Traveling with friends is always an adventure, and our recent trip to London was no exception. Becky, Sandy, and I embarked on this journey from Nashville, Tennessee, filled with excitement and anticipation. From the moment we landed, we knew this trip would be one for the books.

Our flight touched down smoothly in London, and we were ready to explore. We made our way to the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, our home base for the trip. As we checked in, we were delighted by the stunning view from our room – the iconic skyline of London with Big Ben standing tall in the distance – and how incredibly perfect the hotel’s location was to all of London’s “must see’s”. 

After freshening up, we decided to immerse ourselves in a quintessentially British experience – afternoon tea at The Wolseley. The Wolseley is renowned for its elegant setting and traditional afternoon tea service. The grandeur of the building, with its high ceilings and art deco design, took our breath away. And the history?  Take a look!

We indulged in an array of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of delicate pastries, all while sipping on perfectly brewed tea. It was a moment of pure indulgence, a delightful introduction to London’s rich traditions.

Following the Wolseley we set off to explore the Westminster area. Walking through the streets, we were surrounded by history and culture at every turn. We marveled at the architectural beauty of the Houses of Parliament. The area was full of energy, yet there was a sense of calm as we strolled along the Thames, taking in the sights and sounds of the city.

As the day drew to a close, we returned to our hotel, a bit tired from the journey but content with the experiences of our first half day. The comforts of the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge awaited us, and we were ready for a good night’s rest. We chatted about the highlights of the day and reminisced about our favorite moments. Our first day in London was a perfect blend of exploration and relaxation, setting the tone for the days to come. 

Tuesday began with a leisurely morning at our hotel, where we enjoyed a delightful breakfast that included an array of traditional British cuisine and an impressive selection of coffee. As we savored our meal, we planned the day’s adventures. Our first destination was Tower Hill. The weather was perfect, enhancing our experience as we explored the area. The highlight of our visit was viewing the Crown Jewels, a collection that never fails to impress with its grandeur and historical significance. After marveling at these treasures, we took a break to enjoy coffee and hot chocolate from one of the many charming cafés at Tower Hill.

Next, we strolled to the iconic Tower Bridge, where we captured some stunning photographs. From there, a short tube ride brought us to Southwark Cathedral, a magnificent structure with a rich history dating back to the 12th century. Originally a priory, the cathedral has witnessed numerous historical events and has been a place of worship for nearly a millennium.

On our way to Southwark Cathedral, we stumbled across the bustling Borough Market. This vibrant market is one of the oldest in London, known for its diverse range of fresh produce, artisanal foods, and delightful street food. The market’s lively atmosphere and delicious offerings provided a perfect interlude in our journey.

As the day drew to a close, we headed to Duck and Waffle, a renowned restaurant located on the 40th floor of a skyscraper. Known for its stunning panoramic views of London and its inventive cuisine, Duck and Waffle did not disappoint. We indulged in their signature dishes, savoring every bite while enjoying the breathtaking view.

Our day ended with a pleasant Uber ride back to the hotel, during which we engaged in a delightful conversation with the driver about Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley. Despite our full bellies, we couldn’t resist one more nightcap at the hotel bar, reminiscing about the day’s memorable experiences. In summary, our Tuesday in London was filled with historical discoveries, culinary delights, and unexpected surprises, making it a truly unforgettable day.

We planned for our mornings to ease into from the late nights, so Wednesdays breakfast was definintely a leisurely pace. Karen’s main wish for this trip was to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, a place she finds spiritually significant. So, on Wednesday, we headed to the magnificent church and arrived just in time for communion. After a brief tour of the surrounding area, we made our way to The Swan at the Globe for an early dinner. We were excited to catch a live performance of “Much Ado About Nothing” at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, beautifully situated on the banks of the Thames River and the views were nothing short of stunning. For us, it was an early evening as we prepared to take the 8:11 am Eurostar to Paris, France, for tomorrow’s excursion.

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