We had breakfast included in our rooms price so we got up at a decent time giving us chance to enjoy a big fry up before setting off for the day. It was the usual buffet style counter where you can have whatever you like. For some reason they didn’t have any bacon and the sausages where chicken and apricot instead of pork. Also the soft boiled eggs were cold and had gone hard. Bec found a curly hair in her mushrooms. And the yoghurt I had was off and had gone sour. So not a great first impression for the food they had on offer.
After our horrible breakfast we walked to the Gloucester Road tube station and caught the District Line to Cannon Street. From there we walked along the River Thames to the Millennium Bridge. We crossed that and entered Tate Modern from the River Entrance. This is the national gallery of international modern and contemporary art and is based inside the former Bankside Power Station.
It’s a huge place with seven floors of exhibitions and facilities most of which are free. On level three the Poetry and Dream displays were devoted to Surrealism. On level five the States of Flux displays focused on Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism. We spent a couple of hours looking around then we called in the restaurant on the seventh floor for a sit down and a cup of coffee.
After that brief rest we walked from the gallery down Queen Street and Marshalsea Road to Borough Market. It’s one of London’s most renowned food markets, a huge partially covered mish mash of over 130 different stalls. It’s foodie heaven and we enjoyed looking around at the vast selection of produce for quite a while. We had a brief stop for a Damascan falafel wrap at the Aribica stall.
We bought a few Portuguese Tarts from a nearby stall which were absolutely delicious. Then we walked to the Borough tube station and caught the next train to the Tower Of London. The tickets were £17 each and if you don’t tell them otherwise a 10% voluntary donation is automatically added. I didn’t realise this until after we’d paid so it cost us £37.40 for the two tickets to get in. The Tower Of London is actually a collection of separate buildings inside two separate defensive walls and a moat. The beginnings of it were founded in 1066 and it’s grown and changed purpose over the years. It was a royal palace for a while and a prison for much longer. There’s over twenty different towers dotted around the site, some you can go in others you can’t. There’s also the Fusiliers Museum, the new Armouries Restaurant and the Tower Café. Probably the most visited area though is that containing the Crown Jewels. From the main entrance we passed several towers before joining the East Wall Walk. We followed that to the other end passing through more towers as we went. Then we had a look around the White Tower which had an armouries exhibition amongst other things in the many different rooms. After that we had a look at the Crown Jewels. An interesting exhibit with untold fortunes on display. There’s plenty more to see in the many different towers. We had two hours looking around it all before we left to catch the tube.
We caught the Circle Line from the nearby Tower Hill station. We got off at Westminster and changed on to the Jubilee Line which took us to Green Park. Leaving the tube we walked away from Buckingham Palace and towards Piccadilly Circus. Past the impressive looking Ritz Hotel we called in at Fortnum And Mason. The window displays were very impressive, you can’t tell from the picture how they were actually a 3D model behind the frames. Inside the store it was packed full of Christmas shoppers, even busier than Harrods the day before. We had a brief look round but it was too busy to browse. We bought a couple of tubes of biscuits, they were pretty expensive costing nearly £17 for the two. By now it was nearly 18:30 so we walked back to the Green Park tube station and caught the Piccadilly Line back to Gloucester Road and our hotel.
There was no time for a rest when we got back, so after a quick shower and change we headed out for another night of food and drink. This time we walked down Gloucester Road until we reached Old Brompton Road where we turned right. Just a few minutes walk along this road brought us to the Duke Of Clarence. We called in here for a drink, the place was packed with no where to sit. I had another Fuller’s beer, this time a London Porter, Bec had a Carling. We stood by the bar and drank up fairly quickly, it was a bit too busy for a relaxing drink.
Moving on we crossed the road and called in the Drayton Arms. It was busy in here too but there were still a couple of free tables. I got a pint Chiswick Bitter, another one made by Fuller’s, Bec had a pint of Peroni. We sat and studied the food menu, it looked pretty good with some interesting dishes. Looking around lots of people were eating, it seemed like a popular place for food and drink.
We liked it in the Drayton Arms, unfortunately we’d booked a table at the Greek restaurant further down the road so we couldn’t stay for another drink. Instead we supped up and walked to As Greek As It Gets, a restaurant we’d read good reviews for before we’d left home. If we hadn’t got a cooked breakfast in the morning we’d probably have gone for a Meze. We decided that would be too much food so went for a selection of dishes instead. From the fairly large menu we picked Kalamarakia, deep fried calamari with garlic dip. Kolokythakia Tiganita, courgette fritters topped with grated kefalotyri cheese. Soutzoukakia Politika, lamb meatballs in cumin & tomato sauce. Fasolia Gigandes, home made baked giant beans. Dip Me Pites, a selection of dips with pita bread. Horiatiki, which was a Greek salad. To go with it we had a bottle of house red and water. The restaurant was busy but the food came reasonably quickly. In fact a bit too quickly as it all arrived at once and we didn’t have room for it on our small table. What we had was nice but a bit expensive. It cost £59 for the food and drink, which we enjoyed but probably wouldn’t go back.
After we’d finished our meal we had a slow walk back to the hotel. It took around half an hour, plenty of time for all the food to go down.