On our last full day in London, we had four places to visit: the Globe Theatre, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Fortnum & Mason, and Savile Row. We managed 3/4, but found a bonus gem along the way: Borough Market!
We hadn’t planned to visit, but as we made our way from the London Bridge tube station towards the Globe Theatre, we passed by Borough Market vendors setting up their stalls.
People already beginning to make their purchases of the day.
We intended to take the first tour available at the Globe so didn’t have time to stop and peruse, but we promised ourselves to return to the market once we were finished.
Macbeth, one of my favourite of Shakespeare’s plays, opened today! I wanted to go… maybe next time we’ll take some time to watch something.
Imogen, renamed and reclaimed. I love the name change! And I couldn’t help but think of Karen, who I took Dr. Sirluck’s Shakespeare & the Renaissance class with last year. (If any readers go to UBC: take her class! It’s fantastic, even if you don’t like Shakespeare!)
Picture with the Millennium Bridge, rebuilt from the last Wizarding War.
The current setup for Macbeth. Ghostly heads and crowns–my kind of play.
The tour itself is always fun and I highly recommend it, even if Shakespeare isn’t your cup of tea. There’s a lot of Elizabethan history packed in, and morbidly fascinating tidbits of information on culture at the time. I’ve been on it twice, once in 2013 and now in 2016, and I’ve enjoyed both experiences. Students get in for £10.20, and it’s incredibly entertaining. The tours are all done by production members in plays that go on at the Globe (ours was a swordmaster and actor), so they’re not your average tour guide.
The Globe’s curious thatched roof. I’ll let you learn why it’s so mossy when you go on the tour yourself!
I don’t actually like beer, but this little set was so cool.
The tour conveniently ends, as most tours do–though your tour guide will with good humour point it out to you–at the gift shop. There’s a range of goodies for all your nerdy Shakespeare-loving friends.
A Shakespearean oyster quote design on an oyster card holder. If going to London was a regular thing for us, we’d have gotten these card holders!
After our tour, we headed back where we came to check out Borough Market.
Please ignore the camera strap off to the side… . Kit & Ace! A newish Vancouver cashmere brand that’s already made it’s way across the pond.
At the market we picked up Croatian sausage, singled out our favourite bottle at the Olive Oil Company (white balsamic vinegar), and purchased a small loaf of bread to go with our new makeshift picnic. Everything in London is expensive, so Borough Market is no exception, but it’s a bit like an incomparably better Costco in that you can taste test most food items such as oils, vinegars, pestos, etc. with little chunks of bread, as well as taste test meats and such. You can easily get full just taste testing everything the market has to offer.
We also bought scallops and oysters, which never made it to the picnic because they were eaten on the spot.
After basking in all that delicious food, we walked back over to the Millennium bridge and crossed over to St. Paul’s.
Tragically, both of us royally messed up and forgot that viewing inside St. Paul’s closes at 11:30am. I know. We had bought tickets, too. Did the same thing happen the last time I went to London? For whatever reason, I also have no memory of having ever been inside, though I do remember walking towards St. Paul’s back in 2013 as well.
This isn’t even St. Paul’s. St. Paul’s is bigger and more majestic looking… this is the Imperial Courts of Justice building nearby.
This picture is actually not from today. I just wanted to stick it in here because I forgot to yesterday. It’s a dog in a dutch painting resting in the V & A. Isn’t it the cutest thing ever?! It reminds me so much of my own dog, who I miss a lot right now. (Disclaimer: my dog doesn’t look like this… he’s a little mutt with a lot of poodle in him. But he’s old and he sits like this now).
Saying “ah well,” and heading over to Fortnum Mason, we entered a shopping district.
Idris for Superdry.
And finally we arrived at Fortnum & Mason. High tea was all booked up on the fourth floor, but we took the Piccadilly Tea offered on the main floor of the building, with a table overlooking a quiet street below.
Alice Through the Looking Glass! For all the Alice-related displays at the front of the store and the central staircase installation, there wasn’t actually any Alice-related teacups or anything (I would have given all my remaining pounds for something Film Alice-related!). Just a small table with one single themed set of book-related Alice ware.
Our little meal was delicious. F got steak on toast and I chose shrimp on toast to start. Green sencha and the Countess teas (green and black) to compliment our cakes… Victoria sponge and the strawberry cake. Delicious!!! Fortnum and Mason is such a touristy thing to do, but we are tourists and the cake really was a treat. Yummy stuff.
And that concluded our last day in London, for the most part. The next day, we’d be taking our bags and hopping onto the Eurostar, ready to meet Paris.