It’s September 1! Already. Oh my goodness, and what better day to continue my UK travel posts than today in honor of Harry Potter!
I adore London. It’s a city that from the moment I stepped foot there, it felt right. Finding my way around the city was easy, using the tube a breeze…having a pint in a pub, it’s all just…right.
I had big plans this second time to the city, all my places marked off. The focus of the trip and whole reason my family and I were abroad was for Depeche Mode, so it was fitting in what I could around that evening. It felt like I didn’t have enough time to see all I wanted to see this trip…there’s so many places I want to visit still. London keeps calling me back. I guess I’ll have to go!
Upon landing in London the goal was to stay awake. Even if it was only until 8:00 or 9:00 PM. On our previous trip Ryan & I had got to our flat around 4:00 PM, and promptly passed out, without eating, waking up at midnight, and then falling back asleep. The next day was rough, so I was determined this trip to just drop the bags off and go.
My brother and mom came with, and we left our flat which was right off Trafalgar Square, and wandered through the Square, down to Big Ben and along the Thames.
After returning to the flat, we headed into Covent Garden and had dinner at The White Swan, a traditional pub just around the corner from the flat. I had the steak & ale pie, one of my favorite dishes to get, and the other memorable dish that my dad ordered was the fish & chips…I have never seen a larger piece of fish fried up! We get such small pieces of fish here in the states and my eyes popped out of my head when I saw the dish come out.
The food & drinks were all delicious and just what we needed after a long day of travel. We wandered through some lively back alleys in Covent Garden and then headed back to the flat to rest up for a full day tomorrow.
Jetlagged but ready to take on the day, I took my family over to the Riding House Café for breakfast where Ryan and I ate last time. This place is an absolute must: delicious food, great décor, and great location. You can’t really go wrong.
After breakfast, we hopped on the tube to the Bank of England. We wandered into Leadenhall Market, where I split from my family. They went off to see the Tower of London and I headed north to Old Spitalfields Market.
I bought a few pieces of jewelry from a vendor before continuing on my way to Hanbury street. I was on the hunt for secondhand/vintage markets as well as some street art by one of my favorite street artists.
I was not disappointed. While the first shop I had marked on my map was closed, I found Blitz, which was a huge 2 level shop. I also discovered that some of the clothing was repurposed, so there were things that were of the same style but not exactly. One of my favorite street artists, Roa, had a large piece of art on the same street as Blitz so I was ecstatic to be where I was.
The second place I wandered into was the Vintage Market, down a set of steps, I walked into a wonderful experience, the likes of which I have not experienced in the States. Individual vendor stalls filled this basement of a warehouse, selling vintage, secondhand and repurposed clothing. I found so many vintage Burberry jackets…this was *real* vintage clothing, in abundance, not overpriced, and from so many different eras.
I left with a few bags full of clothing, and stopped in at a gorgeous chocolate shop down the street called Dark Sugars, before I walked back down to the Tower of London to meet my family.
I never met them though, getting caught in a ridiculous down-pour comparable to one during a Seattle winter, while I waited outside the Tower. I finally made a decision to run for the Tube station. I was completely soaked through.
After putting on some dry clothes, the rest of my family showed up at the flat. We then went off into Covent Garden to find some dinner. We wound up at L’ulivo, a charming little Italian restaurant.
I had to leave rather quickly though, as I ended up squeezing in a play just down the street as a last minute decision the night before the Depeche Mode show and that was a decision I’m so glad I made.
I really recommend seeing a play in the West End while you’re in London. You’re able to purchase a drink and take it into the theatre with you so being able to sip on some rosé while enjoying the theatre is really quite a treat. The play I saw was “Don Juan in Soho” and David Tennant was starring in it. I’m a huge Doctor Who fan and it was a wonderful experience to see his performance live.
I was so full of energy after I left the performance and wandered back to the flat, just a few minutes away. Covent Garden was buzzing on this warm June evening and I was so excited to have just experienced that performance in London. This evening re-affirmed my love for this city and I fell asleep happy as can be. Little did I know the next two days would be just as exciting and stressful, and not all for good reasons.
Stay tuned for the last of my UK Trip recap posts in the next week & happy September!