Day 2 London – April 16, 2015 – Palace Guards, The Savoy, & Book of Mormons

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On the second day, we went to see the changing of the guard.  Now most guides will tell you to arrive around 11am to get a good spot to see the change, however, depending on what you want to see, you might want to arrive MUCH earlier.  We arrived around 10:40am, and ended up across the street and saw a bit of the guards marching, but that’s about it.  If you want to actually see them change inside the palace, I think you would have to line up around 10am to get a good spot in front of the fence!  Or even earlier during high season.

IMG_3808As you can tell by the photo, we were across the street from the palace.  All those people piled up against the fence definitely arrived earlier than us for that good spot!  Although, unless you were at the very front of the fence, I don’t reckon you could see much….

The guards start off by marching down a road across from the palace and walk around the statue island, that I’m standing on.  However, if you want to see them enter the palace, stay to the left of the palace (left facing the palace), otherwise, you miss that too, like we did.

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To be honest, we missed all the important stuff that happened beyond the palace walls.  A lot of people started leaving, but Kent thought we should stick around since we’ve been there oh about an hour now, and we could still hear the guards playing their instruments beyond the wall and the top of their hats bobbing here and there.  We were glad we stuck around because as some people left, we got to move closer to the main gate and see the guards leave! Finally we see some action!

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Here they are leaving the palace…and below….they walked right past us so of course I took a whole bunch of photos.  This is all I wanted… to see some very disciplined men wear very top heavy hats, in a spiffy red coat and play heavy instruments and march perfectly in order and rhythm.  That’s all.

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After all that, we went to walk around St. James Park, which is across the street from the palace, it has a nice lake, a fountain and duck island there.  There’s also a great view of London, a bit majestic, not sure if the photo really portrays that though.  There was also a small house that as on duck island that was built a long time ago… I guess I didn’t take a photo of it.  Apparently the house was built so that someone could live there and take care of all the birds.

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As you can see, it’s not always easy asking others to take our photo…so we took a lot of selfies.  It was a sunny day and there were tons of people in the park.  This was also during lunch hour, so I can see how a lot of the people who work in the westminster area take their lunch to the lake and have a picnic.

After that, we walked up to SoHo/Piccadilly area, which was basically a big shopping district.  We just walked around to kill some time before we had high tea with a family friend.  This was when I finally went into a Marks & Spencer food market (known as M&S now), and found my childhood favourite cocktail chips!!! We used to have a few M&S stores around Vancouver and my parents always bought some when they went there and digestive cookies, but THESE WERE MY FAVOURITE!!!! My husband doesn’t remember, but boy do I remember!  When I found those chips I was the happiest female in that store and yes I think I actually giggled and was gleeful!  I only bought two bags, can’t over do it you know, I’m an adult now. 😛 I’m also saving one of the bags for my cousin back home, who also enjoyed them a lot.  Maybe she’ll share some with me when we get back.

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This is just a random photo of buildings that I thought were interesting…

When the time time for us to meet Dulcie at the Savoy Hotel for our high tea I was really excited!  So excited that I only took a photo of our dessert and none of the finger sandwiches and tea!  But You get the picture below…fancy hotel, fancy food, fancy tea 🙂  There was a huge fire at the hotel a while ago (you can goggle it) and it took them ages to restore it and the hotel only opened back up for business not too long ago.  The hotel is beautiful and has quite a history!

If you’re ever in london and want some proper tea, I highly recommend this place even though it’s 50₤ (pounds) a person, but it’s ‘all you can eat’.  This means that they bring you the ‘first course’, which are finger sandwiches (cucumber, coronation chicken, ham, salmon, egg, and pepper for one person who did not eat fish).  They say that whichever if your favourite you can ask for more and they’ll bring you more. thus all you can eat, for all courses.  Those little sandwiches look small, but they add up and it sure does fill you up, especially when you’re drinking their delicious tea too!  We all choose the Savoy Afternoon tea, since it’s a house special tea and was quite lovely.

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This was the ‘second course’ which was all the sweets.  I only took 4 pieces, but there was 6 kinds to choose from.  The white ball is coconut, the chocolate mouse is the brown one, behind you see the the orange hazelnut and my favourite is hiding behind the chocolate is the passionfruit!  We actually had one more course and that was dessert! You could either have the apple cinnamon cake or the banana almond cake.  I choose the banana almond, which was AMAZING and was my favourite part of the tea!

IMG_3836Here we are at our coffee table and sofa setting.  Most of the customers sat at tables, but there were a few settings with couches and coffee table.  I think this is the most traditional way to have tea, on the couch!  I’ll be honest, the couch wasn’t the most comfortable, it was very deep and I wasn’t really able to lean back.  But I guess at a proper tea, you’re not supposed to be comfortable? lol

After our lovely visit with Dulcie, she went on home as she lives outside of London, while Kent and I had something else to do in the area that evening….

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Can you read the sign??? We went to see THE BOOK OF MORMON! This musical isn’t for everyone, because it is a satire and it’s HILARIOUS!  Kent and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I can’t say that I would recommend it to everyone since there are some racy topics that are discussed and are joked upon that would offend people.  However, if you have a very open mind and you’re not easily offended and can definitely take a joke….I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you go see it! We had a good roaring laugh!

Oh we also stopped by the M&M store and covent garden (whoops no pictures) in the area that evening too…

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Day 2 was a long day indeed, but we had a blast!

I ❤ London!

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