As temperatures cool down and autumn rolls in, I’m left dreaming of autumn in the UK. Autumn in London was delightful and dreamy, and Scotland even more so. Autumn is my season: it’s my ‘hopelessly romantic’ season, where I want to do every cliché activity that embodies what autumn is. I want to be cozy, drink warm autumn themed drinks, and sit in front of a roaring fire.
But I digress, I’m here to talk about my last two days in London this summer.
Day 3 felt like a rushed day, with Depeche Mode’s concert about a 45 minute tube ride away, we planned on being a bit early. So off I went with my mom & sister to Notting Hill & Portobello Market.
Within five minutes of wandering through the market, I found a vintage military style jacket and handed over a fistful of Pounds. I was delighted. My time in the neighborhood was short and I didn’t get to explore the Market as much as I had wanted to. I wanted photos of some of the colored houses in Notting Hill so I left my mom & sister and went on a quick tour of the neighborhood before heading back to the Tube station and meeting my brother & dad so that we could head out to Depeche Mode at London Stadium.
Depeche Mode is my favorite band, and they have been that for 15 years. If I could be a groupie and follow them around Europe I probably would, they are my band. My brother and I had stadium floor seats & my dad was up in the seated area.
I don’t think I’ve ever been to a concert with 80,000 people so this was an experience in of itself. It was wonderful to see them on their home turf, and even in their older age, they still know how to put on a show. It was such a special experience to share with my brother & dad, especially with my brother who stayed with me on the show floor for the duration of the concert.
We met my dad outside and this is where the night gets interesting & a little scary. 80,000 people leaving a concert is A LOT of people. It took us an hour to just get into the Tube station to our platform.
As we were standing there waiting, more and more people crowded around us. The train wasn’t arriving. Everyone started muttering. I received a text from someone asking if I was okay. I was confused. Then there were Twitter messages, asking me the same thing. Over the loud speaker it was announced that the Central Line was shut down due to an incident at London Bridge. There had been a terrorist attack.
Everything after that is sort of surreal. I called my partner back home, I checked into Facebook to let people know we were okay, and I sent out a tweet saying the same thing. It was very odd but very reassuring and comforting to have so many people asking if me & my family were okay. We were all funneled onto other platforms to take different Tube lines. We ran to a train car at the very front of the line, all of the cars were absolutely stuffed to the brim. With a sigh of relief, we held on tight and off we went.
Everyone on the Tube that night was so reserved. There was an air of excitement, as we had all just come from an amazing show, no one seemed afraid about what was going on in the city but there was an underlying tone that I can’t quite put my finger on during the Tube ride back. It was eerie as we flew by the London Bridge stop and no one was on the platform. And it was even eerier to get off at our stop near Trafalgar Square. We were the only ones in the station and hurried down the winding tunnels and up the stairs only to have someone waiting for us so they could shut the station down.
In all, it took us 3 hours to get back to our flat. Exhausted and jittery from everything, it was hard to try and go to sleep. It was overwhelming and a night that I will never forget.
Our last day in London, I wanted to do some more shopping. Oxford Street’s Topshop flagship was calling my name. All of us went around the corner over to a restaurant called Carluccio’s for breakfast.
This is a chain restaurant but it was still damn good. The manager was such a sweet, young man from Italy. He was very chatty and attentive. While the ladies went off to head to Harrods, my dad said the manager chatted with him and my brother a bit, talking about how unusually slow it was that morning because of the incidents the night before. He left an impression on my family & we’d definitely stop by in the future whenever we return to London.
Meanwhile off at Harrods, I loaded up on Dior Skincare items & after walking around with my mom and sister, left them for Oxford Street since I had seen most of Harrods on the last trip. I shopped my heart out in Topshop, then River Island, and headed back to the flat.
My dad and I went up the street to the Lamb & Flag, which was on my saved list of pubs to visit.
Stuffed on Bangers & Mash and a delicious strawberry lambicus, we went back to the flat and after resting for a bit I went out to wander around Covent Garden and get photos of some of the neighborhood.
I’m already plotting how to stop off in this city again. I love the hustle & bustle of it, the history that surrounds you, the food and the shopping. London, I love you and there’s still so much yet that I want to see.