London: Month of April


Upset that my time in London is almost over, and in denial that I have to to back to the states soon...With that realization aside, here are the highlights of April in London.

A WALK AFTER CLASS

China Town

Regent Street x Piccadilly Circus

HYDE PARK

Walking through the park.

RAF Bomber Command Memorial:

Right Photo: Wellington Arch

Wilton Mews:

Black, yellow, and red tulips near Pont Street:

NUMBER SIXTEEN AFTERNOON TEA

It was the clotted cream and scones that got me when I had my first afternoon tea at The British Museum, and ever since then I've made it a goal to get it once a month (and not more because carbs and sweets isn't the healthiest meal for the day)! I decided to walk from Bedford Square after class, and although not as quirky as Sketch nor fancy as Claridge's, Number Sixteen provided a perfect oasis from the city with their secluded garden patio and rectangular koi pond.

Although it was cloudy when I went, I'd imagine Number Sixteen to be ideal for a tranquil afternoon in the summer.

BOW ARTS TRUST TOUR

For class one day, we went to Bow Arts, a community in East London and a workspace that supports over 500 artists with affordable studio spaces. Here we saw an exhibit on wood, as well as met the artist that created the lego pieces shown below out of paper:

The artist had very realistic sketches of her final piece in her sketchbook, and also showed the mathematics involved behind creating the model.

SPITALFIELDS MARKET

I'd compare this market to Camden with their clothing selection and food, but on a smaller scale. A couple of the girls in the program and I went here after our tour at the Bow Arts Trust.

HALF A SIXPENCE MUSICAL

Our program got us tickets to Half a Sixpence, and although the storyline was pretty standard, the actors were all very energetic, and it was a great show for a fun night out!

TRAFALGAR SQUARE

A place good for people watching (haha...half kidding). I decided to walk to Trafalgar one day to take night photos of the fountain when they lit up.

Chalk art at Trafalgar.

While waiting for dusk, I sat by the steps and took photos during sunset:

15 minutes after sunset:

Steps overlooking the plaza.

​The last photo before packing up and taking the tube home.

SELFRIDGES OXFORD STREET

Voted one of the best department stores in the world, I knew I had to check it out before my time here ended. I had no intention of buying anything, but it was still a pleasant experience with everyone being extremely friendly and not just trying to sell products. Besides clothes, they have a whole selection of make-up, skin care products, fragrances, and even sweets with all kinds of chocolate and macarons. They also have several restaurants, and for photo-ops, I would go to Aubaine on the second floor! Although their pea soup was good, I would recommend just getting a tea or coffee here after shopping.

SHOREDITCH

I walked to Shorditch multiple times this month for food and more street art. If you want to see more, check out my Shoreditch Street Art blog HERE!

LES MISÉRABLES - QUEEN'S THEATRE

Listening to the soundtrack since I was a little kid, I knew I had to see Les Mis before I left London, and it did not disappoint. Jean Valjean had such a powerful voice that I was blown away the moment he opened his mouth. Javert was also spectacular, and as for the female voices, Eponine and Fantine were spot on and gave me chills. The barricade scene was very dramatic with its lighting, smoke, and gun fire shots that made me jump, and the little boy was very charming! The scenes involving the two innkeepers were hilarious with their subtle facial expressions and movements that lightened up the whole situation, and before I knew it, the musical was over. It was definitely one of the highlights this month.

SOUTH BANK WALK

Our last tour guide was on South Bank, and on this tour we walked through Diagon Alley, saw a replica of Sir Frances Drake's pirate ship, and learned about Shakespeare's past. Shakespeare's Globe is arranged the way it is because of the arrangement of the pubs where the plays took place shown in the photo below. They could charge more for the higher up viewings, and penny seats were the ground level (called penny seats since they were only a penny back then).

The George Inn, Southwark is the oldest pub in London, referred in Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens.

We walked past Borough market, where the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron is (Tacos El Pastor). This was also an area that Shakespeare walked by many times, and Sir Frances Drake's replica of his ship is not far from here.

Right: Portrait of Shakespeare by Jimmy C.

Millennium Bridge: Opening of Half-Blood Prince.

ROMEO AND JULIET - SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE

Standing tickets are only 5 pounds, and although it was raining that day, luckily it didn't rain on us when the play started. The play lasted a little less than 3 hours, and included modern adaptations like neon lights, dinosaur costumes, and...EDM? It was a very interesting and unexpected production of the classic play, and since I didn't bring my camera here, here are screenshots I took off the internet to show what the inside and the play looked like (click on each for the photo source):

OTHER FAVORITES

ST PAUL'S GREEN

Just a short walk from Big Ben and right across from the Churchill War Rooms, this park is perfect for taking a stroll to relax after the touristy areas.

FREYER'S DELIGHT

For their fish and chips.

GYMKHANA

For their Chicken Butter Masala (and a treat yourself night out)! It was the BEST Indian food (and chicken) I've ever had.

CROSSTOWN DONUTS

For their Matcha, or Coldbrew Martini Donut (Coffee lovers -- get this one). Close seconds are Chai Tea followed by Sea-Salt Caramel Banana (Award winning flavour), and Kiwi and Green Apple (Mint glaze was surprisingly good!).

BAO

For their bao's of course! Personal favorites are the Confit and Cod Black.

THE CHEESE WHEEL

For their hand-rolled tagliatelle made in a giant wheel of cheese.

And that's it for April! Only 7 more days until I leave this wonderful city...

Until Next time!

Audey


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