We awake to a spare breakfast, and the prospect of showering in a shared bathroom. We decide to take a “short” walk to Portobello Road Market (about 2 miles away) while we wait for our new room (with ensuite) to be ready instead. Here’s our stomping ground while in London:
We are charmed, and of course we get lost wandering the residential neighborhood. We finally end up at a pub for a late (but excellent) lunch:
…and some underwhelming coffee from a patisserie. Sorry, we’re from Portland. We know the difference.
We head back to the hotel and check into our larger room, stopping at Tesco for some breakfast supplies, a book shop for gifts for the kids (who are having a blast with their grandparents), and a bus station for every single one of the city transit maps they have. We spend a while getting showered and planning our next excursion, then walk a ways to the bus station. We realize how hungry we are, pop into an Indian restaurant, and are regaled with sight, smell, and taste.
Then we hop on a bus for Westminster. Much better than a Tube ride, and apart from a guided bus tour, this is probably the best way to see the city. Also: London drivers are more than just a little scary.
Our Rick Steves walking tour started at the middle of the Westminster Bridge:
The tour takes us all around the government district and up Fleet Street, past many buildings and landmarks featured in history and legend, but this is an area with very few culinary options. Our quest for a non-chain establishment ends in defeat, and we are driven by hunger into an unmemorable franchise pub for forgettable pints and an unremarkable supper.
Somehow we find a bus back home, to rest up for another day.