Apart from our epic Swiss hiking trip, we spent the entire month here in London this July. It was a lovely change of pace from the past few months of near madness and really hot. We were passport-less for most of July as we sent off for our visa extension. Unable to travel abroad, we savored our time in London and crossed off some items on our respective bucket lists. It was a lovely month!
July in London
We landed back in the UK on July 8th, just in time to watch England in the semi-finals of the World Cup. We missed the earlier excitement around the team’s success, but it was a ton of fun to catch the game at a pub with friends (see my friend Molly’s blog here!) on a lovely summer day.
Though we will be staying here until the end of the year now, the sense that our time here is running out is beginning to sink in. This has spurred us to make real plans to do the things we’ve been meaning to before we leave and interested visitors are beginning to book trips to make sure they catch us here before we go. One of my things to do before we leave was visit sketch for tea. Happy to report it exceeded expectations! As you can see, the bathroom egg stalls were crazy!
I had my first overwhelmed moment over our move this month, as the questions from every direction were piling on one particular week. Deep breaths, remembering that we have plenty of time left to figure everything out and cute puppies helped me get right back down to earth. We have many exciting times ahead!
Walking to work one morning I discovered a little bit of Switzerland in London! There is a Swiss glockenspiel in Leicester Square… who knew?
You really never do know what you’ll find in London. I noticed this plaque for the first time near my office this July. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was my dear friend Diana and my favorite song to play on our flutes in fourth grade, pretty neat to learn a little more about it and its connection to London. She’s coming to visit early next month, I can’t wait!
This month, Andrew booked us tickets to see “the Cricket” at Lord’s Cricket Ground. It was so cool! This has been on his London bucket list and we finally went one sunny Sunday. Located in St John’s Wood, the stadium is very close to Central London and makes for a fun day out. You’re allowed to bring in your own picnic and alcohol and they even let you onto the field at lunch time.
Since we were in the neighborhood, we walked over to see the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing. This was very anti-climactic as drivers were beeping relentlessly trying to get down this street clogged with tourists taking photos. We didn’t cross to check out the studios for fear of a road rage incident. It’s best to visit when there’s no traffic if you’re a fan.
Beating the heat was key in July in London. Yes, the weather was even more notable than usual, as the UK was hit with a series of heatwaves in July. Woof. I say woof because air conditioning here in the UK really is not like air conditioning in the US. There’s far less of it around, including public spaces, like the Tube and restaurants or my office. When it’s hot, it’s hot everywhere.
Luckily, we had caved and bought an air conditioner in June after I read this article. It was an expensive gamble, but worth it – we avoided many hot, sleepless nights in July. In the process, we did find that getting a small air conditioner for a room in your home is not nearly as convenient or cheap as back in the US. Window units (or even window fans) are not available here, so we had to get an R2-D2 type device to cool down our bedroom. If anyone is interested in purchasing a slightly used air conditioning unit in London, please let me know come September. We’ll be selling it for cheap!
For the times when there was no A/C to be found, a Flake 99 was just the ticket on a hot walk through Hyde Park.
After a longer vacation filled with meals out and heavy Swiss food, we did a lot of eating at home this month. We did, however, try a new restaurant thanks to a Time Out deal, called M in Victoria. We got to taste some wines and had delicious steaks for dinner. It was a lovely night out in an area we don’t usually go to, except to go to the movies. Which we did! We saw Mission Impossible: Fallout and it was epic.
At home, it was lots of salads for me. I’ve been making batches of my replica of my (now discontinued) favorite Pret salad, Greens & Grains. Not sick of it yet!
If you live in London, then you know that August ’tis the season for crazy cars! We spotted this gold Lamborghini at the end of July. With no shame I ran after it to snag a pic. It’s not something you see often but hope to see even more next month!