London is my happiest place; move over Disney World! From the second I peered out of my airplane window with bags under my eyes, an awkward bend in my neck, and the Thames flowing below with Big Ben standing tall, I felt like I was home.
The last time I flew to London, I had the luxurious experience of first class. Keyword…luxurious. This time, Cain and I roughed it in economy for eight hours, and though it was larger than Southwest economy, you can’t sleep comfortably; you.just.can’t! Sad to say, I had an entire itinerary planned out for my first afternoon in London and I successfully completed absolutely none of it. I made it to my hotel, The Andaz London Liverpool Street and enjoyed their World Cup finals watch party. Then I stayed in and ordered room service for a queen, YASSSS!
I woke up Monday morning on a mission: I will get to Royal Tunbridge Wells and I will make it out of this hotel and walk to The Black Friar Pub. This is my first time actually traveling solo internationally and I’m mixed with emotions; I’m excited, terrified, thrilled, relaxed, nervous and overall in love! I am in England and have the entire country at my fingertips. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want and I can eat all the veggies and avocado toast that I want! I truly wish to utilize this time for self-discovery and ‘me-time’. I haven’t been alone in over five years and it’s time to remember who I am, and what I want to do in my life.
Proudly enough, I made it out of the hotel and walked to the Black Friar Pub. Thank you Apple Maps, though I’ve never used you before, and you were a little off almost most of the time. Londoners were pretty nice when I asked them for directions here and there, but I tried not to, ya know…I had to fit in. For the most part, I think I did. How about sooo many people wear bookbags here. I must look like a college kid walking around, or that’s what I’m going to tell myself anyway.
The weather was absolutely perfect in London. NO HUMIDITY! I relaxed, sipping on my coffee in the Black Friar, the door was open, along with some windows, and the slightest breeze drifted through. It was the perfect calm, cool refresher you need after a few moments of letting hot coffee stream through your body. I enjoyed their veggie breakfast, and it was a true English-looking breakfast. I mean, if they do things right at Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, then this meal truly fit-the-bill.
I can’t get enough of this atmosphere: Blogging, drinking coffee and sitting in a pub in central London, please don’t pinch me. Conveniently enough, Black Friar was right next to the Black Friar Underground and I made it to the ticket office at 12:07 to catch a 12:09 train to Tunbridge Wells. Fate man, fate.
After navigating the underground, I spent a blissful day in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Don’t let the false advertising fool you, it was supposed to be a spa town and I have yet to find a spa! I need a massage ASAP, and apparently that’s not the case here, so on to plan B, Brighton!
I enjoyed a light lunch at The Pantiles Cafe and the bartender was fantastic and surprised me with my meal choice. He knocked it out of the park. It was avocado toast with a some kind of a jelly that I can’t remember the name of at the moment; pure deliciousness topped with a sun dried tomato.
After lunch I wanted some local beer selections, so the bartender sent me to a local pub, The Pantiles Tap (see a theme yet?), where I made friends with my bartender, Meghan. She gave me tips on my upcoming trips to Brighton, Bath and Bristol. Say that three times fast and let’s go to the pub.
Lunch at The Pantiles Cafe
I walked into the city center shortly after and grabbed some dinner, then hiked back to the Royal Wells Hotel. It’s the cutest boutique hotel, but public service announcement, the UK doesn’t deem AC necessary! Like I mentioned earlier, the weather is quite nice, but after a hike, because Tunbridge Wells happens to be uphill both ways, it’s a bit hot.
I love my room, and the English countryside vibe of the establishment. I wish people would experience this part of England, in addition to London, because it’s not all about big buildings and tourist attractions. The countryside is breathtaking, and I can’t wait to experience the English coast!