London: A weekend trip

Hello again.

As the weeks stretched on, I did begin to wonder if my blogging exercises would be as fleeting as the sun’s appearance here in Frankfurt.

But actually, I do enjoy it. Like everything in life, things worth doing take dedication and commitment. So I’m back.

Last weekend, I visited London for a repeat trip. It was wonderful. I am certainly a fan of this city, and similar to New York, it has such a diverse selection of things to do and places to see. But it also feels like an extremely different city.

The weekend prior, I travelled back to Frankfurt from New York after spending a week there. So looking forward to a weekend in London eased my sadness after leaving NYC.

Our hotel, Radisson Blu Berkshire, which I located on Jetsetter, was in a fabulous location. This was my first experience with Jetsetter and it worked out quite well. London is a notoriously expensive city making NYC look inexpensive, so the deal I found on Jetsetter made it a bit more manageable and it was a great value.

Furthermore, London’s weather is typically dreary. But this trip, I got lucky. Two out of three days were beautiful, so it wasn’t as painful when we checked in our luggage on Sunday morning, our last day, and walked outside into pouring rain.

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On Friday, I arrived to London around 8am and made my way from London City Airport just as all the commuters were going to work. It was fun to be apart of London’s wake up. After I checked into the hotel, I sat in Pret a Manger, as ubiquitous in London as Starbucks is in NYC, and simply watched as all the Londoners began their days with breakfast and a coffee.

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One of my favorite things to do is truly see a person for more than they are as a current and fleeting glimpse as they pass you by. Since I was a child, I liked to imagine who the people that pass me by actually are as people. It gives me a sense of companionship, even when I may not know anyone at all.

I spent my first day wandering and thanks to my phone’s built-in pedometer, realized I clocked over 26k steps. A successful workout, no doubt! For anyone who does not enjoy exercise as I also do not, one fabulous way to burn some calories is to dedicate some time to walking around and truly looking around. Watch the people, look at all of the details of the buildings you pass, and before you know it, you will have burned a few hundred calories.

M arrived in the evening, and we went for dinner. Neither of us were particularly impressed with our meal at Aqua Nueva which shares a space with Aqua Kyoto, but it happens. It was ultimately a confusing design – a shared bar between the Japanese section of the restaurant on one side and the Spanish on the other side. The food was mediocre and the decoration bland at the same time as banquet room-style showy. It would seem to be a difficult design feat, but somehow they managed it.

On day 2, we had a much better breakfast at a small cafe in Soho and then after a bit of shopping, we headed to Camden Town. This was the highlight of the trip. Once we made our way to the Lock, we became overwhelmed with a street food market. Every imaginable cuisine all styled into a street food convenience. We tried an Indian naan wrapped around chicken then a paleo meal.

 

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Camden Lock in Camden Town
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Cooking our naan bread in the onsite clay oven
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Residential London

After a bit more walking, we made it back to Oxford Street, did a bit more shopping then headed to the hotel. After getting dressed for dinner, we took a cab to the business district, and had a wonderful dinner at City Social with a fabulous view of the city.

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City Social – M’s drink complete with a warning!

A major difference was thrown our way when we attempted to stop at a bar on our way home, only to find they had closed. Bars in London close at midnight. Exhausted at this point, we gave up and convinced a pedi cab to bike us home at the excellent going rate of £ 15.

On Sunday, we took it easy with brunch and some wandering before we headed to the airport. And poor M, whose flight was due to take off before mine, landed in Frankfurt after I did.

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New Bond Street – Is it snowing?

All in all, a successful, albeit expensive, weekend trip.

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