Tag Archive for london

London Shenanigans

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!

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London’s Calling

So, despite our upcoming three week Europe trip, my friend and I thought it was a marvellous idea to head to London for the weekend and spend all the money we don’t have. And what better way to start the trip than going out for “a few drinks” before our 6AM bus from Cardiff? Yeah…that wasn’t the brightest idea we’ve ever had. Cut to 9AM and we’re waking up in London, sleep deprived and blurry eyed and in desperate need of a bacon sandwich.

Anyway, despite the shaky (literally) start to our trip, we had a lot to be excited about. A tour bus ride around London, a night out on the town and more importantly; was this our chance to finally meet Prince Harry?! He would definitely love us.

For me, London has always been like a parallel universe. It kind of terrifies me (mainly due to the large volume of pigeons) but also excites me – it’s massive and the people are fast moving but there’s always something happening, always something around the corner. From China town to Leicester Square, to Camden Town and Southbank, there is literally something for everybody.

After a hearty hangover brunch in China town, we checked into our hotel and then headed to central London in order to catch a ride on a tour bus. The beautiful weather allowed us to sit on the open top deck…and hopefully not get sunburnt. The Original Red Route Tour took us ALL around London, showing us all the typical tourist attractions and telling us lots of information about each place. It was pretty interesting  for someone who has been to London 3-4 times before but never actually learnt anything about it! My personal favourite snippet of information was the fact that whilst the Queen is away, Buckingham Palace is open to the public.Yes! My quest for Prince Harry’s heart can be continued…
However, I was slightly disturbed to find that a one bedroom house in Eton Square costs £1 million….1 MILLION POUNDS!! I mean, do people actually HAVE that much money to spend on a 1 BEDROOM HOUSE?! Do they not have more interesting things to spend it on, such as, I don’t know, an island in the Bahamas? (This is possible. I googled. There’s actually one for less than  £1,000,000. You can buy an actual island in the middle of Bahamas for LESS THAN A ONE BEDROOM FLAT IN LONDON! Mental).

Anyway, I am getting greatly off topic.

After our informative trip around London and a burger at a burger restaurant where people actually queued around the corner to get into, we made our way back to the hotel in order to get ready and head out (and by that I mean have a nap whilst watching Come Dine With Me).

Our Great London Night Out didn’t start off too well. We went to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and believe it or not, it wasn’t the most exciting place on earth. The main highlight for me was sitting on a massive chair and pretending I was a hobbit, and then getting lost in the Mirror Maze. So after that mighty disappoint, we weren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves. Being two Cardiff girls in the middle of London, we just kind of stood there feeling like two lost sheep wondering if someone would take pity on us and tell us where to go. Of course, there were promoters for bars and clubs everywhere, so pretty soon we were on our way to a bar where we were promised “cheap drinks” and “free entry”. We were allowed free entry, but drinks were not cheap. They were not cheap at all. My bank account is still weeping.

The next morning, we decided the best place to go for shopping was Camden Market. And I loved it. After a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice, we squeezed our way through the hustle and bustle of Camden market life, pouring over beautiful jewelry, cool trinkets and amazing (yet slightly bizarre) clothing.

So, despite the slightly frazzled start and the extortionate housing prices (I don’t know how people live in London and still have money to live) my weekend in London was pretty damn fun…and a pretty awesome way to start a trip around Europe. Leaving tomorrow..wish me luck!