I still haven’t quite managed to get back to reality after last week’s mid-week break to London – I just keep wishing I was back strolling along the South Bank drinking wine in the sunshine! Me and the boyfriend had the trip planned after he bought me tickets to see Ella Eyre at XOYO for Christmas – both very excited after seeing her perform the other year on tour with Rudimental. Unfortunately a change in the date of the gig meant the tickets had the wrong date on and we ended up missing the gig – so no Christmas present but we more than made up for it with an epic couple of days.
When we arrived in London we decided to ignore our previous plans to head to the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaur exhibit and to the British Museum for the exhibitions on Egyptians and Vikings – it was just far too sunny to be inside looking at history. Instead we headed straight to Embankment with plans of grabbing some lunch and sitting out in the sunshine. As we walked out of the station and towards the bridge, we came across a food festival.
We could resist heading into the gardens were there were various stalls selling jerk chicken, pasta dishes, African cuisine and even fish dogs (fish finger hot dogs!). We plumped for a lobster bite, which was absolutely delicious, followed by black truffle mushroom risotto balls stuffed with Italian cheese and with a tasty ragu – incredible! We were glad for these later on when we ended up not getting the chance to eat again until late! While we ate, we sat in these beautiful gardens with a great view of the London Eye.
Afterwards we walked across the bridge to South Bank and strolled along in the sunshine watching the street theatre and listening to live music. I loved the steel drums, while Mark was the perfect target for anyone selling anything from ‘lucky’ heather to bibles!
We must have walked miles, stopping now and then to sit in bars drinking wine in the sunshine and trying to remember where we were going. As we were walking, we found some leaflets for a gig that night in Camden Market where a ska orchestra would be playing at Dingwalls. We figured this was a perfect replacement for Ella Eyre and decided to head there instead of to Soho to watch a jazz band. After a quick stop at the Restup Hostel (genuinely nicer than hotels we have stayed in previously in London, perfect position for going out all over and my first choice more often than not).
We grabbed a quick bite to eat and a few drinks then headed to Camden where The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra and another ska act would be playing later on. It was a great little venue – slap bang in the middle of Camden, dark and full of interesting characters – just my kind of place. The bands were great, really lively and energetic – they had everyone up and dancing from the beginning. I’ve never seen any other music have such a awesome effect on a group of people with such different backgrounds, ages and jobs – it really has such a good atmosphere and has got me all excited for the summer at BoomTown fair. The band played such a range of instruments and were really talented – I was very impressed.
We danced long and hard and my legs were killing me by the end after a day spent walking all over London. The next day we spent eating our way round the food stalls at Camden Market nursing our hangovers before heading home. A great few days in London where we achieved nothing we planned to do but had loads of random fun. It was great to get away and really hard to come back to work after this followed by the weekend. It was also our eight year anniversary over the weekend – quite an achievement in itself! Can’t quite believe we’ve been together for more than a quarter of my life now – we must be doing something right!
Do you love spontaneous trips like this or do you prefer to plan every second? What’s the most random thing you’ve come across in London?
Nice blog and really well written!
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You can’t go wrong with the South Bank! Usually I have to plan my trips to London – it’s to do with wanting to get as much out of every moment as I can, having made the journey. But this weekend, we hopped out at Covent Garden for a few moments, having arrived earlier than expected, and it was lovely to discover an interesting walk, filled with beautiful buildings and shops, to where we were going.
Absolutely – especially when the sun is shining and the entertainers are out. The view from both sides of the river is lovely. And I do love Covent Garden – such a nice place to walk around and take in all the sights, although sometimes it can get a bit too busy.. I don’t like it when you have to battle your way through a crowd. Thanks Denise and thanks for your comments x
Ahh I love south bank! You pretty much did the weekend I used to do when I had visitors to London.
I like quantifying milestones like you have (well done on 8 years!) I worked out I’ve lived over a 3rd of my life not in my hometown, but its still home to me.
Oh and great response to your 1st comment 😉
Ahh I love south bank! You pretty much did the weekend I used to do with visitors to London.
I love quantifying milestones like this (well done on 8 years!) I realised I’ve not lived in my hometown for over a 3rd of my life, but I still call it home.
Oh and great response to the 1st comment 😉
It really is such a lovely place to walk around – and what a wonderful side of London to show visitors! Definitely different to the hustle and bustle of the crowded streets around Oxford Circus and the like! Thanks lovely – can’t quite believe it’s been that long. I think your hometown will always be home – my dad left Mauritius at 18 and has now lived in Norfolk for probably around twice as long as he lived there, but it’s still his home! Haha thanks, I’m not sure some people understand the point in writing a blog – not to get followers but to share things you enjoy with others who enjoy the same things! Have a lovely day xx
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