May 15, 2013

europe 2013: day three

The day before had wiped us out with all the walking and jet lag so we accidentally slept in until 9:00! We only woke up because the house keeping tried to come in our room. Have you ever woken up in a jump-run? It's not pleasant. We rushed to get ready and then got on the train to beautiful Hampton Court Palace.
Hampton Court was easily my favorite place we visited in London. I could have spent two full days there. The inside of the house was fascinating (their exhibit on the bedrooms and the politics that went on there was so interesting!) and I loved thinking about what life was like there as a royal and a service person. I guess watching hours of Downton Abbey really made my imagination run wild!
The gardens took my breath away. I was truly dying over the saturated colors of the flowers and plants and the immaculately manicured lawns and gardens. But my favorite part was the more informal garden over by the maze. I told David that if I had been a princess, I would have stayed in that garden every day and read my letters and drank my tea and read my books there. It was perfect.
the world's most fake smile but it was gorgeous!
We also got crazy lucky because I guess they've had a cold spring in London and it just recently got warm so everything was blooming like crazy. The daffodils and tulips were breathtaking and the wisteria on the wall was just starting to bloom. I can just imagine the splash of purple on that brick wall in a few weeks.
On our way back to the train stop, we saw an ice cream stand and bought one with flake (99s?) and I loved it. David wasn't as excited as I was about this super fluffy ice cream - it was almost like frozen whipped cream. That didn't stop him from helping me eat it though. :)
Then we headed back for the train station. I had originally planned to ride the boat back to Westminster but the concierge told me that it takes a couple of hours and that most of it was pretty uninteresting. It ended up being for the best anyway because we were really short on time with sleeping in and all. So we hopped back on the train and headed for St. Paul's Cathedral. Our plan was to be there for Even Song and then make the trek up the stairs to the top of the dome. We got there near the end of Even Song but after it was over they announced they were closing for a private concert. Such a bummer! It was still beautiful though and I'm glad that we got to go inside at all.
I had been researching a good Indian restaurant for a while and had come across a few that sounded good but once we got to London, everyone said to get "Time Out Magazine" to find restaurant recommendations and reviews. I never did find a physical magazine but I looked it up online and found Namaste Kitchen. It had great reviews and was pretty decently priced so we headed over there at around 7:00.
lamb cutlets marinated with kachri, in ginger, black pepper & spices slow cooked in tandoor
When we arrived, the place was empty. Not a soul to be seen except for a couple of employees. The atmosphere was nice and the menu looked great so we were really confused and put off by the lack of other customers, but we were hungry so we asked for a table. When the host looked around the restaurant and hesitated about giving us a table, I thought, "Really?! This place is empty and you're wondering if you have room for us?" but he was nice and sat us immediately. Within 10 minutes of sitting down, the place was packed and there was a line out the door. We felt really lucky that we got a table! Everything we had was delicious, the service was great and the atmosphere was clean, comfortable and modern. I also loved how reasonably priced everything was and I loved how the menu was traditional Indian with a modern twist - think "gourmet Indian" (their date and ginger naan which was pretty much dessert because it was so tasty). I really recommend it.


  1. i LOVE that ice cream!! awwww... london *sigh*

    glad you guys had such a great time.

  2. Oh, I miss the ice cream with a Flake stuck in it! I served my mission in Leeds England, so I am loving reading about your trip. Did you have a lemon top ice cream? Its that same ice cream with a dollop of a lemon sherbet on top of it, and the Flake.. oh.. so yummy - last had on in Scarborough, which was my last area, sadly 24 years ago... :-(

  3. These photos are my fave. That wisteria and those gardens!

    ....then you gotta ruin the end with Indian food. Ha ha. Just kidding...but seriously.


Comments are moderated to eliminate spammers and internet bullies.