Went to Victoria Street this morning looking for breakfast, and found only a Starbucks open! They charge extra if you’re having snacks to eat in, but serve them in bags just the same. Also, the concepts of mixed “not skim, not whole” milk and no water in a tea latte have no familiarity. At least they’re non-smoking!
Walked across Westminster Bridge and took the obligatory shots of Parliament, the blocktower (Big Ben) and the Eye before embarking on a cruise down and up the Thames. This was a great way to see all the standard postcard landmarks.
A tube ride and crossing at Blackfriars brought us to Gabriel’s Wharf, where we took in lunch at the Gourmet Pizza Company with a river view and began a 3.5-hour bicycle tour of the West End.
The bike tour was an excellent way to see most of central London. We followed the South Bank past the Eye and County Hall, took Westminster Bridge to see Parliament, Westminster Abby, St. James’s Park, Buckingham Palace, the Wellington Arch, Hyde Park and the Serpentine, Kensington Gardens, Diana’s memorial, Speakers’ Corner, Soho, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Covent Garden before crossing the Waterloo Bride on our return. All with informal but informed commentary from Matthew, a fellow who seems to just enjoy getting some bikes on the road and sharing his knowledge of his hometown.
Kristan and I then walked ourselves silly, backtracking the tour route through Covent to check out Chinatown, the shopping along Oxford Street, and dinner at Cafe Patisserie on Soho’s Brewer Street (very long wait, but good food and certainly not frequented by tourists.)
We’ve already exhausted our legs and feet, and know the Tube as well as the L.