There is something quite magical about the capital – maybe its stepping off the train at Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross, or the Mary Poppins-ness of Whitehall but I always feel strangely at home in the relatively alien city of London when I visit.
But it isn’t something that I do very often, in fact I could count my visits to London on one hand until a few weekends ago.
With Paul’s work taking him to London for the weekend, I thought I would tag along and do a little exploring (and shopping of course) whilst he was there. Luckily he found a nice base a stone’s throw away from St. Paul’s Cathedral which was not only walking distance from his office, but also from the bright lights of Leicester Square and the labels of Covent Garden.
The rail service from Halifax isn’t the greatest and so after an early start and finish on the Friday, Paul & I jumped in the car to catch a late afternoon Virgin East Coast service from Wakefield Westgate to Kings Cross meaning that we we’re safely in the capital and at the hotel shortly after 7pm.
Perfect timing, when your tummy is empty that is.
After a little (read pathetic attempt at a) walk around the area, we opted for Bengal Tiger, an Indian Bar & Restaurant that is hidden away under the watchful eye of St. Paul’s iconic dome. Despite it being ‘prime’ dining time on a Friday night, we were able to get a table straight away and neither of us left disappointed… or hungry for that matter.
Whenever Paul & I dine out I try and make sure that I try something new – on this occasion it was a Duck Jalfrezy, tender strips of delicious duck cooked with peppers and tomatoes with just a little kick to it as well.
Full and tired we headed straight back to the hotel for a relatively early night and in my case to dream of the adventures that the next day held. However, never in my wildest dreams did I think that those adventures would include a workout with the gorgeous Carly Rowena and an epic meal in the heart of Covent Garden.
After a quick breakfast in the hotel, Paul headed off for his day at the office and after grabbing myself a Starbucks (that had no Pumpkin Spice for my Soya Latte) I headed back to the room to contemplate my day. With no plans I was ready to resign myself to a day of wandering the streets and coffee shop blogging, until Carly intervened that is.
You see I had see her mention a forthcoming event at the St Martins Lane Hotel, however, I had totally ignored it as I am never in London. Never. But after exchanging a few quick messages on Twitter and quickly throwing my favourite kit on, I dashed across Covent Garden and found myself sweating out the previous nights Curry & Beers at the hands of one of my favourite YouTubers.
Once I had cooled down a little I decided to treat myself to a more leisurely walk back to the hotel through Covent Garden, jumping into stores that we don’t have back home and soaking up some of the sights and sounds of what is now my favourite part of London.
Despite not being a city girl at all, I felt quite at home here.
As my feet grew tired and my leg weary, I made my way back to the Grange St. Paul’s to rest and freshen up for the evening ahead and once Mr D had finished his work for the day, we headed back towards Covent Garden and Eneko at One Aldwych. Having spotted Eneko earlier in the day, I was excited to try out the Trigo; a wheat pasta dish in a red pepper sauce served with a poached egg yolk and truffle shavings.
One of the tings that I loved most about dining out in London is that it was so easy to just stroll back to the hotel afterwards, the streets were quiet enough to not feel hurried and the weather mild enough to feel slightly unseasonable.
It was dry in October after all, crazy huh?
Paul and I spent Sunday morning having a lazy continental breakfast at Paul and strolling along the Southbank. Having studied English Literature at Sixth Form, I was massively excited to see The Globe and it was so nice to just spend a few minutes taking in the architecture of the old theatre and the history connected to it.
After nipping through Whitehall and Trafalgar Square we found ourselves in Shake Shack for lunch and enjoying one of their amazing hot dogs whilst looking out over Leicester Square. We definitely need to head back soon because the burgers look amazing and devastatingly we couldn’t get into the Lego store to have a look around because it was too busy.
As Paul had never been to Covent Garden we decided to make this our last call of the day before walking back to the hotel to collect our luggage and head back to Kings Cross for our late afternoon train back to Yorkshire and a cheeky Nandos on our way home.
It feels slightly wrong that I have only visited London a handful of times and mentally I already have a few return visits planned to tick a few more boxes off the list. But for now, I’m happy to be home and back where the hills are green and life is lived a little slower.
How often do you visit the capital? Do you like me enjoy getting back to ‘slower’ living?
Let me know below and I’ll catch up with you again soon, until then though x
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