8 hours in london

8 hours in london

When you find out your reservation has been cancelled, and you’ll now have to fly to London before you can get back home, you get upset, and then you remember how much you enjoy London and decide to make lemon curd out of these airline lemons you’ve been given.  So, with just 8 hours in London, and jet lag, we got to it.

8 hours in LondonBecause this side trip was last minute, we decided against paying for the express train from Heathrow into the city.  We were on a budget, and needed to be mindful of that at all times.  We decided on taking the Picadilly line tube, from Heathrow.   The trip was around 1 hour, but when you’re jet lagged, you’re quite happy for the break.  It went by pretty quickly.  We decided to get off at the Leicester station.

8 Hours in London

8 hours in LondonLeicester is hectic, lively and British.  So, what was the first thing we did?  We headed to Starbucks of course!  Listen, if you’ve been reading, jet lag was beginning to kick my arse, and I needed a pumpkin latte.  I must say, the ration was off, and the home country does it better.   1 for America, 0 for Brexit.

One of my favorite things about London is the architecture.  As modern as the stores and styles are around you, those buildings tell their own stories.  I love to people watch, but London is a great “building watch” city.8 hours in London  I wasn’t there long before I saw a Shakespeare sign on the side of one of those awesome buildings.
8 hours in LondonI’m a big Shakespeare girl, so that drew me right in.

8 Hours in London

As we were getting our London on, I realized we were surrounded by, wait for it,  AMERICA!  Yes, yes, yes, I did go to Starbucks, it’s true, but what was 5 guys, Chipotle and TGIF doing there?  My country insists on traveling with me, even when I leave it.  There was a bit of sophistication to our not so sophisticated restaurants in London.  Leave it to the Brits to have me checking out the architecture in Chipotle’s.

I’d never been to Leicester, and I liked the vibe. I loved seeing all the theaters and the side streets.
My eyes didn’t know where to look.  Between the red buses, the red phone booths and the buildings, I knew just what city I was in.  Being a New Yorker, I’m a fan of sensory overload.8 hours in London

8 Hours in London

Food actually lead us to Leicester.  Remember that budget I talked about?  I was in search of a Jamaican patty restaurant I’d heard of.  I LOVE Jamaican food, so I thought this place would be up my alley.  My Portuguese husband had never tried one, so I thought he’d get a kick out of it too.  Jamaican Patty Co. is on a busy side street, a couple of minutes from the tube.  We made a beeline for the ackee and saltfish and curry goat patties. 8 hours in London

Ackee and saltfish is a national dish in Jamaica and it was lovely in the patty, albeit it a tad heavy on the saltfish.  The real standout was the curry goat.  This was an absolute treat.  Now, if you’re familiar with Jamaican patties, you should know the crust is not the typical one here.  This one was more puff pastry.  While I prefer the more traditional crust, I thoroughly enjoyed this new take.

For 5 British pounds, I got 1 patty, a bag of plantain chips (they are my obsession) and a can of Ting.  If you don’t know about Ting, we can no longer be friends.  Just one patty each and a Ting left us surprisingly full.  I’d definitely recommend this place if you’re looking for something cheap, filling and just darn good while you’re in London.

With our bellies full, but our bodies getting increasingly tired, we decided on spending our last couple of hours doing something chill.  We lucked out, in terms of weather, and got a mostly sunny day.  Being the parkologist that I am, I determined Hyde Park would be the perfect place to relax.

TIP:  If you find yourself in London on a layover, it costs the same amount for getting individual tickets to and from the airport as it does a day pass. Go for the day pass.

Because we did, we only had to hop back on the Piccadilly line and head to the Hyde Park Corner station.8 hours in London  It was the perfect change of pace.  The leaves were beginning to change and fall and we were able to fully relax.  We headed over to the pond and battled with the birds.  Okay, it wasn’t much of a battle, but as someone who is not a fan of birds I can’t cook, it felt like one.  The sun was shining, the dogs were chasing and we spent the rest of our time in the park.

8 Hours in London

8 hours in LondonOn the way out, we passed by the rose garden and even though their season was coming to an end, I was still able to get some good shots.  We’ll be back in London in December, when Hyde Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland.   No doubt another blog will be inspired from that trip!

8 hours in LondonFrom Hyde Park, we hopped back on the Piccadilly line and headed back to Heathrow.  Could we have done more?  Absolutely! But I’m a fan of enjoying the places you visit and trying not to cram too much into one trip.  London is a great city to explore if you’re just passing through, and with only 8 hours in the city, we made the most of it, our way!

8 Hours in London

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By | 2017-08-08T17:41:29+00:00 October 24th, 2016|Food, Travel|Comments Off on 8 Hours in London
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