So last weekend my American friend Charity came to town! She was only going to be in London for less than 24 hours so I knew we had to pack in as much fun stuff as possible! Charity is the most fun and adventurous and enthusiastic person I know! If you don't believe me go check out her blog, her love of life is contagious! and so I knew we were going to have to make our time together count! and man alive (to steal an Eyre family phrase) did we have fun!
First stop was Portobello Rd, and I'm not too sure we paid that much attention to all the cute little stalls because we were SO busy being chatterboxes and catching up on what's been going on in our lives since we last saw each other 2 years ago! but we did have time to snap this pic in front of those lovely coloured buildings!
Next up we headed to Bea's of Bloomsbury at One New Change, St.Pauls. Here is Charity being ever so English with her pot of blackcurrant tea! Can you believe she had never experienced an Afternoon Tea before so I wanted to introduce her to this British tradition!
There is nowhere else in England I'd rather have afternoon Tea than at Bea's...because the amount of goodies they bring you on your platter is ridunculous!! Typically an afternoon tea consists of sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream and cake. Here is what we got with ours:
Mini baguettes with goats cheese and ham, and sundried tomatoes
Homemade Scones with lashings of jam and clotted cream
Treats: Carrot cake cupcake, valrhona brownie, belgian blondie, passionfruit meringue, mango marshmallow and my fave of the lot were some giant lime and coconut marshmallows (all homemade to perfection!)
After we were more than sufficiently stuffed, we headed down to the Southbank where we took in this lovely view from the viewing deck at the top of the Oxo tower.
We passed some cute little decorated beach huts along the fake beach front which we thought were rather cool...
and then we found this awesome ride which had to be one of the highlights! I have seen swing rides at fun fairs plenty of times before, but never one that lifts you high into the air and THEN swings you round!! It was really quite an experience!
Especially because of where it was situated!! We were swinging high above the Thames just loving all those sights we were taking in...like the London Eye, and Big Ben that you can see behind Charity in this pic! It even started to go backwards half way round, and let me tell you that was a whole experience in itself!!
We had to take the obligatory shots in front of all the tourist spots!
Luckily for us, the weather actually turned out pretty good and once some of the clouds cleared there was actually some blue sky under there! so that made a nice change from the Irish weather Charity had experienced in the days preceding London!
I loved this shot of all the signs to help the tourists find their way, with the London Eye just peeking into view!
As the sun was setting we wondered over to Buckingham Palace and snapped this pretty pink sky behind this statue just in front of the Palace.
Charity wanted to go check out Hyde Park..so what better way to do it then to hire some of Boris' (our mayor of London) Barclays bikes! It costs £1 to get one out and as long as you just use short journeys and return the bikes to other docks within 30 minute periods it's totally free!
So after cycling around the park for a while we decided to be brave and head down Oxford St!
It was surprisingly less scary than we expected it to be! The buses behaved, and it actually turned out to be alot of fun! Even at gone 9pm London was buzzing and it was so fun to be in the middle of all the hustle and bustle! The pic above is Charity at Oxford Circus.
We finished our bike ride at Picadilly Circus where a nice fellow tourist snapped this pic for us.
We headed to the M&M store to take a few more touristy pics!
Gotta love the M&M guy in his busby!
We returned to the Southbank to take some more shots of Big Ben...this time illuminated!
and here we are with the London Eye in the background, excuse the dodgy pic - I forgot to turn the flash on! Picture taking never runs as smoothly without Byron around!
For our final pic of the night before resting our weary feet, we found a phonebox!
The next morning Byron came and picked us up and we headed south of the river to Borough Market.
It was alot of fun checking out sooo many different food stalls! Charity had never seen such massive meringues before! I took tons more pics but I'm sure you're wondering when this post is going to end so I'll spare you!
We opted for the giant bratwurst, it was seriously delish!
So we bid farewell to Borough Market and to Charity as we dropped her at the station Basingstoke Bound ready for the rest of her U.K tour!
Hopefully next time we see each other it will be on her side of the Atlantic for some California fun!