The title of my blog is purposely a play on homophone words. And, yes, here is a picture of a British pup.
Exactly a month ago, on this date, I arrived in London and that was the beginning of a boundless exploration. I spent the past month exploring the wet streets of London, from Brentford to Islington. London is a city filled with mind-blowing events, heart-pounding music venue, eye-opening museums, and mouth watery food. I will be posting multiple blogs giving you the ins and outs. Let’s start with Week 1…
Day 1 & 2
This first few days in London felt like the chilly wind, lifting the hairs on the back of your neck. A momentarily, body chilling experience that you can’t forget. In the daytime, I walked around Kensington and spent the evening afloat on the waters of River Thames.
My school provided the opportunity to attend a boat cruise, where I drank, danced and watched the Tower Bridge lift up and down.
Fun Fact: The Bridge is raised 850 times each year. Under the Corporation of London (Tower Bridge) Act 1885, the Bridge must be raised, free of charge, for registered vessels of 30 ft or more to come and go (with notice in advance).
My first weekend went from the Borough Market, to the Millennium Bridge and landed next to the London Eye. Below you will find a map layout of my adventure.
The Borough Market opened in 1851 and to this day, it is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London. The area is filled with coffee shops, restaurants, and pubs. From here, you may also see The Shard. Depending on what day you go, you will most likely encounter heavy foot traffic. The Market is jam-packed with people eating a wide selection of foods and drinks. There were cheese, tea, spices, burgers, wines, bread, Thai food, and Egyptian and Ethiopian food. Personally, one of my favorite food can be founded near the staircase by Southwark Cathedral, called Cafe Brood. It started in 1999 by Mark Stembridge and famous for their Paella, Catalan Stew, Chorizo and Meze. I had the succulent Chorizo, a fermented, cured, and smoked sausage. The bright spicy red sausage, complemented with the vibrant yellow spiced rice meal cost roughly £9 pounds, but worth the dent in your wallet.
After the Market, my friends and I made our way to the London Eye, a slow and unusual way (refer back to the map). We crossed the London Bridge and then crossed back on the Millennium Bridge.
Fun Fact: It is a steel suspension bridge that is featured in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Remember when Lord Voldemort wanted Cornelius Fudge to step down as Minister for Magic, but Fudge was like…
And so, Voldemort orders the Death Eaters and Fenrir Greyback to attack the bridge (click to watch the scene of the attack). The bridge was also featured in the Guardians of the Galaxy, during the battle with Xandar.
The Millennium Bridge leads to the Tate Modern museum, which is next to the bankside. Walking along the Thames River, I eventually reached Southbank. This is a good area for a pit stop and to please those growling stomachs. In Southbank, you can find BFI Southbank (cinema), National Theatre (performing arts venue), Purcell Room (concert hall), Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall (just more concert hall), BFI IMAX (another cinema) and the Waterloo Station, if you’re looking to go home already. There are plenty of restaurants and pubs in this area. However, if I were you, check out the Southbank Skatepark. It is an unofficial skatepark that can be dated back to the 1970s. Skaters are going back and forth, flipping and skating on ledges and stairs. One after another attempting to master tricks. The background, cement walls, are covered with layers of graffiti, each unique to itself like the skaters.
Not far from the skatepark is the London Eye. Check the website before visiting, you want to make sure the London Eye is open and operating. If you go on the website, you can book in advance. When I arrived at the Eye, it had not been opened yet so I will be going back in the following weeks. The weather was not ideal, so double-check the weather app! By the Eye, there was an amazing street performance by a group composed of six talented men. Dressed in African apparel, these men were rolling and jumping all over. Body twisting, swinging, and back bending performance. Stay and enjoy the show (remember, they are performers so try to give even the smallest amount of change you have.)
If you are looking for a place to sit down, eat, drink and relax, then I highly recommend a place called Slug and Lettuce, It is a small chain cocktail bar that has a colorful and à la mode decor. The perfect place for a few pictures with your Sex on the Beach. If you go during Happy Hour (4PM-10PM), it is 2 for 1 on ALL cocktails.
Well, there you go. A quick guide to my first weekend in London, and I hope this personal experience has been insightful and helpful to you. Keep on the look out for my next blog on Week 2 and Week 3 in London!! Cheers, my readers. Remember, stay happy and stay smiling 🙂