london. day 1.

by ann

Gorgeous architecture, a rich history, and the chance for Prince George to fall in love with Zooey: all excellent reasons for my family to choose London as the first stop on our spring trip!

Icelandair has an offer where you can stopover in Iceland en route to or from other European destinations-at no additional fare. Our trip was from Boston to London with a transfer in Keflavik. We stayed in London for 4 days and then went to Iceland for 4 days.

When we arrived in Heathrow Airport, we took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station with tickets purchased in advance. The tickets were printed so remember to keep them for the return trip.

For our stay in London we used the tube system, purchasing Oyster cards at the Paddington Station. We put ₤15 on the card and refilled it once on our trip.

Paddington Mews House//
_20150102.London Day 1.14 We found our home for the next four days via AirBnb: a two story apartment with three beds and a very central location. However, tall people beware! The first floor bedroom doorway is very low and was mere inches above my 5’ 3” self.

We arrived in the afternoon so, after dropping off our luggage, we headed out to explore! Here’s what we did:

Portobello Road
(Ladbroke Grove Station)
National History Museum (South Kensington Station)
Victoria & Albert Museum (South Kensington Station)

(Portobello Road Station)
German food stand (Portobello Road Station)
Monkey Puzzle (Paddington Station)

Here’s how we did it:
Portobello Road//_20150102.London Day 1.17A street in the Notting Hill district, Portobello Road is a street market for second-hand clothes and antiques as well as fruits and vegetables.

L’Epicure// _20150102.London Day 1.18We had a few different pastries here but liked the almond/pistachio croissant best.

German food stand//_20150102.London Day 1.22_20150102.London Day 1.23_20150102.London Day 1.24
I don’t have an exact address for this place! All I can say was that it was on the left side of the road as we walked down Portobello Road. We had the schnitzel and the chicken burger at this little kiosk. The schnitzel was tasty and paired with bacon and a fried egg but the chicken burger… OMG get that. It was juicy and luscious and great with grilled onions and some mustard.

National History Museum//_20150102.London Day 1.32 We only visited the Red Zone but there was so much to see in this museum. Check out the map to plan your visit. The museum is free but exhibitions are extra.

Victoria and Albert Museum// _20150102.London Day 1.38_20150102.London Day 1.37The V&A Museum was huge and housed beautiful sculptural pieces. Like the National History Museum, admission is free with an extra cost for special exhibitions (like the Alexander McQueen one!). If you want to take a moment to relax, the café here still contain the original refreshment rooms, all of which are lavishly decorated and oh so gorgeous.

Monkey Puzzle// 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ
_20150102.London Day 1.41What’s London without some time spent in the pubs? For our first night we went to Monkey Puzzle for some beer, cider and grub. We had the traditional pub fare- pie of the day and fish and chips-but what we all really loved was the stuffed butternut squash!

_20150102.London Day 1.44