London, baby!

I am finally getting around to recapping our trip to London and Iceland, which we went on for two weeks at the end of April, beginning of May. Our first stop was London! Even though Eric and I have been to Europe twice before (once in 2010 for our big 3 week backpacking trip and again in 2014 when we went to Ireland & Scotland) we had never been to London so we were very excited to check it out.

Day 1Β 

We arrived around noon on Thursday, April 27 so we immediately took the train into the city and to Notting Hill tube station. We couldn’t get into our Air BnB until 3pm so we headed to a pub nearby to eat and Eric was excited to try some English beer. I have to admit, not being able to drink in London was not fun!

At 3pm we checked into our Air BnB which was this adorable little loft apartment right on the edge of Notting Hill. The location was amazing – so central and super super close to the tube station! The loft apartment itself was just OK. The bathroom was small and cramped and the bed was not comfortable. Also, as Eric said a few times, we are too old to be climbing a ladder to get to bed πŸ˜‰ However, in a city like London location is everything so we can’t complain too much.

After showering and getting settled my brother and his friend Kyle who were in London at the same time as us met up with us and we all jumped on the underground to go explore the Picadilly Circus area.

After a bit of exploring we decided to check out a local brewpub – the Temple Brew House. The atmosphere in this place was so cool! Highly recommend it.

Since I wasn’t drinking beer I just took photos of Eric drinking beer the whole trip πŸ˜›

And we finished off the night at a different pub listening to live music, which was just OK but got sooo busy by the time we left!

Day 2

Day 2 in London was an early morning for us as Eric had booked us 9:30am tickets for Warner Bros Studio Tour – Harry Potter TourΒ and it was an hour train ride from our place. Well worth the hour train ride though because it was a really awesome tour!

It was sooo cool seeing the sets from the Harry Potter movies!

And I enjoyed my only “beer” of the trip – butterbeer!

After a very full morning at the studio tour we got back to our Air BnB around 1pm and immediately crashed!! After a 3 hour nap, we jumped back on the tube and headed across the river to meet my brother and his friend Kyle at the Borough Market, which was one of my favourite places we visited in London!

I love markets of all kinds and this one did not disappoint. It had some amazing ethnic food booths (we had delicious Ethiopian food) and a bunch of other cool stuffs. If you are in London I highly recommend checking it out.

We then spent a couple of hours wandering around and going to a couple more microbreweries.

Hanging out with boys is soooo fun πŸ˜›

We finished off the day by going to the top of the London Shard.

Day 3

Day 3 was play day! The whole reason we were even in London in the first place was because in October 2015 Eric got us tickets to Harry Potter & the Cursed Child. He got up at 4am the day they released tickets for the first time and the earliest he could get them for was April 2017!!

I started the day off with a scone at the adorable coffee/bakery just around the corner from our Air BnB and then we wandered around Notting Hill for a bit – such an adorable neighbourhood!

We also wandered through Portobello Road Market on our way to breakfast, which was another super cool market area but soooo busy! It is the place to be on Saturday mornings in London apparently.

After a full English breakfast we headed back to our Air BnB to get changed for the play. Eric went in full Harry Potter ‘dress’ πŸ™‚

My thoughts on the play? Really, really well done. The production was incredible and it was amazing to be back in the Harry Potter world again. I also just loveeee live theatre.

However, I would definitely say it was a bit on the long side. It started at 2pm and we didn’t get out of there until 10pm (there was about a 2 hour intermission in between Part I and Part II but still I was tireeeeeed by the end). Also, I really really wish I hadn’t read the book. My brother, Eric and Kyle had NOT read the book and they did not know about the twists and turns that were coming which made the play even more exciting for them. However, since I knew about them it wasn’t as exciting. So in hindsight, I should have waited to read the book/screenplay until afterwards. Live and learn!

Day 4

Day four was our final full day in London. My brother and his friend Kyle arrived in London a few days before us so they left this day and Eric and I used it as our explore / see the main sights day.

