A co-worker asked me on the bus this morning what has been my favorite thing in London. I assumed he meant sites and experiences rather than the everyday fun stuff like black cabs, pubs and grocery delivery. I’m not really a morning person, so I mumbled something about the British Library since it was one of the most recent things I’d done, and it was clear in my memory. But it got me thinking, what really HAS been my favorite thing in London.
I think for my son, that’s an easy answer: Playing in the parks and playgrounds, and the seasonal kids’ fairs that pop up in them, the London zoo, the lions in Trafalgar Square, ice skating at the Natural History Museum, the Duck Tour and the Transport Museum. Some of the things I thought he’d enjoy like the castles and Natural History Museum, he’s just kind of run through without really paying attention. And he hates being forced to sit still in restaurants, although he’ll make an exception for the ice cream parlor at Fortnum & Mason. He likes the silly fountains at Granary Square.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of the off-the-beaten path or behind-the-scenes things, like tracking down random Bridget Jones movie filming locations and Roman ruins as well as more high profile stuff like tours of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, and daytrips to Highclere Castle and the Harry Potter studios.
I really liked the ice sculpture tent at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, the Wallace Collection, and the concrete Frost Fair murals in Southbank. The Foundling Museum was probably the most moving and emotional. But there’s honestly SO MUCH to see in London, how could I really narrow it down?
So my absolute favorite things have been more of the events and experiences than the sites…things like summer picnics in the parks, ladies’ nights out on the town, and having afternoon tea with friends and family. The American Thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s, the Christmas choir performance at Westminster Abbey, recording at Abbey Road with the Rock Choir (of course!!), planting memorial poppies at the Tower, catching the film stars on stage at London theatres, any event at the ambassador’s residence, and just how beautiful the city is from season to season. These are a few of my favorite things. ;)