I had a day of sightseeing in London, so me and about five million other tourists made our way to Buckingham Palace to see the infamous “Changing of the Guard”. I had no idea, really, just how many people there would be there. Not only was I no where near the gates, I was across the street, down the block and behind some rather tall people. However, my trusty Canon G12 in hand, I was able to at least get some shots worth keeping.
The band was rather good. They played several modern day tunes including several from films and musicals and even some by Sir Elton John.
I even got a picture of the guy in front of me videotaping the festivities.
After the guard took their places and final people were moving away from the palace, I meandered down The Mall to the Horse Guard Parade. I do feel for these guys who stand so staunch while all the tourists pose with them. I wonder if they ever just want to crack a smile or make a weird face in the photos. I would.
The funny thing is, when approaching from The Mall, you literally turn the corner right into the horses here. This little sign is on the far side of the archway and it would be a bit too late if you happened to walk smack into the horse. That’s British humor for you!
Crossing the bridge by the Elizabeth Tower lends some lovely views. (It’s not called Big Ben- that is the bell of the clock in the tower formerly known as the Clock Tower. Trivia alert!)
But across the way, you can take Queen’s Walk all the way along the River Thames towards London Bridge and Tower Bridge passing the popular London Eye. It’s really a great way to see a lot of the city and take some some spectacular views and people watching.
How’s this for urban gardening!?! What a great way to use old windows and create raised beds.
There is also some fun for the kids en route.
These are some fun ads I couldn’t pass up. I can just hear the one on the right as the excuse to why one would play hooky from work.
Three bridges, a boat and a train in a row!
I had made my way to the Tate Modern, which is free by the way, and had a look around. I love the MOMA here in NY and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, so I was hoping this would be of the same caliber. It wasn’t. I was a bit let down. But I did have a brilliant time watching life imitate art. Do you see it too?
And my favorite one-
Could they be any more similar? Her bottoms match the bottom of the painting and the colors in her shirt match the top! Uncanny!
I loved the William Eggleston and Graciela Iturbide photography exhibits, along with several of the pieces of art held there, but for the most part, it just was not the best modern art museum I have been to. But I can check it off the list now!
After this full day of sights I was famished! And who woudnt be after walking the entire length of the River Thames. So I met friends for dinner. I suggested a “pub I found by a bridge”.
Turns out, my pub of choice, The Prince Albert Pub, is a gastro pub right at the foot of the Albert Bridge, one of the loveliest painted bridges in all of London! It’s just opposite the Albert Gate entry to Battersea Park and across the bridge from the neighborhood of Chelsea (famous for Princess Di’s gym). Oh, and the food? Superb! Win!
We started with a zesty, fresh and cool gazpacho and a salad of mixed beans with salty, cracked olives and rocket We had the bone in strip steak which was melt in your mouth tender, peppery and topped with a sweet tomato salsa. and there was also a thinly sliced duck breast served over a spicy watermelon salad with chilis and mint. The watermelon had been soaked in lime juice beforehand and it had the most refreshing flavor. Every now and then you’d get a zing from a chili but it was quickly calmed by the cold of the watermelon and the mint and duck combination. I want to recreate this dish for certain. It was so good!
Of course dinner wouldn’t be complete without dessert. A warm brownie with vanilla ice cream and creme brulee is always a good standard dessert. You really can’t go wrong with that!
The best part about eating such a good meal? The walk over the bridge afterwards.
The Prince Albert Pub
85 Albert Bridge Road, Battersea,
London SW11 4PF
020 7228 0923
M-F 12-3pm and 6-10pm
Sa 12-4pm and 6-10pm
Su 12-4pm and 6-9pm
You can book online or call for reservations- walk-ins are welcome too.