Perhaps you’ve noticed, but things have been a bit more quiet than normal around here lately. Final exams have passed, and the photos are coming in fast and furious, but the number of forthcoming posts haven’t reflected that in the least. Truth be told, it’s because no one was home at BitterSweet head quarters. Maybe I failed to mention the fact that I was slipping away to London for a week? A quick jaunt across the pond, I hardly had time to get my feet beneath me before it was time to hop a plane back home again, but the brief break was entirely necessary. A few days to indulge a sense of adventure, explore a new corner of the world, and actually think about something other than food 24/7. It’s a truly refreshing change of pace! Thus, it may not have been a foodie’s dream getaway, but I still have plenty of photos and stories to share…
We arrived early on a red eye flight into London, and promptly fell asleep upon forcing open the tiny rental apartment door. That shoebox was a joke of a room- “Sleeps up to five”? More like, you can technically cram five bodies in there, but if you want them to move about and breathe, you really shouldn’t. We kept a running tally of who got hurt the most, either by tripping over the odd step into the kitchen or by banging their head on the slanted bathroom ceiling. After all that fun, we simply tramped about on the streets until it got dark.
Big Ben was the first sight on the following morning. Iconic, but still incredible in person. It’s those fine details that get me.
St. James’s Park has really gone to the birds. There were at least dozen different species that I could easily identify, and no doubt at least a dozen more. This guy here was particularly fearless- I was afraid he might snatch my lens cap and try to gobble it up.
Onward march, to the changing of the guards at Buckingham palace.
Although far from native English cuisine, this was not the only incidence of seeing huge vats of paella being tended on the streets. Can anyone lend some insight on that? Is it just a popular dish there, or am I missing a larger trend?
There weren’t many opportunities to dine at dedicated vegan restaurants, so it should go without saying that this meal at Itadaki Zen was hands-down my favorite of the trip. We ordered a full compliment of little dishes, but most didn’t photograph well due to the dim light. Whatever you order, you will not be disappointed. All of the flavors were so clean, light, and invigorating. I wish I could have returned once or twice more at least.
Harrod’s, a museum of all things consumable, whether they be actually edible or other consumer goods. The prices are astronomical, but it’s a must-visit, especially for the food hall. More beautiful displays of perfect produce can be found no where else. And yes, those are white strawberries, otherwise known as pineberries. I was dying to try them, but at £12.50 (about $19.59) for each of those tiny punnets, I’ll just have to keep wondering for now..
The Tower of London. You’ve just gotta see it, end of story. We also went through great pains to witness the ceremony of the keys, but photography was not permitted. Since they all carried guns, I was inclined to comply.
Your standard British pub; fun atmosphere, nice people. I will readily admit, however, that I’m a complete lightweight and this cider was not mine, but my sister’s. I was the party pooper who ordered water.
A brief day trip out of the city brought us to stonehenge, which was an incredible sight that I will never forget, but it was shockingly, blisteringly cold out. The wind didn’t help one bit, and it suddenly felt like winter! Try to go in the warmer parts of the summer, or wear a much heavier jacket than you think you could possibly need or want.
It takes 30 minutes to ride through one full revolution of the London eye, but not one second was dull. The views are of course stunning, and there’s something to be said for riding in a giant glass bubble, high above the city. I don’t care how tourist-y this is, I insist that everyone do it at least once.
So many other wonderful activities went unphotographed, but these are some of the highlights. London is such a grand city with a rich history- I only wish I could have explored a bit deeper. That means I’ll just have to come back soon, I suppose.