After breakfast at Caffe Nero (it’s hard to beat a latte and oatmeal on the go), we hopped on the bus to London. About 5 minutes into our bus ride, Dave discovered that he left his wedding ring at the hotel. After much debate about whether or not a 30-minute detour on our departure to London was worth the cost and sentiment attached to a wedding ring, we hopped off the bus at the next stop.
We had our 2 rolling suitcases and 2 backpacks, so I made the brave decision to stay put with our luggage while Dave ran the 1.5 miles back to our hotel. He got there as they were cleaning our room and was informed the ring was in the hotel safe. Thankfully, he procured it and then ran the 1.5 miles back. It was all a ploy to work off some of our European indulgences.
We arrived in London about 1.5 hours later, and made our way to the W Hotel in Leicester Square.
If you’ve ever stayed at a W hotel, you know that there is pulsating dance music throughout all the public areas, making you feel like you are severely underdressed at a uber hip nightclub. We’re part of the Starwood club so we opt for hotels in the brand when possible, and this was a really nice one.
Our room was pretty neat, with the shower located in a hidden compartment behind the mirror along with the toilet in a separate hidden compartment. Everything was sleek and modern, and their fitness center was well-equipped and nearly empty all the time. When we checked in, we mentioned that we were honeymooning and they sent a piece of yummy red velvet cake to the room, negating our later use of the fitness center.
We spent our 2 days in London seeing the expected sites — Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the like. We walked around the whole city and checked out the shopping districts but didn’t buy anything (I mean we only have carry-ons, people!).
We did discover that it’s oddly difficult to find a place to eat past 10 pm around Leicester Square. It’s the theatre district so we figured places would be open late, and with it being light so late here, we weren’t generally heading out for dinner until post-10 pm. So our dining experiences in London weren’t stellar — we had mediocre Asian fare and super subpar Italian food. We really embrace the culture of the city we’re in.
We did stumble upon Helen Mirren exiting The Gielgud Theatre after performing in The Audience. We had a moment of true connection; despite the crowd of people, we both knew it was only the two of us there.
And, of course, we frequented a few pubs throughout the different areas of London. Though I don’t drink beer, I feel I got the true British pub crawl experience by ordering different traditional English drinks (names procured via extensive online research) at each pub. A solid 80% of the time the bartender had no idea what I was ordering.