Bored and tired of running errands I went into THE city the other day. Intending to first stop at Big Ben I got off the bus and, naturally, began walking in the wrong direction. After a few minutes I turned around and WHAM there he was. Nothing like starting off my wanderings with a reminder that I have no sense of direction. I ended up in Green Park (this path takes you by Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace) having a lovely latte and wrap from Pret A Manger. This is a very popular organic food chain throughout England. They have all organic coffees and natural foods. You can find them on almost any corner in Central London.
With no intentional itinerary (I never have one) I began simply walking until I found a reason to stop. Fortnum & Mason’s department store will give you a reason to stop. It is simply a gorgeous store. No really, the only reason I stopped was because it was so beautiful. I had no idea what it was. They are most famous for their teas and sell a variety of teas, biscuits, chocolates, and any accessory you may need to enjoy these wonderful tidbits. Be sure to make a reservation for high tea at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. No visit to London would be complete without it.
On my way back to Big Ben to catch the bus I ran into another American. We’re the only ones who will randomly strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. After I got over my initial concern about his intentions I enjoyed myself. We randomly ran into a changing of the guards. I still have no idea what they were guarding and they weren’t wearing the tall black hats that they wear in front of the palace. We had stopped to look at a guard on a horse and then all of a sudden we were in a flood of people whispering “The guards are changing. It’s four. They must be changing.” We were sucked into these gates and then trapped for the next 20 minutes. I’m not completely upset about it. It was actually kind of interesting. Plus, the American guy took my picture in front of Big Ben, so it was worth it.