24. The Sunday Roast

Probably the most wonderful invention ever, the Sunday roast is basically enough food to keep you full for days. Add a pint of true British ale and a dessert and you will surely be in a food coma.

I’m not sure how to describe it other than it is DELICIOUS. Meat, potatoes, veggies and a Yorkshire pudding are just an irresistible combination. Pop into any pub on a Sunday afternoon and they will most likely have a Sunday roast (if they don’t, run out of there. It is NOT a true British pub!) and you will be able to smell the fantastic aromas of the food cooking. Definitely something you must try if you’re visiting! I recommend the Waterpoet (http://www.waterpoet.co.uk/) although I am biased, considering it is the only place I’ve ever had a roast.

 

Seems sort of silly that I’m posting this on a Monday night, but I’m still recovering from the wonders of my Sunday roast from a WEEK ago!

The picture is so good you can almost smell it!

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23. Bicyclers

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to write about bicyclers. It’s possible that I am attempting to avoid my fear of being run over by them as I leave my apartment every morning and walk towards the tube. Bicyclers are EVERYWHERE. I mean, EVERYWHERE.

I get it, biking is healthy and environmentally friendly, but does it have to be at the expense of the innocent pedestrian? Bikes come out of no where, often ignoring the very blatant RED light and then come screeching to a stop just inches from the pedestrian. Here is the best part: they then proceed to shake their heads furiously at you, sometimes yelling angrily how stupid you are for being in the bike lane (which you have to walk through near my apartment to cross the street at the crosswalk)! 

Anyway, I am more terrified of being run over by a bike than by a car or bus. Thanks

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22. Coffee

If you decide to take a break from drinking tea every three minutes, London has a coffee shop on literally every corner. Much like Starbucks (which they also have here) is to New York City, Cafe Nero, Costa, Leon, Illy, Apostrophe and more are to London.

If you take the coffee away instead of drinking it in the store, it will be cheaper (there’s a tax that the food venues are required to pay that comes with eating in the restaurant. So, if you drink your coffee at a little table, even if you picked it up from the counter yourself, you still have to pay as if you were being served by a waiter) than staying in the shop, although the atmosphere is usually very pleasant inside.

Most shops will not advertise a black coffee option. If you don’t want a “fancy” drink (cappuccino, americano, latte, mocha, etc.) you’ll have to ask for “filter coffee” and ask for it to be filled to the top (they will still leave you enough room for milk despite your request). These are usually pretty cheap (around £1.10), but you need to know to ask for it even if you don’t see it on the menu. They almost always have it, but prefer to sell the more expensive drinks listed above (those can range from anywhere between £2-£4 per drink).

There are also ALWAYS 100000000 tea options if you prefer to drink like the British do (outside of a pub).

 

 

21. Hampstead Heath

This has to be one of the most incredible and beautiful places I have ever been. The park was perfectly light by the late afternoon sun and I cannot imagine a more romantic place. Definitely a dream location with a “Secret Garden-like” feel. I will absolutely be going back just to sit on the benches by the picturesque fountains, or to just gaze out on the (what felt like) miles of beautiful hiking trails.

 

WORTH A VISIT on a sunny day. It has been considered one of the most beautiful places to watch the sun rise/set! It’s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Central London without having to travel too far (only a 15 minute tube ride from Oxford Circus!).

 

Enjoy the pictures!

 

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20. Smoking

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Everyone smokes. I could’ve sworn I saw a 12 year old smoking on the street the other day. People don’t just buy packs of cigarettes (which average £7.46 or $12.41 per pack), they also roll their own cigarettes. Everywhere. On the tube, on the sidewalk, outside a cafe, on the corner, outside the Best Kabob, etc. I come home smelling like a chain smoker (I promise I’m not a smoker Mom and Dad!) and living in London is probably taking a few months off of my life, but I still love this city so much.

 

 

19. Happy Pancake Day!

I have only seen this once before in the U.S. (IHOP celebrates with a free American pancake), but, to be honest, London does it WAY better. Pancake relay races, free “pancakes” (they looked like crepes to me) with so many different fillings, giveaways (heart-shaped pancake/cookie cutters) and the smiling faces of people who are excited to celebrate.

I did some research and the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is called “Shrove Tuesday” or “Pancake Tuesday/Day.” Pancakes are eaten because, “…hey were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent” (thanks Wikipedia).

So, I will never be coming home. I’m too full of free pancakes.

 

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