It’s Saturday and the weather is beautiful – I knew it would be even though the weather forecast called for rain. The temperature was cooler but the sun was shining all day.
We decided it would be a great day to go to the Borough Market – one of the biggest in England with over a 100 individual stalls including fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, meat and fish. We walked up and down the aisles through the many stalls to see and taste the different culinary delights.
You could feel a real sense of pride in their products. The fact that many of them make, grow or rear the produce they sell shows the quality and the foods that we sampled along the way were the proof. In fact we were surprised when we walked past Ted’s Veg sign that said that all of the veggies were fresh from the farms in Lincolnshire – that is where we live. So we had to stop in and tell them that we are from Lincoln and they said, “you do not sound like you are from Lincoln,” so we said that we are originally from Southern California but we are living in Lincoln for the past five years. Then we all started to laugh and realised what a small world it really is.
The market has a vibrant and friendly atmosphere and an energy that only a market crowed with people eating and shopping and taking in the ambiance can create.
Just look at the many varieties of mushrooms and the beautiful presentation. Mushrooms have so many medicinal qualities and Steve & I eat lots of them.
Borough Market is known as London’s oldest fruit & vegetable market.
After a relaxing lunch of fresh and authentic falafel, we were ready to go explore another area of London.
We walked across the London Bridge taking in the skylines of both sides of the Thames River. Here you can see a variety of different shaped buildings, including the recognizable Gherkin.
Here is the Shard, the newest and tallest building in Western Europe, among the other unique-shaped glass buildings.
We continued to walk a good distance, and then we walked across the Tower Bridge.
We took the tube to Knightsbridge Station which brought us right outside Harrods – one of my favourite stores.
I needed and earned (from walking miles a day across London) my ice cream sundae fix, not just any ice cream sundae but a Morelli’s ice cream sundae – probably the best ice cream in the world (second is a place in France and third is a place in Italy). I had this ice cream sundae in Harrods once before on our first visit to London after we moved to England almost five years ago.
I will try to put into words my ice cream sundae experience and describe just how incredibly delicious it was. The layers of different chocolate ice creams, whipped cream, whole hazelnuts, a floating chocolate cup filled with a special chocolate sauce, and a chocolate Flake (the chocolate stick coming out of the whipped cream) all creating a variety of textures and tastes that exploded in my mouth with every spoonful and filled my taste buds with unbelievable sensations. This ice cream experience is one of my many food fantasies. I do save it for special occasions, however I will not leave that much time in between the next one. Is it time yet?
After pulling me away from the Morelli’s Ice Cream Shop we headed over to the housewares department to check out the new Dyson vacuum cleaner, as well as to get some kitchen and dining room ideas for our house in France (that is in the process of being built).
On our walk back, we stopped for dinner at an Italian restaurant just down the street from our hotel. As we sat waiting for our meal we noticed that there were mostly Americans in the restaurant (we could tell by their accents – ha ha) No we have not lost our Californian accent but we are used to hearing English accents. All the American accents are probably due to the fact that it is close to all of the American hotels in the Kensington area – the Marriott, Crown Plaza, Best Western and more. It was funny hearing so many American accents. We sat next to a couple that just happened to be from Southern California! We got excited and began talking with them. By the time we finished dinner we know their whole life story. As we left we said “Have a nice day,” a very American saying.
It was another great day in London – we walked we talked we ate we shopped. It was now time to go back to our hotel for a good night’s sleep to get us ready for the last day of our wonderful weekend in London.
Being Sunday, we decided to have a well-deserved sleep-in and a late breakfast. We checked out of hotel but left our luggage there for the day. The weather was still being good to us so we took a boat ride up and down the Thames River, from Embankment to Greenwich, home of Greenwich Mean Time, the centre of the world’s time zones, created there because of the shipping industry. As the day went on the weather got cooler and the clouds began to move across the sky without raining on us and allowing the sun to shine throughout the afternoon.
We got off of the boat at Greenwich, went through to the Visitor’s Centre where we learned some interesting facts about the area. We then headed to the High Street. It was lined with nice shops, specialising in unique art, jewellery and sweets and yes, the Greenwich Market. It was different from the Borough Market in that it was smaller and had more than just food. In addition to the fresh foods and veggies and fruits there were handmade crafts, pictures, jewellery and more. It was now lunch time so back onto the High Street in search of a restaurant. I had a taste for something different, like Mexican food. We crossed the street and amazing as it seems we ended up right in front of a little Mexican restaurant. It didn’t look like much from the outside but as it turned out they made the best Mexican food in England. It was a family-owned business. They were so friendly, the service was great and it was the best Mexican food that we had eaten since moving to England.
It was now time to take the boat back to Embankment and then the tube to the Marriott Kensington to pick up our luggage and take the tube to the train station – Kings Cross. Steve had not seen the renovations that were done to Kings Cross, which were a combination of renovation and modernization. It was now time to board the train and Steve surprised me with a First Class train ride back to Lincoln. After they served us dinner we sat back and relaxed and reminisced about our fabulous (long) weekend in London.
Great weather, good energy, so much excitement – it was all that I wanted it to be and more. With all that we fit into these four days we still have things that we want to see and do. I am looking forward to another trip to London sometime this summer.