We last left off with our dinner at Rules, the oldest restaurant in London. Falling asleep early after our first busy day in London was a super smart decision because we hit the sites for our second day!
London Day 2
Our second day started with coffee and a macaroon, while strolling through Green Park, which was right across the street from our hotel.
The autumn colors were just so gorgeous. Could you ask for a more perfect way to spend a fall morning?
We walked straight through the park to Buckingham Palace. It was just about 8:30 in the morning and there were very few people around. It is one of our favorite things to go to the biggest sites first thing in the morning to beat the crowds and you get to spend the rest of your day eating and drinking!
The Victoria Monument is absolutely stunning. I was so surprised at how clean it was, such a weird thought, but it is just so shiny. The memorial was designed in 1901, but wasn’t completed until 1924. It weighs 2,300 tons. Also, look at how green that grass is!
The gate is seriously insane. Just look at how bright that gold is.
Then we needed some real fuel for the day. I found this place online, Boulestin, and it was an amazing spot.
Their menu was huge and a nice change from the German breakfast of a butter bretzel only. Vinn ordered heuvos rancheros and I ordered avocado benedict with an almond milk cappuccino. Oh man, this was so good! I couldn’t eat the whole thing, but the poached eggs were delicate and perfect. And, who doesn’t love avocado in every meal?
With a full belly, we headed off to hit the standard London sites: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, House of Parliament and the London Eye. We even had something special planned while we were at the London Eye that was magical!
Seeing Big Ben reminded me of Vacation when Chevy Chase says, “Hey, kids, there’s Big Ben.” I definitely took a video and sent it my dad. The guy who introduced me to these movies and is the reason behind my sense of humor.
The crowds around here were insane! And it was only 11 AM. London is in the top five most visited cities in Europe, so I wasn’t surprised there were so many people. But the architecture is amazing. It is so ornate and the colors are so bright. Look at how everything just pops.
We pre-purchased our tickets for the London Eye while we were at breakfast. Vinn found that we could upgrade to a champagne experience for only a few pounds more, so, obviously, we did that! We got to skip the lines and sip on a few glasses of champagne while going around the London Eye ferris wheel. It was probably my favorite thing we did during our time in London.
We walked into these little pods with about 8 other people. It took about a half an hour and we got to see London from above. Incredible. It was a little foggy so our pictures didn’t turn out so well, but we could see enough of the skyline to be impressed with everything London has to offer.
The other benefit of getting the prepaid tickets and doing the champagne tasting, an employee came with us and was the professional photographer for everyone. It was awesome. I also appreciated that he would refill my glass when it was getting low.
This is the London Shard. Isn’t it cool? It’s 95 stories and holds restaurants, offices and hotel rooms.
Afterwards more (buzzed) walking ensued and we tried to go to a restaurant for a quick snack that my friend recommended, but it was full. So, we went to a little market, grabbed some fruit salad, guacamole and chips, and more water and went to Kensington Palace. We had ourselves a little picnic on a park bench.
No, we didn’t see Will or Kate, but I definitely looked. I even looked into every L.K. Bennett store hoping to see that long, flowing dark hair. Alas, no celebrity or royalty sightings.
Our next adventure brought us to Claridge’s for a traditional English high tea. I was definitely looking forward to the tea more than Vinn, obviously, but it was a nice afternoon. Claridge’s is a hotel and a fancy hotel at that. The room was gorgeous and they have their own designed cups and saucers and tea pots. There was even a piano playing the whole time.
I will say that I was a little disappointed in how the whole thing was explained to us. By that I mean, it wasn’t explained to us at all. We basically sat down, they asked us what kind of tea we wanted and left. We are more coffee people and don’t know much about tea and I was hoping to learn something while we were there. That didn’t happen. But, we enjoyed our time sipping on a few teas, drinking more champagne, eating tea sandwiches and the most delectable desserts ever.
Isn’t this china gorgeous? The sandwiches were delicious. They had a salmon lox, a typical cucumber and dill, chicken, egg salad and ham. The salmon was my favorite, with the cucumber a close second. I would love to recreate these at home.
Look at that flower arrangement! Huge. I will say that this afternoon tea was really fun, but really expensive. I would not do it again, but it was worth it for our first visit to London.
After tea, we went to the Prince of Wales Theater to see Book of Mormon.
Holy. Shit. This show was so funny, so inappropriate and so whip smart. It was written by the same guys who created South Park and hits on every single stereotype of the Mormon church. The show is about two missionaries or Elders who are sent to Uganda to spread the word of the Mormon religion. The jokes are hidden in the songs and so quick that if you aren’t paying attention you will miss them. I will say it is not for the faint of heart. There are curse words, they make sexual innuendo through a song about baptism, and pokes fun at how Mormons are told to ‘just believe.’ I thought it was very funny, super satirical and worth every penny. We’ve been listening to the soundtrack since we got home.
After the show, we went back to the hotel for a night cap and to go to bed. I was exhausted from all the walking and activity. We didn’t stop the entire day.
London Day 3
On our final day, we didn’t have a ton of time before our flight, so we took the Tube for about 20 minutes to walk around the Tower Bridge.
It was a great ending to a fantastic weekend! To spend quality time together, celebrating our third wedding anniversary and checking things off our bucket list is invaluable to me. We are so lucky.
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