We started it off by having an ah-ma-zing brunch just a few blocks away from our Air BnB. This was seriously the best french toast I have ever had!

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After filling our bellies with this amazing feast we started walking. We walked through Hyde Park and past Kensington Palace until we made it to Buckingham Palace!

And then we headed over to see Big Ben!

20,000 steps later, we decided to jump on the tube for the rest of our sight seeing. We went to Chinatown for some Dim Sum. I loved London Chinatown, it was such a cool area to wander through!

Day 5Β 

We didn’t fly out until 1pm on Day 5 so I had one last delicious scone breakfast – seriously a scone with clotted cream and jam, amazinggggg – and then took one last stroll around Notting Hill before we headed for the airport.

And then we hopped on a plane to Reykjavik to spend 9 days exploring Iceland! Those recaps are up next. We enjoyed our time in London, and I really liked the city a lot, but we definitely have found over the last few years of traveling that we are more into visiting rural areas and not so much into visiting big metropolitans. They do all start to feel the same at some point. I don’t really see us going back to London, but you just never know!

Have you ever been to London? Do you enjoy visiting big cities or more rural areas when you travel?Β 

10 Responses

  1. Sam says:

    I love reading these recaps! You and Eric are such savvy travelers and always make the best of every situation. I feel you on the missing out of beer… such little inconveniences now! What an amazing trip, thank you for highlighting all the eats, that, I think, is the best part of traveling. Also, trying to catch a glimpse of “bump” in your pics πŸ˜‰

  2. Jenny says:

    Hi! I’ve been out of action lately and now catching up some blogs and wow, so much has been going on in your life! Congrats on the baby! The UK has such a strong pub culture, I hope you didn’t feel too left out watching Eric enjoy all the beers! I have been to London twice before but only for weekend visits and I haven’t been to Notting Hill or the Borough Market. I did really enjoy China Town and the Olympic Torch passed through when I was there, very cool.

  3. Stephany says:

    Oh gosh, that tour of the Harry Potter sets must have been incredibly cool! I really wish I could have seen the play. I don’t really think I’ll ever read the play, so maybe one day I’ll actually see it. Who knows. I also LOVE that Eric dressed up for the play. That made me smile!

  4. Lori says:

    Such a fun trip! What an amazing adventure! Notting Hill is one of my favorite movies so naturally I appreciate the fabulous location! Reading about the local markets, that sounds like wonderful people watching! I have traveled within the states, not outside, and I prefer the mountains and beaches to large metropolitan areas, DC being the exception. Admittedly I’m somewhat of a city girl since I grew up in Charlotte and I appreciate all the amenities a city has to offer πŸ˜‰ I definitely think it would be fun to see Buckingham Palace!!!

  5. Lisa of Lisa's Yarns says:

    London was my first trip outside North America and I have such great memories of visiting if but it’s a city I don’t feel I need to go back to. I am glad you guys had an awesome time, though! I love Eric’s hp outfit. That is adorable.

    We also tend to enjoy smaller cities and more rural areas. Maui has been perfect because there is hiking and adventures to be had but there is a beautiful beach to enjoy on days when you don’t want to go anywhere. There are a few cities I love visiting though – New York, Paris, and San Francisco!

  6. Wow, what a trip!! And then off to Iceland after that – amazing!

    I have never been to London, but Christopher has. His dad is from England, and came over here as an adult. Christopher has a lot of family in England, so I am sure we’ll make it there sooner than later πŸ™‚

  7. Becky says:

    Looks like a fun time in London! I would love to visit and explore London and surrounding areas.

  8. San says:

    I’ve only been to London for a forced 3-day layover (because of snow) on my way to Germany… I didn’t get to explore as much as I would have liked to, but I definitely want to go back sometime. Looks like you had a great time there… and a Harry Potter Play! Awesome!

  9. […] course, or main reason to go to London was to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Eric had snagged us 2nd row tickets 1.5 years earlier […]

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