Before heading back to Cardiff for the weekend to see my oldest sister who was back from Scotland for the night, my other sister and I, decided to journey into London for the day. We had a marvellous plan for the day and were excited to get some Christmas shopping done and dusted before settling down for a cocktail or two before our bus trip to Cardiff. It didn’t work out that way though, of course. We were naively optimistic about our day – planning our route and where we wanted to go. We didn’t really take into consideration the whole travelling around part, which you know, probably would have been a good thing to think about. London is massive. Seriously massive. I did not realise it took so long to get to one place to another. Pretty sure we spent most of the day on packed, smelly tubes rather than enjoying our London day out. Got to love the packed, smelly tubes. So much fun.
We began our day by making our way to Oxford Street, where we were intent on looking around the shops and getting some presents out the way. However, after a quick look around Selfridges, equipped with a tourist photo by the sign (no shame), we had already had enough of the Christmas crowds and decided to head over to our next stop. We made our way to Covent Garden where we stopped for a bite to eat and a drink. We ate at a cute little pub, called Punch and Judy where the food was good and a much needed cider was in order.
After a brief stop to look at a street performer who was putting a balloon down his throat (yes, really), we made our way (eventually) to Southbank in order to check out the Christmas market. It was all very Christmassy and very festive and very, very expensive. So after rejecting the idea of a mulled wine after we realised it would probably push us into bankruptcy, we decided we’d much rather go into bankruptcy in style, so made our final journey of the day to Chelsea.
Upon arriving in Chelsea and with the help of the trusty Google map app, we walked over (or in my sisters case, hobbled over – new shoes, you see) to the only place we knew off, Bluebird cafe and restaurant. The Bluebird is quite a nice little place and the staff all wore Christmas jumpers which was pretty cute. We sat in the “Christmas” section of the restaurant – which was pretty much just a tent with some Christmas trees in – and settled down for a quick glass of wine. And I say quick lightly. We literally downed it due to the fact that we were already running late for our bus to Cardiff. Fab. So after a moment of disappointment that I hadn’t run into Andy Jordan, of Made in Chelsea (again, don’t judge, I have no shame), we left Chelsea at quite a pace in order to catch a tube to Victoria. God, it was tense. We left our dignity behind and ran like the clappers. With my sister hobbling behind me, practically in tears over her broken feet, telling me to go on without her, and with five minutes to spare, the end was in sight. And Victoria Station was close. However, of course, I had no idea where to go from there, so had to wait for my sister at the finish line so she could lead the way. And she did. And I applaud her. Hobbling through the station, she led us to our destination and oh the joys, we made it. Maybe not in one piece, but we made it. Hallelujah!
Of course, however, after making it to the bus and sitting in out seats panting and applauding ourselves, the bus proceeded to sit there for a further 20 minutes before it even left, so all that for nothing. It was a good feeling. We finally took off, settled in against our seats and looked out into the darkened streets of London, enjoying the Christmas lights and festivities. Which was pretty easy to do, seeing as we were going at around 3mph and stopping every five seconds. Oh London, it’s always a pleasure. Here’s to never going Christmas shopping in London again!