February was a stressful month. My lease was up at the end of the month, so I was trying to find a new place to live. On top of that, my contract at work suddenly ended (long story short: our entire department was deemed redundant). But seemingly luck was on my side because my parents were coming to visit as well; so with no job, I didn’t have to take the time off work to see them!
After picking them up at the airport, we dropped their bags off at mine and went to find somewhere to eat. As it was my lunch time and pretty well their breakfast, we decided on going to The Breakfast Club in Hoxton. The Breakfast Club (yes, named after the 1985 classic film) is a London chain which offers all-day American-style breakfast, among other foods. The interior isn’t so much 80’s themed as a mishmash of random things put on display, such as a plastic flamingo standing on top of a vintage fridge. As well, I haven’t been, but apparently if you say the secret password to your server, they will lead you to a speakeasy inside the restaurant! The vibe and the food were great and I was just happy seeing my parents again after 7 months. After (br)unch, we went back to my apartment where we relaxed for the rest of the day.
The next day was my first day as the unofficial tour guide! After breakfast, we walked down to the Tower of London, while pointing out things along the way. My parents are as big of history nerds as I am, so we had a grand old time wandering the grounds where King Henry VII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded. For lunch we had GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen), and then for dinner, after walking along the Thames, we went to the pub down the road from my apartment called the Eagle. Not only is this pub famous for being in the nursery rhyme “Pop goes the Weasel”, but the food was also incredible!
Sunday afternoon, we went to Camden Market where we met up with a couple of my friends. I wanted to show my parents Camden, not only for the eccentric atmosphere and great food, but because some of the greatest punk icons used to play and hangout there. The Clash’s old rehearsal studio was even situated in the market; it is now Cyber Dog- a giant store that sells futuristic club-wear. In the evening, my parents and I went to a pub in Islington for Sunday roast – it’s a really big thing here in England!
Day 6 – 8
While my parents were up in Edinburgh exploring castles, I spent these days working various temp roles.
My parents’ last full day in London. We walked back up towards London Bridge to do the Sky Garden, while stopping for breakfast at a Wetherspoons along the way. Sky Garden is an amazing venue to go up and see the city, as well as it’s free! You just need to book at least two weeks in advance for a slot. After the Sky Garden, we took a Clipper down the Thames to Greenwich. While at Greenwich, we wandered around the Old Royal Navy College grounds, went inside the Queen’s House (built in 1616 by King James I for his wife, Anne of Denmark) and climbed to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park. Before taking the Clipper back to Westminster, we stopped for dinner at Honest Burger. As it was their last night in London, when we got home, we went back to the Eagle for some pints.
Friday, I dropped my parents off at the airport and we said our goodbyes. I’m hoping they will come back to visit again before I leave!