I had been itching to get back to London because I'd heard so much about how the food scene has changed (for the better) and because I really wanted to go and do some under-the-radar activities, the same way I did when I revisited Paris for the umpteenth time. Well, mission accomplished. I'll have a few more London posts after I finish my Greek posts; we sandwiched Greece with a few slices of London bread. But in this post, I'll outline what we managed to accomplish with jetlagged minds.
Norwegian and actually really liked it. The staff at JFK were a bit disorganized when it came to boarding, but we found the planes to be really new and comfortable so no harm, no foul.
underseat carry on bag, which by the way, really does fit under the seat on "standard" flights (but might be a tight fit on low budget, sardine can airlines). I carried a second smaller bag to fit in my essentials that I wanted to be able to reach for easily on the flight. But, everything in that second bag (and the bag itself) could also fit inside of my little luggage so that later on, when we were flying Easyjet (where we were only allowed one bag), I'd manage with zero issues. Yes, I packed v. smartly and v. light; aren't I awesome?
Z Hotels Victoria
For our initial brief stint in London, we stayed at the Z Hotel just outside of Victoria Station. It was the most convenient option because we would be arriving into London Town and leaving via Victoria (on the Gatwick Express, which is awesome and just a 30 minute ride). The hotel rooms are basic and tiny, but they do the job and they're comfortable enough. I wouldn't want to stay here for an extended period of time but for a one nighter, they're perfect. It was about $125 per night, which wasn't bad at all considering the location.
MAZE GRILL (MAYFAIR)
Once we were sick of the crowds along Oxford Street, we hopped back on the tube but got off one stop short of our hotel at Green Park so we could enjoy a spot of nature and maybe say hello to the Queen before dinner.
My friend Arseni met us after he finished work so he could take us out for a drink and so we could share a meal together. He's a London local so we let him guide us around Victoria, which is a honestly kind of a dull area. We stopped by The Elusive Camel for a beer - we enjoyed it outside since the weather was fabulous and it's a sin not to imbibe outdoors if the sun is out - and then made our way over to a little tapas restaurant for dinner.
For starters, I got the tomato and mozzarella salad while A and M both sprung for the iberico ham with fig. Both were fabulous. We actually passed the giant pig legs on our way to our table and we surmised that the ham was sliced fresh.
Since we had quite an early morning ahead of us (we had an 8AM flight to catch), after dinner, we parted ways and tucked into bed.
And here's a little map of some of the places I bookmarked but didn't visit (in blue) and bookmarked and managed to visit (in red):