This past week I had the pleasure of playing tour guide for my friends who came to visit from the opposite sides of the earth. In turn I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to have a ‘staycation’ here in London, and as ever, London put up it’s finest showing of classic British weather. Overcast and blowing a sharp icy wind throughout the day, an incomparable way to spend a day in London.
Walking through London I’m reminded of how small this city is, one of the best perks of London is how walkable it is. Whenever I’m in Zone 1, I walk, there’s no better way to see this city and discover just how tight knit we are.
We spent the majority of our day hitting up landmarks and iconic London sites, each dripping with beautifully designed British architecture that harkens back to the history of our city, and of our Monarchy. Our day began at St Pauls Cathedral, where we all met for the first time, a grande union and one I will cherish for a long time!
Afterour pleasantries we made our way down fleet street and crossed the river to spy the London skyline across from Millenium Bridge. A walk along the River Thames, led us to an, unfortunately covered, Big Ben and through to Buckingham Palace.
The first day we spent together was special for a lot of reasons, this was the first time our friend group had met in person, and fate had a lot of ways of lining things up extra neatly for us. I’d been bragging about my one of my favourite food spots in London to these guys for a while and there was no way I would let them leave London without trying it! On The Bab is a delicious Korean restaurant situated in Covent Garden and i’ve visited it more times this year than any other food haunt.
Following our meal together we attended a preview screening of Call Me By Your Name. I’d luckily managed to snag free tickets to the upcoming film, something we’d all been dying to see and having the opportunity to see Call Me By Your Name with these guys was the perfect way to end our first day together. Everyone cried.
Kicking off our second day together I organised a quintessential British event, Afternoon Tea. There are plenty of places in London that offer High Tea, the more well known of them being Claridge’s and The Ritz, however if you’re not into the idea of spending £60 on a cuppa you can find delightful alternatives for half the price. I booked myself and my friends in at The St Martins Lane Hotel Den for a quirky Afternoon Tea in the throws of dark, oversized furniture and abstract artwork. Perfectly warm decor as London gets chillier.
We continued our day by shopping for shoes, books and geeky gadgets. Our two main pit stops were Foyles and Forbidden Planet. We all managed to stock up on books we’d been dying to read and my current read pile at home is 8 novels deep! It’s actually 10 but the double digits are scaring me. (Watch this space for a blog post on my 2017 Reading Challenge coming at the end of the year!)
Nothing quite says ‘British’ like a group of friends desperately trying to find somewhere to eat dinner without a decisive decision maker. Our final evening together included panicked calling for a last minute table. We ended up walking into Holborn and along our walk I was reminded of a delightful little spot just off Aldwych called The Delaunay, classic European fare with an extensive wine list where we spent the night gossiping, discussing politics, religion, and social norms and old flames.
Though our time together was short, I had an amazing couple of days with these guys and I can’t wait to see them again!
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