On another beautiful day in London, I managed to explore two parks and a museum and still squeeze in time for a buffet dinner in Chinatown. Nice!
I started the day in Hyde Park, entering somewhere near Marble Arch and heading toward the middle of the park before hitting the Serpentine. It was lovely to sit along the water and watch the ducks and other water fowl squawking happily and swimming along. The blue skies and bright sun overhead warmed up the chilly air making it a perfect place to spend the day. Even though it was the middle of the week, I noticed many families were out for picnics on the green. I suppose if you live in a place like this, you learn to take full advantage of the good weather, even if it means calling in sick to work.
After walking around most of the Serpentine, I found South Carriage Drive, which indeed appeared carriage worthy. The ground was a mixture of dirt and gravel that I imagined was nicer on the horses’ feet than concrete or pavement. I waited for a while, under a canopy of trees, hoping to see a carriage go by (I don’t know if it’s used in this way but surely some enterprising soul would capitalize on tourists wanting to ride around the park in a carriage?) but left disappointed.
I continued on Brompton Road and quickly nipped into Harrods, the famous department store for the uber-rich. After trolling through a few rooms and not seeing any other patrons, I decided to move on. Why tease the bored sales staff with my presence when we all knew I wasn’t here to make a $1,000 purchase?
After a short walk, I arrived at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which houses just about every type of art you can imagine – sculptures, paintings, photography, metalwork, fashion, design and more – from all over the world. It’s truly an example of what the creative world has to offer. Like all London museums, you could easily spend an entire day here taking in the exhibits, lounging in the café or sunning in the garden.
By the time I left V&A’s, lunchtime was definitely over and dinnertime was a bit too far away for my liking. I decided to hump back to Chinatown for I was craving a bit of Chinese food. An hour later (as I refused to pay unnecessarily for public transport when I had two good, though slightly sore, feet to use), I was ravenous and willing to eat anything the Chinese could offer up. Still, budget-conscious backpacker that I am, I trekked up and down a few streets before finding a good deal on a Chinese buffet. Once inside, I happily scarfed fried noodles, fried rice, roasted pork, egg rolls, orange chicken and anything else I could find. It’d been a long day and skipping lunch hadn’t helped at all. While I’ve definitely had better Chinese food elsewhere, nothing was appreciated more than this meal.
Pleasantly full, I left the restaurant and headed back to my hostel. When I arrived, there was still an hour or two of sunlight left and I didn’t feel like being cooped up inside so I decided to walk around Regents Park. I took my time and noticed that even as the weather turned cool, people were out enjoying the night. But all too soon, the chill got the better of me and I returned to the hostel. All in all, not a bad day out in London!