Monday: Tea, Shopping, Culture Shock

We left on Monday morning on a mission for high tea. Of everything we wanted to do in London, this was top priority, and it seemed appropriate to go on our anniversary.

Lexy’s research on tea services in London turned up a particular restaurant that specialized in a vegan menu. It was within walking distance of our hotel, so that was a bonus, and the directions were easy… or so we thought.

Chris made a friend after we headed out. He purred with a British accent.

We went up the correct street initially, but walked right past where we were supposed to go. The sign was nondescript and easy to miss.

We quickly learned that a single wrong turn in London can cause major problems, as the street grid is utter chaos. We were suddenly lost. Luckily we came across a bus station with a “YOU ARE HERE” map from which we were able to reorient ourselves. We showed up only a half hour late for our reservation.

Tea service was very similar to what we’re used to in California, except for the vegan menu, which she hasn’t been able to find at home.

For the first round of tea, Lexy had Genmaicha; Chris went with Earl Grey.



Then came the sandwiches. Lexy’s favorite was the sunflower seed pesto and the mushroom. Chris liked the tofu scramble.

Scones were next (lots of them), then another round of tea, and finally, dessert.

Happy anniversary!

After our long and leisurely afternoon tea, we explored nearby Queensway Road, a busy shopping district, stopping at a grocery store (Tesco) to stock up on snacks and breakfast items for the hotel room. We’ve found most of London to be expensive so far, but groceries almost bizarrely cheap.

At dusk, we went to take a walk in Hyde Park. Unfortunately, they closed the gates soon after we got there. We’ll be back.

For dinner, we decided to keep things simple and order room service.

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One day after landing, we’re starting to get our bearings. English-speaking as it may be, London is still quite foreign. Nearly every step we take is hesitant, since literally everything here is different, if not outright backwards, from what we know. We always feel that we’re on the edge of doing something awkward, rude, or deadly.

Our room is comfortable.

Upon entering, we encountered a booking snafu. We got a room for “two travellers”, but didn’t check our parameters thoroughly, and ended up with two beds!

Believe it or not though, this actually works out just fine. Lexy is a tosser and turner (especially with such a dramatic shock to sleep patterns), but with separate beds, she can thrash around like the Kraken all night without bothering Chris.

Our command center (centre?), from which we plan (and blog):

Our disturbingly-narrow bathroom door:

Tuesday we’ll check out the Thames area.

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