With June already upon us and the essence of summer filling the air, I thought what better time to finally do the Travel Series I introduced some time ago. (Part of my delay has been trying to recover deleted video footage of these first two trips I'll be introducing; unfortunately it looks like that may not happen. If by chance we do, I'll be sure to inform you guys on YouTube) So let's get into it!
London was amazing! I was skeptical on if I would like it honestly. I knew the architecture was world renowned, I knew it was full of history and those things definitely spark my interest. But for some reason I was hesitant, and it could have very well been that I was more excited to get to Greece, or that often in movies London is always a gray rainy scene. So I guess that's the image that popped in my mind. However, I can now report, I was wrong. The beauty is not captured nor represented well in movies because it was gorgeous. Every where I looked I found something intriguing. And no, not just because we got engaged there. OH, did I mention that surprise?! We. Got. Engaged! It was perfect, magical and I couldn't believe it happened.
But let's get back on subject. London reminds me of New York City, another place we love. It was crowded but it was not as compact as NYC. You aren't stepping all over each other like in New York, which was nice. I was able to enjoy the ambiance without the overwhelming hustle and bustle.
Where We Stayed?
We stayed at the Thistle in Trafalgar Square. The hotel was nice and one of the largest rooms we could find in the Heart of London. This is another way I found it close in relation to NYC because of the size and price of the rooms with very limited amenities. Breakfast was not included but could be added on for 10 pounds pp. We were so jet lagged we did not make it to breakfast until the last day of our trip and decided to go off site.
What we did:
We ate at several restaurants, a few I will list below. The first night we went to a bar/club I cannot recall the name of. (Had one too many drinks I suppose? LOL!)
- Tour Bus - $$ - 40 pounds ea. - I always enjoy these. What better way to see as much as you can in one day? That's my motto...
- London Eye - $$ - Champagne Experience - 37 pounds ea. - about a 30 minute ride, and great experience. We booked the Champagne experience which meant you would be served champagne while on the ride and gain 'VIP' through the line
- The Shard - $$$ - Aqua Shard Bar - after our engagement Samson booked what he thought was a super fancy dinner for us. Unfortunately upon arrival he set the reservation for the wrong portion of the restaurant, the bar only portion. So be sure if you ever visit to specify you would like to be seated for dinner and full kitchen service. Although it was not what we expected, it was a great view from the top.
What we Ate:
We are definitely foodies, so we want to share the yummy spots we found!
~ Steak & Co. - $$ - It's a Steakhouse of course, super great food and ambiance. We went pretty late in the evening due to Jet Lag but thankfully their kitchen stays open late, 11pm. We shared a bottle of champagne and appetizer while our entree was brought out raw with spice rubs and sauces we chose on menu. A hot stone is also brought to the table to cook the steak yourself at the table. It was a great experience and definitely wish there was a US location.
~ Spaghetti House - $$ - Italian - Great Italian cuisine. Super affordable. We had an appetizer, bottle of champagne and dessert. To say the least we didn't want to go out afterward due to how full our tummies were. #WorthIt
~ All Bar One - $$ - Went for lunch, typical bar food. Beautiful decor and atmosphere.
~ Jackson + Rye - $$ - Breakfast Menu - Traditional English Breakfast - Great spot just past China town, so nice views along the walk.
~ Savoy - $$$ - Afternoon Tea and Drinks - It was my dream to experience the classic Afternoon Tea, and I did! So cute and yummy!
~Radio Rooftop Bar - $$$ - Exotic Drinks and select food options. Amazing view and atmosphere.
What we suggest:
- We went in late August. During our stay the weather was mostly Autumn (60's) with a sprinkle of Summer (low 80's). So we suggest bringing a variety of clothes around this time of the year.
- We stayed in Trafalgar Square and enjoyed its location to nearly everything. This area is almost like the 'Time Square' of London. Walking distance to Museums, Restaurants and Sight Seeing.
What you should know:
- Of course update your international cell phone plan if you want data - We have AT&T and did 1GB of data each, with unlimited texting. 1GB was enough because we had WIFI access at all hotels and most other places.
- Of course purchase power outlet adapters (Check out my travel amazon store for what you need - https://www.amazon.com/shop/yes.rednose)
- Of course find a local currency exchange close to where you are staying. We did not use the airport options due to their fees being higher usually. (The taxi accepted debit cards)
- London had no issues accepting credit cards/debit cards so just let your bank know (Only a few smaller merchants did not accept American Express but majority did)
- London has Uber (As well as Taxis, Buses and Train) We took both Taxis and Uber. Both pleasant experiences.
- There are two airports, Heathrow is the main international airport, if you fly out of Gatwick and stay in Leicester like we did, be sure to leave with plenty of time. Thankfully our flight was early in the morning before traffic, but it was still a 40min. trek.
Well, that's all folks! Hope you all got some good information and reasons to go to London. It was a great experience. Leave comments below if you have any questions! We'll do our best to help.