Like a doofus I forgot my camera when I went to London last week so all of these photos were taken on my iphone. In hindsight it wasn’t too bad of a mistake, I managed to capture some great images all with a little smartphone. God bless technology!
Soooo… last week’s plans got tipped on their head when I got a phone call out of the blue to say my 15 year-old cousin was stranded in London on his own. He is from Australia so totally not familiar with this country, let alone the capital. Being the great big cousin that I am I went to the rescue and we got to spend some time together. Everyone was a winner in the end.
It was a very unexpected and unplanned day out in London but we tried to squeeze as much as we could into a day so that my cousin could get the full London tourist experience. Starting with a black cab ride through town just after rush hour to take in Mayfair, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and so on.
We began our touristy day with a proper Full English Breakfast at Terry’s in Southwark. It’s a proper London cafe that looks like it’s had the same interior for the past 50 years. It’s pretty rad in there. Oh, and they do Monmouth coffee if you like that kind of thing. I went for a mug of builders tea.
With full bellies at the ready – you need your energy when walking around London all day – we set off for a wander.
Did you know, this is the last remaining coach-house in London, and one of its oldest pubs. It was tucked down an alley off Borough High Street and it’s called The George Inn. It’s a thing of beauty.
This here is the last remaining arch from the original London Bridge – you know, the one we sold to an American who thought he was buying Tower Bridge – it’s also tucked away.
This is my current favourite piece of architecture – The Shard – an incredible building which is now the tallest in Europe. It’s on my bucket list to have breakfast up there one day.
We walked along the Thames to the Tate Modern. There we hotfooted it up to the top floor and nabbed a window seat on which to enjoy our hot cuppa and to watch the river go by. I’ll never tire of that view.
A London first for me – riding a river boat down to Greenwich. As a Londoner, born and bred, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that. How had I never been on a Thames clipper before? Nuts! Anyway, better late than never. We jumper on the Clipper from the Tate Modern and enjoyed a brilliant river ride down to North Greenwich.
At North Greenwich we took a ride on the Emirate Airline, a cable car over the Thames. It wasn’t until we were on the cable car that I remembered that I was scared of heights – eek! It’s pretty high up. But actually quite fun. And you can ride it with your Oyster card which is well convenient. The only snag is that there isn’t really anything much going on on the other side. It’s just the Excel centre and some chain hotels, restaurants. But I imagine there will be lots of development here in the coming years.
After a quick drinks stop we hotfooted it over to Greenwich to show cousin Matthew the centre of time aka. the Greenwich Meridian. It was fairly well timed (arf arf!) as we got to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park just as dusk descended over the city and the buildings began to light up.
Oh, and how crazy is it my lil cousin is almost a foot taller than me!
We popped down to the Cutty Sark just as the sun went in. The new revamped Cutty Sark is looking mighty sexy. You can see the hull through the glass surround now, it’s a vast improvement on how it used to look. I was particularly excited about this part of the day.
But dinner time was calling. So we jumped back on a Thames Clipper to head back into the city where we jumped off by Tower Bridge, walked along to London Bridge, crossed over along with a huge throng of commuters and ended up at Borough Market.
My cousin opted for burgers for dinner – typical 15 year-old – so we stopped by Black and Blue, a rather trendy burger joint. It wouldn’t really be a first choice for non-beef-eating boyf and myself but the chicken burgers were delicious and the fries pretty darn good too.
And there we have it, in an almost nutshell, my outing to London with my lil cousin Matthew. Got to love a bit of spontaneity!