My brief trip to London already feels like it happened in a dream. It might feel more real when I get my Visa statement… 😀
I decided that I would only be there a few days and that therefore I didn’t have a budget (within reason), a huge decision for me considering the price of food! I am so grateful that I happened to be in London at the first time in my life that I could make that decision, which was further aided, of course, by knowing I had almost no bills ahead of me in Bulgaria.
I got to London with very little knowledge of the city and even fewer expectations. I’m glad I made the decision to not take a London crash course that would have had me trying to cram even more into my brief stay, but rather explored at my own pace. I still managed to pack in a lot and am exhausted, so I can’t imagine have been to fit more in anyway…
Food and attraction prices not withstanding, I found London very accessible. It is very easy to get around in, the locals are incredibly friendly, and I felt safe.
Service in restaurants was always stellar. I liked that I didn’t have to tip since there was always a service charge included. The food was generally fantastic. My two favourite meals, not counting my ultra special afternoon tea, were, for a sit down meal, the curry platter in Kensal Rise, and, for takeaway, the falafel on Baker Street.
One of my big treats while there was that I took advantage of my body not knowing what time it was to wait to have coffee until I got to Central London and then buying espressos at proper sit down restaurants (except my last one at Victoria London). I didn’t have a single “fast food” drip coffee my whole time in London (even my last one was an espresso made just for me). My coffee expenditures averaged £2.50 per day. My best coffee was the cappuccino at Speedy’s and my worst (which was still excellent) was the Americano at Café Rouge.
The attractions I paid for offered good value even if they were expensive. I would have regretted paying for the admission to the aquarium, but since it was free, I’m glad I went. I still think Madame Tussaud’s wasn’t necessarily the best use of my time in London, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do at least one more time in my life and I got a good deal on my ticket. I don’t have a favourite attraction I visited, but have to say that the London Eye and St. Paul’s are must dos! The Eye should be done early in a visit to London to give an idea of the city’s layout. St. Paul’s is worth a visit for the architecture. If you’re fit enough to climb to the Golden Gallery, you will be rewarded with another amazing overview of London. The Roman amphitheatre is off the beaten path and not well-known, so I feel like I discovered a secret bit of London to call my own.
When I go back to London, because that feels like a certainty to me, I hope I will be able to afford to stay in Central London so I can check out the nightlife. But considering how little I knew of the city when I booked my Airbnb, I did a stellar job of choosing it. I would never have been able to enjoy London as much as I did had I paid much more than the 55.50CAD a night I ended up paying! I have to say that I enjoyed staying in a house in the suburbs as it felt like I was living as a local.
To sum up, London absolutely charmed the skirt off me!
Which reminds me of a funny story I forgot to tell. I don’t remember at which tube station this happened, but my skirt got caught in the escalator mechanism. It didn’t rip, thankfully (although it got very greasy), but I ended up flashing my drawers before I managed to rescue it!!! Needless to say, I was VERY careful to hold my skirt up on all future escalator rides!