Our last day in England was St. Patrick’s Day. I had planned it that way, of course. I have always wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s day in a different county as it is one of my favorite holidays. It probably would have made more sense to have planned it when we went to Ireland, but we went there for our honeymoon and we wanted to get married in the summer. England was the next best option!
The morning of St. Patrick’s day in London was cold and wet. I was happy that it finally rained at least one of the days we were in London- that’s what any tourist expects and almost wants on a visit to London. I wanted the real “feel” of dreary London and I got it.
First, we went back to Westminster Square for a final look at the abbey and Parliament. We then walked to the other side of the Thames River to the London Eye. Now, I’m not one for giant ferris wheels and I feel very strongly that something of this nature greatly takes away from the charming buildings of 18th century London, but I had to take a ride on the eye because I knew it held superb views of the city and you can’t get views like that anywhere else. On the eye, you get a real perspective of the enormity of London. When you are tubing around underground London your whole trip, you really don’t realized where you have been in perspective to everything else around you.
We captured some great pictures that day especially since it was an overcast. The eye takes you one time around at a very slow pace and gives you ample time to take in all the views of the city. You stand in a giant pod with a few other people, where you can move about freely to look at each side of the city. It is well worth the money.
We then hunted down the famous Abbey Road and Paul McCartney’s home. Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles used to record, is directly across from Abbey Road. After taking some great pictures, we rummaged around trying to find Paul McCartney’s home. In the middle of all this, it started to rain and then it started to pour! It took a few minutes of running around in the rain to find some place we could take cover which was not easy to find in the residential area we were in. We finally found a restaurant to take refuge where we ordered a hot pot of tea and soup. My hair, pants, and shoes were soaked and my thick wool coat had gained 10 pounds of soaked up rain- so much for enjoying London’s dreary weather 😉 The restaurant was named Richoux and there were pictures hanging all over the walls of all types of celebrities hanging out there. I guess it could have been some kind of famous restaurant and we didn’t even know it.
We decided to head back to our hotel to get on some dry clothes and head out for our St. Patrick’s day bash. Although my husband was hesitant, I insisted we go to Soho for the night’s celebrations. As I’ve mentioned, Soho is the entertainment center of London, and although it can be a bit sleazy, and you definitely need to be aware of your surroundings, Soho is the place to go for any type of night life in London.
It turned out Soho was just the ticket! We had the time of our lives. We started our night next to the theater district at an old pub. It was packed on the ground level, but you could climb up to a loft where you could look down at the bustling street below you. This is probably my fondest memory of London because to me this was real London, the hustle and bustle of life at its fullest. I sat and stared out the window grasping my cold cider for almost an hour. Oh, and that’s the other great thing about London, they have all sorts of ciders on tap in the bars. So delicious and much better than regular beer!
Later, we met a few Irish kids and a girl from Wales and ended up hanging out with them for the remainder of the night. We had an amazing time! This is the kind of experiences that sticks with you after you have come home. To actually get involved at a personal level with the locals in their culture is what really heightens your experience when traveling. I will definitely never forget that night or them.