We left Denver with 14″ of snow on the ground and arrived to a sunny day in London. London was a stop on our way to Berlin for Spring Break, so I only had a few days to check it out. We stayed in Camden Locke, which is where London keeps its hipsters. The Camden Market is right on the water and has more street food vendors in one place than you could ever imagine…paella pans full of seafood and rice, Indian curry, falafel and hummus, and of course my choice for lunch Oliver’s Fish and Chips stand...with perfectly fried cod and fries doused in salt and vinegar…amazing! You can also walk off lunch along the water and see all the houseboats with people living on the locks.
Of course I had to do a little shoe shopping at the home of Top Shop, but in order to get there I had to travel by the tube and “mind the gap”. The streets are full of musicians on every corner and the fashions are really wild. One shoe shop in particular, Irregular Choice, had shoes that can only be classified as works of art! And of course you should get a snack when you are tired from a big shopping day in London, make sure you stop by Cumbs & Doilies for a delicious cupcake…mine even had a special chocolate bean inside!
On my second day in London the sun disappeared, and in it’s place was cold rain and clouds…remember I do not like to be uncomfortable. I don’t think it’s fun to stand in lines to see stuff in the rain, even if it is Queen Elizabeth’s crown jewels. So instead we opted for the double decker BB Bakery tea bus. We ate scones with clotted cream and cucumber sandwiches, drank hot tea and whizzed by Buckingham palace to wave hello to Q Elizabeth. Next we rounded the corner past Trafalgar Square, made a quick stop in front of Kensington Palace to check out Will and Kate’s crib and the whole time we were dry and warm. So the lesson here is standing in the rain sucks and drinking tea in a warm double decker does not. Next we grabbed a cute London taxi. Did you know London taxi drivers do not use GPS and must memorize all the streets. Our driver dropped us at the Millennium Bridge where we braved the wind and walked across to the Tate Modern…my new favorite museum. There was an incredible Calder sculpture exhibit and nothing is better than the Tate gift shop…I got a fashion figure drawing book.
My umbrella broke in the strong winds that pushed us from the Tate to the London Eye. In passing we see adult men in bunny suits riding bicycles and drinking beer…even the rain doesn’t deter true Londoners from having fun. I was really excited about going up in the London Eye, because again, I want to see London, but only if I can be dry and warm. However, we bought advanced tickets for the Eye which included a really annoying Willy Wonka tour guide with a horrible screeching voice that, I came close to murdering. But in the end we stole the guide’s pointer stick when her back was turned…which made up for her being so annoying.
For our final day in London, we saved the best for last. Today was the big day and I don’t mean Easter, it was our day to visit the studios where all of the Harry Potter films where conceived. I pride myself on my encyclopedic knowledge of the Harry Potter books. When you first enter the studio, you are greeted by the magic car and photos of Harry from age 10 until the last movie at age 20. From there you see the cupboard under the stairs where Harry lived as a child and then you enter the great hall at Hogwarts! The sets were so unbelievable; all of the smallest details such as labels on potion bottles were drawn by hand. I stood in Dumbledore’s office, and walked the corridors of the Hogwarts Express parked at Platform 9 3/4. It was magical! And if you click on the video below you will see me experience, first hand, the magic of J.K. Rowling!