While renovating our house, Pete and I decided to plan this European trip to celebrate two things. The first would be our third anniversary, and the second would be the completion of our home renovation. Little did we know, we absolutely would NOT be done with the house.
If you’re curious about how AWFUL our kitchen was, check out my post HERE on the BEFORE photos. Initially, we were told our house would be finished in May, then pushed to June, then moved to July, then it was actually completed when we sold the house in October.
Long story short, we desperately needed to take a vacation. We ended up taking it at the worst time, mentally and financially. We didn’t let these delays rain on our parade because we knew this hardship would be short lived! Today was our second day in my new favorite city, London!
If you missed my Ireland recaps…
For the other England recaps…
We had a full day in front of us, and I could not have been giddier. I was excited about our whole trip, but I was most excited to see London. I had a feeling that I would love it here! On this day, we walked over 10 miles, and it was perfect except for one mistake… I’ll get into that mistake later in the post.
Where we ate
This morning, we started our day with breakfast at our hotel cafe Burr & Co. We sipped our excellent cappuccinos, enjoyed two acai berry bowls, and split one full English breakfast. It was perfection!
Since we had late afternoon plans that involved food, we wanted to avoid overeating for lunch. Once lunchtime hit, we stumbled into The Feathers, hoping to find something light to split. We were hungrier than we thought and chose a hearty lamb shank shepherd’s pie. Gosh, it was so good! But we should have opted for a salad because of all the food we had upcoming.
On this day, I booked afternoon tea at The Wolseley. So, this experience was terrific! Pete and I agree that it was one of the top highlights of the trip. We have gone to teahouses in the U.S. but have never experienced anything like this. The food was delicious!! We enjoyed it so much that we tried to make another reservation, but it had been all booked up. Pro tip: Don’t fill up on the items you dislike because they will refill the ones you do! We did not realize this, so we tried to finish everything even though we were not fans of two items. Save room for extra scones!
Here’s a fun little tidbit – While we enjoyed our tea, we were seated next to two elderly gentlemen with thick English accents. They were so animated that I swear they could have been cast as characters in the Harry Potter series. At one point, we overheard one of them loudly say, “England’s gone mad!” Since then, that has become a phrase Pete and I say to each other. 🙂
This was when we realized we had made a big mistake. When planning this trip, I made reservations at a beautiful place called Berners Tavern. When I had booked, the only dining option available was the early dinner window. Unfortunately, we greatly underestimated how filling the afternoon tea meal would be because we were not hungry whatsoever when we arrived. I still get sad thinking about it because it was our best meal on this trip! The service was unlike anything I have ever experienced, the decor was right down my alley, and the food was terrific. I got the Cornish Cob Chicken Paillard, and Pete got a Scottish Steak. Next time, we know better and will save much more room for eating at our new favorite restaurant!
What we did
First, we took the Underground to see the London Eye and Big Ben. The weather was perfect! It started a bit overcast, and then it became sunny the rest of the day. From the locals we spoke to, we came to England in the perfect week for sunshine! We did a lot of walking and sightseeing.
Then, we walked to Westminster Abbey and admired all the beautiful gold detailing. This day was the day Boris Johnson resigned, so there were a ton of reporters and some protestors all over the surrounding area discussing the current events. An interesting site to see!
Then, we walked to Buckingham Palace to say hi to Queen Elizabeth! She is 96 years old and has been on the throne since she was my age. That is crazy!
The King’s Guard looks so tiny in the background! Do you see him?
We took it a bit easier and had a much slower start on our third day. We slept in and recovered from all the steps we got in yesterday. We had a blast, and yet I took almost zero photos.
Where did we eat
As I was getting ready, Pete walked to this adorable bakery around the corner called Fortitude Bakehouse. I don’t remember what I ate, but I enjoyed my pastry and peaceful morning.
For lunch, we quickly stopped at one of our new favorite coffee shop chains, Pret A Manger. These shops are conveniently located throughout the city with reliable restrooms and great ready made smoothies. We could have saved money by purchasing their monthly subscription with the number of times we stopped for a drink. Something I would consider for a future trip.
To end the day, I made reservations at our hotel’s well-known restaurant, Galvin Bar & Grill. Like every other part of our hotel, the architecture was stunning.
What did we do
Here we are in the Covent Garden Apple Market. I loved this market. It was so lively and full of tasty treats and interesting shops. This happened to be the day we found our London art!
Next, we went on a Small Group Historical Pub Crawl! Now, this is an absolute MUST DO! We had so much fun with the people we met. Our group had around ten people from all over the world. I even got to try my first ever scotch egg! Our tour guide was amazing, the drinks were great, and the history sprinkled in was entertaining. All around one of our favorite tours. I wish I had more photos from this tour, but we were having too much fun to pull our phones out.
We opted for the small group, but you would have three options depending on how large a group you want. If you’re interested in the exact tour we did, click HERE!
Well, that’s a wrap on our second and third days in London! I can’t wait to share the next three and a half days until we get to Paris!