Westminster Abbey & High Tea
On our first full day in London, we went to Westminster Abbey, then the London Eye, followed by Mad Hatter High Tea at the Sanderson Hotel. Having no idea how the trains and oyster cards work, we headed to Woodside Station – bought an Oyster card. I loaded it with £20 and waited for our train to the city. For an entire two minutes! OMG, if only Melbourne’s trains ran like London. A train every three minutes on every line. We were on the Northern Line, so we had to get off at London Bridge station, a two-minute walk, jump on the Jubilee Line and get off at Westminster. So easy!
The streets of London
We wandered around Westminster a bit – had fun shooting the red double-decker buses as they went past, found a lovely garden to walk through, stopped off at New Scotland Yard and eventually made it to Westminster Abbey (nothing is a straight line when we have a camera in our hand)
As was the story of our life on this trip, there were queues at Westminster Abbey. But not too bad. We were inside within about 20 mins, picked up our audio guides, and wandered around. Stunning building inside, but no photographs allowed. Which was disappointing, but I get it. There were sooooooo many people inside it was hard to move and get around. Put a camera in their hand, and it would come to a standstill. We were allowed to photograph the exterior, cloisters, and gardens, but inside the abbey, a big no-no.
Leaving the Abbey, we headed back along the river and over the bridge to the London Eye. The River Thames seems to be still a ‘working’ river with barges of goods as well as pleasure craft heading up and down it. Unlike the Yarra River around the docklands, where it’s just pleasure craft and working, vessels are kept to other areas. It seemed very strange 😉
Security was very tight getting onto the eye (good lol), but we had a fast track entry and getting on didn’t take too long. There are 32 pods on the eye – one for each borough of London, and a ride takes around 30 mins. Unfortunately, the best view – was shooting into the sun, so the light was challenging.
Mad Hatter High Tea
By the time we were off the eye and had made our way through crowds of people, we were cutting it fine to get to our High Tea booking for 3:30 pm. So we found a London Cab and took that. The price was quite reasonable, I think, from memory, it cost us about £8 for the half-hour trip to the Sanderson Hotel.
High Tea was nothing short of amazing. We started with delicious cocktails, followed by individual pots of tea, then our platter with savoury and sweet. And no one had room for the scones with jam and cream… I know… criminal!
After high tea, we did a little bit of shopping in Oxford Street – then back to the station and back up the hill and up the two floors to our room… days total was 11.5 kms and 15 flights of stairs… that night’s dinner was very late and very light!