Last week brought my third business trip to the UK in less than 3 months. A full week of workshops outside of London was on the schedule and I planned to stay through till Sunday to enjoy a weekend in London.
The work week was busy – I was glad that on Monday evening a colleague & I had made plans to check out a nearby tavern right on the Thames. Dinner was the best fish & chips I’ve encountered during these recent travels & the setting was a nice respite from the workshops. Throughout the week, I got caught up in World Cup fever as colleagues from multiple countries were in “full on” team spirit.
On Friday afternoon, as work wrapped up a car picked me up to take me into London for some fun. Once again, I enjoyed staying at a great hotel “in the middle of it all” using points from my WI travel. Once I settled into the hotel on Friday afternoon, I walked a couple of blocks to hop on the tube to the Swiss Cottage stop. On the agenda, catching up with a friend from my book club days in Chicago. It had been several years since we had seen each other so there was much catching up to do – in addition to “life” we were also trading book recommendations back & forth.
Saturday was a “full on” tourist day. After enjoying breakfast delivered to my room (thank you concierge status!), it was time to see the city. My first stop was The British Museum. I was there for about 3 hours and yet I know I only skimmed the surface of this amazing collection of artifacts.
After the museum, I strolled down Oxford Street to do some shopping. My main shopping goal was a return to Liberty to get one of their beautiful scarves. Along the way I did a bit of other shopping to pick up treats for family. I arrived at Liberty to signs of big sales – so my plan to get one scarf ended up morphing into picking up 2 of their gorgeous scarves on sale for the price of 1. After shopping, it was back to the hotel – an iced coffee, panini & coverage of the Royal Ascot races provided a respite from the hot day.
Late in the afternoon, I hopped on the tube & headed across the river to the London Eye. It was a gorgeous day to hop into one of the carriages for a “spin around the city.”
From the London Eye, I walked along the River Walk and came across a steel drum performer with a haunting performance of Amazing Grace. A walk across the Jubilee Bridge brought me back towards my hotel. Along the way, I walked past Trafalgar Square and then turned onto Leicester Square.
My goal was dining al fresco in one of the many cafes that line the square. A table at Muriel’s Kitchen provided a lovely end to that goal. My sister texted that I needed to get a slice of banoffee pie to end the day. The restaurant didn’t serve it. Thanks to my iPhone, I googled “banoffee pie near Leicester Square” & saw mention of a cafe in the area – as I walked back towards my hotel I came across the cafe & ordered a slice “takeaway.”
On Sunday morning, the city was just starting to wake up as my car took me back to Heathrow. After being in the middle of such hustle and bustle, it was nice to see the quieter side of the city. The flight home was for catching up on movies and reading…and also for tea time just before landing. I think one or two more UK trips will be on the horizon as the year progresses – I wonder what tourist adventures await on future trips.