We’re back in London! Sorry this post is a bit late, yesterday was amazing but exhausting! It’s so fun to be in London again and it’s even more fun to to taking our mother who has never been here before!
Beginning in January Nick and I began to plot what we could to make our mother’s birthday special. We decided to take her to New York. Then British Airways (which I stalk on a weekly basis) was having an amazing sale and I figured why not trade New York for London as it has been a dream of my mother’s to be in the British capital. We told her about four hours before we were leaving for the airport and she was genuinely shocked!
Judgement-free Boarding Process
As you may remember I’ve had some issues with getting to the gate in time in the past. I was determined that this go-round we’d not have that issue. We got to the airport with plenty of time, checked our bags, then headed to the gate. I noticed that the gate was still full so I decided that we should go get some dinner…
…and the restaurant took forever! So while we weren’t exactly running to the gate, for once, we were still walking very quickly. I saw the British Airways woman who in 2015 said “are you Nicholas and Jessica Pinkston” and I’m pretty sure she recognized us.
The ride on the airbus 380 wasn’t bad until we hit the Atlantic Ocean and were overrun with turbulence. I managed to sleep through much of it but it was a very bumpy ride.
Welcome to London!
We landed and went through UK Border Control with no attitude or issues. The border control agent was so nice and didn’t ask us too many questions because we’d told him that we were taking our Mom to London for the first time and still had some surprises in store.
We picked up our luggage and soon found ourselves on the Tube! The Tube has a certain smell, not necessarily a good smell but also not Paris, and whenever I smell it I know I’m back in London.
There was an issue on the Tube, however, about 15 minutes into our 45 minute ride we were offloaded. It reminded me so much of a morning going to work in Washington that I just to laugh. As a result we had to wait for a train that had enough space and then cram our way onto it for the remaining half an hour of the ride. Nothing like being smushed on the train to make you feel like you’re at home.
Time to Explore!
Our flat this time is in the West End of London, very close to Earl’s Court. The original flat that Nick and I stay at has closed but we were able to find one nearby. We’re staying in a new neighborhood which is exciting as I love exploring new cities on this level.
After dropping our bags and taking a quick nap, we were on the Tube to Green Park. We got off on Piccadilly and took Mom to Patisserie Valerie for a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and two rashers of crispy bacon. There was something so lovely about being back in London again at one of my favorite restaurants. And the tea was so delicious and restorative!
We then took her down New Bond Street for some window shopping and through Burlington Arcade. Next we went to Fortnum & Mason which is a department store in London that was founded in 1707. They have tea! I started my tea collection early and with the good stuff. I really had to restrain myself since it was the first place that we’d shopped and I didn’t want to over do it. Especially since next on the list was the Waterstone’s bookshop where I spent 40 minutes finding some new classics to bring home!
Next we walked through Chinatown to Covent Garden where we got to hear some live music and explore the shops. After that walked to Embankment so that Mom could get the full view of London on the river. We walked along the Thames to Westminster Bridge so that she could see Big Ben.
We then tubed to Earl’s Court and had dinner at Zizzi. While so delicious, I always manage to forget how terribly slow the service is there. We still had to stop by the grocery store before heading back to the flat.
It was a lovely day, and so nice to be back in London!
UP NEXT: We’re headed to East London for the markets! Then we’re having dinner a delicious and posh place for the official birthday celebration