The word I choose to use to describe our Saturday in London is “comical.” We rode with Fat Tire Bike Tours in Paris and heard that their Thames River ride in London was really great, too. Reservations were required, but we thought we might be able to show up the morning of and still get a spot. The tour was meeting at 10:30 and we searched around the meeting point for about 15 minutes and finally spotted the small group of riders. Did I mention we were about 5 minutes late arriving in the first place? We were denied. Bike tour attempt #1: Fail. I looked at the brochure and noticed they had a Royal Park bike tour at 11:00 am and 3:30 pm daily. Perfect, we’ll catch the 3:30. While killing some time, we rode down the river on the Thames Clipper, a commuter boat in London, to Borough Market. You know my love for Central Market, so you understand how it’s possible that I thought I was entering the gates of food market heaven when we arrived. As I held my jaw in my hand, we walked over to a coffee shop recommended by a friend of mine, Monmouth Coffee Company. The line was out the door and wrapped around the building (a sure sign your world is about to be rocked), but it went pretty fast. I ordered a latte. They aren’t fancy with mocha or caramel or any other add-ons at Monmouth. They just offer a simple latte. I admit that I wondered at one point how great this cup of espresso and milk could really be, but one sip of that latte put me in my place. It was the smoothest, best latte I’ve ever had… and I’ve had a lot of coffee. I highly recommend Monmouth Coffee Company if you’re ever in London. You won’t regret it. We chased our coffee with some amazing Indian food that we saw on our walk over to Monmouth. Indian food would never be my first choice, but I was sold after a small sample. I’m a sucker for free samples.
After Borough Market, we headed closer to the meeting point of the 3:30 bike tour and sat in the park for a while and soaked in the sun and laughter. We walked over to the meeting spot for the 3:30 and slowly realized no one else was showing up. Confused, I glance at the brochure again and notice that I glanced over a minor detail the first time. The 3:30 doesn’t start running until May 15. Bike tour attempt #2: Fail.
We wanted to see a show that night and decided on Priscilla Queen of the Desert. The show was great, but our seats were awful. We bought our tickets from a place in Picadilly Square and realized when we got to the theatre that the decieving woman’s definition of “first balcony” was not the definition she led us to believe. By “first balcony”, she meant first from the rafters… Jerk. She hit the tourist bullseye on that one, but it won’t happen again. Lesson learned.
Sunday: We were determined to do the London bike tour before we left and today was the day. We got to the meeting spot an hour before the tour began and sipped on a cup of coffee while waiting. Bike tour attempt #3: Success. We learned a lot about the history behind each landmark/monument we saw and our tour guide was great. If only my history teachers had made history as fun as our tour guide did, I would have aced each exam. If we rode bikes around during class, that would have been a nice bonus. After the bike tour, we stopped by Shakespere’s Globe and St. Paul’s Cathedral – unreal. This cathedral is large and in charge. An amazing sight for sure.
We’re off to Nice early tomorrow morning. Will update soon!
Drinking and driving: Not okay. Drinking and riding a bike: Totally acceptable. FYI: I know you think the little one is Ali’s, but it’s not.
Buckingham Palace and our guide, David
Westminster Abbey, the site of William and Kate’s wedding next month.
St. Paul’s Cathedral