I missed you all last week! My husband had a conference in London and I decided to take the opportunity to travel with him. We were lucky to have a few days together to explore the city before his busy schedule kicked in. I took over 800 photos on the trip and today I am just sharing the highlights, please connect on Instagram, I posted dozens of pictures of the sites while I away. We stayed at The Montague on the Garden Hotel and I can’t say enough great things about it, the concierge Jorge and all of the staff were amazing. They really helped me organize my days.
There is a big market in Notting Hill on Saturday mornings called the Portobello Market, it is 2 miles of vendors selling antiques, food, clothing, etc.. I was hoping Hugh Grant would be selling the Notting Hill DVD but no luck! Ha! The antiques booths were fun, lots of neat small items. I was surprised to see so many similar items to what I find and sell here in California like vintage cameras, silver, china patterns…
The food looked great too, we both had to use huge restraint when we passed these donuts!
After the market we took the tube into the city center to see all of the London hotspots like the London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament, and Buckingham Palace.
We had to go for a spin on the London Eye, it is a 30 minute ride giving the best views of the city. I’m glad we did it on the first day because it help me gain my bearings for where the major landmarks were located.
This is probably the best picture of us from the week…
Such a neat view of Westminster and Parliment, love the red buses on the bridge…
After the eye we went to Buckingham Palace and walked through Green Park before we headed back to our hotel for dinner. The jet lag was a little rough on this trip and we tried our best to adjust to the new time. If you have any tips for how to adjust let me know! This is the only picture from Buckingham Palace from Saturday that is worth sharing, I took better pictures later in the week.
On Sunday we went to Harrods and shopped at a few placed in the Knightsbridge neighborhood. Harrods was spectacular, totally over the top. I have more pics on Instagram, I used my iPhone inside instead of my nice camera to try to keep a low profile, didn’t want to look like a complete tourist even though I’m sure I did!
After shopping we walked through Hyde Park and took in all of the landmarks near by, there is so much history in the city and I loved it! This is Chris at the gate of the Wellington Arch.
On Monday I went on a fabulous day trip, I’ll share pictures of that day on Thursday so stay tuned. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I spent my days seeing as much as possible. I made it to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards on Tuesday morning but couldn’t see much because it was a mad house. The Queen was out and about for her Jubilee and everyone was hoping to see her drive by. I did get some nice pictures of the horse guards, the guards, and the band, love it! I wish we had royalty in the United States!
A lot of pomp and circumstance!
Later in the day I went to the Tower of London and spent a few hours taking in all of the history. It is a great place to explore and I would highly recommend spending some time there when you are in town. The Tower Bridge is the iconic bridge that you typically see on souvenirs, I always thought it was the London Bridge, ha!
The Tower of London used to be a Castle, military storage and a prison. Now it is a big tourist attraction, the #1 thing to see is the Crown Jewels. I wasn’t allowed to take a picture of the big crown but I was able to take a lot of other neat pictures…
Wednesday and Thursday I spent my days exploring new neighborhoods and visiting museums (they are all free) There is a company called London Walks that has guided walks all over the city and I went on 3, one of the Mayfair, one in Kensington, and one in Westminster. They were all great and the guides were awesome. If I go back to London I’ll do a walk every day. This is a picture of my guide Peter telling a great story about the history of Westminster, he was my favorite.
I didn’t realize the Westminster used to be an island until the guided walk. I learned so many fun tips about the city, it has gotten me interested in British history again. I know I’ve said it already but I wish we had royalty here in the United States! This is the Victoria tower, the place where the Queen drive in to open Parliament…
We explored some of the oldest streets of Westminster and I saw this sign for one of the shelters from The Blitz, wow!
On Friday I took a day trip to Paris, I’ll share pictures from that adventure later this week. Saturday Chris had the day off so we went out for a nice breakfast and then went on a London Walk, he loved it. After the walk we walked through Hyde Park again and stopped into the Orangery at Kensington Palace for afternoon tea. Our friend Beza was also in London for work she he joined us and he loved it. It was fun to sit and relax, eat some yummy food, and people watch. We ended up staying until they closed!
Afternoon tea is my new favorite thing, I told Chris and Beza that I am bringing it back with me to the states. Instead of tailgate food in the fall I am going to make scones and cakes for the games!
Kensington Palace was the home to Lady Diana and will be the home of Prince William and Kate. The gardens around the property were beautiful, summer has just started in London so all of the flowers are in bloom.
Queen Victoria is outside of Kensington, she had it built when she became Queen (fun fact that I learned on a London Walk). Well, those are some of the highlights from the trip, I hope you enjoyed all of the photos. I’ll be back tomorrow with this week’s edition of Hot or Not!? and then more photos on Thursday and Friday.