On Wednesday, we grabbed a quick breakfast and headed to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard. It took us forever to get there– we walked across Hyde Park and got a little bit lost. The changing of the guard itself was pretty overrated, and all I could think off the whole time was the Wizard of Oz– I kept waiting for a lion’s tail to pop out of one of their robes.
We left before it was over to beat the crowds, and went back to King’s Cross for attempt #2 of finding platform 9 and 3/4. We failed yet again, and grabbed lunch at Vx.
I had read about Vx before we went and had heard it was a good place for a light lunch. It’s a tiny little shop with lots of vegan merchandise and refridgerators full of coconut water and vegan products. They also have a few cases in the front with cupcakes and premade sandwiches.
If you are visiting London anytime soon, Vx is one place you can definitely skip. It was convenient since we were already in King’s Cross, but the sandwiches weren’t special. The cupcakes were delicious, but were supplied by another vegan bakery– Ms. Cupcake.
After our late lunch, we headed to Soho and did some shopping. I am absolutely crazy about Topshop. I think that every corner of every street in the world needs to have one. With good sales. Once we were exhausted from shopping, we sat outside in a piazza and had some Chai Tea.
We grabbed pints and chips at a pub around the corner from our hotel and relaxed before heading to dinner at Saf again– this time at their restaurant in Shoreditch. For appetizers, we got the cheese sampler and raw ravioli.
Both were absolutely incredible. Sorry for the lighting in these pictures– the restaurant was so dimly lit!
For dinner, I ordered fettucine– I was really excited about it and had been craving pasta all week. Unfortunately, I failed to notice it was raw, and ended up with what can only be described as a salad. It would have been really delicious, but I was expecting pasta, which it definitely was not.
Mark got a dish called the Buddha Bowl, which was similar to the bowls I make at home but more classy. It had tofu, grains, and veggies. It was really delicious, and I liked it much better than my “fettucine.”
Thursday morning, we grabbed breakfast at Whole Foods and took the tube to the Tower of London. We walked around the outside of it and across the Tower Bridge.
This area of London was probably my favorite that we visited, possibly only because it was a gorgeous sunny day.
The bridge is beautiful and there is a piazza right next to it on the south side of the Thames that was bustling with people, even at 1 pm on a Thursday.
We walked along the water for a while, heading toward the Tate Modern, and stumbled upon the Bourough Markets, which we had heard about but hadn’t planned on visiting. This market was definitely my favorite of the three we visited.
There were tons of free samples and it wasn’t too crowded.
We got a mulled wine and wandered around, looked at produce, bread, infused oil, and beer. Eventually, we headed to the Tate Modern.
The museum itself is really industrial looking– not at all what I expected. The inside is really neat though, and the walls are timelines that list different artists and the movements that were going on during those times.
On the walk back, we bought vegan burgers from the Bourough Markets, and they had this onion jam on them. The burgers weren’t spectacular and the jam was kind of odd, but we were hungry so we inhaled them anyway.
We stopped and sat on the water to have a drink, which was really relaxing. It was such a beautiful day, and sitting on the water looking at the city of London across the river was a perfect culmination of our trip.
We stopped at Harrods again on the way home and grabbed a few gifts for our parents.
Originally, we planned to go to Vantra for dinner, a vegan buffet. However, when we walked in the door, we didn’t like the atmosphere and the food didn’t look all that good, so we headed back to Mildreds, which was only a few blocks away.
We ordered the dumplings again, but also got mock duck spring rolls and tamalles.
I learned my lesson about entrees on this trip– I don’t usually like them. I much prefer to get a few appetizers. So we had three appetizers and ordered a mushroom pot pie as our entree.
Mark liked it a lot more than I did (see? I don’t like entrees!) So I ate most of the tamalle.
After dinner, we decided to go out for a while since it was our last night. We went to a really upscale sushi bar and I got a drink called a Cormorant that was really sweet and had grenadine in it, which always reminds me of shirley temples. Mark had the bar’s twist on a mojito– it had plum wine in it, and it was surprisingly good. After sipping our drinks there, we headed to a club where we got to dance a little and have a few more drinks before going home.
Mark had to leave early the next morning, and saying goodbye to him again was so hard– but easier than the first time.
I had a few hours to myself in the hotel before I checked out. One of my best friends, Sophy, is currently studying in London, so I headed to her flat for Friday night.
We walked around the city and she took me to Piccadilly, which is sort of like a mini Times Square. We also walked around Leicester Square before stopping at a food store and picking up food for dinner.
After relaxing for a few hours, we headed out to two of her favorite clubs. Getting to go out to bars with her was great– Mark and I didn’t do much of the club scene, and it was cool to see the kinds of places she’s been going to.
Sophy and I are very similar in that sometimes (most of the time…) we just like to sit at home and watch a movie instead of going out. So, after an hour and a half, we headed back to her flat and watched The Parent Trap before I crashed on the couch.
The next morning, I headed to the airport and said my goodbyes to Sophy and London.
I miss London so much already, and I can’t wait to go back.