London Eye

Snapshots of London

London Eye, Black and White, Snapshots of London

Going to London for just a few days is like choosing to have only a piece of pie at Thanksgiving Dinner.

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.

Big Ben, Snapshots of London

So you could say that these images represent my “dessert only” version of London.

Tower Bridge, Snapshots 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.

Westminster, Snapshots of London

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.

Eating London Food Tour, East London, Snapshots of 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.

Soup Kitchen, East London, Snapshots of London

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!)

Bagel, Beigel, Eating London, Snapshots of London

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.

Snapshots of London, East London

Also, I could walk around looking at the buildings and street art in this part of town forever. So fun!

Snapshots of London, Biking London(

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.

Biking in London, Travel, Snapshots of London

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.)

Snapshots of London, Travel, London Eye

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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  1. So this was your first trip to London? Next time I’d love to try that food tour, sounds and looks delicious! But ah, I can’t wait until some mince pies next week in Devon!! 🙂

    1. YES! So much fun! I would love to go back with you! But I don’t know if I can head that far again so soon. Hmm.

  2. I love your pics of London- I’m a huge London fan too. Try to go to the Museum of London- esp before April, as the Cheapside Hoard is on s display until then. Fab museum!

    1. Noted! I will head there first if I get back before April. 🙂 Thanks!

  3. These are stunning. I love the sky in the Big Ben picture.

    1. Thank you so much Elena! London is super photogenic. 🙂

  4. I love your analogy- because you are so dead on. We’ve taken quick trips too and it’s like- where to dig in ?!! Perfect photos- we’re going there at some point and with shots like these it makes me want to pack the bags.

    1. A quick trip is better than no trip, so you just have to grab those days and do your best! 🙂 Thanks so much!

  5. So cool you got to meet Tina, i loved getting to meet her in London too.

    1. She is SO precious! I was sad to miss the tea party Saturday, but maybe I can make the next one! I would be more than happy to go back to London!

  6. Lovely post, I think you’ve seen more London than I did in my years in living and working there. I love your food tour tip and will try to book one tour like for myself – time to explore London more!

    1. Oh thank you! Yes, the tour with Nicole at Eating London is superb! She has done her homework and I loved hearing all the fun little details!

  7. Ok, somehow my comment didn’t go through yesterday. Anyway, we absolutely loved having you! Next time I’d love to get our families together. Maybe we can meet somewhere in the middle and have a good campout or hostel stay. Now that would be fun!!

    1. Ooh yes! I am all in for a meet in the middle!! Let’s get to planning! XO

  8. Love, Love your photos today, Alison. Just gorgeous.

    1. Thank you so much Leigh! 🙂

  9. What a gorgeous post! I love that you took the Boris Bikes. I walk all over London, sometimes for an hour or more, but I haven’t hired a Boris Bike yet. My dessert only version would include Gabriel’s Wharf and St Dunstan-in-the-East.

    1. I am writing those down for next time! Thanks so much! I highly recommend a bike ride! 🙂

  10. Thanks for the reminders of some of my favorite places,)

    1. Isn’t it wonderful how pictures of buildings/landmarks can conjure up memories of your time in a special city?? I love it!!

  11. I love love love these photos!!

    1. Aww, thanks so much Katja!! 😉

  12. Gah! I’m so happily jealous! I went to London on a college trip a million years ago and still it is one of those defining/coming of age/illuminated my hidden traveler’s heart trips. And can you believe I haven’t returned yet? I’ve been to other countries that were much more difficult to get to, but not back to the UK. This year though (as part of the Scotland trip)! The food tour sounds great! Love love these pics.

    1. I have been to Europe several times without ever going to London, so I totally understand. It’s that extra stop you don’t always make, but so glad I finally did! Thanks so much!

      1. Hi again… I just read your June post about your Samsung camera — did you take these London pics with that camera or another? What editing program do you use? Really like the texture and depth of them, esp the Ferris wheel b&w. Thanks!

        1. I take almost all my pictures (including these) with my phone (iPhone 4S) and edit them with the Snapseed and VSCOCam apps. Sometimes I add an Instagram filter as well, but usually I’m pretty happy with the filters in those two apps. 🙂 Thanks so much for you kind compliments! 🙂

  13. […] mentioned the last time I went to London that I just chose a few places to wander over my short time there, and I did that […]

  14. Beautiful pictures! London is an incredible place to visit, even if only for a few days. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much! I completely agree!!

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