After planning this trip for what feels like years, Jeff and I finally embarked on our mini European tour. We planned to see London, Paris, and Amsterdam – and visit some friends along the way.
While our flight to Heathrow was delayed, it didn’t matter all that much. So here we go, part one of our trip!
We landed in London and were quickly through security and customs when we were greeted with a friendly face. Anne Laure, who was Jeff’s au pair when he was a little guy, lives in the UK and we stayed with her and her family for the first two days of our trip. She picked us up and drove us from Heathrow to Nottingham. I fell asleep in the car because I barely slept on the plane. Anyways, we arrived and it was so exciting to see her two kids and her husband!
After arriving to their home, the kids showed us all around – we saw their bedrooms, learned stories about their toys, met their dog, and it was just so cute.
We then all went to the downtown area of Nottingham and walked around. There was a neat little festival/fair type thing going on in the middle of town. We then walked to Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, a pub that is built in a cave, and claims it was established in 1189 AD. Regardless of if that is true or not, it was really nice to sit down and have a drink.
We saw the Robin Hood statue, the Nottingham Castle, and walked around some shops. We then went to MemSaab, an Indian restaurant that had really good food.
Afterwards, we walked around Nottingham some more and the kiddos wanted ice cream. We stopped in a shop called Creams and ate some fantastic bowls. Then we went home (and were hella stuffed).
The next day, we woke up, ate some breakfast, and got on our way to Sherwood Forest. Sherwood Forest is the home to a bunch of giant oak trees, including the Major Oak Tree. It was so pretty and really great to walk around a bit.
We then went back to their home and got our swim gear ready! We were going to the pool.
But first, Nando’s. Yes, we have Nando’s here, but it’s better there.
Anyways, we went and played in the pool with the kids and it was fun that we were able to hang out with them.
That night for dinner, we had some really amazing crepes, home made by Anne Laure. They have a raspberry bush in their backyard so we even had some crepes with fresh raspberries and nutella in them. I’m salivating writing about it.
The kids had to go to be early since the next day they had school, but the adults stayed up and drank wine and it was great.
The next morning, we rode with Anne Laure to drop the kids off at school, and then she drove Jeff and I to the train station. We were off to London.
It was a 2 hour train ride or so, but it was quite scenic. We got off at St. Pancreas and were right next door to Kings Cross so of course we went and had a little Harry Potter moment.
We then hopped in a cab, checked into our AirBnb, and started walking around the city. We started by crossing the Westminister Bridge and heading toward Buckingham Palace. Along the way we saw some beautiful sites on our way there like Big Ben, the parliament house, the Household Cavalry Museum, the Horse Guards Parade and more. We then started walking to St. James’s Park where we stopped to get coffee, tea, and biscuits. We resumed our walk to Buckingham Palace and watched some guard changes.
After some walking and site seeing, we headed to a pub nearby called the Mulberry Bush! We got chips (French fries) and some really good cider.
It was then time to go back to the AirBnb and get ready for dinner. The shower in our place was SO tiny and there was no AC, which we learned is definitely a European thing.
We went to Covent Garden, which was really cute and enjoyable. There was a mime show happening across the street from the restaurant we decided to eat at (the Ivy Market). We went to Trafalgar Square, went to a different restaurant for profiteroles and macarons, and went back to the AirBnb. We then wrapped up the evening by watching Game of Thrones (the first ep of season 7)!
On day four, we woke up and went to Costa (a coffee shop in the UK) and walked over to the London Bridge (not Tower Bridge). So we crossed the river, and went to see the Tower of London. It was really quite cool! We then walked back across the Thames but this time over Tower Bridge, which is so pretty!
We then headed to St. Paul’s Cathedral. We went in, and it was so beautiful, but then we started climbing the steps. We went up 528 steps to the tiptop to go see the view of London. It was SO beautiful.
We then went to a really cute little café called Coppa right near the cathedral and ate a great lunch and chilled.
Once we felt like walking again (528 steps is a lot), we walked back over the Thames, across what we called the death eater bridge, and headed toward the London Eye. We didn’t go up in the London Eye because the wait was insane and we had already seen the beautiful view from the cathedral. Afterwards, we went to a pub called the Green Room and enjoyed some pints.
Our trip in London ended shortly after this and we headed to Paris on the train! Stay tuned for part 2!