An American in London•
Posted on August 17 2017
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Throughout my many years in school, I have learned a great deal about Shakespeare - his great comedies and tragedies, as well as his upbringing in Stratford-upon-Avon. So, when coming to London, I (encouraged by my theatre-enthused friend, Iara) figured I should see the site where these famous plays took place. Although I learned through my tour that the place that I visited was actually the third construction of the Globe Theatre, it was still such a cool experience to learn about the history of theatre culture and Shakespeare’s works in the location where they took place!
When you come to London, you will probably want to go to high tea to have the British experience of afternoon tea time, and when you do research, you may become overwhelmed to find that there are many, many places that offer this experience. Throughout my time in London, I have had high tea at a few different places and my favorite by far was at Kensington Palace. Kensington Palace is a must-see in itself as it has been a home to the British Royal Family since the 17th century. While it still is the home of several members of royalty, it also has staterooms that are open to the public and an exhibit on Princess Diana, as Kensington Palace was her home until her tragic death. But besides the palace, the tea room, called The Orangery, is beautifully decorated, you will feel like royalty yourself! The tea and food was delicious, and unlike other high teas, you have the option of ordering of the a la carte menu as well. Additionally, the walk to Kensington Palace is truly a pleasure as it is located amidst Kensington Gardens, which is so beautiful it practically feels like a fairy land.
Named for its shape which is similar to that of a shard of glass, I believe The Shard is one of the best ways to see a breath-taking view of London from above. When I went, it was an experience in itself going up 72 floors to the open-air observation deck of the skyscraper and taking in the views, but you can also expand your experience by visting The Shard’s restaurants and bars located on the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd floors.
London is known for its pubs, and what better way to get a feel for the pub culture than going to a London brewery which was founded in 1845 and now owns and operates 380 pubs throughout England! Through my university course called British Life in Business, I got the opportunity to take a tour of the pub and learn about exactly how Fuller’s beer is created, and I even got an exclusive tasting of many of the beers they brew! The tour was an extremely enjoyable learning experience that really gave me a flavor for a part of London culture. I’m even starting to like beer (a little bit)!
London is known to have tons of green space and many beautiful parks, but Regent’s Park should be at the top of your list! The park is huge so you could really spend as long as you would like walking around. The inner-most part of the park, known as Queen Mary’s Garden, is definitely the highlight of the park as it is almost perfectly groomed and covered in beautiful flowers in many different colors. This park would be great for families with kids as there is a full playground with swings and all, but would also be great for dog owners, people wanting to exercise, or really anyone looking for a peaceful place to spend the afternoon.
Conveniently located near London bridge, Borough Market is one of the oldest and best markets in London. From fresh produce to a tasty street food lunch like grilled cheese or pad thai, Borough market will definitely meet all your food and drink needs! There is a huge variety of different meal options that are very reasonably priced, and the glass-enclosed seating area is picturesque. If you want to see the beauty and fun of a typical London market, Borough market is the place to go!
When getting off at the South Kensington tube stop, it’s truly hard for me to walk past Scoop without almost going in! This gelato shop, which is close to my flat, is a definite favorite among all my friends! Scoop is a place we can always go to catch up and, of course, eat some delicious, creamy gelato with various toppings in fun cones that are covered in sprinkles.
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