Village girl and the big city

That’s right ladies and gentleman I have finally visited the big city where I have been craving to visit nearly the whole of my life… It’s london! Strange isn’t it! I’ve travelled to twenty one countries at the age of twenty but never actually adventured to London.  But now I can say that I have! 

I had an amazing couple of days with my mum, who treated me to a fantastic couple of days.  We woke up early Monday morning and began our journey from Blakedown (worcestershire) to Birmingham from Birmingham to London Marleybone.  We arrived at roughly half 11, and quickly got our oyster cards (posh) and hoped onto the subway.  The Oyster card was an experience in itself let alone the Underground.  Although my poor mum spent quite a bit of cash on the oyster card, it felt like a credit card when you just scan it through the barrier.  The subway was fantastic, I loved it and could see myself on the early commute into work every morning with my Starbucks coffee.  It wasn’t that busy and we soon got used to hopping on and off and finding our next platform.  

We stopped off at Leicester Square, and we wasted no time getting a ticket for a show that evening.  Word of advice don’t be tempted by the shops you see advertising half price tickets.  They overcharge you on tickets! Go to the official box office which is in Leicester Square.  They have excellent ticket prices and can recommended the good shows and the good seats.  We booked to see ‘Once’ a musical!  

We then went for lunch at Bella Italia, because my mum used her tesco club card points for vouchers.  The meal was lovely and I had a chicken and sweetcorn pizza… my fave! We then had a walk around and began our journey to the Premier Inn where we were staying.  We were staying at the new premier Inn which opened on Red Lion street in Holborne.  The hotel had just opened that day so we were the first ones to stay in that room! When you switched all the lights on there was a purple glow which came from the back of the head board.. it was magical.  We dumped all our bags got dressed and continued to wonder the streets of London.  Although we were yet to purchase anything, I enjoyed taking in the atmosphere and just watching the people walk around minding their own business.  We walked to Piccadilly circus walked round for a while trying to find a restaurant near our theatre and came across a little goldmine.  It was a quirky little Italian on the back streets, with not many seats and waitresses that could hardly speak english.  The food was delicious, I would definitely recommend.  I took a picture of the menu so I wouldn’t forget the place.  I had bruchetta to start followed by Spaghetti Napoleon, which was nicely swallowed down with a glass of white wine.  We walked from the restaurant to the theatre just in time to go to the loo and book our interval drinks.  

We walked into a bar on stage with the cast singing and playing instruments to folk music and crowds of people surrounding them watching and listening.  I won’t tell you what the show is about, but although I was a little unsure at the start.. this is a must see broadway hit.  ‘Once’ is about a struggling busker who meets a Czech girl and they fall in love with the music and each other.  I almost bought the C.D because the songs were that catchy, but £16 for a C.D seemed a little too much.   To have a listen to the sound track click here 

After the show we tried to walk back to the hotel but got lost on the streets of  London.  We took a taxi and I bumped into the lead actor in the musical and praised him on his performance and the show.  (he was quite good looking too).  The taxi man forgot to put the meter on so just charged us a fiver, which was nice of him.  We got back to the room, put our pj’s on and quite literally fell asleep! 

The next day we woke early to have breakfast in the little cafe opposite.  I had a full english for £5 which I thought was quite decent, with fresh orange juice.  As I looked out the window I saw the commuters with their coffees, newspapers and trainers.  Everyone in London seems to wear trainers and I think I can see why as my feet are in a lot of pain.  We then went to look down leather lane, which I had heard was pretty good.  Unfortunately I was a little dissapointed, but I think this was because we came to early.  My mum got a new top from a market stall which had Topshop, New look and Peacock clothes so cheap.  We then popped into a charity shop, because I heard London charity shops are amazing, and wanted to find out for myself! They are, I returned with an oversize Topshop jumper for £4 BARGAIN! 

