My title seems like a bit of a betrayal, doesn’t it? Well, send a proud Anglophile to London and wine o’clock turns to tea time…
Remember that inspirational post I wrote months ago where I decided to book my 30th birthday trip to London? Oh, that’s about to happen, but before we could reach my epic birthday journey, work sent me to London a tad bit earlier–2 weeks earlier to be exact. And so I had a test run of sorts and a cuppa tea has become my new best friend.
Four years. It had been four years since I last set foot in the United Kingdom. I’ve had many journeys via television and my imagination, but it can’t beat the real thing. Funny how it had been so long but felt like I was there just yesterday.
I spent a vast majority of my time at work in the hotel bar (very fitting). However, there were moments when we escaped the hotel and ventured out into the city. The iconic landmarks are always a sight to see, but, really, being able to blend with the locals and visit the neighborhoods is just as exciting (as cliche as that sounds).
So all in all, I took this work trip as a preparation of sorts…
- Unless you are expensing the trip to work, don’t take a cab to and from Heathrow. Most expensive cab rides I’ve ever had. Also, have cash on you. Most cabs don’t accept card.
- You may be a coffee drinker at home, but the English will turn you into a tea drinker. And if you have the chance to visit locals at their flat and they offer you a cuppa, by all means accept it! Best”local” experience you can have.
- Wake up and feel like rubbish? Accept the day is lost to sleep. Water, OJ, meds, and sleep were the best cures. Oh, and a cup of tea wouldn’t hurt either.
- Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself saying things like “rubbish” and “cheeky”. You can’t help but to pick up the vernacular while there.
- At the same time, you may have the urge to use a British accent periodically. Don’t do it!
- Apparently some British folks think American accents are cute. I’d argue it’s the other way around, but will gladly accept it.
- You’re in London, try classic British food. Meat pies, fish and chips, shepard’s pie–delicious.
- Despite having a chip and pin credit card, expect to sign a receipt anyway and have your signature checked. Always have your ID and passport on you.
- Honestly? Dress for comfort. At least in the footwear. (I can’t believe I made this mistake after living in NYC for 3 years.)
- Walk when you can. Use the tube and buses. It’s a really fun experience so long as it’s not rush hour.
- Count your lucky stars if the sun is out and shining!
I really can’t believe I’ve been able to manage 2 trips to the UK in a span of 3 weeks. This next adventure is purely for pleasure and I can’t wait. Back to London, and off to Scotland for a few days as well.
It’s #LynsAbroad. Prepare yourself, Britain.