Ahh the return to the Mother Land… Brittania… Pommy land… The land of the Queen, tea and the Beatles. I’m back. After a sleepless week on a boat in oh so sunny (and hot) Croatia, I would have had to be the only person on the plane to arrive in London and HAPPILY walk through the sprinkling rain to get to the terminal. Every other British passenger remarking that this is why they hated England, and me frolicking in my first cooler weather since May. I even had to wear a jacket! Those bad boys haven’t even made it out of my bag for months.
First stop, Waitrose. When staying with friends, I like to think that I am not a leeching house guest, so decided to make dinner for my amazing hosts and had dearly missed being able to cook over the last few weeks. Being welcomed into a home by Jamie and Izzy was amazing, and it was so welcoming, homely and pleasant that I simply didn’t want to leave! The weekend with the Bennet-Clarks was fantastic, including Park-Run with the fabulous Rory in tow, exploring the fancy parts of London such as Kensington Gardens and the surrounding shops and cafes, watching movies and drinking countless cups of tea after a too-late Saturday night.
It’s amazing how willing new friends are to become better friends when travelling through cities. When you find something in common, whether it a mutual friend, the same home country or city, supporting the same football club, being in the same profession – whatever it may be, friendships, for some reason, are always concreted so firmly when meeting new people abroad. Through a mutual friend in Australia, I met some absolutely beautiful girls. They took me on a night out in London consisting of Junkyard Golf, followed by Dinerama, and, of course, countless drinks (which definitely had me wishing for the Spanish prices again). Once again, Londoners have it great with 24hour public transport routes, saving me the pricey Uber home!
I properly touristed it up in London. I partook in a free walking tour, run by a proper London local, which I would highly recommend, especially for all those Royals fans out there. Notting Hill, Borough Markets, Convent Garden, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, and Buckingham Palace – including inside! Which would have been amazing if they restricted the numbers a little more, it was simply teeming with tourists. I also explored the Churchill War Rooms, which turned out to be my new favourite attraction in London. I could have explored for days if it weren’t for the imminent closing of the museum. The interactive museum was presented so well, and the depiction of the bunkers, as they would have been in World War II was exceptional and time-transporting. For locals and tourists alike, The Churchill War Rooms are incredible!
I was lucky enough to score some tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!!! I overheard people behind me talking about how they had booked their tickets almost nine months in advance, as I smugly sat thinking about how I had only booked two weeks earlier and got a seat closer to the action. I was ecstatic! I won’t give anything away, I swear J.K. #keepthesecrets, only to say that it was absolutely incredible and made you feel as though you were a part of the Harry Potter World. Yes, I teared up a little, no I’m not ashamed in the slightest. If you have the opportunity, SEE IT.
I stupidly didn’t look at what airport I was flying out of in London, and to be honest, I don’t think that they should be able to say that Southend Airport is even in London. As such, I cut my losses and booked a train to Manchester instead. Far more convenient!