London Calling! My husband and I are lucky enough to have family all over the world: Venezuela, Israel, England, France, Spain, Morocco, Canada, and more. We’re a veritable Model UN of relatives. Our goddaughter happens to live in London, and we delight in getting to visit her yearly. Because of timing, and an overbooked year, it turned out that we only had time for a weekend jaunt to the sweet Thames.
(top left) What would a trip to the UK be without some Fish & Chips, malt vinegar, and mushy peas? (bottom left) While passing Buckingham Palace, the queen was in residence and all the pomp and circumstance was on full display.
We “fooled time” and were able to see The Tate Modern, The National Gallery, The Globe, Borough Market, The Golden Hinde (Sir Francis Drake’s pirate galleon), have dinner at sketch Sketch (délicieux!) and even spent a ton of quality time with our family. Even stranger? This was my first time in London without rain! The skies were as blue as can be, the weather was almost tropical, and it felt like a tropical island.
(top left) The George Inn has been around since 1677 and is said to have hosted both Dickens and Shakespeare for meals, (top right) At the Royal Academy someone placed a beautiful, fresh wreath around the stature in the middle of the square, (bottom left) Oh the classic, red Telephone Booth! Many have now become libraries and wifi stations, how cool. (bottom right) The famous Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, is an 87-story skyscraper in the London Bridge Quarter.
(top left) St. James’s Square is the only square in the exclusive St James’s district of the City of Westminster. It has predominantly Georgian and neo-Georgian architecture and a private garden in the center. In the garden we found amazing burnt wood and bronze sculpture by Aron Demetz. (top right) No summer trip to London is complete without a Pimm’s and Lemonade. The historical drink has become synonymous with British festivals, weddings, and sporting events – especially the tennis at Wimbledon. So refreshing.
- For brunch or a pub dinner – The Grazing Goat in Marylebone near Marble Arch. I used to live nearby and went very often. It’s especially good with nice weather because you can sit outside on a quiet street.
- If you’re touristing around in central London, I can say that most pubs that you pop into for lunch would be pretty good and will serve things appealing to kids – fish and chips, pies, burgers. Also, I think a lot of people go to some of the nicer chains like Cafe Rouge (French), Leon (Fresh Fast Food), Byron (Burgers) and Carluccio’s (Italian) – it’s all very consistent food, not horribly expensive.
- Tayyabs – very authentic Punjabi cuisine with an accessible atmosphere. Service is curt but they can help suggest orders. If you want beer to cool down the Indian food, pick it up at a convenience store on the high street before you get to the restaurant. They don’t serve alcohol and the street the restaurant is on doesn’t have anywhere to buy.