May 14, 2013

europe 2013: day two

After checking out of the hotel in Waltham Abbey, we got on the train and headed for London. I was dying over the scenery of the countryside (not technically "countryside" but it felt close) and enjoyed daydreaming about living in England. Once we arrived at Westminster, we got off and walked across the bridge to our hotel. David and I had enough points to stay at the County Hall Marriott for two nights - which was awesome since the room we got would normally have been almost $500 a night.
in front of the hotel.
It was especially awesome because our hotel was in a GREAT location and right in front of Big Ben and Westminster, overlooking the Thames River. It's also directly in front of the London Eye (which we didn't have time ride). We checked in and left our bags there and headed over to the Tower of London. I have been to London twice before but never had been to the Tower of London - my parents took me previously and they had been so many times that they were sick of it. :) It was definitely interesting and I loved seeing the crown jewels. I was hoping to go to the Victoria & Albert Museum but we spent a long time at the Tower of London and ran out of time.
We were feeling pretty tired and hungry on our way over to Buckingham Palace so we stopped at a cafe and grabbed a sandwich to share. It was a beautiful day so we laid on the grass at Green Park and people-watched for a few minutes and laid in the sun and took a rest for about half an hour. It was so beautiful. We got really lucky every day with the weather.
When I saw all these blooming tulips across from Buckingham Palace, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was like an explosion of color. I couldn't believe the saturation of red, green, yellow and blue. My eyes almost couldn't handle it.

Then we meandered our way through St. James Park over to The Wolseley for afternoon tea. Having afternoon tea was one of the things I was most excited for on this trip. I had spent hours researching the best afternoon tea in London and at one time, I had reservations at 7 different places. Finally, I went with The Wolseley because it had great reviews, was in a good location and was one of the most economical (with the exchange rate being what it was, we basically had to double the price of everything - it was brutal!).
The decor wasn't what I was expecting (more casual and felt more like a gentleman's club rather than what I imagined as "English tea") but the food was very good and we were SO stuffed after. I fell in love with scones and clotted cream on this trip and the cheesecake on this platter was the best I've had in my life. I'm not even a huge cheesecake fan but this was epic. The finger sandwiches were a little bland but the desserts and scones made up for it.

Tea took a couple of hours and after that, we walked around Piccadilly Circus and window shopped for a bit and then headed to Prince Edward Theatre to see Jersey Boys - it was fantastic! I recommend it (but keep in mind that there's a lot of language, which I wasn't a fan of but it was otherwise wonderful).
After the show, we took the tube back to our stop and walked along the river to our hotel. It was another beautiful night with the lights reflecting off the water. Then we hopped into bed and slept a long, long time . . .


  1. This was my ONE weekend in London almost exactly! I remember standing in front of that Marriot on my way to the Eye and thinking, "Is this seriously a Marriot Hotel?" Gorgeous even from the outside. Glad your trip was wonderful. Excited to hear more.

  2. So glad you got to enjoy your afternoon tea! Just bummed there were no crumpets. Lol. I can't wait to try this clotted cream you speak of and those flower beds are no joke. Love, love, love!


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