Thursday was Hampton Court Palace. The first person interpretation was mind blowing. I have a lot of history in my brain that wasn't there before and it was so much fun to learn it. No spoilers here on how they do it. Go enjoy the learning. Lunch at the cafe in the palace. Dinner that night was a highlight. We wanted to stay close to the hotel and we wanted Indian food so we tried Bombay Brasserie near the Gloucester Road tube station. The food was subtle and delicious. The decor was beautiful. We weren't dressed up but we were treated with courtesy and given great advice on what to try. This is a place to go back to next visit to London.
Friday morning was the V&A Museum with London Walks. One more group of 8. Our guide had us focus on just a few items, things I probably wouldn't have found on my own. It was a perfect way to see this museum in a different light. After lunch at the museum, we went on to the Museum of London. We did a guided walk in the museum focused on post war London. It was fascinating to have a better understanding of the changes that have occurred in London over the past 70 years. I always look at the Anglo Roman section of the museum so we spent some time there before walking over to the Barbican. The high walkway between the museum and the Barbican was a treat, especially not having to descend to the street to move to the restaurant. Dinner at the Gin Joint was delicious and relaxed. The Barbican theatre is steps away in the same building complex so we arrived in plenty of time for the performance of Henry V. We enjoyed the play but the lead wasn't as strong as one hoped. I'm still glad we got to see some Shakespeare during our visit.
Saturday we toured St Paul's in the morning. We toured with a volunteer guide who was wonderful. She took us into places behind the ropes and had a great knowledge of the Church. We had 10 in our tour group, all from England except us. Now I need to get on the list to tour the conservation workshops on our next trip. After lunch at St Paul's we walked over the Millennium Bridge to the Globe. This is always a fun tour as the guides as usually actors or staff of the theatre. We headed over to the Tate Modern next. Lots of interesting art, some of which I don't get at all. Still a chance to expand my mind. Dinner at a pub near the Gloucester Rd tube station, not particularly memorable.
Sunday was back to the V&A. The jewelry exhibit is particularly fine and I needed more time in the Asian galleries. My husband was off looking at ironwork and other metal work. Lunch at the museum and then on to Kensington Palace. I hadn't visited the Palace before and it was fun to see some lovely rooms as decorative arts and architecture are among the things that most interest me. Dinner back at Brutti & Boni.
Monday we headed to the airport, sat around and then found out our flight had been cancelled. We got different stories on why the cancellation. The one I ended up believing was that only 50 people had checked in so it was cheaper to put us up overnight and fly us out the next day. We were put up in a nice hotel at the airport and fed three times. Sitting with our feet up, reading a book wasn't so bad. We made it home safely the next day so all ended well.
Lessons learned -
Have a list of what you want to see, cluster by location so you don't spend all day traveling. Mark up a map to help visualize what you want to see. Don't rush to see it all, be ready to adjust the time you spend depending on your interests. Travel again to see more places and sights.
Every place of interest has a web site, check it out for what to see and do. Look for discounts!
We keep lunch simple, a bowl of soup each and half a sandwich at the cafe where we were visiting. Tea in the afternoon. More interesting choices for dinner.
Oyster cards are easy.
Go have fun and tell us about it so we can share the fun.