Sorry for the enomous delay in between day 2 and 3 of my London trip, I can't quite figure out where the first 2 weeks of September have gone. Anyways, let me tell all about my favourite day spent in London.
On Saturday morning I woke up early so I could go to the Portobello road market. I have always wanted to go to the Portobello road market, and no it's not because Hugh Grant lived there in the film Notting Hill.
I have always wanted to visit because I used to love the movie Bed Knobs and Broomsticks (with Angela Lansbury!) which is a Disney flick from 1971, and it has an entire scene and song about Portobello road. If you don't believe me check out the clip below.
Even better, it also has an entire scene with dancing clothes, which no one that I met in London had seen, so I must have sounded like a complete nut, but in the end I saw street performers doing the scene! I can now live my life knowing that I have finally experienced all these things!
Next time I go, I will get a picture with them.
Anyways, all that aside, the market was lovely. I walked in off of the main road which looks like every other little street in London with small shops and houses squeezed together like cannelloni's in a casserole dish.
A few blocks in, the street turns into a market with shops full of people, tents and tables set up in every free open space. There were antiques, newtiques, junk and plenty of bits and bobs that I couldn't identify. I walked for several blocks before stopping to have breaky. I found a charming little bakery called The Hummingbird Bakery, which, if you happen to be in London, you should definitely try. I ordered up a delicious hot chocolate and a whoopie pie. Now, I had no idea what a whoopie pie was when I ordered it but I sure was glad I did. It was like two perfect spungy pumpkin muffin tops with carrot cake cream cheese icing in the middle. Granted, I couldn't eat the entire thing, because it was so rich, it was also very good!
On my way back up Portobello road, I got a strange pair of Native inspired boots and a Nottinghill shopping bag!
I had to rush from the market up to Hyde Park, because I had decided that with all this visiting in London, that I should probably do a tour of some of the more obvious must see monuments. I had taken a brochure for a free walking tour and met up with the group at Hyde Park at 1pm. It was just my luck as Jessica, the girl who was sleeping on the bunk above me at the hostel, was also on the tour. We became fast friends and spent the afternoon on the tour walking and taking in London. We saw Buckingham Palace, Trafalger Square, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and several other houses of royalty. I really enjoyed the tour and the guide was amazing. I was expecting a tour that would be interesting but potentially a little over the top on the history side, but our guide had stories and little facts that made the tour entertaining and really engaging and I couldn't believe the 3 hours was over when it was. (If you want more info see the bottom of this post)
After the tour, Jessica and I and a few others from the tour went out for dinner with our guide and then signed up for the pub crawl that evening, that the tour company also offered.
After a quick wardrobe change, we were off into downtown London for a night out of pub crawling. The group of "pub crawlers" was enormous and we seemed to fill and empty out bars as we moved along to each new place. We also added a new member to our team, Colin, a guy staying across from us in the hostel, (and another Canadian... woot!), joined us for the pub crawl. We also picked up a new French friend, Pierre, so became a quad!
We had a wonderful night of dancing, drinking and then all losing each other, with the exception of Colin and I who seemed to stick together enough to get back to the hostel. Thankfully, Jessica made it back a little later and we were all reunited! We had hoped to get together and have a real English breakfast the following morning but being so tired and having to check out at 10 made that impossible for us to coordinate.
Instead, I reluctantly packed up my many new things into my new little bag and headed out to have a solo English breakfast. I found a little restaurant up by Oxford Street and sat down with my book at a little table for two. I ordered a proper English breakfast, complete with beans and a fried tomato. It was exactly what I needed after the late night from before. I sat and read my book for an hour or so before getting up and taking a quick last walk around the area.
At last, my stay had come to an end. I was sad to leave London but as they say, all good things must come to an end. I dragged myself onto the train and sat next to a nosey guy who I was pretty sure was trying to read what I was typing the entire time I was typing it. Don't worry, I gave him the evil eye. ;)
PS If you are heading to London and want info about the Free tour, because it was well worth it - click here!