Adventures of a Bookworm in London

Posted December 15, 2013 by Debby in Food, Travel

Back in November, while I was on my break from the blog, I went to London. It was my third time going and by far the best trip so far. I’m so lucky to have my best friend living there, because he really knew the best places to take me to. So here’s a semi-short recap, if you’re interested! 🙂

Day 1: Thursday, November 7th

  • My best friend indulged me, and took me to all the bookstores to get it out of the way and so I would stop bothering him about it. OR SO HE THOUGHT. We went to Foyles, Waterstones at Piccadilly Circus and Hatchards, and I bought four books: signed copies of Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, and Ferryman by Claire McFall.
  • As an interlude between the bookstores, he took me to the National Gallery. Free entrance ftw yo. I love that about museums in London. I wish they did that everywhere. Anyway, in particular he wanted to show me this sketch by Leonardo da Vinci, which is totally hidden away in the museum, and everyone usually walks past it. But it’s hidden because it was vandalized once upon a time. Very interesting to see though!
  • We went to Fortnum & Mason, which is like a more kitsch and more British elite version of Harrods. They only carry their own brand of stuff. It was just one of those things you have to see, haha. It’s also near Piccadilly Circus. And I was greatly amused because I was rereading Adorkable at the time and they suddenly referenced Fortnum and Mason.
  • I had the most delicious ice cream in the world at Gelupo. Seriously. It’s like this little store hidden away in an alley, so you have to *know* it’s there, but oh my god. It was absolutely amazing.
  • We had an early dinner at Kimchee, the best freaking Korean restaurant ever, before heading off to see The Phantom of the Opera. It was oh-my-god amazing. Absolutely beautiful. I just… I can’t really say more than that. I’m so happy we went, because that was one of the few big musicals I had never seen before.
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Day 2: Friday, November 8th

  • We visited Hampton Court Palace, just outside of London, the home of Henry VIII and William and Mary. I didn’t even really know about this place and that it was so close to London, but boy am I glad the BFF got me to go. It was just amazing. So much history. We took a guided audio tour, which I highly recommend. The stories are just amazing. We didn’t even really get to do the William and Mary part because it was all so long. You could easily spend an entire day here. (We also didn’t do the outside gardens and maze because it was raining. So. Seriously. A whole day.)
  • We ate at Nando’s. We just had to. Just once. Ever since he moved there, he’s been like, “We need to eat at Nandos sometime!!” It’s just this restaurant where they have grilled chicken with different levels of spicy sauce. I mean, it was good, but not like YOU HAVE TO DO THIS. It’s just a thing. It was also referenced in Adorkable. The Brits love their Nando’s.
  • At the BFF’s college they had a caipirinha party, which was less of a party and more of a social drink. It was pretty fun, there’s some cool people there, but we were exhausted from walking around the palace all day, so we didn’t stay too long.
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Day 3: Saturday, November 9th

  • There was a parade for the Lord Mayor of the City of London! We decided to go but… may not have been the best idea. It was pouring constant rain, and the parade was super long. It consisted of just all kinds of guilds (i.e. the Plumbers’ Guild, the Farmers’ Guild), marching bands, and army regiments; and on and on it went for ages. There was a Doctor Who tribute, with two people who dressed up as Matt Smith and David Tennant and a Cyberman and some such. The Matt Smith impersonator was suspiciously good. Like. I’m not entirely sure it wasn’t really him xD But anyway. The parade was long, it was wet and cold, and eventually the mayor got there and… it was anticlimactic.
  • We went to Borrough Market, which is officially my favorite place in London. It’s a HUGE market where they sell pretty much any kind of food you can imagine. And they make it fresh and everything, so it’s a great place to have lunch. I had an amazing sweet potato and chicken curry, I tried my first ever oyster (it was okay *shrug* don’t get all the fuss), and got super delicious hot cider. But it was just so great. Every time I go to London, I must come back here. I must.
  • We went out for Indian food for dinner! Yeah, I love Indian food, and it’s slim pickings here in Rotterdam, so it was on my “must have” list for London. Don’t judge me. I love food, okay?
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Day 4: Sunday, November 10th

  • We went to Forbidden Planet, this hilarious store of geeky stuff. Imagine all the Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, comic book merchandise you can ever imagine. I dunno, I wanted to see the Doctor Who stuff – I was tempted to buy a sonic screwdriver (no judging) but ended up passing on that. It was all quite expensive, to be honest. But hilarious to see.
  • Then we passed through the Covent Garden market, where most notably I had the most delicious cookie in the world at Ben’s Cookies. I want to marry that triple chocolate chunk cookie. Seriously. Anyway. the market was already made up for Christmas, so it was really cute.
  • We went to Notting Hill, because we were told there would be a market there. But… there wasn’t. So that was a bit of a fail. But it was nice to walk around there anyway.
  • It was Jazz Night at the BFF’s college, so we just had some drinks while listening to one of the students play the piano. Relaxing and wonderful.

Day 5: Monday, November 11th

  • We went to the Natural History Museum, which is seriously amazing. The building alone, its architecture, is absolutely beautiful. But the exhibits are also very interesting. An original copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, a dodo’s skeleton… I loved it!
  • And then it was time for me to head to the airport and fly back home!
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Anyway. I seriously had an amazing time. In the meantime we already have a list of like 8 things we need to do on my next trip to London, which the BFF is insisting will be next summer. But we’ll see about that.

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7 responses to “Adventures of a Bookworm in London

  1. I went to Hampton Court palace during our school trip and I loved it! So pretty 😀 Borrough market is new to me, but it sounds like a place I’d love to visit. The same for Gelupo, because I love ice cream. Ben’s cookies sound delicious <3 I really want to go to the Natural History Museum! And I want to visit all the book stores of couse. My boyfriend & me are thinking about going to London for our first vacation together. I want to see it all, so thanks for sharing :D!

  2. Ahhhhhh. Meant To Be made me DYING to go to London and this post isn’t making it better, thanks. Wait, museums are FREE? I need to goooo. And I want to see the Phantom of the Opera REALLY BAD. And ugh. Jealousy. :’)

  3. I’m glad you had an amazing trip to London! I’m sincerely jealous because I’ve never been to London, but have wanted to go there since the 6th grade. I’m hoping it happens by 2015, really, and you can be sure I’m going to hit you up for suggestions on where to go and what to do and what to eat 😉

  4. I was just browsing back through and I stumbled across this. I’ve been living in London for just over a year no and I still get so excited about it!! I also work for a study abroad college with American students so I am frequently shouting at them GO TO ALL THE AMAZING FREE MUSEUMS. GO NOW AND LEAVE MEEEE.


    Most of all I am so so so happy that you loved Hampton Court! I went there on a trip with students and it just so happened to be on a rare heavy snow day. Although the snow meant we couldn’t go into the gardens, words cannot express how eerie but magical it was. The snow also meant that it was fairly empty, which just increased the atmosphere. I should really dig out my photos!

    How often do you get to come over? I’ll try and think of a ton more cool things XD If you loved Hampton Court you should definitely check out the Tower of London. I prefer Hampton because it’s a bit less obvious but the sight of the tower beside the bridge *sigh*

    I’ll stop waffling now!

    • I’ve already been to the Tower of London. And I dunno, I’ve been three times in the past three years or so, but the next time is probably next summer. After that my best friend might move so then the visits would slow down. I already have a giant list for the next trip though, but thanks!