As part of Daniel’s quarter century birthday celebrations, we took a trip further south to the London a few weeks ago, to see what all the fuss was about.
First, we took a stop at Thorpe Park, which was a first time for both of us – and it didn’t disappoint!
Whilst it’s fairly small, the rides are much easier to get to. And despite there being less rides than Alton Towers, I probably enjoyed it a little more as the rides had been maintained very well and I felt safe and secure.
We honoured the day with a little sunburn, an all-day refill slushy and some ice cream that really nailed its own aesthetic.
The room was beautiful and had double door windows that looked over onto Greenland Quay. Just a short distance from the hustle and bustle of the centre of London, the tube journey was easy enough to get the hang of.
Neither of us have used AirBnB before, but as I wanted to treat Daniel to a weekend away, I was looking for affordable accommodation.
It was a little weird, and still we are yet to know what the living conditions were; whether there were people living there with us, or if everyone was a traveller. Either way, the house was very quiet and we were free to use the facilities whenever we pleased. We only actually saw one other person the whole weekend, and two girls who were leaving that night. I’m pretty sure everyone was just upstairs listening to us.
To make the most, we wanted to see pretty much everything, and we definitely crammed in a lot!
C O V E N T G A R D E N
On the first night we took the tube to Covent Garden for a few drinks and some delicious Greek Tapas.
Although we barely eat Greek, I think it’s probably one of my favourite cuisines; stuffed vine leaves and moussaka are my jam.
This hidden treasure was super cute and all the food came on little cake stands so you still had room on the table. It made it a little unsociable as we could really see above them, but we didn’t care because food. It was super affordable too, considering everywhere else requires a mortgage.
On the £4.90 tube back to the house – which was 2 stops away – I think it set in for both of us how expensive the weekend was going to be, and just how many Pret A Mangers we were going to see…
W E S T M I N S T E R
If you didn’t take at least 19 pictures of Big Ben, did you even go to London?
After a lazy morning eating Buenos whilst Daniel squealed at his new Amazon Aero Press for his birthday, we took the tube to the playground of the big boys.
Tower Bridge, Big Ben, West Minster and the whole shabang- we even watched the bridge lift up to let the boats through.
Another thing to tick off the bucket list? Boris bikes. Though they aren’t as chilled out as you’d think. Pedestrians are just as bad as cars in the capital; walking into the cycle lane to pose for a picture, parking there, walking in front of you oblivious to their surroundings. It’s frustrating to say the least.
But for only £2 for 24 hours worth of 30 minute journeys, I was in no position to complain too much.
C A M D E N M A R K E T
With the temperature hitting a good 28 degrees, it would’ve been rude not to have some drinks in Soho and a peruse through the unique bits and bobs that the market has to offer.
Of course, I say unique – but more than likely every stall will be trying to sell you a Nutella Jar vest top.
There’s something magical about Camden – something that you can’t really find anywhere else in the country. It’s as if it’s its own little world on its own, hidden in the depths of Capital for onlookers to dip into now and then.
S O H O
After stupidly walking into restaurants that took our fancy, without an actual reservation, surprisingly, we didn’t have much luck getting ourselves a table.
Strangely though, despite his dislike for shellfish and seafood, Daniel found Lobster & Burger online, and decided it was time to cross something off his bucket list; eating Lobster.
The restaurant – not surprisingly – only actually sold lobster or burgers (mental, right?) so we got both just in case.
Lobster was certainly an experience. And an expensive one at that. For about £31, we got a whole lobster, which actually sounds like a lot in comparison to what we actually had.
Turns out, Lobster doesn’t have much inside the shell… and getting it out of the shell is incredibly difficult.
Blending in with the regulars, Daniel opted to smack the lobster with a fork, thinking this would help.
The burger however, was delicious. And now we’ve tried the bright red fishy crab thing, we now know to never have it again…
To be honest, I think we were both more excited about having plastic bibs to wear.
K E N S I N G T O N
Before heading back t’North on Sunday, I finally got Daniel to the National Science Museum – something I’ve wanted to do for a year, ever since he was shocked at how big Manchester museum was on our third date. ‘You think this is big? Wait till you see this one’
And boy, it’s big and beautiful isn’t it? I remember going when I was little and thinking we’d be there for weeks just getting round it all.
This time, we lasted about 2 hours before getting too warm and too dehydrated to look at any more old planes.
At first, we seemed to go up the wrong stairs so only saw about a third, and none of it was particularly exciting. The place isn’t very well signposted inside, and each floor has several exhibitions which can only be accessed on other stairwells.
What I would also say is that it’s just not the same anymore. And whilst I sound extremely parental here, there was way too many computers and interactive televisions for my liking.
You take kids to look at the wonders of the world in the National museums- something you hope will excite them and give them something to remember.
But there was so many exhibitions that were just on projections, or in the form of games on computers for kids to ‘learn’ from that it was a little disappointing.
There was no practical activities or anything to get the senses working, and taking kids out for the day shouldn’t involve the sorts of things they could do at home.
It was disappointing too, because as an adult, it meant there was a lot less to look at – as it was all child orientated games with not much to browse.
Daniel particularly enjoyed the engine and plane section and there were a lot of other parts we’d wanted to see, but again, you had to pay extra for these which I found a little unfair.
Either way, it was a truly spectacular whistle stop tour of the capital and all it has to offer. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to nip in and see the queen for tea and toast, but we’ve talked it through and she’s fine with that.
We’ve both said that the weekend was great, but the northern life is definitely for us.