Things I’ve Learned About London

So here are a few things that I’ve learned on my last day in London.  Never, ever try to go to a museum, particularly the Victoria & Albert on a bank holiday when it is raining.  The line literally went around the block.  I opted to save this for another trip.

Harrod’s is the Mother Ship of department stores, and it is filled with very expensive and really very gaudy and tasteless things.  Here’s a small sample.

The Tea Room is first rate so I’m betting all the other restaurants are as well.  I finally got to eat Those Little Sandwiches.  I went with the selection of a pea soup with mint drizzle and cream fraiche with watercress.  I had the choice of 3 sandwiches so I went with coronation chicken with almonds, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and egg and cucumber.  It was all delicious.  I have now had English peas three different times and each time they have been remarkable.  They have a different flavor from anything I can get in the States be they fresh, frozen or canned.    Well, I take that back.  At certain times of the year you can get fresh English peas, and I’ll bet they have the same flavor as the peas over here.

I thought about finding some Xmas presents, but everything was just too dear.  Then it was time to find my way out of the building.  That proved to be a daunting task.  I went back by the Egyptian escalator, and snapped a photo.  it doesn’t do it gaudy justice.  There was a sign for a memorial for Diana and Dodi.  I gave that a pass.

Then I was out on the street and went looking for the V&A.  I finally got my Google maps to show me walking which helped.  I reached the museum and there was a line that literally went down the block and around the corner.  It was pissing down rain, and I decided I didn’t want to stand in line for an hour or more just to get inside.  I went hunting for an underground station and went by a flower museum and the science museum that also had long lines (nothing like the V&A, but impressive).  The lesson I have taken away — do not try to go to museums in London on Bank Holidays when it is raining.  I’ll catch the V&A on my next trip and do it on a weekday.

The other fun thing.  My hotel is just around the block from New Scotland Yard.  That had me thinking about the Scotland Yard game I ran for the gang, and how once again George had an obstreperous but very fun character.

I’m contemplating what to eat for dinner.  Indian and Chinese are right out since I’m alone.  I may go the the full Brit experience — beef Wellington or roast beef with Yorkshire pudding.  There is a well recommended restaurant in Trafalgar Square and that’s not quite so far to walk.

I may slip out to visit Westminster Abbey this afternoon.  I love that church and I had my Shepard and Kaidan get married there in my Mass Effect story.  Will be sort of fun to visit it again.

Tomorrow I go home.  I’m glad.  I’m ready.  I miss my cats and horses and friends, and quiet writerly life.

2 Responses to Things I’ve Learned About London

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    An update. I tried to find this beef restaurant in Trafalgar Square that came highly recommended. I headed out in the rain and went past Westminster only to discover the last entry is at 3:30 and it costs 18 pounds to go in. I understand they need to pay for the upkeep on this beautiful old building, but maybe not this time. I would be too rushed tomorrow morning to really enjoy it.

    I walked to Trafalgar getting wetter and wetter despite the umbrella, and never could find the restaurant. I ended up a bar next door to my hotel. They didn’t have much selection in terms of food so I went with fish and chips, and yep, it made me sick. Fried food just does not agree with my Crohns. I stopped at Pret for a tea, and now I’m in for the night. Tomorrow I’ll turn in my Oyster card and get back my 5 pounds and whatever remains on the card. (These cards are great btw), and then hop into the taxi for the trip to Heathrow.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    Aaargh. I had not realized that auto-correct had done such an ugly number on my original post. I think I’ve got it cleaned up now.

    And I did want to mention the prices on the studded panthers. Almost 38,000 pounds which works out to about $60,800 dollars. I basically just looked at every price and doubled it while I was in Britain. That way I wouldn’t be too shocked when I got my credit card bill.

    Oh, and I spent the last of my pounds on tea at Heathrow in the Duty Free store. Because you can never have enough tea.

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