I’m updating you a bit late (my apologies)! I was in London Feb. 18-21, and it was simply lovely. Simon (the boyf) and I went to London on a mission: to sightsee as much as possible. And see we did! Facing the rain and fog like pros, we hopped on and off the tube, up the massive escalators, and out into the cathedrals, castles, museums, and parks. But let’s hop backwards for a moment.
My first memories of London come from a certain movie called The Parent Trap– yes the one with Lindsay Lohan when she was still a redhead, adorable, and not in jail. Anyhow, the scene where she arrives in London is perfect: the Beatles are singing, the guards at Buckingham palace (who never break their pose) are waving at her, her mother is wearing a Burberry (I think) trench coat, and she’s being driven around in one of those great black cabs. London is portrayed as pristine, proper yet fun, and extremely glamorous. To my surprise, the expectations of my youth were satisfied! I was very impressed with the city, and felt a bit at home here.
Here were my highlights:
-TEA Absolutely amazing. Tea has never been this good. With your own milk and sugar caddy, on a background of pink flowered china.. truly one of life’s little luxuries. You should note that British tea is much stronger than other teas, and usually needs a bit of milk to make it truly tasty 🙂
-Museums & Monuments I have seen my fare share of decrepit museums, where the tapestries are flapping in the wind, captions are absent, and you are lost with your first glance at the floor plan. This is not the case in London- here everything has been thoroughly researched and presented in the most visually appealing way. Captions are complete, art is temperature and light controlled, and staff are polite and helpful. Not to miss: the “Enchanted Palace” exhibition at Kensington Palace, the jewelry collection at the V&A, and the Egyptian hall in the British Museum.
-Fashion I have to admit that I was not prepared for the fanciness of London. In Amsterdam, we dress practically for the weather and for biking (yes, even I do). In London, it’s quite a different dress code: embellished ballerina flats glitter the sidewalks, finely tailored coats with gold buttons catch the sun’s rays, and flowered headpieces reach towards the sky. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture. You come to London, you better have packed some fine threads.
-Transport The Oyster card system is relatively easy to understand, and the machines/info booths are well maintained. Although a line or two may be closed at any given time, there are announcements/signs telling you how to reroute your journey. On the street, the famous double decker busses are fantastic, and so much fun to ride!
That’s all she wrote for now, Cheerio!