Tower of London
I love sparkly things and dark, morbid stories – nowhere blends those two together as seamlessly as the Tower of London. Visit the tower if you want to read about executions and imprisonments or if you want to see the beautiful Crown Jewels. If you visit in the winter months, they even offer an outdoor, twilight tour that’s supposedly creepier. Also, if you’re like me and looking at other people’s crowns makes you sad, then stop by the Tower’s Jewel House shop and buy one of your own. The first time I went to London when I was 16, I bought a sterling silver crystal tiara there that I still have today. I ended up spending a little more on it than I had intended since, being a dumb teenager, I completely forgot about the whole conversion rate thing. But it is really beautiful, and when I wear it to formal events, I love getting to tell everyone it is from the Tower of London.
One of my favorite memories from London is having tea at the Georgian Restaurant inside of Harrod’s department store. Their tea room is really lovely with crystal chandeliers, white tablecloths, and a piano player in the corner. After you’ve been served your selected tea type -I stuck with the classic Earl Grey; Liz was more adventurous and tried the Rooibos – then the waiters bring out a multi-tiered tray filled with all sorts of goodies. One tier has miniature desserts, like fruit tarts, coconut macaroons, and chocolate pastries. The second layer has English scones and jellies, and the last one has a variety of little sandwich; my favorite of which was made with a lobster cream paste. Liz and I stayed here for a couple hours and we ended up drinking about two pots of tea each.
The Science Museum
Easy name to remember, right? This is a big, interactive museum featuring hands-on science experiments, an IMAX cinema, a 3D flight simulator, workshops for kids, and a horrible machine that will digitally age your face.
Shopping at Harrods
Anyone who loves shopping has to stop by Harrods. It’s the most amazing department store ever – it easily beats the Macy’s in NYC. They even have a section called Pet Kingdom. It sells everything from designer dog clothes to canopy pet beds. I got my kitty the softest velvet blanket with a little teddy bear attached.
Any fan of the late Princess Diana should visit Kensington Palace, her home from 1981 until her death in 1997. Even after all these years, people still sometimes leave flowers and letters at the gate. She reminds me of Marilyn Monroe in a way – I’m not saying their lives or personalities were similar, but they both obviously had a gift for being able to inspire or connect with people they never even met.
Double Decker Bus Tour
This will take you by all the major sites, like Buckingham Palace, Picadilly Circus, and Big Ben.
This extremely slow ferris wheel isn’t my personal favorite, but if you want to see a good view of London, then you might want to check it out.
Madame Tussaud’s Museum
I also don’t understand the appeal of these wax museums – when you get down to it, they’re just fancy candles. However, I’ll include it on the list because I know they’re really popular. And I guess it is your best bet if you’re trying to convince people you bumped into Kate Middleton.
London is considered one of the best cities in the world for live theatre, so definitely try to see a play. Note for Spice Girl fans -Viva Forever is a new musical based off the Spice Girl’s music! It hadn’t opened yet when I was there, so somebody see it for me and report back.