Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday List #14

Regular readers of my blog know that I am a serious Anglophile, the UK is my favorite travel destination. During my most recent trip in 2009 I spent weeks at the University of Oxford and also a couple of weekends in London and Windsor. I'm thinking of spending a quick weekend in London this fall either before or after I spend 2 weeks volunteering in Spain and in planning my trip, here is my list of 5 of my favorite things to do in London.
  1. St. Martin in the Fields. This iconic church across from Trafalgar Square is one of my favorite places in London. While my Mom and I were in London during my time at Oxford we often found our way to St. Martin in the Fields for a meal and concert. The Cafe in the Crypt serves delicious food at excellent prices, the perfect place to linger before or after a concert or a service.
  2. Walking. I've had some of my favorite afternoons in London by just walking, wonderful restaurants, coffee shops, cemeteries, parks, people...
  3. Eat. Remember years ago when England had a bad rap for food. Ya right, it's not just fish and chips or an English breakfast anymore. The island that has produced some of the biggest chefs in the world (Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver) has produced even better local chefs with family run restaurants and food stands. Oh and don't get me talking about Indian food in London, my mouth is watering. One of my favorite dining experiences, I wandered into a "restaurant" in a tiny room above a shop off Portobello Road about 10 years ago and had the best grilled cheese sandwich of my life. Lots of farm fresh English cheese, crusty bread and fresh herbs...simply fantastic, I've never forgotten it.
  4. Visit the dead. They are everywhere. Monuments at the parks, overgrown spooky cemeteries, plaques on the walls where the famous lived and died, portraits hanging in the museums and galleries. With the exception of New Orleans, I have yet to visit a City that has more relationships with their dead than London (Paris is close).
  5. Drink. Tea or beer. Both are practically an art form. I've spent many a day wandering from hotel to restaurant to shops...drinking tea along the way. Oh and don't pass up the scones with clotted cream and jam. I still think about the scones my Mom and I had at a riverfront cafe in Windsor. Join the English tradition, you can't avoid it and you won't get a better "cuppa" anywhere.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty good list. I do a fair bit of walking around London and after 12 years I'm still discovering new places or rediscovering old places.
Highgate Cemetery and the Sir John Soames Museum are two of my favourites.