Sunday, May 22, 2011

London Alphabetically

There's too much to tell when sitting down to write about London. The easiest thing to do: show you. Check out our adventures in London, from A-Z.

A is for Abbey Road - no explanation needed


B is for Banksy, a fantastic graffiti artist who got his start in London. Most of them are either out of the way of common seekers or well hidden by new buildings, etc. Some have even been painted over. He is said to have visited New York City and the west coast of the US as well...

 C is for Churchill Arms, the name of the pub with the best Thai food in London. It's also filled with random knick-knacks from who knows where hanging from every inch of the ceiling.

D is for the Dickens Museum, where the late Charles Dickens resided while in London. To the left is a copy of the original Great Expectations which was said to have been written in installments in a magazine Dickens published titled All the Year Round.


E is for Eye, the London Eye to be exact. Here is a view of the London landmark from Westminster Bridge. This is one of my favorite views of the city.


F is for Festival of Chocolate, which was obviously a success. What's your chocolate preference? Chocolate cookies? Chocolate ice cream? Chocolate covered fruit? Chocolate mixed into Mexican food? Yes, they had it all.

G is for Globe Theatre. Before the Globe, I had never seen a Shakespearean comedy performed. Of course, All's Well That Ends Well was the perfect introduction :) 

H is for Hyde Park. Although this is not a picture of the park per say, it's a picture of one of the most curious statues to stand just outside the park's boundaries. I have no idea what this is representing; although I have to note the coincidence: this road is lined with dealerships selling the most expensive cars available today - Mercedes, Porsche, Lexus, and of course Ferrari. 

I is for the Imperial War Museum, which is home to some of the most historically destructive weapons and most capable (and intact) military equipment there was during WWI and WWII. They also have a Holocaust exhibit that was really quite impressive, to say the least.

J is for Jazz/Blues Club, and the best happens to be one called Ain't Nothin' But. This awesome bar has murals on the way to the WCs, representing some of the very best.

 K is for Kings Cross, the name of the tube and train station minutes from our London doorstep. It's accompanied by the infamous St. Pancras International Train Station, which can be seen from the picture is quite impressive - it's also used as a hotel. (Oh and it was also made famous by Harry Potter!)

L is for Leadenhall Market, which is a unique market place that dates back to the 1400s. It's been rebuilt several times but has maintained the overall character that has been around for centuries (although the canopy is a new concept). Some of you may recognize it as the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter... 

M is for Mousetrap, the famous play by the celebrated Agatha Christie, author of many fine whodunnit mysteries.  It is the longest running of its kind, with more than 23,000 performances spanning 58 years. This theatre, St. Martin's Theatre, is its proud owner now. But careful not to spoil the ending for others..the cast and crew ask so politely at the end of each show.

N is for Notting Hill, home to the famous Portobello Market held every Saturday, rain or shine. This quaint and classy part of town is also known for the film Notting Hill with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. If you're there on a Saturday, walk to the end: best chocolate muffins ever.

O is for Olympic Countdown. Although, personally, I believe this countdown atrocity is one of the tackiest creations in town, you can't help but be excited about 2012! This is also a countdown for the locals: when the construction around town will cease. 

 P is for PIMMS and lemonade, a favorite of the British when the summer months are well underway. It's almost impossible to find back home so we took advantage of having it around while we could :)

Q is for QPR, also known as the Queens Park Rangers. We attended a QPR match, learning quite a lot about British team spirit: sportsmanship is left at the door and profanity is a valuable part of each sentence. 

R is for Royal Wedding, which we were not invited to but celebrated nonetheless. Here we are, at around 10am, relishing in the holy matrimony of the now royals. Congrats Will and Kate! Thanks for giving us a reason to celebrate.

S is for Sunday Roast, a must for anyone in the UK at anytime (but on a Sunday). Have your choice of chicken, pork or beef slathered in gravy, and accompanied by veggies and Yorkshire Pudding (the bread-ish stuff in the back). You truly can't go wrong.

T is for Tower Bridge, another famous landmark of good ol' Londontown. Don't be fooled, this is not London Bridge. The original is in Arizona and the replacement is unimpressive.

U is for Underground, a place of busy, fast-walking individuals trying to catch the next train before it leaves them. It's extremely convenient but extremely expensive: breaking the bank with about $3 for each trip. Ugghh! 

V is for Verve, a swanky little bar/club in between Leicester Square and Covent Gardens. Be ready for large crowds and loud music: talking is out of the question.

W is for Westminster Abbey. I have stood in line twice to visit this historical must-see of London. The first time, it closed early. The second, I decided it was too expensive. This was actually my favorite attraction in London: its history dates back to 1066; famous poets have been buried/ remembered here; and every king and queen of Britain has been crowned here (minus two - Edward V and Edward VII, neither of which were actually crowned).


X is for X-ing (or crossing, to be exact). The UK has politely put these reminders of which way to look before walking into the street. I am thankful for the signs...on several occasions.

Y is for Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, one of the oldest pubs still in existence in London. The original was burned down in the Great London Fire of 1666 but this very pub was rebuilt the following year. It's uneven floors and ceilings, along with numerous rooms to get lost in are just a few aspects of this pub that give it so much character. Oh and they also serve my favorite beer: Samuel Smith! 

And Z is for zoo, the London zoo, which is located in Regents Park. It's quite impressive and takes longer than just a few hours to go through. You might even learn something (like what an Okapi is).

And there you have it, folks. London from A-Z. Don't get me wrong, we saw and did so much more. But I thought I would summarize :)

- Brandy

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