Tuesday, October 4, 2016

10.2.16 Horses & Football

Another day, another British Breakfast. Then we headed across the street from our hotel to the Royal Mews - the stables of Buckingham Palace. The big draw here is viewing the carriages used in official state functions.

We then headed to Wembley Stadium for the Colts versus Jaguars game. It was incredible being there. NFL fans from all over Europe convened. Outside was similar to the NFL Experience set up at the Super Bowl with several areas with games, food, and beer. We had Club level seats and saw Roger Goodell walking around. The stadium had a lot of different food options. We laughed that all the bars were very clearly marked. The bars stayed open after the game. The atmosphere was so much fun. When the game was over, the police force was so efficient at moving people to the train. They would stop everyone to let the platforms clear. So by the time you got inside, a train was ready to go.

Back near the hotel, we decided to try the pub across from the hotel - Bag O Nails. It was terrible!! They were out of tonic and beer and some menu items. The fish and chips were bad. We went back to our hotel bar which was very nice. We should have started there. It was a good end to the trip. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

10.1.16 London Adventures

IWe started the day at a cute cafe around the corner from the hotel. We knew we were in the right place when the taxi drivers and  construction crews started coming in.  I got a proper British breakfast of baked beans, sausage, bacon, and 2 fried eggs. Then we headed out towards the Lord's Cricket Grounds.  We decided to take a taxi because it would be faster than the two connections we had to make on the Underground. We arrived a little early at the cricket grounds so we walked up the street to Abbey Road Studios in that the obligatory photo. The cricket grounds tour with fantastic. It was really fun to see such an iconic sporting venue. We found it really interesting even though I have no idea how cricket is played. We've grabbed taxi to Borough Market. It's a wonderful indoor / outdoor market with food stands, fresh produce and meats, and other vendors.  We found a pub for lunch that had pies so we got to taste a proper british pie. Yum! Then we headed to the Tower of London.  We visited the Crown Jewels  - a bit over the top if you ask me.  We took a river Thames cruise back to Westminster where we explored the Churchill War Rooms. The Churchill War Rooms were really incredible.  They were much more expansive than I had thought.  Over 100 people worked underground during the war.  The War Rooms recreated the bunks and added an extensive museum dedicated to Churchill
We found the personal interviews with Churchill's staff really interesting. We headed up to James Street to find a place for dinner. It is an area with high end shops. We ended up at a lovely little restaurant and had a very nice dinner. We were pleased to find that French wines are much less expensive here -  most half the price so we enjoyed a very fancy rose 50% off. Another great day in the books.

9.30.16 London: Bus tour, afternoon tea, and a pint.

We took the overnight flight from Tampa arriving in London at 7:45 am. We took the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station and took the short walk to our hotel - The Rubens at The Palace right across the street from the horse stables at Buckingham Palace. Our room was ready so we unpacked. Breakfast was at bbar right off the lobby. We used our London Pass for the Golden Tour Hop On/ Hop Off bus. The blue route offers live narration instead of the head phones so we enjoyed that. We got a good overview of the "essential" sites. After the tour, we came back to the hotel for a rest and a little work for me. We headed out in time for our 530 pm reservation for afternoon tea at the Savoy. The Savoy is a gorgeous hotel. Afternoon tea was great! Our favourite cheese sandwich was the chicken curry. We stopped at a local pub that was frequented by coal miners back in the day. Then we headed back to the hotel.