Here's the crazy route I walked throughout London today!
On our last stay in London we stayed at The Hoxton Hotel. We loved the Shoreditch area and so I knew I wanted to head back there at least for a little while. I made my way on foot up to Old Spitalfields Market. Wow did the market change! There are so many more restaurants and vendors here inside and outside. Very cool! I walked through a couple stores and perused the smaller vendors before making the hard choice of what to have for lunch.
Here I go...Dumpling Shack (do you see a theme with my dining habits). I ordered the dan dan noodles and pork and leek shengjianbao. The dumplings were tender, juicy, and flavorful. The dan dan noodles were perfect. The noodles were the perfect combination of savory, salty and heat.
After lunch I hang around the area for a bit and had a nice chat with a friend back home. It was really nice after a hectic week to have a reminder of normal life. Once I was off the phone I made my way to Brick Lane. Brick Lane is famous for Indian cuisine and street art. With my dairy allergy I'm always cautious with Indian food since a lot of it contained ghee (clarified butter). I wandered around on my own for a bit but I would recommend a tour to see all of the incredible street art.
I was heading back to the market when Greg called me and said he would be leaving work a little early and so I said I'd meet him at his office. We walked back together to the hotel and dropped off some of our belongings before we continued our walk to Westminster Abbey.
Our route took us along the river, over Westminster Bridge, and since there wasn't a line we went right on inside Westminster Abbey. Once inside we showed our prepaid tickets and a helpful guide provided us with a map. We opted to not use the audio tour (I know how interesting those can be but they just aren't to our liking when traveling).
Over the past couple of years I've been working on both of our ancestries. One day we were watching The White Princess on Showtime and a few names started to sound familiar. Not familiar from history books but familiar from Greg's ancestry. Come to find out Greg descends from royalty in England, Spain, France, Italy, Scotland, and more. As we were walking through the Abbey we would find ourselves at the tombs of many of his relatives.
I'm not sure if it's because we both are interested in British history, art, writing, or churches in general but we absolutely loved our visit. On our walk back we walked past the Battle of Britain Memorial, Whitehall Gardens and over Golden Jubilee Bridges.
We were enjoying the weather and were a little hungry so we stopped at Giraffe World Kitchen. We chose a table outside in the sun and order a couple of cocktails.
For snacks we chose Smoky Chorizo, Crispy Patatas Bravas, Salt & Pepper Squid, and the Karaage Chicken (fried chicken). All of the small plates were good with the exception of the Karaage Chicken. Greg didn't seem to mind but the chicken was incredibly over salted.
Back at the CitizenM Bankside we started the process of packing. I knew we should have brought the bigger suitcase! Luckily we figured out the puzzle and got everything under weight for British Airways!
Our last night in London was kind of boring but we were happy with burgers from Honest Burger (if you're reading this please open a restaurant in Boston) to go, a free movie in our hotel room, and a nice glass of wine from M&S across the street.