In a city as big and busy as London it’s tempting to put together a tourist’s wish list of activities without regard to location, and as a result spend most of the day going back and forth between sites without really seeing much. We only had one day in the city this time around, so we tried to resist that temptation by first coming up with a list of things we wanted to do, including things that weren’t top line attractions, then picking the ones that were reasonably close to Buckingham Palace. With those constraints it turned out that our activities had shopping and commerce as a common theme.
Although my wardrobe doesn’t show it, I am fascinated by bespoke and high-end men’s clothing and shoes. Jenny says that this is similar to the way Elena feels about princess clothes; I wouldn’t mind having some, but the fascination is in the idea more than the realization. Jenny loves a totally different kind of shopping experience: the open-air market. In London we found both in close proximity: we window shopped along Jermyn Street as we made our way to Picadilly Market. After an ice cream break we headed up to the larger markets in the Camden Town area. We had to walk through lots and lots of identical novelty t-shirts and iPhone cases but eventually found a few things we were looking for, including a pretty coin purse for Elena. We give her all of the coins that we find on the ground, and she needed a place to put them.
We decided to check out another shopping venue–a Salvation Army thrift shop just around the corner from the Vogue offices that is known for having great deals on lightly-used high fashion items. We got there just before closing time and didn’t have time to explore as much as we would have liked; I tried on a couple nice suits, but didn’t pull the trigger. From there we visited Allies, one of the lesser known statues in London, which depicts Churchill and Roosevelt chatting on a bench. It’s a tight squeeze, but there’s room between them for another person to join the discussion.
Our day concluded with a search for dinner. Although I suspected we wouldn’t find any restaurants there, I guided us down Savile Row on our way to busier streets. Jenny’s patience was wearing thin, but as soon as we turned a corner we saw a Whole Foods Market. It wasn’t a culinary adventure, but we needed a break from the slow service and greasy food common to many restaurants. It wasn’t until we sat down with our food that we realized what a long and tiring day we had. Dinner was extra tasty and our upgraded hotel room that night seemed especially nice.