Lovely London

London is such a vibrant city full of life and full of wonderful people. We spent the first few days in the heart of the city exploring the different neighborhoods and interacting with the people.

Day two in London started in a frenzy, because it wouldn't be an Achen adventure if there wasn't some sort of drama. We had a scheduled half day tour around London on the vintage Harrod's double decker bus. We figured this would be a great way to start the week to sort of get our bearings and get some info on some other sights that we might want to see throughout the week.

We were scheduled to meet at the Victoria Coach Station at 8:00am. So naturally in Scotty fashion, the night before he got online and Google mapped the route to the station and figured it would probably be best to walk since it was only supposed to be less than two miles from the flat.

The next morning we got up and ready, grabbed a quick croissant for breakfast and hit the road. The stroll was beautiful…until we were lost. Google maps was telling us to go one direction, our pocket map was telling us to go another direction, and a man on the street told us we had gone about a mile too far and still had a very long walk to the station. So in a panic and less than ten minutes to find our way we were able to get directions from a cabbie and made it just in time.

Once we made it on the tour the rest of the day was really pleasant taking in the sights. After the bus tour we had a pub lunch at the Tea Clipper, wandered around the magnificent Harrod's, had some ice cream and an afternoon nap.

In the evening we strolled through Hyde park (where we also got lost), and made our way to a delicious Indian restaurant Roti Chai, which turned out to be one of our favorite meals in London.

The moral of day two in London was to just learn to “roll with the punches” and it will all work out.

 

While in London we also took in the gorgeous views from the London Eye, the Tower of London, Soho and also took a day trip that included Warwick Castle, Stratford Upon Avon, and Oxford.

The day trip we booked through a tour company, however if we were to do it again we would do it completely different. First off, Warwick castle was a hokey tourist trap (which was our fault for not doing the research). Stratford was a beautiful little town, however by the time we walked through Shakespeare's home we barely had time to grab a baguette for lunch. We could have spent an entire day in Stratford. We absolutely loved Oxford and would definitely recommend taking the time to do it.

Overall, London was absolutely lovely!

 

Pubs & Pastries

One thing there was not a lack of in London were pubs and pastries. First off, spending a week one block from Harrod's, you can easily become plump in one week. The first floor of Harrod's had an amazing gourmet section for just about any kind of food you can think of along with multiple cafes sprinkled throughout the other four floors. We made multiple trips to the patisserie, two stops to the gelateria on the second floor, and had high tea at The Georgian, which was absolutely beautiful.

Throughout the week we also sampled a few pubs including the Tea Clipper, The Bunch of Grapes, and the Dickens Inn pubs which were good, but not the best fish and chips we've had.

On night two in London we walked down to Roti Chai an Indian cuisine restaurant which was amazing. We ate in the “street kitchen” section of the restaurant which was quite packed for being a Sunday night. The restaurant had the vibe of a downtown Austin restaurant, very laid back and a little hipster-ish. We ordered the chicken samosa as an appetizer, for a main dish we shared a curry chicken dish, little fried chicken thingys with dipping sauces, and a basket of roti. It was so delicious we forgot to take pictures until all of our food was gone. The service was great! After Scott had spilled his entire glass of water on our samosa plate that also had chick peas the manager brought us out an entire new dish on the house.

We also had some of our favorite meals in London by choosing random places that looked good as we wandered by. One morning we had a delicious full breakfast at a patisserie and had one of the best pizzas ever for dinner one night at Jamie Oliver's Union Jack Restaurant.

 

On our last day in the city we opted to have lunch at Laduree (a french restaurant) close to our flat. The presentation of the food was gorgeous! Our meals were good, but overpriced for what they were, but the desserts were worth every penny.


 

Cushy Landing!

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Upon arriving in London, we have experienced quite the cushy landing…and I don’t mean the plane landing (that was actually rough). We arrived at London Heathrow at about 11:00am, picked up our baggage, and thanks to Scott’s Dad, we were met by a driver waiting to take us to our accommodation. As we hastily followed the sharply dressed lad to the garage, we weren’t quite sure what to be expecting, and to our delight, he escorted us to a beautiful, sleek Jaguar XJ that would be our ride to the Beaufort House flat in Knightsbridge.

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We pulled up to a beautiful row of houses with exquisitely groomed shrubbery that we would be calling home for the next few days. The Beaufort House is in a prime location being about one block from the iconic Harrod’s, exquisite restaurants, and only a five minute walk from Hyde Park. The staff at the Beaufort House is extremely friendly and was so helpful showing us around our flat. The flat is very lush, yet comfortable and way more extravagant than we could have ever imagined. Some may think it is a little over the top for an RTW, but when a gift like this is offered, how could we possibly say no.

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The Lobby at the Beaufort House

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Our Bedroom

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The Living Room

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The Kitchen in the Flat

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The Balcony

We spent the first night in London wandering around the neighborhood exploring restaurant options and local shops, ordered some Chinese take away that was recommended by our driver, and called it an early night to adjust to our new time zone.

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