After our late night, we slept in and started our day later than originally planned. Once we were ready we made our way on foot to Buckingham Palace. Halfways there we realized that we were hungry. Up and to the left of us was Giraffe World Kitchen. On our previous visit to London we dined here for lunch and knew we could get a good meal. Greg ordered his usual sweet breakfast of pancakes with a side of bacon. I decided to give the Shakshuka a try. Shakshuka is a North African dish of eggs cooked in a tomato sauce with herbs and served with crusty bread. I was hoping to include chorizo but that item contained dairy. The service was friendly, fast and the food was good and filling.
We continued our walk to Buckingham Palace. We stopped along the way and were able to catch the end of the changing of the guard. After a few pictures we made our way to Harrods.
Our first stop inside Harrods was to the food halls. Yes we're foodies, yes we always think about food, and yes we are thrilled when we try something new. We were at the fruit section and were thrilled to be able to try some Custard Apple. Custard apple is creamy, slightly sweet and delicious (keep in mind that it does contain seeds though). The wonderful staff helped us purchase a couple custard apples and a Mangosteen (a favorite fruit I first tasted in Bali). We then shopped for tea, curds, cookies, jams, and also just had to purchase a couple very pretty Cronuts (I know it's years later but this was our first time trying them).
Greg's co-worker met us inside Harrods and we explored the other departments (mainly women's clothing) before heading to lunch. For lunch we all agreed on The Burger Bar (who doesn't love greasy burgers and french fries after a night of delicious cocktails). Unfortunately, the service at The Burger Bar was awful. We were seated right away which was nice but we couldn't get anyone to look at us even though we were seated at the bar. I eventually asked for menus and then we had another incredibly long wait for someone to take our order. The woman working at the bar area seemed to only be able to work on drinks and milkshakes. The waiters seemed to be helping everyone but us. Again, I had to ask if we could order which was derailed yet again by me stating that I have a dairy allergy. Finally, a supervisor or manager came over and took our order. All of our burgers were good and the french fries were crispy but it definitely wasn't worth the cost. Now we can say we shopped and ate at Harrods though.
We decided to walk back to our hotel via Picadilly Circus so that we could get a few touristy gifts for family/friends. Once we did our shopping I had to take a cab back to the hotel, my tendon was starting to hurt again unfortunately.
This evening we had dinner reservations for the 3 of us at Hutong. If I'm being honest I wasn't that excited about dining at Hutong. I thought dining inside the Shard would be unique and offer us amazing views of the city. In the end the service, food, ambiance, and views wowed us!
When you enter the Shard you have to go through a security scanner and then the staff check your name and reservation and show you to the elevator. The three of us checked in and were helped with our coats. We were a little early for our reservation so we opted to enjoy a cocktail in the lounge. The lounge service was a little on the slow side but the relaxing environment and the delicious drinks made up for it.
Before we could settle our bar bill we were told our table was ready. The staff helped carry our drinks to the table and instructed the staff to add our drinks to our dinner bill. Our table was right up to the windows offering us fantastic views of London. The ambiance was low lighting, dark wood, red lanterns and welcoming staff. We ordered vegetarian spring rolls and Iberico pork dumplings to start. The starters were hot, savory, and delicious. For entrees and side dishes we ordered dan dan noodles, roasted Peking duck (served two ways), and seafood fried rice. The dan dan noodles weren't as spicy as I hoped but they were tasty. The Peking duck was first sliced table-side for us and served with sliced green onions and rice wrappers. The second part of the duck was served stir fried with lettuce wraps. I can't speak to the seafood fried rice as it didn't appeal to me that evening.
After dinner, the sleet let up so we decided to walk back to the CitizenM and enjoy the fresh air.
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