Busy Wanderings: My Big British Adventure – Day 6

Our sixth day in London was our last and we began it by heading back to Westminster to get some final photos, including some typically touristy but fun selfies with Big Ben in the background.  Then we thought we’d wander around Selfridge’s and then Hyde Park, so we walked across Westminster Bridge and caught a bus – a double-decker this time – to Oxford Circus.  We didn’t actually make it to Selfridges, with C patiently waiting after I dragged her into Clark’s on Oxford Street so that I could buy another pair of comfortable shoes.  We substituted Debenhams for Selfridges and had a very good lunch in the café.  We then headed back toward Piccadilly Circus, stopping along the way so that I could buy a down jacket that compacts into a pouch, since I realised that the jacket I brought, while completely water and windproof, might not be warm enough.  I packed – overpacked – for every possibility, yet I ended up buying two pairs of shoes and another jacket.  It’s slightly embarrassing, but I will be here for a month and the forecast is all over, so if that’s all I have to buy, maybe I won’t have done too bad.

We then caught the Tube at Piccadilly to head back to the flat so that we could change and get to the Savoy Hotel for our afternoon tea reservation.  On the way, we got off at Embankment station and walked along the Thames a short ways before arriving at the hotel.  We walked past the Savoy Theatre where Gypsy has just opened with Imelda Staunton to glowing reviews…and which I’ll be seeing when I return to London next month.  I’m pretty excited and now I’ll know exactly where to go so I won’t get lost (these are the things that I worry about).

After a short wait, we were led to our table in the Thames Foyer.  We both decided on the traditional afternoon tea – at £50 each – and both opted for the English Afternoon Blend.  The waiter warned us to pace ourselves, as there’d be a lot of nibbles to get through…and he was right.  The first course was my favourite, though, with its selection of sandwiches and scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and strawberry jam.  And for those that don’t know, I should point out that a scone here is not what we think of as a scone in the States.  Their scones are more like our biscuits…but more delicious.  Next came an assortment of pastry thingies – I opted for the chocolate/salted caramel, mango/passionfruit, and orange/something thingies while C had the first two and then what looked like a snowball – and after that, came two kinds of cake that we barely made a dent in.

Once our tea was finished, we wandered south along the embankment toward Westminster Bridge.  It was a lovely evening and the London Eye was lit up across the river as were the Houses of Parliament.  Sadly though, we eventually decided that it was time to head back to Earls Court and the flat, since there was packing up to do.  Finally, on our last Tube trip, we hopped not one, but two wrong trains.  It was entirely my fault and probably a combination of exhaustion and not wanting to leave London yet.  After accidentally heading east instead of west on the District Line and then heading west on the Circle Line which doesn’t reach Earls Court, we were finally on a westbound District Line train and shortly walking back to the flat.  Then it was laundry and trying to fit things back into my suitcase while making room for new things before finally falling asleep with my alarm set for only a handful of hours later.  The taxi is scheduled for 8 am and will take us back to Paddington station, where C will catch the Heathrow Express back to the airport and I’ll catch a train for my next destination: Oxford.



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