This post kind of picks up where the Virgin Airlines post left off. As soon as I got off the plane, I was at London Heathrow Airport which is the definition of chaotic. In 2015, it was listed as the third busiest airport in the world. My boyfriend picked me up with a single red rose, mind you, and we set off into the sunset!
LOL nope. Just kidding. Never going to happen.
Anyway, we had planned to do a bit of a celebration for Christmas that night as I was knackered (exhausted – for those who don’t speak British English) and we were going to spend Christmas Eve and Day apart. He had already gone out and bought a Christmas tree for us to decorate, so we had to go buy decorations. We got to his flat, located in Romford – near Essex – and decorated the tree after I showered and changed my clothes. We then spent the rest of the day drinking Prosecco, listening to Christmas music, and watching Christmas movies. He made his famous Spaghetti Bolognese – which was insanely amazing – and I fell asleep on the couch…..
Only 1 hour of sleep on the plane. Can you blame me??
I was only scheduled to be there for a week so we had a lot to fit in.
The next day we slept in and had to run out to the store as my curling iron and straightener were not heating up with the adapter I bought. We had plans later that night to eat at Sushi Samba with some friends, which is located on the 38th and 39th floor of 110 Bishopsgate in London. The food was delicious, the company was lovely, and the views were spectacular. We went out in Shoreditch to a couple of different pubs afterwards and spent the rest of the night intoxicated like a regular British person would.
On Sunday, we woke up with a not-so-carefully crafted hangover that was only to be cured by a McDonald’s breakfast/lunch.
No, I refuse to call McDonald’s brunch.
This is when I discovered that Coca-Cola changes their recipe for different countries! The coke probably had half of the sugar it has in America and it was so much better. I honestly felt ignorant for not knowing this and ashamed for my fellow Americans. As a nation, why are we not actively questioning the ingredients in our food and drinks? I was plagued by this the entire trip – still am. It’s a scary thought, and probably for another time…
Later that night, we went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. And this absolutely had to be included in my list of favorite things to do in London. I believe it’s open in December and January every year. We had a blast! We were there for 3 hours and probably only went through ¼ of it. You don’t have to pay to get in, but you do have to pay for all the rides and games. You buy the tokens and use them for your fun. We decided to each choose two rides of our liking, to keep it fair.
The first one we went on was a spinny one, called “The Waltzes.” I was freaking out for this. It’s D’s favorite ride and he spent the entire time giggling/screaming in my ear. It was hilarious. We could not stop laughing, and in the end, I loved it. I also chose a ride that slowly rises to the top and then free falls very quickly, and almost made D crap his pants. I thoroughly enjoyed that. We had to get a drink afterwards to calm him down. I had my first mulled cider. YUM. We left and came out near the West End of London and walked around for an hour or two until we decided to get the tube back to his flat.
Monday had been designated tourism day. We got up early and saw everything from the London Tower to the Tower Bridge. We had an appointment to have champagne at the top of the Shard, so we walked along the South Bank until 3pm. It was foggy and there wasn’t a whole lot of visibility which was a tad bit disappointing, but we still got to see enough of London from the tallest building in the UK! See selfie below.
We also managed to get to Somerset House, Covent Garden, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace.
We were able to end the night at Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station. I was absolutely delighted. I mean, look at my face.
And here D and I are sitting next to each other on the train. He’s 6’7” and I’m 5’2”. Can you tell?
Tuesday morning we went to Greenwich Park and stood next to the Meridian Line. There was an amazing view of London once you managed to walk up the steepest hill in all of the world.
This is probably not true, but it felt like I had been climbing a ladder for three years.
It was a beautiful day. The sky was clear and we had perfect weather.
Later that night we went for a 15-course dinner at a place called Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs. When you walk inside, they take you to the back of the restaurant and you sit around the kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare the food, while drinking champagne. This has also been included in the list of my favorite things we did in London. The food was so weird. One course was parsley ice cream, and in another the chef used beet root as part of a dessert. But it was all so very scrumptious, and the staff were very nice and accommodating. We would go back in an instant. Some of the food served pictured below:
Afterwards, we went out with my best friend who also lives over there, M, and had some drinks around Westminster. We went to a famous club called Tiger, Tiger, which was not that great despite all the talk about it. The clubbing scene isn’t really our thing, but we managed to have a good time anyway.
Wednesday, we went up to Swadlincote – near Burton – to meet D’s family and home town friends. The drive was about 3.5 hours, so we spent most of the morning driving. We got to his mum’s house and visited with her and his sister and her wife. Then his aunt and uncle came ‘round so we could all go out to dinner. This was another one of my favorite parts about the trip. His family was absolutely lovely, and I’m not saying that just because they could potentially read this, but because it was the truth. We just spent the entire time laughing, which is what I usually do with my own family, so it didn’t feel all too much different. After dinner, we went out with his friends he grew up with. And the rest of the evening was filled with even more laughter. We stayed the night as we had a long drive back and we had been drinking. A lot. A lot of drinks. All the drinks.
So on Thursday, we left to go back to his flat for our last night together in England. *insert very sad face here* Even as I’m typing, it makes me sad that I had to leave. We just stayed in and spent quality time together before getting up early the next morning to catch my flight.
I did not want to leave. And I miss it every day. I had crumpets with tea every morning for breakfast. If you’ve never had crumpets before, you are missing out on more than you could ever imagine. If you’re ever in England, you absolutely MUST try them with some English Breakfast tea. It is divine. And you will become addicted. You have been warned. (PSA – don’t buy the American-made ones. They’re horrible and made me feel really sad because we tend to butcher everyone’s food.)
As you can see, we were busy the entire time I was there. There was always something to do, and we didn’t even get through half of it. Next time I go back, we are going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Like that is not even a question. It’s happening. And many many more things planned.
Crossing my fingers I get to go back soon…..
What are your favorite things to do in London? Any restaurants or places I must go next time I visit? Comment below or write me on Twitter – @knackeredchaos!