After spending a weekend in Luxembourg, we were ready to escape the dreary cold and head to the surprisingly warm and sunny weather in London for a 5-day business trip. Since our trip included a weekend stay, we took time to be tourists in London and hit a few new spots we hadn't seen before.
During the week, we enjoyed the benefits of being in London rather than Luxembourg: convenient fruits and salads at Marks & Spencer, awesome Asian food delivery and a variety of workout options, like bouldering gyms and hot yoga. As one highlight of the trip, Dave met one of his parkour heroes at the boulder gym named Tim "Livewire" Shieff, a frequent contestant on Ninja Warrior.
Sculpting those calves at the Arch London
On Saturday, we took the advice of one of Erin's clients and headed to the posh London neighborhood of Primrose Hill. At just about a 20 minute Tube ride from London CIty, Primrose Hill feels quaint and exceedingly livable. We started the morning with a yoga class at Fierce Grace (our favorite studio in Europe) and then walked through the public park with views of the London skyline to a Saturday morning food market, where we enjoyed a fresh smoothie and warm foccacia from a local bakery. From where, we walked through the small neighborhood's commercial street filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and coffee shops and admired the slower pace of life. If we had to live in London this would be a great spot.
From Primrose Hill we headed to the contrasting neighborhood next door, Camden Town, a center of counter-culture in London. We observed the locals dressed in London goth and Renaissance era garb and did some wandering and shopping in Camden market, which sits along Camden Lock. Camden market is crowded and in your face. The market is filled with stalls selling everything from vintage clothes to Tibetan rugs to foods like Hungarian langos (which was delicious).
We headed to Soho for dinner at an of-the-moment Sri Lankan restaurant around 7pm, only to find that despite not taking reservations and staying open until 11, there were no more tables available that night. We settled for some delicious Japanese Ramen and called it a night - falling asleep to an addictive British talk show on a network called Dave TV, which has this name according to its Wikipedia page because "everybody knows a bloke called Dave."
Sunday we took the train to Windsor to check out the Queen's second home, Windsor castle. We were on the same train as many fans heading to the Sunday NFL game between the Rams and Giants and were surprised at how many people were dressed up for the game. Some even wore kilts.
We arrived in Windsor and Erin was very excited to learn every historical fact about the castle and grounds with our complimentary audio guides. We toured the expansive grounds that included a famous Gothic chapel, wooded walking trails, defensive embankments, knights' quarters and the Royal apartments and spent a few hours touring the grandiose interiors. There was also an exhibit of some of the Queen's most iconic gowns, which Erin studied closely.
Castle collected! The fall weather was perfect and the leaves just started to turn, so we took a long walk along the grounds before heading back to London for a very American afternoon of NFL and chill. We got back to the grind Monday and Tuesday, and flew back to Luxembourg to finish the week. It was great to be able to have some free time in London, as it is easy to get bogged down by the commute and crowds. Next up, fall hikes and truffle season in Northern Croatia.
Expat Adventure Blog