Plus If you don’t stop to take as many pictures as I do, you will probably see even more. I honestly believe the beauty of London and most cities really, can only truly be appreciated by exploring the city on foot.
Sights seen: The British Museum, Church of Christ the King, Wellcome Collection, Leadenhall Market, The Cheesegrater, Lloyds Building, The Gherkin, Heron Tower, Columbia Road Flower Market, Old Spitalfields Market, Christ Church Spitalfields, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Trinity Square Gardens, St Katharine Docks, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, City Hall, Hay’s Galleria, HMS Belfast, Borough Market & The Shard
1. Boots shopping haul / 2. Homemade chicken pesto pasta / 3. Waiting at Blackfriars tube station / 4. Bottle light installation at the 1920’s bar / 5-28. The British Museum / 29. Random blue door / 30&31. Church of Christ the King / 32. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art / 33. Unknown cool building / 34. Freaky snuff container at the Wellcome collection / 35. Wellcome collection library / 36-40. Dinner at Terrace Bar & Grill / 41. Old school bathroom signs / 42-45. Leadenhall market / 46&47. The Cheesegrater / 48&49. Lloyds building / 50. The Gherkin / 51. The Heron Tower / 52-59. Columbia Road Flower Market / 60-63. Old Spitalfields Market / 64. Christ Church Spitalfields / 65. Graffiti artist / 66-69. Whitechapel Art Gallery / 70. Trinity Square Gardens / 71-74. St Katharine Docks / 75. Glass building near Tower Bridge / 76-81. Tower Bridge / 82. Tower of London / 83. City skyscrapers / 84. Tower Bridge / 85. City Hall / 86. Hay’s Galleria / 87. London Bridge mural / 88. HMS Belfast / 89. City Hall / 90. The Shard / 91&92. London Bridge / 93. Borough Market / 94. The Shard
Sights Seen: 21
Photos taken: 1269
Pounds spent: 86
London & Walking,