Taylor Swift, Cheese and Wine and The Book of Mormon.
It was the last weekend of June, England was enjoying a heat wave and summer was officially here. I had been bought Taylor Swift tickets for Christmas to see her perform at Hyde Park and decided to make a full weekend out of it. I hadn’t been to London for a good 10 years so I was excited to see how the city had changed. I am a country girl at heart so whenever I go to London I find the crowds and noise some what overwhelming and although I enjoy my time there, I am never sad to leave.
We were booked into the Rydges Hotel in Kensington for the first night as it was near to Hyde Park and a good location for walking to/from the concert. Unfortunately I didn’t realise quite how big Hyde Park was and the concert was at the opposite end. So we endured a long walk there in the blistering London heat! We had tickets for the VIP section which had lots of seating, bars and a dedicated viewing area for the concert. Although it was a bit more than we would usually spend I have to say, it was worth it! You could come and go as you pleased and still have an amazing view of the stage.
The bars served an array of drinks from champagne to beer to cocktails and I had an incredible burger with pulled pork and mac n cheese ON THE BURGER! Amazing. We saw Ellie Golding, John Newman and then the amazing Taylor Swift. She was just incredible and words can not even begin to describe how amazing the whole night was. As the concert drew to an end we made our way back through Hyde Park to the hotel.
Our hotel was clean and comfortable but given the price we paid for it, we would have expected something a bit more special. I suppose the price we paid was for the location rather than the hotel itself. We cannot fault it as such, I just couldn’t see why it was priced as it was.
We moved to our next hotel right near Trafalgar Square for the next couple of nights. We stayed at the Z Hotel and I could not rave about it more. The rooms were small and there was no privacy when it came to using the bathroom however the bed was super comfy, there was a flat screen tv with all the channels you could want and the best bit, free cheese and wine in the evening.
We spent many hours in the National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery. I find I get lost looking at all the pictures and the stories behind them. I was disappointed though on my visit to the National Gallery because the room where Monet and Van Gough paintings were kept was ‘closed for refurbishment’. However, the rest of the gallery is pretty mesmerising and you can’t complaint getting to see the likes of Rembrandt, Constable and Da Vinci all under one roof.
The portrait gallery was a pleasant surprise. I used to be fascinated by certain eras of history, in particular the Tudors and the Victorians and seeing all those famous characters brought to life by their portraits was truly fascinating. I spent far too many hours in the gallery and found that by the time we emerged we were ravenous as had not eaten since breakfast!
Luckily, we were booked into Big Easy that night and what a feast we had. I had lobster Mac n Cheese, which was incredible. My two favourite things combined; half a grilled lobster atop decadent mac n cheese. Heaven.
Whilst in London we also had tickets to see the Book of Mormon. I didn’t know much about it before going to see the show, aside from the fact it was written by the same people who wrote South Park (this should have given me an indication of the language and themes I would encounter in the show). It was a fantastic show, possibly one of the best musicals I have seen (and I have seen a lot as I LOVE musicals). It was shockingly rude at times and my mouth was open at some of the comments made. I just could not believe that a musical (which is meant to be nicey-nicey) was coming out with such expletives! However the show was fantastic and I can not wait for it to start touring so I can see it again up in Manchester.
Overall I had a great weekend in London, it was insanely hot (being a northerner I am not used to such heat) and busy but I had an amazing time at Taylor Swift and the Book of Mormon and enjoyed some great food and wine. Although I was happy to leave the hustle and bustle of London behind I am already looking forward to my next trip.
Any suggestions for my next trip to London?