I wasn't sure if Ana and I would be able to visit this coffee shop in the morning. It was farther and it opened later, which would make it difficult. However today, we have a later start so Ana and I woke up early enough to walk out here and make it back in time for breakfast.
Other than Coffee Plant, this was my favorite coffee house. It was a really cool place with a lot of comfortable seating and the area seemed pretty cool. We did not get to stay too long, but the place was full anyway. I'll have to come back here next time I come back into town.
Today we leave from Victoria Station. I love Victoria station because it is such a remnant from the Victorian Era. It's gorgeous in it's steel beams and high curving glass ceilings. It's so classically London that it's hard not to be in awe of it. Most people probably just pass through it never really taking it in, but it has a look that is all it's own and should be appreciated.
We are on our way to the charity group Emmaus in Lambeth. I'm really excited about this because it took forever to organize. I worked for almost three weeks with Claire (from Emmaus) to put this together. Now that we are on our way I'm very curious to meet the people and see their operations.
Emmaus runs a series of charity shops that help to give the homeless skills and a roof over their head, so that someday they can live independently. It is an operation that I think is very progressive and sustainable.
The visit to Emmaus was really eye opening and amazing. We were able to talk and meet with actual people who are in the system. The we met were extremely articulate and grateful for Emmaus. They were great. I am not sure if everyone really listened and took things in, but I'm glad we got to go.
After the tour, all of the students wanted to come back. I wanted to chill out, so I told everyone that I was planning on doing a picnic in the gardens in front of Buckingham Palace and picking up lunch from Mark and Spencers again. Ana, Daniel, Robert, Jason, and Dylan decided to join me. We had a nice peaceful lunch where we talked about the trip and what we have seen. It was cool to hear their perspective. Halfway through lunch, Robert and Jason left to find the London Meat Market. Ana decided to stay in the park and read. Daniel and Dylan wanted to pass by the Royal Haymarket Theatre to buy tickets to the Elephant Man. I decided to join them and offered to take them on the scenic route.
I had never walked from Buckingham to Bayswater before. When I saw it on the map I thought it was too far. However I of all people should know how small Central London is. I first took them through Admiralty Gate to Trafalgar Square where I gave them a little history lesson about it. Then we walked to the Royal Haymarket Theatre where we got our tickets. From there we walked to Picadilly Cirucs and then onto Regents Street where we connected to Oxford Street. On Oxford Street, I made them to get ice cream from Thornton's so that they could try the honeycomb ice cream. After Oxford street it was a straight shot to Marble Arch and then onto Bayswater Road to our Hotel. It was a cool walk because we saw a lot of cool things in such a short period of time. This is the genius that is LONDON.
I had walked down Regent's Street a couple of times before, but this is the first time I've spent time to really look around and to walk into stores. Daniel wanted to go into Burberry, so we walked around that amazing store. It was beautiful and I could not afford a thing in it. Then I saw that there was a Nespresso Store and I was able to get us free samples of the new pod Peru. I was definitely in tourist mode on this street because it was like seeing it for the first time. My favorite part of Regent Street was the Karl Lagerfeld window. How cute is that?!
I'm still in thrifty mode at this point. So Ana and I decide to get dinner at Mark and Spencers, where I get a salad and then a bag of their famous cookies. Yummy! I swear I'm addicted. I bought a bag to share with Ana, but in reality I pretty much ate the entire bag on my own. So sad, but so good. What to do, what to do.