When we planned our week in London, we put museum visits in the morning and walks in the afternoon. We were right to do so, because after 11:30/12:00 it starts to get too crowded in the museums.
We had breakfast at Chez Antoinette because it was right next door to the hotel. I don’t have any photos, but you can go there with your eyes closed. It’s run by French people and it’s delicious.
We waved at Buckingham Palace from afar.
The National Gallery can be visited fairly quickly, as it’s not a very large museum. We’d booked a ticket to get in at 10am (the museum is free), but there was absolutely no point, as there’s only one queue. It looked pretty impressive, but we got in pretty quickly.
I had noted several paintings to see, but the one I wanted to see first was Holbein’s Ambassadors. I love this painter (some of his portraits are in the Louvre) and I’ve always been fascinated by his depiction of textures. I’m not going to inundate you with photos of the museum, because there’s nothing like seeing the paintings for real.
Hunger was on the rise, so we decided to look for a restaurant close to the museum. We were lucky to find an Italian restaurant, Over St James. It’s on a little-used side street and on the way between the National Gallery and Piccadilly Circus, where we were to go next. It was very good, we were served quickly and I was sure I’d finally get a proper espresso, haha.
A stone’s throw from the restaurant is the Japan Centre, where you’ll find all sorts of items, stationery and a grocery store. We took the opportunity to stock up on sachets of furikake, which we were unable to find in Japanese grocery stores in Paris at the time.
Known for its giant screens, I have to admit that it’s not my favorite part of town, as it’s very touristy.
We took the opportunity to buy some souvenirs, as there are plenty of tourist stores to choose from.
I also bought some American sweets. You’re going to say to me “but why on earth does she buy American sweets in London?”. Simply because the very retro packaging appeals to me. All joking aside, we discovered that every part of London was overrun with ultra-colorful candy stores, with lights and music blaring. It’s quite amazing!
This is obviously one of London’s not-to-be-missed districts. It’s very colorful and lively. We didn’t have lunch there, as we passed through in the afternoon.
We were very lucky, as the weather was beautiful at the time. The lanterns contrasted well with the sky.
We finished our tour of the neighborhood with some Bubblewrap. It’s a waffle cone with bubbles and ice cream in the middle.
Jubilee Market Hall
We then went in search of the Jubilee Market Hall, which I’d noted as a place to see because it had second-hand goods stalls. Well, I’ll save you the trouble, it wasn’t at all what we expected. It was mainly Chinese vendors selling mostly counterfeit figurines. So it was a big fail. I realized afterwards that the antique dealers were only there on Mondays haha! So when you plan your visit, be sure to check out what’s there that day. We did find a few cute pine trees, though.
La boutique de Buckingham Palace
We ended the day with a bus tour and some shopping in the Buckingham Palace store.
We found quality souvenirs to give to our families. In particular, there were plenty of Jubilee items. I fell for a plush corgi and a beautiful cookie jar.
I have to show you all the cookies because they’re so beautiful.
We finished the day with a quick trip to Marks and Spencer to buy our dinner, as we were too tired to go to the restaurant.
I hope you enjoyed your visit.
See you soon for day four!
If you missed the other London articles, here are the links: