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In three days we were able to knock out most of the usual tourist attractions in London, as well as spend some time soaking in the art. We hit up the National Gallery and Tate Modern, although we missed out on the Tate Britain, full of gorgeous Turners, so I’ll have to see that again when I come back. Still on medication I had to take it easy on the bitters, which was hard for me to do, but Mom got her fish and chips at a pub, so all was well.
Our last day in town started with a full English breakfast. Mom didn’t know what she was getting herself into, but she seemed to enjoy the baked beans, grilled tomatoes, ham, sausage, eggs and mushrooms. I had potatoes instead of the meat, and for this potato addict, I couldn’t be happier. I also don’t think we realized how good we had it in England with large mugs of coffee. The rest of Europe just hasn’t figured out the joy of a vat of warm liquid in the morning. Instead they just get a jolt from a small sip of espresso they call a coffee.
After breakfast we headed out to Notting Hill and Portobello Road where the streets are full of antiques and nick-knacks galore. You could spend all day wandering the market and your eyes would still find something new around every corner. The clothes on the other hand are the same in the shops and in every market around London. Its easy to spot other tourists by their three layered scarfs, locket clocks, and cheaply made tops. I own one of each from last time in London. I awkwardly strutted by the scarf stalls while wearing my own matching garment. One stall had wooden type from a printing press in London, and although I knew it was overpriced, I couldn’t resist. The designer in me was drooling over the slew of letters still stained with ink that had been used in the late 1800s. This was a piece of my heritage. How could I pass it up?
Lunch had to be at Borough Market. I really don’t understand why England has such a bad reputation for food, when fresh markets are filled to the brim with delectable edibles. After the best lentil fajita I’ve ever had, we wandered by fresh bread baked in flower pots, kegs of mulled cider, fruit, flowers, and cheese.
The evening was filled with swing dancing of course. London has my heart partly because of the selection of swing dancing every night of the week. There just happened to be a big dance while we were in town too. Porchester hall, a beautiful old ballroom, was filled with the sounds of a seventeen piece band playing great classics and occasionally a singer would come out for a Peggy Lee tune or two. The room lit up with all of the dancers and I can’t wait to go back for more.