Experiencing jet lag, the Tube, and the rushed existence of Londoners.
August 26, 2018
Our morning in London was…challenging, to be sure. Michael and I have both thought about why we were having so much trouble buying the tickets from Gatwick to Victoria Station (it took 6-7 tries!), but we must have blocked the details of the traumatic experience out. The important part is that we did finally get our train tickets to London proper!
The train ride was around 45 minutes and there was only one other person in our train car so it was a nice opportunity to somewhat gather ourselves. The neighborhoods that flew by look just like you think they would! Old, brick, ivy growing up the sides. While much of it seemed fairly run down, it was unlike anywhere we’d seen in the States.
Hauling our suitcases around the tube station (or the Londer-ground, as I like to call it, which Michael side-eyes), trying to maneuver them on the escalators and trying not to piss people off was quite an experience. We definitely got the London “scoff” a few times and discovered these people are constantly in a rush.
One of the offices Michael would be visiting on our trip is in Canary Wharf, so it made sense for us to stay nearby. Our host said we could check-in early, but we still had some time to kill, so we found the only place open in the Canary Wharf shopping center, a Caffè Nero and re-charged (with caffeine and electricity.)
Finally ridding ourselves of our luggage (why I decided to go with a rolling suitcase and not a backpack is beyond me) at our Airbnb, we officially kicked our trip with Sunday Roast at The Grazing Goat. The beef was amazing, the pork was pork. We were starving so we actually didn’t get any pictures of our meal.
This kicked off a whirlwind week of seeing and eating everything we could. Both of our jobs were located in Dallas, which is in the Central time zone, so we crammed as much as we could into the mornings and then worked from 2pm – 9pm.
This included a lot of quick meals and snacks from M&S and Tesco. Their prepared food game is on point. I’m a big fan of the new and different things you can find at grocery stores wherever we go. Seriously, it doesn’t matter if we’re in a different state or a different country.
As you likely won’t be surprised to find out, we love food and we love coffee, so we tried to find it wherever we could. We visited as many of the markets as we could to scope out their tasty offerings!
Borough Market was the biggest and most crowded and I wanted to eat everything! Michael had been looking forward to the Raclette guy so we found him and got these insane cheesy potatoes. Raclette is a type of cheese that you can usually find being melted beneath a super hot grill and then they scrape it off onto other stuff — in this case, potatoes!
When given too many options, I usually shut down so I opted for piecing a meal together with this baguette, gorgeous thyme olives and red wine goat cheese. I ate off of this for a couple days!
We also went to Camden Market, where we got these Halloumi Fries and my life was changed. They were topped with Pomegranate molasses, za’atar yogurt, pomegranate seeds, mint and chilli honey. Not to be missed if you find yourself at Camden Market!
We also found ourselves at Chapel Market and Backyard Market, both which were cute and fun but much smaller than the other two we went to.
We went to see a couple of the things you should see when you go to London. We actually stumbled across London Tower on the way to walk across Tower Bridge (aaand I’m just now putting that together).
Speaking of Tower Bridge, if you didn’t know, this is it below. This isn’t London Bridge! We walked across London Bridge just by happenstance and let me tell you…it’s not as exciting as you would think it was to inspire an entire song!
Buckingham Palace is one of those places that is a must see, but in our opinion, it doesn’t require much more than a cursory stroll by. You’re probably not going to see any royals!
Walking down the streets of London, you see so many buildings that seem so quintessentially English that it almost hurts. I am in love with these flowers on the buildings.
And then you wander into another neighborhood and you’re surrounded by the clean lines and sandstone and it feels like a completely different quintessential London!
We wander our way to York next and we finally figure out how to procure food at a pub.