BEGIN London | Corina's Corner

London

3.06.2017


Oh how I love London! We thought we'd tack a few days on the end of our trip in London before heading back home. It was great to be in London again with the knowledge from our last visit because we were able to orient ourselves fast and get around town quickly. We knew how the Tube worked, knew a few places we wanted to revisit, and were easily able to find our Airbnb (and we knew that we'd be able to survive without a European Sim Card, thanks to offline Google Maps!). This made London the most relaxing part of our trip. I loved that we were able to check off a few things from our original London list, things that we didn't have time to do last time.

We got to London at about 2:15 and headed straight to the TKTS booth at Leicester Square. If we were going to see a show in London, that night was the only one we would be able to (they don't do shows on Sundays). They didn't have any amazing deals for the shows I was interested in and knew Jordan would enjoy (like Phantom of the Opera, Matilda, Half a Sixpence, Lion King, Aladdin, etc...). I had tried to buy some tickets to Half a Sixpence online but got an error right before the sale was completed both times I tried. In my searches though, I found out that sitting in the Balcony Slips was a STEAL of a deal. They are a great deal because they are restricted view seats meaning there is a railing right in front of your seats. This didn't cause any problems for us in seeing the show however there wasn't very much leg room). The tickets were only £11, compared to the £100 tickets in the Stalls. So we headed to the Noël Coward Theatre to see if any of the slips tickets were still available. Luckily, they were! So we bought some for later that night.

Finally, we headed to our Airbnb to drop off our bags and freshen up. We stayed in Notting Hill this trip in the cutest little flat. It was a great value and perfect for just the two of us. After a quick Facetime call with our girls we headed out to catch a glimpse of Big Ben before it got dark. From Westminster we headed to Buckingham Palace where we witnessed the most beautiful pink/purple sunset. Truly amazing. We still had a little bit of free time before dinner time so we walked over to see Clarence House (I recently finished the first season of The Crown and wanted to see this house).

We got dinner in Leicester Square at a Mexican restaurant, Chiquito, before heading back to the theater for the show. Like I mentioned earlier, our seats were super cheap because they were very high and on the side. We were thrilled to be there at all so that it wasn't a big deal for us. I was sold on Half a Sixpence because the new story was written by Julian Fellows with the music by the same guys who did the stage adaptation of Peter Pan and Mary Poppins, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. It sounded like a magical combination, and it was. It was really neat to be sitting "above" the action because we were able to really see the revolving stage. It was a fun show and I'm glad to report that Jordan enjoyed it too.

After the show we couldn't resist a stop at Shake Shack back in Leicester Square, for a London Fog Concrete and some fries. After our midnight snack we strolled back to the Tube via Chinatown, which had the most amazing paper lanterns hung up because of the recent Chinese New Year.

The next morning we awoke early to head to church at the Hyde Park Chapel at 9. We really enjoyed our time there, especially our time exploring the various multimedia experiences in the visitors center after sacrament meeting. We were quite floored with the history of the chapel itself, specifically how the land was purchased in the 50's even though no members lived within a number of miles. That contrasted with how much foot traffic that beautiful building received during the 2012 Olympics is incredible. It was truly foresight that could only have been received and carried out by a prophet of God. Amazing. I also really liked learning about the history of the church in England because I often only think about the history of the church in America. Honestly, the history of the church in American is largely due in part to the history and reception of the church in England. Without those faithful pioneers our church wouldn't have grown or spread the way it did. I also was impressed by the number of current/former apostles who had large ties to England (Elder Ballard, Elder Holland, and Elder Cook all served missions in England, and Elder Hales was a mission president in England, and while I was thinking about it I remembered that President Hinckley served a mission there too!).

The remainder of our itinerary was a combination of wanderings and checking off a few things from our London Bucket List. We leisurely got brunch at L'eto, which was tasty and then headed to Harrods to buy a few gifts and souvenirs. From there we took a bus to Oxford Circus to go to Liberty. I had heard about this store but wasn't quite sure what it was going to be like. I thought it was going to be like Harrods but it was BETTER. I LOVED their fabric and almost splurged on some $60 fat quarters but then decided against it. Another thing on our list last time that got skipped was Sherlock Holmes's house on Baker's Street. I told Jordan how ironic it was to be visiting a very literal building and home of a very fictional character.

After visiting 221b we headed back to the flat to rest before taking on a Colorful Notting Hill Tour, which I loved and which will be it's own post on a different day. After our stroll around Notting Hill we had dinner at Nando's, which was SO yummy, went back to the flat and watched the movie Notting Hill while we packed up our bags for our departure the next morning. Watching Notting Hill, in Notting Hill, after walking all over Notting Hill was pretty much perfect. Plus Jordan had never seen it! It was a fun trip and I'm so thankful we were able to escape, just the two of us, for a week together in such a great place.

2 comments:

  1. So awesome!! I love reading your travel posts! I hope we can be that adventurous some day! What made you go so spontaneously? Did you suddenly find super cheap tickets?

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  2. I think you took that fabric picture for me!! :) haha love all of this!

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