22 May 2015

London Revisited by AteTinTin

8/17

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Today we have a free day and I need a break from the beans on toast in the hotel. I never really noticed this bakery before, but in my search for the other Caffe Nero I ran into this place. Once I went inside I had to get breakfast because it was so cute and nothing on the menu said beans or toast. I ordered a bowl of porridge with fresh fruit and a slice of their banana cake with an Americano.

What a great change up! It was so refreshing and yummy. I never had porridge before. I thought it would be like oatmeal, but I was very different in a good way. I like it.

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I was afraid we would not be able to get tickets to see this because they were sold out online, however Daniel found out that they sold 100 tickets to the exhibit in the mornings. So Sydney, Daniel, and I hustled our little booties down to the V&A to see some of McQueen's amazing works. I'm sad we could not take pictures inside because the exhibit was AMAZING. They did a great job of grouping his work into themed rooms and presenting them in a way that McQueen would be proud of. I wish I could own some of the clothes. The pieces were beautiful.

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It took me while to find this place. I didn't realize how far up Portobello Road this place was. However once I found it, I was really underwhelmed. The place looked cool but was completely empty and the espresso was not good. The staff was friendly enough, but the coffee was definitely not worth the trek up here. It's a bummer but hey they can't all be great.

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In the time I've been to London, I have never done the Jack the Ripper Tour. Part of me thought it was uber touristy and something I would not like.

I was totally wrong though. The tour was really cool because it talks about a time in England that tends to be romanticized. It also allowed us to explore a neighborhood and to understand its place in London history. We were able to go to pretty inane locations and understand that something important happened there even though there was no plaque or way to mark it.nThe Jack the Ripper tour really gives a better indication of what that time looked like for the less fortunate and the poor. Interesting, but a bit scary.

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The East End of London has always been a colorful place. I did not realize how colorful the art here was. The murals were cool. They dotted the different metal doors of the stores in the area and covered some of the larger walls. It seems like everyone here makes an effort to decorate their security gates and walls. It's nice because it shows that they accept the cool artsy and young population moving in. Definitely a good place to explore.

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Not many people know this but London is made up of boroughs so similar to New York City. The only one known as the City of London is the part of the city with most of the financial institutions. It is the part of the city that has most of the skyscrapers, like the Gerkin and the Cheese Grater. I really did not like this area when I lived here but now I have an appreciation for the area and the buildings that touch the sky.