A London Adventure…on a shoestring

If you look in the dictionary, you’ll find that the meaning of adventure is ‘a daring enterprise; an unexpected or exciting incident’ and although my recent adventure to London was far from a daring enterprise, it was certainly full of lots of exciting and unexpected incidents.

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I certainly don’t miss commuting to London, back and forth everyday on a train crammed full of stressed out people hurriedly tap tap tapping away on their company iPhones. But from time to time, I feel the urge to go back to the big smoke; where the roads are paved with activity.

One of the main things that I love about London is the fact that you can go there, for the whole day, and do and see so many amazing things for absolutely no money. There may not be such a thing as a free meal, but you can certainly have a free-ish day out. (If you set aside the whopping cost of actually venturing to London on public transport. Thank you Lord, for the Young Persons railcard).

A few Saturday’s ago, Oli and I disembarked at Waterloo, and as soon as we walked out of the station, eager to start our day, we were handed a free bottle of ice cold chocolate Yazoo, from a giant ice bucket. It was the perfect, FREE, late morning pick me up.

Chocolate milk in hand, we meandered down to the Southbank – via the Food market – where there was some kind of choir event/international sing off occurring, so we stood around and took in the dulcet tones. From dance inducing gospel tunes to an Italian medley that transported me straight back to the Amalfi coast, it was a thoroughly enjoyable, completely FREE and unexpected incident!

Our ears satisfied, we mooched around the amazing Southbank Book Market, flicking through dog eared pages and I tried very hard to shake off the desire to buy a million new books that I really do not have room to house. It’s a sad day when you have to decline adopting an old, or new classic.

Our feet carried us all the way to the Tate Modern and we took ourselves inside for a gander at some FREE yet debatable art. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the artists, but I do remember an exhibit made entirely out of human hair, which did cause me to momentarily heave. I felt extremely queasy for a good ten minutes.

It’s an interesting one, modern art. I just can’t quite understand how an artist can present a urinal or a bed as a piece of art and have people fan around it adoringly. It’s not like they’ve even made the everyday objects themselves, they’re just using somebody else’s designs and skill and passing it off as their own. Er, hello plagiarism! The mind boggles!

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Full of -questionable- culture, we headed to Southwark, admired the Golden Hind, took in the wonderful sights and delicious scents of Borough Market (attempting to eat our body weight in FREE samples) and found ourselves at London Glassblowing, on Bermondsey Street. At London Glassblowing, they have a showroom of all these amazingly intricate and beautiful pieces of glass but at the back of the shop, tucked away behind the cabinets full of vases and glass sculptures, there is live glass blowing taking place. Oli and I sat down, exhausted from all the walking we’d done and spent a good half an hour watching these glass experts blowing and manipulating molten glass. An utterly FREE, and totally enjoyable experience.

For afternoon tea we went to the delight that is Peggy Porschen. Admittedly, this was far from free! I’ve been a lot (I’ve blogged about it before, here) but I’ve only ever come here with my friends, who like me, absolutely love the pink, perfectness of it all. I can’t say that Oli was a massive fan of the decor but he certainly enjoyed the cupcakes.

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A salted caramel and banoffee cupcake later, we left Lower Belgravia, in search of Sloane Square and the Kings Road; hoping that we might bump into some of the Made in Chelsea cast. Needless to say we didn’t bump into anyone but we had a lovely, long evening stroll, taking in the setting sun and ending up at Chelsea Embankment looking out over the Thames, evening rays of setting sunshine dancing over it, the scarlet hues of iconic London buses piercing the darkening sky.

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Our feet may have been thoroughly sore after all the walking we did, our stomachs rumbling a little, in anticipation of the dinner we had waiting for us at home, but we were happy. My camera roll full of snippets of our little London Adventure.

I’ve learnt over the years that a good day out doesn’t have to cost the earth. London, with its stacks of free museums and exhibitions, its buskers, its hidden gems, is utterly perfect for a blank day and an empty-ish purse.

Until my next adventure…

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One thought on “A London Adventure…on a shoestring

  1. Really enjoyed reading this, and it’s so true – London doesn’t have to be expensive as there is so much that can be enjoyed for free! Love the look of the cupcakes too – somewhere I need to try one day!

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