London Adventures: Covent Garden & Soho

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Happy Sunday everyone!

Hope you’ve all been enjoying a re-energizing weekend wherever you are in the world. Right now, it’s about 5:30pm in London and most of my California friends probably haven’t even woken up yet. But those of us nearer to the Atlantic are just wrapping up our days, making the most of the sunlight that’s left.

Today I had the chance to travel into London by train and the tube (a.k.a. the Underground) with a friend who lives in the same university halls. Because I know many friends back home in the US would like to read about some of my UK adventures, I thought I’d share how today went while exploring one of the most dynamic cities in the world.

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We started off our excursion with the simple decision of making our way to the Covent Garden and letting the day take us from there. Our primary goal was to get a feel for the city of London and make the most of what would otherwise be a very lazy Sunday.  After topping up our Oyster cards at the local train station, we headed into the city, fueled with caffeine (as always) and prepped for just about anything. Once in the city, specifically the Westminister area, we were immediately struck by the presence of an extensive range of stores and restaurants outside of the Leicester tube station.

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After walking around the corner towards the Covent Garden, I quickly realized that our destination wasn’t actually a garden at all, but was an expansive cluster or ‘piazza’ of shops, restaurants, and market stalls. With hundreds of people browsing through the stores, listening to the live music, and enjoying the great food, the marketplace would be a great place to do Christmas shopping. Ranging from small trinkets, hand-painted portraits, clothing and jewelry stalls, the small and large shops offer gifts perfect for just about anyone. Our favorite store was an adorable place called “Sass & Belle” that offered cute little shabby chic trinkets. I would have bought just about everything in the store if I could!

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Next, we headed down the street to Picadilly Circus where the iconic tall plasma screens line one side of the street, overseeing a bustling crossroads bursting with people, cars and buses. The number of cool stores and restaurants, like M&M World, was amazing. We spent a great deal of time walking through the streets, taking pictures (how could we not?!), and being extremely touristy haha. Then we took a detour into London’s China Town, which was also abuzz with lots of people and aromas of delicious food.

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After regrouping during lunch, which consisted of yummy, hot soup & pie at a casual restaurant called EAT, we decided to venture into Soho, renowned for its array of high-end shops. It. was. huge. With street upon street of stores like Zara, Burberry, and John Lewis, it’s a very dynamic (and slightly pricey ;)) area. If only we had the money to go shopping at such expensive places! 😉

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All in all, we did a lot of walking, weaving in and out of crowds and dodging large groups of fellow tourists.  About mid-afternoon, we decided to call it a day and head back.  I’m now ending the day with a cup of coffee – pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, which tastes like Autumn – and writing this blog post. 🙂

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For this evening, I’m going to take some inspiration from the great play-writer and poet Shakespeare, and dive into a novel.

How are you spending your Sunday?
~The Healthy Lioness

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