Thursday, December 15, 2016

London {Cheerio! An Introduction}

This is our first blog recapping our delightful Thanksgiving Euro-trip. We left on Wednesday and returned on Monday, giving us 4 full days to explore London. We had such a wonderful visit and even though it's only been a few weeks, I've loved reliving the experience while writing this blog.

We started our trip in the KLM Lounge (thanks Chase Sapphire Reserve card!) and we arrived around 7am after a relatively short nonstop flight from Houston. We jumped on the Underground until our stop (St. James' Park Station) which took about an hour. We stayed at the St. Ermin's Hotel, which was a 2 minute walk from the station. Because we are Marriott elite members, we got a room straight away! This was great as we got a chance to wash up and relax a bit before heading out to walk around. The hotel was stunning and we even got treated to it being dressed up for Christmas on our last day there.

We started our actual explorations with a quick lunch at Pret and a walk around St. James's Park through to Buckingham Palace. We walked through Green Park en route to the American Bar inside of the Stafford Hotel. This was a fun little bar with crazy memorabilia in every nook and cranny. We enjoyed some cocktails and snacks before heading out to stroll to our 5pm date with a ferris wheel!

We got a glimpse of Westminster Abbey along our route, but unfortunately it was closed to the public that day. We walked next to Big Ben via Westminster Bridge to the Southbank. The sunset views were pretty incredible!

We had pre-booked a Champagne Experience at the London Eye that evening. This was such a fun splurge. We got to wait out of the cold in a lounge, we skipped the line and we were escorted to our own private capsule with 4 others who had booked the same thing, and of course, treated to champagne! We got an extra good deal on this since 6 people who had pre-paid didn't show up. What to do!? Our guide was great and split the extra bottle of champagne between all of us and gave us tips on what to do and see during our time in London!

Lastly, we walked through Jubilee Gardens to see the Christmas Markets at Southbank Centre. We tried some mulled mead and bratwurst and wandered around the stalls. We decided to just walk back to our hotel and crossed over the beautiful Jubilee Bridge, saw the Trafalgar lions and fell into bed. An exhausting, but awesome, first day in London!

Next up: Our day at the British Museum, Kings Cross and AMAZING food in Soho!

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