13. Marks & Spencer

To prepare for the trip, I did some online browsing and came across these lovelies. I vowed to purchase the first pair I saw in my size. As we were wandering up Praed Street on our first night in London, a beacon in the shape of an M&S sign appeared on Edgware Road.

Because my husband is not a patient person when it comes to shopping (and because he was about to fall asleep in the store due to jet lag and I didn’t have the strength to carry him back to the hotel), I quickly found a pair in UK size 6, grabbed a pack of underwear, paid for them, and we were on our merry way.

After the pub meetup at the Windsor Castle, we happened upon the same Marks & Spencer as we were looking for dinner. Because my husband had had a few pints, I was able to lure him into the store, where again I found another pair of adorable shoes and a pack of underwear.

And then my husband decided it probably wasn’t a good idea to go in there anymore, due to my inability to leave the store without another pair of shoes. But I was extremely happy with my purchases, and have looked upon them adoringly and often.

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12. The Windsor Castle Pub

On Saturday afternoon, we met five amazing and lovely people, and we spent the afternoon talking about Vegas, music, comedy, television, and other fun stuff in the Windsor Castle pub. We chose this place to meet, partly because Fancy a Pint had such great things to say about it, and partly because it was centrally located.

The pub is cozy, with lots of interesting pictures and oddities on the walls. They had a good selection of cider and beer (I tried at least two of each). It was a great place to kick back and have a conversation, too. We were concerned about finding a somewhat quiet pub in the midst of the Saturday rugby games, and we found it.

They also had some interesting decorations in the ladies’ bathroom. I felt a little weird using the facilities next to this.

Despite the embroidered stares of Charles and Diana as I did my business, I’d love to return to this place again. Great drinks, great service, and great company.

9. Edgware Road

Sometimes I just miss walking in certain places, for no particular reason. Edgware Road is one of those places. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time there, but it was memorable. Our first night in London, we wandered around near Paddington Station to find a spot for breakfast the next morning. We took Praed Street to Edgware Road, then turned back on Connaught Street to get back to the hotel.

A few days later, we met up with some people at the Windsor Castle pub just off Edgware Road on Crawford Street, and had a wonderful time.

I miss the giddy anticipation of having just arrived in the city with a week to explore, and the great times talking Vegas with locals in the pub. Oh, and successful purchases at Marks & Spencer.

 

8. The Victoria

The Victoria is a pub near Paddington Station, and it was conveniently located near our hotel.

The inside is cozy, with several table seating areas and seats around the bar. When the weather allows, it’s fun to sit outside and watch people and cars go by. The intersection isn’t extremely noisy, and it’s busy enough to provide constant entertainment. I enjoyed playing “big man in a tiny car” several times.

As with almost all pubs, it’s a great place to grab a pint. We had Fuller’s Discovery and a Red Fox. Both were delicious and refreshing, and a great way to start our London beer adventures.

7. Hyde Park

Our hotel was located across from Hyde Park on the north end. The first day we arrived, the park was the perfect location to walk off some of our jet lag and get some fresh air. Our goal was to keep moving as much as possible (although at a slow pace). We had a leisurely stroll around The Long Water and The Serpentine.

We stopped by the Diana Memorial Fountain, where lots of people were hanging out.

We admired some of the wildlife strutting and swimming around.

We watched several people gathering fruit from these trees.

We took a breather on a bench.

We admired the views.

We walked by the Peter Pan statue (where some of us might have claimed others in the party have similar items in their wardrobe, which is untrue).

We discovered there’s no skiing at this Buck Hill.

And then it was time for a pint at a nearby pub.