On one hand, it feels ridiculous to have such a small sampling of a massive table of culinary delights.
But on the other hand, if you can only have a taste, you might as well go for dessert.
So you could say that these images represent my “dessert only” version of London.
I loved seeing buildings and sights that are so familiar from pictures and movies and finding that they are just as wonderful as I had imagined them to be.
It is hard to choose, but I think my favorite day in the city might have been my last day when I went on a food tour in East London.
The tour was amazing, not just because of the food (Hello perfect Stilton cheese and salted caramel from heaven), but because our host (Nicole) also gave us a history of this crazy wonderful part of town.
The buildings in East London are covered with marks of the different immigrant populations who have lived in them over hundreds of years. For example, this soup kitchen is no longer in service, and there is little evidence that this neighborhood used to be primarily Jewish, but for the details that Nicole pointed out to us and the two bagel shops that are left, one of which is a stop on the tour. (Yum!)
I would love to spend a little more time in East London now that I have a little background knowledge. Plus now I know of some seriously delicious places to eat.
Also, I could walk around looking at the buildings and street art in this part of town forever. So fun!
I also spent an afternoon on a bike, because you know how I love a bike ride.
Since I live in the UK, my cell phone works in London! That means that I could get Siri to talk to me! Yay for technology!
I punched in an address and on Google Maps, you can choose to travel by bike, so I popped in my headphones and followed the instructions. Then Siri took me to places I would not have found on my own. I love her for that.
As soon as I hopped on the bike, she told me to ride over the Tower Bridge, which strangely, I would never have tackled without her voice in my ear, telling me to go that way. And though Siri has led me astray more than once, this time she took me to a bike path that ran off the main thoroughfares and even through this lovely park.
I did have a weensie bit of trouble finding a station to return my bike to, which is ridiculous considering that there are over 700 Barclays Bike Docking Stations in London , but I was riding well outside the city center to an exhibition center for World Travel Market.
So I rode all the way to the exhibition (ExCel London), then had to backtrack a mile or so to drop my bike. Then I walked back out to my destination. I was really stubborn about getting there without getting on the tube because I wanted to understand where it was and every time I went on the underground, I sort of lost my bearings. Of course, the rest of the week, I took the tube. (Maybe by next year, there will be a Barclays Bike Station at ExCel.)
Getting just a little taste of London definitely has me wanting to go back for more. I am already plotting how to take the kids, and hopefully next time we will have enough time for more than “just dessert.”
What would your “just dessert” version of London include?? Do share!
I was invited as a guest of Eating London to join their food tour but all opinions are my own. Also, I am super grateful to Paul & Karen of Global Help Swap for hosting me in London, as well as Tina of Girl Meets Globe! It was my first time to meet Tina and her family (IRL) and I relished the opportunity, even though our time was VERY short! Longer trip next time for sures!
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