London, England - Handmade in the Heartland

London, England

We started our European Adventure in London, and in the end it was one of our favorite cities.
It was so hard to narrow down the photos. You can see all 160 of our photos from London in my photobucket album by clicking HERE. When we got in we were super exhausted from the overnight flight, but we checked in to our hotel, took showers and then headed out to explore the city.

Our first stop was the famous Harrods department store. It reminded me a lot of Macys, or Bergdorf's in New York. And in general London reminded us of a more historical New York. They had a fabulous baby department as well as this crazy huge Petland where you could buy a cat for 1000 pounds! ridiculous!
Is this carriage not to die for. Swoon...

This is what i looked like most of the trip:
Then we headed over to Covent Gardens, my friend Cindy had mentioned that she really liked this area and we enjoyed it as well. Lots of fun street performers to entertain you and cute scenery.

Then we got back on the Tube and headed over to the Picadelly Circus area where we went to Liberty of London- such a cute department store! When we were there we walked through the accessories floor and i was stopped dead in my tracks, mouth open as i spotted a tote made from Recycled Coffee Bean Sacks, much like the ones i make! Although i have to say it was super shoddy sewing job, ugly accent fabric and selling for 55 pounds!! thats almost 75$! It said the bags were chosen from a group of local designers, it made me feel good though to see it sold in such a high end department store.

The Christmas floor was SO beautiful.
loved this blue wall with the white decor
After Liberty we went to dinner at a place our Fodor's book recommended, MotherMash. It was a casual place that had a menu with three columns- the first a type of “mash” (mashed potatoes) the second column had different sausages and then the third different gravies. You chose one out of each column, both of our plates were delicious, and not expensive at all. We chose MotherMash because it wasn't a far walk from there over to the Queen's theater where we had tickets to Les Miserable. I purchased the Les Mis tickets online at a discount ticket site before we arrived and it was a great experience to see a play in London.

Day 2 in London:
After waking up and having a delicious English breakfast at our hotel we headed strait over to Picadelli Circus to pick up the Original London bus tour. We hopped on the yellow line, since its the one with the live commentary and headed out to see the city. It was chilly but we braved the cold to sit on the top and get a great view of all the sites. One of the nice things about this tour company's buses is that the front half of the top of the bus is covered, I sat at the first row that was beyond the cover to get better photos, but it was still mostly blocked from the wind. We switched buses near the end of the tour to jump back on a red line headed toward Buckingham Palace so we could catch the changing of the guard at 11:30.
Trafalgar Square

Westminster Abbey
Parliment with Winston Churchill statue

the London Eye with Big Ben in the background

Buckingham Palace & the Changing of the Guard

Since we had limited time in London we chose to tour the Tower of London instead of the other buildings. The tower was very interesting and I loved that they had guided tours as apart of the general admission ticket. Our guide, one of the queen's guard known as "BeefEaters" kept saying, "and if you are American, all this history would be yours if you had just paid your taxes!" :)

Our London Hotel: The Alhambra, was fabulous.
Sure it's not luxury and the room is quite small, but it is clean, neat, the staff are very friendly, and it's just two steps from the King's Cross tube station. Included with your stay they serve you a full hot breakfast in the morning, which we were thoroughly impressed with- eggs, bacon, sausage, beans & toast. We saw on a sign later one morning that this breakfast is normally around 7 pounds, which translates to 11 dollars per person! If i were to come to London again, especially on a budget, i would without hesitation stay there.

We would love to go back to London and explore more of England. Of all the places we visited we agreed that the Londoners were the nicest and most friendly. Its the only place where every time we got on the subway someone asked me if i wanted to sit down (because of the baby belly). They were helpful and never seemed annoyed at us. London you stole our heart.

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