Monday, November 11, 2013

London calling

As mentioned here we were in London for 10 days at the end of October. The main reason was that we asked our dear London-based friends to be the Pepper's god-parents, so we of course wanted them to meet her. But it was not a vacation for us. D had a few meetings with some local people in music publishing and I worked the whole week. I luckily got approval from my company to work from London so I worked Eastern time on the weekdays. This meant I had my mornings free and then worked in the evenings. Even though it was a working trip we made the most of it!

Our friends live in Kennington, walking distance from Big Ben and the Thames. It was a great location and we loved just venturing out and walking along the river. Having been to London before and knowing we didn't have a lot of time to do the tourist thing, the only item on my must-do list was going to the Tate Modern. The Pepper seems to enjoy museums too so we made a quick stop there on a rainy Sunday. I was a bit disappointed there wasn't a large scale installation in their atrium. But it was still fun to walk around the galleries.

Across from the Tate is Millenium Bridge and a view of St Paul's Cathedral. We ran across the bridge and then sought refuge from the rain within the Cathedral. We got to listen to choir music until the weather cleared.


We ended this day with a walk through beautiful St. James park. I was impressed with the amount of bird-life there and even saw the infamous pelicans.

And of course no day around London is complete without a visit to Big Ben :)

On a Thursday morning before I started work our friends suggested what turned out to be the perfect long lunch. We started with a round of drinks at The Shard. Apparently you have to pay to go to the top and see the amazing views, but a nice trick is to go to the restaurant where you get both amazing views, and can have a drink! One thing to note though is they do have a dress code (no sneakers or sandals).

After our round of drinks we walked a block to Borough Market, a huge and intoxicating outdoor food market where we sampled delicious oils and cheese, purchased some produce to make homemade pizzas (yum!) and got some lunch from the food vendors.

Though we didn't see everything London has to offer it was ok because our trip was really about spending time with good friends. But I'm glad we got out a bit and give the Pepper her first taste of London! We're planning to get back there next year and I hope to make that a real (non-working) vacation.

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