We stayed at the Novotel Wembley, which meant a lovely view of the famous arch. England were playing a couple of days later but it was surprisingly quiet – although a shame I didn’t see the arch properly lit up. The location was excellent, as we missed the hustle and bustle of the city centre, but could easily get around on the tube (Wembley Park on the Met Line was minutes away). Apparently, there’s an outlet store now as well – and for the festive season, an ice rink. We didn’t go but it’s certainly worth thinking about and a great hotel to stay it if you’re planning on going. We paid £67 for a room and breakfast and on arrival, found out rooms were going for £300+.
On our first evening, we ate Hawksmoor Seven Dials (which you can read about here). It was by far, the best meal I’d ever had, never mind the best steak! I had 400g of rib eye and it was cooked absolutely beautifully – I don’t think I could ever have steak again, anywhere else. It’s actually one of the places I’m considering booking for my 25th birthday in a couple of months; the cocktail is so extensive and I only sampled one, so what better reason?
We also took a trip to the Cambridge Theatre and saw Matilda the Musical. I love going to see shows in London and normally prefer plays over musicals, but this was great! Again, the location was good, easy to get to and lots of places to eat and drink in close proximity. If you’ve not been to see it yet, I highly recommend it – although it is quite long, so take the kids to a matinee! The performance was so energetic, parts were hilarious and when I look back on it, it still puts a smile on my face.
All around London at the moment are Paddington Bear figures – there are 50 in total and they’re all part of the Paddington Trail (you may have see the hash tag on Twitter). Eventually the figures will be auctioned off with the proceedings going to the NSPCC. How many have you spotted so far? I loved the Sherlock Bear, designed by Benedict Cumberbatch (Museum of London) but first we saw the Bear Necessities (The British Museum). We were definitely really touristy on our second day!
I don’t think I’d been to The British Museum before, but I loved it. I wish we had more time there, as I don’t feel like I saw enough – there’s so many different rooms, it’s difficult cramming it in, no matter how long you have. We followed the route suggested on the map as were short of time (they recommend an hour to 90 minutes). It will sound really nerdy but I love looking at old artefacts; things like ceramics, jewellery and paintings are what interest me most.
Another place I’ve blogged about is BRGR.CO where we had afternoon tea. It was so much fun and a unique take on what is quintessentially a British past time. The fact that Time Out rated it in their 101 things to do in London means it’s worth trying out – it wasn’t my favourite afternoon tea experience but I’m glad I did it.
We ended the day with a trip to the Museum of London, but only because I wanted to see the Paddington exhibition. It was in reality, quite disappointing and I was really underwhelmed. I was expecting a big exhibition, but it was only a small display, with an extra interactive area (for children). By this stage, I was exhausted after being up so early and lugging my heavy bag and coat around all day, so we only spent about 40 minutes there. I loved Victorian Street; looking at all the shops set up was almost like going back in time and reminded me of my Victorian school trip when I was in year 5! If only I was dressed up to fit in... It was great seeing the Olympic Torch and the section dedicated to London 2012 was incredible too – bringing back so many good memories of sporting achievements!