We arrived on a Saturday around noon and by the time the cab fought traffic into the city, the afternoon was slipping away. We rushed over to the Borough Market, bordering on the south side of the Thames. If you like food, you will love this food-lovers' paradise. Stalls prepared everything from paella to duck sandwiches washed down with a to-go mulled wine. I would have no problems spending my entire paycheck on the gourmet sausages, local oysters, and fresh baked bread. I have read and heard about the Indian influences on the food and dining scene in London, however, I was surprised to see so many Spanish purveyors selling cheese, chorizo, olives and the like. No matter what you are craving, you will find something you love here.
|for the adventurous, perhaps some Haggis? After all, it's award-winning|
|Duck Sandwich & Mulled Wine, how could I resist?|
|One of several lovely bridges connecting the north and south sides of the Thames|
|Not the greatest pic, but view from the lounge at OXO|
Our hotel was situated in Leicester Square which reminded me of Times Square with the bright lights, huge flagship tourist stores (our lobby had a two story M&M shop!?), and Broadway theater marquees. Connecting Leicester Square with the upper-scale Soho neighborhood is China Town, glowing in lantern-strewn streets lined with crowded dining rooms.
|Every major city must have a China Town. Our hotel, in the background, lit up in blue.|
Day two had another market itinerary, up north in the Spitafields neighborhood. This area has several different markets within about a mile radius area, comprising of vintage clothing and home accessories, locally made jewelry and clothing as well as an international indoor food court with portable burners cooking everything from Sri Lankan and Thai dishes. Too early for lunch? Grab an Irish Coffee from the small bar set up inside.
Indoors, prepared food awaits.
Outdoors, sweets and juices
I had not had a proper beer until I had one in London. These guys (and gals) know how to craft and pour an amazing pint. These beers are nothing fancy, just from a tap in a regular old pub. But there is something about the frothy head and the rings around your half-empty pint glass that make even a light lager seem luxurious.
Old London Charm
|Yes, there really are double decker busses, and they are not used for city tours|
Shopping Districts- Kensington, Soho and Carnaby
While shopping was not on my list of to-dos with the pound still not within my price range, it was still worth the visit to see the old glamour of Harrods, the quaint brick lanes of Carnaby and the gorgeous white buildings curving along the streets of Soho.
|Town houses in Kensington|
|Glimmering night lights in the Soho area|