25 October 2013

London: Things We Loved

There were a great many things that unexpectedly took our breath away during our short time in London. It felt as if we managed to do more in just 2 days than most people would fit into a week. If you haven't already read about our awesome adventures exploring the Museums, our open-top bus tour with The Original Tour, or our ride on the London Eye, do have a read!

But here, in no particular order were some other unexpected highlights for us during our whistle-stop tour:

M&M's World

After walking around London with very soggy feet and dodging heavy rainshowers all day, coming upon M&M's World in Leicester Square was quite the breath of fresh air - and ended up being a haven for the better part of an hour. This place is insane - it has four floors of everything M&Ms you can possibly imagine. Cushions, pyjamas, kitchenware, stationery - you name it, they had it.

And if the walls of M&M dispensers in every imaginable colour that you could make up your very own version of pick n mix wasn't mind boggling enough, then on the next floor down the mixing lab where you could choose your own container and mix of colours and have some M&M technicians (so very Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-esque) make it up for you was equally as fascinating.

Double Decker Buses

For some reason in my head I had remembered double decker buses only being in the most central part of London. So it was a surprise to realise that in fact double decker buses are absolutely EVERYWHERE!

Even on our way home from a pub meal out, we managed to take a jolly red double decker bus back to Nikki's flat. The boys were made up that Nikki managed to score a seat at the front of the bus upstairs for them for the journey!

Changing the Guard and the Royal Carriages

When we hopped off the bus tour outside Buckingham Palace, we had no idea we'd time it so well to catch the end of the Changing the Guard. I'd never seen it before so it was quite a fortuitous opportunity. But if that wasn't enough the unexpected sight of royal carriages arriving right in front of us to enter the Palace to meet the Queen who was also in residence was something else!

The Coronet {a Wetherspoon pub}

One of my early memories of living in London is the J.D. Wetherspoon brand of pubs - we had one not too far from our flat in East Ham called The Millers Well. The thing I loved about them was that more often than not they would be housed in quite a glorious setting - like an old theatre such as The Coronet that we went and ate dinner at on our last night in London with Nikki - but still serving cheap and cheerful pub grub at the same time.

London Bobby

We were walking in front of the Houses of Parliament when the opportunity arose to for the boys to have their photo taken with a real-life London policeman.

He was ever so friendly and noticed immediately that Noah was wearing his team GB Olympic T-shirt which made for a good talking point.

Everywhere you look

It's hard to know where to look in London. Around every corner is a great sight. 

One of the things I love about the city is the justaposition of new and old. Behind Big Ben you catch a glimpse of the London Eye.

In front of The Horseguards, there's some fresh-faced tourists.

From the new Millennium Footbridge the newest and highest point in the city, the Shard shares the same sky as historical Tower Bridge.

Thousands of years of history reflected in modern mirrors.

I love that London has remained relatively grounded and isn't overpowered by skyscrapers everywhere - the beautiful skyline remains uninhibited to capture shots such as these.

This was the glory of a city that opened her arms wide and embraced us. It was just 3 short days but it felt as if we became part of this great city during our stay.

Joining in with Cat's Things I'm Loving linky today over at Catalina's Cottage.

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