I spent a long weekend in London this weekend past catching up with long-time friends who also happened to be in London. We decided not to do all the touristy things whilst we were there. Instead, because we had a local (Nyssa) with us, we visited all the places you would be hard pressed to find in a guidebook.
Saturday saw us all meeting at Forbidden Planet cause if you are a sci-fi fan, this is the one place in London you have to go to. Two stories full of books, comics and merchandise. It is geek heaven.
From there, we went for lunch at The Dog and Duck, a local haunt of George Orwell’s. They have a great dinning room upstairs where one can choose a typical English meal of Bangers and Mash or something more exotic like a Wild Boar burger.
After lunch, we headed to the Petrie Museum located on the grounds of University College London. If you love Egyptian history, you must visit here to see pieces deemed a little risqué for the British Museum. They also have a great set-up for kids as well. Entry is free, but please donate your loose change to help keep the place running.
Because one can not visit enough English pubs whilst in London, we made a stop at The Yard for a couple of cleansing ales or in my case Cokes.
Due to half of our party being jet-lagged (they had just flown from Australia that morning), we had a early dinner at Punjab, England’s oldest Indian restaurant. I highly recommend going for a curry here, but be warned it is extremely popular especially amongst those going to see a show.
Sunday morning saw us heading to Brick Lane for two reasons; first for the incredible bagels at Biegel Bakery and second for the amazing Sunday markets scattered along the street. They had the most incredible range of international food stalls there all making incredibly fresh and amazing looking foods. Every nationality you can think of were represented. They also had the large meringues I have ever seen.
To try to walk off our massive lunch, we headed into the Crystal Palace Park to see how Victorians envisioned Dinosaurs back in the 1850s. These sculptures are absolutely fascinating and makes you wonder just how wrong we are about dinosaurs today.
After a walk through the park, we headed to Angel to see a short film festival. This one being held at The Wenlock & Essex pub. London has so many cultural events, that it is well worth picking up a local paper to see what is on whilst you are there. You never know what you might find.
London is more than just its tourist attractions and it is well worth straying off the beaten path to discover all the places not seen on postcards. It is definitely worth the effort.