A Travellerspoint blog

London calling, yes, I was there, too!

sunny 20 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

“Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” - Samuel Johnson (No, not the Aussie actor, the English writer!)

Foodie moment

Finally....Dumplings!!!! First opportunity we shot off to Chinatown to help deal with our cravings for Asian food, and we found a dumpling house ordering as many dumplings as we could stuff in. Although more expensive than at home, they hit the spot and will keep us going until we hit Hong Kong and ultimately get back to Melbourne and our fave, North East China Family restaurant!

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We also dealt with our Vietnamese cravings whilst in Hoxton in London. Once again, great food but nothing compared to Melbourne (We love you T'relek restaurant!). Plus we were so hungry we polished the food off before we remembered to take a photo! Oops!

Spitalfields market is a foodie heaven. Cupcakes of every possible flavour, stuffed olives, Baklava and Gourmet wraps and Salads - all good! We had a delicious wrap filled with pulled pork, corn, beans and spicy mayonnaise. So delicious!

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Cultural moment

Visiting Hyde Park Speakers Corner was a cultural experience all of its own! Situated in the North- East corner of Hyde Park in London. Historically it was know as a place you could go to, stand on a box and talk publicly about any subject you had an opinion on. There is a popular belief that there is an immunity from the law when you speak at Speakers Corner but this is not true, the police do tend to be more tolerant of speakers but will step in if they receive a complaint or hear profanity, or the topic is illegal. On the day we went, the area was full of people with at least half a dozen 'speakers' standing on step ladders and folding chairs yelling into the crowd. The majority were speaking about religion, and lets face it they were half-cracked lunatics! It was funny to watch the crowd debating back, but after about 20 minutes of the insanity we had to escape! It would be awesome if it was actually used for topics where people's opinions could be changed and debated, not religion which tends to pretty set in stone for most people.

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Wow moment

The final part of Mark's Christmas present (oh yeah, stretched it out to September!) was a trip to London Dungeon. It was fantastic! Covering 1000yrs of London's murky history including Jack the Ripper and the infamous barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd. We covered the plague, torture chambers and the story of Guy Fawkes (including a preview of what would have happened if he had succeeded!).

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The British Museum is another free attraction in London, and has enough in it to well and truly fill a day! Covering Egyptian, Greek, African, Asian and European history there are over 8 million works to look at! My feet hurt remembering it!

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The British Science Museum is also a free museum, and although its Space section is a little behind the times (no mention of any of the new Mars landing stuff), it is also a great place to visit. Especially good for the kids is a huge hands on area where children can try any kind of experiment they could imagine! Other exhibits include the human body, Computers, Maths, Flight and the modern world.

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What we learnt today

England wouldn't be England without its beers. The two types available at every pub across the country are the Ales and the Lagers. A common misconception back home is that all beer should be served ice cold, and while I initially was one of those misinformed (thinking those poms are all crazy for drinking warm beer), I soon became a fan of the hand pumped room temperature ales. Lagers, like back home, are served through a cold tap because they are known as bottom fermented beers, where they must be fermented in cold temperatures and kept that way. Ales on the other hand are pumped straight from the keg. They are known as top fermented beers, much more common in the olden times because of the lack of refrigeration. They are less carbonated which helps the pints go down, and a lot more tasty. There are common branded ales that you can get at any pub and hundreds of local ales specific to areas (which we got to try at the beginning of our trip at the Colchester beer festival). Luckily pubs aren't in short supply in London and we got to try a couple or four while we were there. I'll still drink my lagers cold that's for sure, but ales are brewed at a warmer temperature and should be drunk that way.

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Posted by travellinglise 11:01 Archived in England

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Comments

Nice blog! good to hear a different perspective on my country whilst presumably travelling through yours!-R

by Brighterside

I agree.... great blog.

And the Brittsh Museum is worth a (rainy) day!

Some picutres I too there, see http://www.historvista.com/historvista/tl3/view0007895.php4

by Jan Boeykens

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