Saturday in London
Remember when I was bear hunting around Birmingham? Four of the bears were sponsored by London Midland and offered free single day return tickets to either Liverpool or London. Luke and I made sure to find all four bears and we each got 4 tickets to use before the 10th of December! Since we had free tickets, we decided to use two of them to commute down to the Big Smoke to get Chipotle at the end of September. There are 3 London locations and while I definitely didn't want to go when someone suggested it on my first trip to England back in 2016, now it's a welcome taste of home! But that only takes up 30 minutes, doesn't it? So we decided to spend the rest of the day exploring the city.
Before we left, I checked out my post from my trip in July, 10 Items for a Day Trip to London (also good for exploring any major city mostly by foot) to make sure I had everything. Since the weather was going to be pretty mild all day with a chance of showers in the evening, I just packed my rain coat. (I still don't have an umbrella. Yeah, I know, it's crazy.) I packed my portable charger, a few plasters, hand sanitizer, chapstick, and water. The one thing I didn't do? Comfy shoes. And boy did I regret it. Halfway through our time in London, my feet were starting to ache. I knew I could power through, but eventually everything hurt. Later, I discovered I had massive blisters on my little toes and two days later, my legs were still sore and tender. That was a huge mistake and one I hopefully won't make again! I've had so much success wearing my Allbirds while walking a city, I should know better by now.
Anyway, we beelined straight for Chipotle when we got to Euston Station, but we didn't have any plans after, so we mostly just wandered around. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
We walked through Covent Garden after lunch and popped into Petersham Nurseries, a shop I had seen on Instagram. It has a lot of home decor items as well as beautiful plants. Everything was so gorgeous! I've never wanted to buy a duster so badly!
We decided to walk to Kensington Palace and took a long way there. We stumbled upon a gorgeous mews in Paddington that was lined with gorgeous facades.
We walked through Kensington Gardens and even sat by the lake for a while. We spent some time outside of the Palace, but didn't want to pay to go in or wait in the long line to get a tea. Instead, we spent more time wandering the grounds and saw the White Garden that was planted in remembrance of Princess Diana earlier this year.
At this point, we were more than ready to sit down for a bit and have a tea. We decided to check out a place I had been to before, but only to pop in and see the biscuits. We walked to Biscuiteer's Boutique in Notting Hill and ordered a cream tea. (Cream tea refers to the scones, cream, and jam that you would have with a tea.) We didn't have the best experience with service. (The shop girl was rude and it took nearly 45 minutes to get our scones and tea, despite being told it would be about 15 minutes.) Regardless, we welcomed a chance to sit for a bit longer and did enjoy the table we were able to grab. It's a cute little shop with amazingly beautiful biscuits and apparently word is out that it makes for a great photo op, but I'm not sure that I'm in a rush to go back any time soon.
We decided to grab dinner before heading back on the train. I suggested Shake Shack to keep in theme with our American day. I had been there once before in New York City, but I honestly can't decide if I like it better than In-N-Out because I have both so infrequently. While we were waiting for our food, I started chatting with a couple next to me who was visiting from Utah. I'm quite pleased to say that I gave them at least one usable London tip. (Check service times before going to Westminster Abbey because they don't allow tourists all the time.) After we ate, we beelined for the station to catch a train back. By the time we got home, we were both exhausted and achey, but it was worth it.