Today was our last day in London. By the time you read this I’ll be in Phuket.
Over the almost 8 days we were here, the fitbit is telling me that we did around 145,000 steps. That equates, again, according to my fitbit, to at least 90kms. No wonder our feet are sore.
Wherever possible we’ve explored on foot- something made easier by the fact that we were staying:
- 10-20 minutes walk from Victoria Station. The variance depended on whether the trip was at the start or the end of a long day.
- About 2kms to Buckingham Palace
- About the same to Sloane Square in Chelsea
- Not much further than that to Knightsbridge
- Just a couple of blocks from some great reasonable priced restaurants, and the same distance from some absurdly priced ones.
We covered large parts of suburbs on foot, checking out houses, cars, real estate prices…
Take today for example: we caught the tube to Notting Hill Gate. We checked out Jamie Oliver’s concept store (I didn’t even know he had a concept store, but he does) Recipease. They do meals, pizzas, cooking classes, coffee and sell cookbooks and other utensils and bakeware. It’s pretty cool.
Then we walked down to Portobello Road markets and explored the side streets.
There was a busker down there playing the double bass and singing the blues- songs with lyrics like
she took my books and my best friend, now it’s raining on me…
We found a pub on the corner, The Earl of Lonsdale, and celebrated our last lunch in London with pies, chips and beer. Yep, stodgy. It had taken Grant until the last day to find a proper steak and kidney pudd. Nope, I don’t like them either. Then we walked across to Kensington High Street and strolled about a bit down there. If you’re interested in all things real estate, there are a few properties currently on the market for 12.8M GBP. Ouch.
Then there’s stairs, I’m so over stairs! The hotel we were staying in didn’t have a lift (don’t worry, they’ll help you take your bags upstairs), so we climbed a couple of flights to get to our room. The stairs back up from the breakfast room- in the below street level- were so steep we had to almost haul ourselves up them by the handrail. Phew.
Speaking of the hotel, we stayed at the Georgian House Hotel in St Georges Drive. The Royal School of Ballet is on the corner, next door was the Albanian Embassy, but most of the other houses in the street had also been converted to private hotels. In the next row of white houses, almost identical to the one we were staying in, 34 Eccleston Square, was one that Winston Churchill had lived in. How do we know? They have these round blue plaques on houses that important people have resided in. How cool would it be to warrant a plaque? Not that you’d know, because you’d be dead…but you get the idea.
The rooms were small, but not really by London standards. We joked that the bathroom was the smallest we’ve seen outside of a cruise ship, yet it was sleek, functional and full of yummy smelly products by The White House.
The room itself would have been large enough for two, but was cramped for three.
The daybed under the window was converted into a little bed for Sarah. It was tight, but comfy enough.
The high ceilings and impractically tall cupboards made it all seem so much larger.
And the room was beautifully styled.
When we got sick of each other there was a lovely sitting room downstairs where you could have a coffee or a mulled wine. I wrote most of my posts down here before the others woke up each morning.
Considering London prices, it was also relatively good value- although still quite ouchy for 7 nights.
Oh, and it was quiet. Until the last couple of days (when a group of about 10 Spanish girls took over the rest of our floor and the floor above) we really only heard people tramping up the creaky wooden stairs. We were backing onto a courtyard and had no street noise at all.
Anyways, if you want more information on the hotel, here’s the link.
This will be my last post for the British part of our holiday. The last four weeks has flown by, and thanks to all of you who have followed along with me..
We’ve been- on the whole- lucky with the weather. In fact, we were joking that the bad weather was either before or after we’d been somewhere. We’ve had some grey days, some blue days, some snow days, some flipping oh my god it’s freezing days. There’s really only been the one day where it was too wet to do much- and that was the day we spent in Callander up in the Trossachs. London itself has been surprisingly mild, surprisingly fine, surprisingly dry, and surprisingly blue. We had little bits of rain here and there, but not enough to stop us walking in it.
Next stop Phuket- to recover.