i don’t really ever go on those “weekend away” trips everyone talks about when they move to europe. well at least, not of the kind with an airplane. flying is a much bigger “to-do” than the ever-convenient train, and when you live in the center of europe, it’s easier to get almost everywhere by train… except great britain.
but a couple weekends ago, i did! it felt really fancy!
i went to london, mainly with the intent of seeing a band i love so much i’d fly for– which i could write a whole post about in and of itself as it was incredible– but all the other in-between stuff was so much fun – it was the absolute perfect mix of touristy things and local things.
the latter was helped a lot because we stayed in clapham in south london. when i thought about the concept of “south london” before, having been there only twice, i thought of some spot really quite far away from the thames and the city center, but that just isn’t true! on our first morning, we were up early boosted by the one hour time difference and ready to go walking!
man, i love walking a city, especially one like london. and it was surprising to me that we walked from clapham north to victoria in less than an hour. bam. south london really isn’t that… south. well, not in clapham, anyway.
it was really important just to walk as much as possible that weekend because it’s the single best way to help put together that city map in your head than if you just took the tube or other transport. i need to walk. i need to gape at all of the (exotic to me, living in the czech republic for six and a half years) adorable english houses. (really, i could walk for hours in london just up and down rows of houses) i need to smell the flowers, get tree particles stuck in my hair as i get ready to walk across the chelsea bridge. i need to poke my nose into a greggs and giggle at the name “ladbrokes” for a betting joint, because gosh, doesn’t that seem just really ironic of a name?
our entire walk that day was clapham –> battersea –> chelsea –> victoria –> past westminster abbey –> up to soho and carnaby street. who says london is too big? i firmly now believe you don’t know big unless you’ve walked all day across berlin.
so now we’re coming to the beef of this post which is the internet-famous brigit’s bakery afternoon tea bus tour. i saw this on a blog years and years ago and mentally filed it away. it did not matter that i had ridden a red double-decker bus all over the city on both of my prior trips. no, this did not matter, because i had not yet done this while enjoying delicious sandwiches, cakes and tea.
so this post is also for those people out there who are like, “is it really worth it?”
yes, the bbakery tour is expensive. yes, you may have already ridden a red double-decker bus around london. sure, it’s a tad touristy.
but you know what you also are doing? HAVING THE BEST HOUR AND A HALF IN LONDON, full stop.
the guides were so upbeat and fun, the music was good (the beatles! george michael! etc) the food offerings were absolutely delicious (still dreaming about some of those cakes, and my oh my, the scones!) and i thought it was a brilliant way to get reacquainted with this city after over six years since my last visit. and man, have i read a lot of travel blogs since then so boy, i was ready to go. i can highly, highly recommend this tour which would be perfect for a girls trip or get-together of any kind, even though it was also acceptable by the boys. would even do it again someday, probably.
one of my favorite moments actually occurred before the trip departed – we were all waiting around at one gate at the victoria coach station where departures to other normal places were being announced on the intercom. but then – “we’re getting ready to board the AFTERNOON TEA BUS TOUR!” about ten women “woo"ed. it was so funny to have this situation amongst all the normies boarding their normcore buses to normal places.
for my london-based friends, it is my only regret that i didn’t have enough time this trip to meet with anyone or our schedules didn’t match up quite well, but i look forward to seeing you next time around!
another london-ish post coming soon, just because i feel like it and it was fabulous.