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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

London's Hidden Beauty

Hi again everyone!
The weekend before last (when it was still sunny), I took a friend who had only just come to London a few months back on a tour of London's hidden beauty. She had seen all the main things, so I took her out for cupcakes at my favourite cupcake place and then on an impromptu tour of all things I thought she should know exist in London. We came across so many gorgeous places and had a great day taking pics. So yes, this post will be a little photo-heavy, but I've tried to resize everything to a good size so the loading won't take forever. Ready to join my on a tour of London's hidden beauty?

 First stop: cupcakes at Bea's of Bloomsbury! We managed to get a table for an hour before a big group arrived and as usual it was so worth it :)

I'd never been upstairs at Bea's but look at this amazing lighting scheme! I love it, it is so original! And fits perfectly with their business of course :)

On the way to Leadenhall Market for a very special sighting, we walked past Bank and passed this window display. This one particular window always has great displays (remember the handbag on a cupcake) and it didn't disappoint this time either. Plus I love how I managed to get the little poles in the reflection also.

We had arrived at Leadenhall Market. My friend had never been there, so after taking the usual pics, the search commenced for this exact door. Do you recognise it? No? OK, image this door in black and ignore the fact that it is now an optician. It's the Leaky Cauldron!! I can't seem to find a link to the movie-version online, but this is definitely it :) I've been to this market so many times and never managed to spot this. But now I finally have :) Very pleased with this find of course!

While walking back to Bank, we passed this really beautiful tiny church with amazing architecture.

More buildings near Bank tube station

And we also passed yet another old fashioned candy shop on the way from St. Paul's Cathedral towards Fleet Street. I had to go in of course and found M&Ms in all flavours that they don't even sell in M&M World! Am keeping them for a special occasion though but will let you know how they were.

One look back from the candy shop and we had the best view of St Paul's Cathedral

Yes, we had a reason to get to Fleet Street as I wanted to show my friend the house of Dr. Samuel Johnson who wrote the dictionary and was a famous doctor who pops up throughout London history in the 18th century. This is a statue of his cat and the dictionary. Sadly the house itself was closed, but it's not like it's going anywhere...

 
No, this is not the Tower, it's a building when we kind of got lost on the way to Smithfield Market (good thing I had a map) but it did take us past some fantastic buildings.

OMG we spent so long here trying to get the ultimate picture! We only have point-and-click cameras but it was so much fun! We wanted to get the fence, the booth, the church, and the trees and all in a cool artsy-fartsy type way... I think I managed ;)

This one is just for fun. You think they placed enough cones here? ;)

We also passed several pubs (and did NOT go in!) with great signs. See that the one on the right is an actual pie? Very cool!

We finally fund Smithfield via Chancery Lane and Farringdon, and spotted these interestingly painted concrete slabs. My friend took some great pics here, including one of me a la Captain America on top of one. Hahaha... will show you once I have it ;)

The iconic 4 phone booths at Smithfield Market. This is a wholesale food market so closed on Sundays, but always pretty and great for photos. Yes, I'm a bit of a bag lady here... I had done some shopping along the way ;)

Door at Smithfield Market. My friend said that this looks like a button. Now that I see it, I can never unsee it! Argh!

Across the road from Smithfield Market is the William Wallace memorial. Yes, this is the site where William Wallace was executed. We went past here a few times on the walks and I really wanted to show this my friend who is a movie buff like me :)

 
St Bartholomews Hospital. This was built on top of the actual site where William Wallace was executed. I like the look of this building though and the fact that it is very symmetrical.

We also visited St Bartholomews church, which was small but gorgeous. I took too many pics to share with you here. If you're ever in London, you must visit this. It's only £5 so a lot cheaper than St. Paul's which I still need to visit...

They also have this lovely little cafe which sadly is closed on weekends, but it did give me this great photo opp :). This was also when my camera battery died and of course I'd forgotten to charge my spare battery. Oops... 

With no battery and hundreds of pics taken and aching feet, my friend and I went back to our area of town, called the bf and had a lovely dinner to end the day. All in all the perfect Sunday :) And yes, posting this in the middle of week is making me want the weekend even more!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this fun tour of London! Last time I did a tour it was taking a Chinese business English student there for the day - and we just did the usual tourist stuff! Nice to see something different! I love it when people really appreciate and explore the place where they live! Like you do!! :)

    Hope you have a lovely weekend!

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