It was my first time visiting London (not counting Heathrow) and I was pretty excited, to say the least.
On this trip we divided up by the classes we were taking. I was studying English literature, so my group went on a literary walking tour around the river. It was a cool, grey July day, and we were dropped off besides a very choppy-looking Thames. We started our tour at Shakespeare's Globe Theater.
Which was amazing.
Like I could do an entire post on the Globe. But I am a Shakespeare fangirl and would probably embarrass myself, so anyway...
After a quick lunch we walked across the Thames and down the Strand to visit Dr. Johnson's House, which we toured as well.
While in England, I realized that the English are much better at giving tours than Americans. Instead of guiding you through the house or museum, watching you carefully to make sure you don't touch anything, they just let you roam about and assume you aren't an idiot. It's quite refreshing. And then of course they also provide you with things you are allowed to play with...
After a full day of walking, the entire group was pretty tired by the time we hit Covenant Gardens. Everyone was given free-time to shop and look around, so we all scattered to find benches or coffee shops to sit down in.
Although the entire walk through the West End was fabulous, the food so far had been a little underwhelming. For lunch we had stopped at places like Pret a Manger to quickly grab sandwiches (the British are a lot like Americans in that respect).
But dinner was to be a special three-course affair. All the classes came together at a place near the theater (we took up almost the entire basement) for a meal that was specially prepared for us. We had picked out the food weeks ahead, so of course I really couldn't remember what I'd ordered.
Apparently, I had chosen the Roasted Tomato and Basil soup.
For my entree, The Veggie Pot Pie.
This had a lot of sweet potatoes, carrots, and moroccan spices that were really unusual (but good!) and I really liked the flakey top crust.
And finally, what I was most excited about, because I actually did remember what I ordered: The Spotted Dick. The classic English dish was on my list of things I Had To Try while abroad.
It was alright. The custard was creamy, but there was hardly any raisins: where are the spots, I say?
So for my first time in London, I'd have to say, the food didn't impress. But the company well made up for it really. And like any big city, you can never take it all in in one day. I knew I would have more chances to see London, and so I couldn't wait to come back.