My Trip to London (May 2016)

When my cousin asked me in the beginning of May if I was interested in going with him to London at the end of May, I had to think about it for a few hours and check if I could get time off to go. But once decided I started looking around on the internet what was going on in London and what we could do in the three days that we were going.

Monday, May 23th

On Monday, we travelled to London in the morning and after having dropped our suitcases at the hotel we went to Waterstones. As usual, I ran over three floors of the shop to find all the books I wanted. Because of the size of the bookstore, it is always a  hunt to find all the books since every section has another part of the building or another floor.  After finding all books we went up to the fifth floor for a drink. For those who don’t know Waterstones on Picadilly or have not yet been up to the bar, it has a great view. You can see the London Eye, the houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey from the window.

After Waterstones we went over to Fortnum & Mason. This is one of my favorite stores to visit just because of their look. Beside that, I also prefer their Earl Grey tea to any other brand. When I read the latest post on their own blog, I found out that they had their window display done completely in “Alice: Through the looking glass” style and that they had reintroduced their alcoholic frozen pops (flavours: champagne, Kir Royal and Summer Cup) again for the summer. Of course, we had to try these and bought Kir Royal and Summer Cup and went over to Saint James churchyard where we could sit and try these out.  How adult this felt to eat an ice pop (I will always call it Calippo since that the name it has here in Belgium) with alcohol!

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Since we had to pass by the Palace theatre on our way to our next stop, I decided to already get a picture in front of it. Recently the installment for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child went up in front of the theatre and since I thought it might be handy to get a selfie in now and not in three months when I actually have tickets to see the play, I just took it now.

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We did a small stop at Forbidden Planet before going for dinner. I have loved this store ever since I first discovered it almost 8 years ago. I love it because it houses so many different fandoms that I don’t need to go to any specific store. I bought Harry Potter goodies because for once there were enough Ravenclaw things. Normally you can only find two Hogwarts houses in stores (Slytherin and Gryffindor) but I think that because of the new Potter-verse film coming out this year they diversified and released more of the other houses.

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After this, we went for dinner at the Big Easy on Maiden Lane. I had read about this restaurant a while back (what I read was that they do barbeque and lobster well) and now I wanted to test it out for myself. I ordered Lobster Mac & Cheese and apparently it comes with fries, salad and either a beer or a cocktail. I went for a cocktail since I don’t drink beer.The food arrived very quick, it seemed that they have the general things on the go at anytime so that between ordering and eating you don’t have to wait too long. I loved every bite I ate but because of the heaviness of the dish, I couldn’t finish it.

Tuesday, May 24th

On Tuesday, we did the cultural thing and visited musea. Since we have visit London and many of the musea already we now only go to the temporary exhibits that they have on show.

Our first stop of the day was the Victoria & Albert museum.  At the beginning of the year when I saw that they were having the “Botticelli Reimagined” exhibit, I was sad that my then thought first trip was only going to be in August and that I would have to miss it. I have been a fan of Botticelli’s work ever since I saw the “Birth of Venus” and “La Primavera” back in 2002 in Florence’s galleria Uffizi.

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I was pleasantly surprised with all the different ways that his work was reimagined, going from pop art to Chinese to worked it into clothing. My favorite piece though was the Andy Warhol painting of the detail of the Venus. I have always loved the look of Botticelli’s muse Simonetta Vespucci and really loved seeing her face all art poppy.  There were other amazing reworks too, like, the Dolce & Gabbana suit or dress that were made with the “Birth of Venus” print or even how I never noticed that Lady Gaga’s album cover of Art Pop has that painting in the background. At the end there was a collection of original Botticelli work (a lot of religious depictions) on loan from musea all over the world.

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After this we took the tube all the way to the other side of London, to the Museum of London. As this is one of the musea where I actually never had seen the permanent collection and only the temporary exhibits, we decided to just watch the whole of the collection. There is a treasure of London history to be seen here and I would recommend just strolling through this museum to anyone.

Two more stops before dinner this day was a visit to Foyles. Whenever I don’t find certain books in one bookstore I will go to another to see if they have them in stock. There is a very cool in-house wifi function at Foyles and I would recommend all bookstores to implement it. Whenever you visit Foyles and you enter on their wifi, you can look for a book on the network. What I mean is, it opens the website for the store and when you search for a book it says you just where to go to find the book (if it is in stock).

Very last stop before dinner was passing by the Duke of York to pick up our tickets for the theatre that evening. I try to get my tickets always before going to dinner just because there is less of a crowd in the lobby at that moment.

Dinner on Tuesday consisted of burgers, fries, onion rings and a hard shake. Ever since I went to the Diner (on Shaftesbury), I love going back just for a cheeseburger with Monterey Jack cheese. This is a diner like you would expect them in the states but the food and service are top.

After this we went back to the theatre – you can read my report about that here

Wednesday, May 25th

Our last day in London. Since we had the next day we already planned on going home early in the afternoon so we hadn’t planned a lot of things to do.  We had some time to kill between breakfast and Lunch, so we went over to Soho and firstly passed by Gosh! This is a comic book/ Graphic novel store and I just love the feeling in there. I bought some graphic novels.

Next was a stop we usually make, we went to Hummingbird Bakery. They have the most scrumptious cakes and they make for a perfect snack on the train home. As the new baking book has also released recently I got cake and a book here. My cake of choice this time, was Red Velvet (my classic choice) and the Salty Caramel cupcake. When eating them later on that day I was happy I chose these and also that I had made that stop.

We only had lunch left to do and because my cousin always has the choice of picking the last restaurant we go to, we had to go to Wagamama to eat. This has been his restaurant of choice ever since he started going along with me. I’m slowly working my way through their menu, every time another dish. I love going there since it’s always great food and service.

We waved London goodbye and got on the train back home. Parting is such sweet sorrow each time. But I know I will be back soon (as in August) so I have another trip to plan.

 

 

 

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