My mums feet were killing her so she insisted on buying some ugly shoes from newlook, to give her feet a rest of the heels that she had decided to wear.  We walked to a shop called Stamfords which is a travel shop.  If you know me then you would understand that I am obsessed with travel and maps.  And this place was full of it, three floors of maps! I was in heaven, although my bank balance wasn’t in agreement and I left empty handed.  

We then ventured round London, got our bags and took the tube to go see Buckingham palace.  When we finally arrived we were greeted at St James’s park with old style beach loungers.  We stumbled upon Buckingham palace, which took us a couple of moments to realise it was Buckingham palace.  We had a nosey through the gates and then sat at the fountain opposite people watching.  We then walked which what felt like miles to find Harrods, when we finally came across it, I was too tired to even look at the ridiculously expensive handbags.  We looked in H & M, which looked so much different to the one back home, although the same merchandise the layout made it look so sophisticated.  We then went to National Geographic, where I was in ore of the maps (map obsessed girl).  It was fantastic! We received very slow service from the waitress for our cranberry juice.  We then ran to the tube station to get to London Marleybone to take our train home.  We had to top up our oyster once again and ran up and down the tube stairs.. to find out that we had missed our Super off peak train.  Resulting in my poor mum paying for a ticket upgrade.  After two hours and sore feet, we arrived home and plonked ourselves on the sofa reflecting on a very amazing couple of days.  

Take a look at my snapshots! 

london

Best ticket office in London (my momma)

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Map floor in ‘Stanfords’ (my foot) 

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My mum in the hotel

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‘Once’ theatre tickets

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London double decker

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The Underground

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Map heaven at Stanfords

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Leicester square 

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Stanfords- Best Travel shop in the world 10588912_10153063060978626_1126459306_n

The bar at the theatre for the play ‘Once’ 10524443_10153064879693626_498790044_n

Buckingham palace 10589061_10153064915703626_1997015836_n

St James’s Park 10608814_10153064922083626_259097725_n

Momma and I at the fountain people watching 10565959_10153064918378626_610526437_n

Buckingham Palace 10592420_10153064917943626_620200415_n

Momma and I at Buckingham Palace 10602806_10153064996313626_284621789_n

War memorial 10592082_10153065047423626_825452903_n

Mum walking with her new ugly shoes 10592174_10153065895848626_512961312_n

Fountain opposite the palace 10615663_10153065436558626_1352746551_n

Map wall at the National Geographic 10592025_10153065436693626_777422175_n

National Geographic 10588854_10153065894343626_781530102_nMe having a fantastic time in London in front of a map!! 

 

I had an amazing time in London and cannot wait to return to the hustle and bustle.  I know for a fact that London is a place I want to live, and can’t wait to finally move there and experience the fantastic lifestyle that London has to offer.  

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5 Comments

  1. 18/08/2014 / 20:00

    It’s so strange to read another’s perspective on London- I can tell you, after a year of living here, I’m still in awe of the city. I really hope you a get a chance to experience London living at some stage, it really is the best place in the world 🙂

  2. 18/08/2014 / 20:05

    Ooh in the meantime, quick tip- instead of topping up on oyster card, you can actually purchase a daily travel card for £8-8.90 which allows you to travel on the tube zones 1-6, DLR, overground and buses, really handy if you’re just here for a quick trip to buy one each day. You can also buy weekly and monthly ones too!

    • 19/08/2014 / 10:34

      Ohh thank you! That would save me loads of money, felt like I had an endless credit card. Where abouts do you live in London? It’s so expensive, been looking to live just outside, but no idea where to start looking.
      Thank you for the comment x

      • 23/08/2014 / 21:47

        No problem at all, I was guilty of waving the Oyster around like an American-Express card myself for the first month..it’s just one of many things you figure out as you go along!
        I’ve just returned after a long summer break so I’m living in Barnes atm which is South West, I lived in Stratford (East) previously. It can be soo expensive, house/flatshares are the most affordable option without a doubt. Commuting is another option but travel costs have to be considered too, it really is a case of research and luck. You’d be sure to find something decent for a reasonable price though, don’t be put off! 🙂

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