2 to 3 December
I have to be in Reading on Monday for work so we decided to take the weekend in London to enjoy some of the sights as well as a football match and a show. We were up really early and headed out of the apartment to Gare du Nord around 6am as you need to get to Eurostar trains earlier than most trains because you have to clear customs before you can board.
A quick 2 hour ride and we arrived in London.
As mentioned one of the reasons we came to London this weekend was to see a football match. A note to anyone ever thinking of doing this in the future, the UK has a terrible issue with fake tickets so you have to be very careful about where you get tickets from. StubHub is where we got ours, but that is still not without issue. Another note is that they require a UK address to ship them to. We told our hotel to expect the package and please sign for it so that we could get the tickets, as we were arriving on game day. Unfortunately that wasn’t properly communicated to the person working the desk Friday so they denied the package and it went back to the UPS location on the other side of the city. Due to this issue we split up upon arriving in London and I headed to The Residence Inn London Bridge while Jer headed to UPS.
When Jer arrived at the UPS location (before I arrived at the hotel) he was told that the tickets were no longer there and someone had already picked them up. Fuming, he was trying to figure out how that was possible since an ID was required to pick up a package (as stated very big on the sign at UPS). Once I finally arrived at the hotel I was told that the hotel manager got the tickets without telling us (trying to make up for their previous mistake) so Jer came back and met me at hotel, still obviously not happy about the level of communication.
We settled in and grabbed a quick bite before we made our way to Stamford Bridge for Chelsea v. Newcastle. We had chosen this match in particular because Jer said an American (DeAndre Yedlin) plays for Newcastle and he wanted to see him play. After all our issues this morning it was amazing to finally see our first Premier League match.
After a great match we headed back into the city to do some shopping at TK Maxx, yes you read that right “TK” is their version of “TJ” Maxx and since they don’t have them in France I love to go when we are in the UK. Across from TK Maxx there was also a vintage store which had some great ugly sweaters, which we need for a party next weekend.
After shopping we both were in need of a coffee so we stopped and grabbed one as we made our way down towards the Thames. The reason we were walking this way was because between London Bridge and Tower Bridge there was an outdoor Christmas market that we wanted to walk around for a while and enjoy.
After we had walked through the Christmas market we walked around Borough Market because there were a few places we wanted to scout out for dinner. This old market is a cool mix of actual market stalls and some cool new restaurants and bars. All that walking made us a little thirsty so we thought why not stop in a pub for a pint (or two…). We found The Market Porter and decided to try it out. While having our pints we decided on Roast for dinner, which was right across the street, because it had been recommended by a colleague. Luckily for us they had a table and it didn’t disappoint. Not only was the food good, but it was cool to be able to look out over the market while eating as well.
We called it a relatively early night since we had been up so early and were back at the hotel around 9:30pm.
This morning we took our time with a late breakfast and Jer got his things packed up since he had a train back to Paris this evening. After breakfast and packing we made our way to out explore some of the sights we hadn’t really done together in London before.
Our first stop was Buckingham Palace where we caught the tail end of the changing of the guard.
We then made our way up to Hyde Park because we had seen they were having a Winter Wonderland/Christmas Market.
We explored the park and Winter Wonderland for a while, including grabbing some lunch before it was time to head back into the city for the other big thing we came to London for, The Lion King! We made our way by underground to Lyceum Theatre where we picked up our tickets from the box office and made our way inside. The show was good, but we were slightly disappointed compared to Broadway shows.
After the show we had a nice walk back across the river again, and then by underground made our way back to the hotel for Jer to get his things and head to his train.
Jer caught his train around 8:30pm and I made my way back towards the hotel finding a place to grab dinner.