I love when friends come to visit, because it gives me an excuse to do all the touristy things in London I tend to avoid.
Since I’ll be here for a year, I try to do and see more things that are off the beaten track. When I first came here in 2012 to study for a semester, I spent that time checking off the “must do” tourist attractions. Now, I avoid those places in search of a more authentic London vibe.
My friend Deator came to visit me for a week! We first met in 2012 when we were both studying in London, and kept in touch despite living on opposite sides of the US.
She arrived Sunday morning, and we spent the rest of the morning/early afternoon catching up and reminiscing in my bed over sour patch kids and pop tarts.
Deator introduced me to the BBC series Sherlock, so it was only fitting that my first time at the Sherlock Holmes Museum was with her!
It was a nifty little museum! I grew up on the old Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories and listening to them on the old radio shows, and this museum did them justice, as well as the new BBC show.
The actual museum is right next door, guarded by a man in uniform! It’s fairly cramped inside, and only has about two rooms on each of its three floors.
Not going to lie, while I enjoyed the second and third floors, I did find the mannequins a bit creepy…
The gift shop was wonderful, and had a nice blend between the two! I didn’t get anything, but when I take my mom in May I may go back for a few trinkets!
Little Bear-lock Holmes with his world’s tiniest violin!
I had to pop into this shop, since it was right next door! It took a lot of willpower not to buy anything!
We ended up at St Paul’s Cathedral for their afternoon Sunday service. We went mostly to hear the choir sing, which was simply heavenly! I made a mental note to go back to hear them sing again.
The church is so beautiful, and it kills me that I can’t take pictures inside!
The next day we started off by having a deliciously unhealthy breakfast at the Cereal Killer Cafe!
I think it’s safe to say she liked it…
Next on our list was the British Museum, or, as I prefer to call it, an “active crime scene”. This is probably one of my favorite museums in London, after the V&A (Victoria and Albert).
I took her to the Sky Garden for a nice view of the city. That place never gets old! (For more pictures of the Sky Garden, see my post, From The Rooftops of London – Sky Garden)
We ended the night by stopping at Wagamama’s (our longtime favorite restaurant) and watched Zootropolis (apparently it’s called Zootopia in America??). That movie was hysterical, and probably one of the best I’ve seen in a long time!
The next morning we woke up early to visit Camden Market. Deator used to work in the area, so it was cool to walk by her old building (she didn’t quite think so!).
Camden is one of the coolest places in London! So many things to see, and it’s one of the best places to people watch. We grabbed lunch from the street venues, and walked around for a bit.
I finally found the Amy Winehouse statue! Before she became famous, she used to work at some of the local shops in the area.
I love the views along the canals.
Walking through the old horse stables is always interesting! These old stables have been converted into little shops, with the original dividers still in place.
Always something to see!
I love the street art in this part of London! Especially when it’s Beatles-related
Kensington Palace was next on our list. For more, read my post all about the palace and our old haunts in the neighborhood (see: Kensington)