Travel, UK

Visiting London: Day 2 – Exploring with Friends

My second day in London, Sunday, March 20th, consisted of me exploring London with the new friends I met in my hostel room. If you haven’t seen my previous blog post, I met 2 lovely ladies the night before and we all agreed we’d meet up with each other and explore London together. This is a great way to spend the day in London!

There’s no better way to start your trip than to do it with new people you’ve met. Although I was still very jet lagged from my flight, I still made the most of my day. How could I not? I was in London and I was about to explore it with my new friends. After Tal and I woke up around midday, this is what we did:

Related Post: Visiting London: Day 1 – Arrival in London

Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien

Once Tal and I awoke, we decided to take the tube to Goodge St. and just explore the area. We didn’t really have any firm plans in place for the day, other than to walk around and explore London. What Tal did want to do was get some new clothes at some point.

But before we would do that, we wanted some breakfast, or brunch at this point in the day. We walked down Goodge St. until we found this cute little cafe called Le Pain Quotidien. We liked the menu and decided this would be a good place to grab some brunch. Tal and I ate our food, drank our drinks, and chatted with each other. It was lovely talking to her and learning more about her background, and her learning about mine.

We stayed here for about an hour and a half, quite a while I’d say. After we were done with our food and drinks, we walked down the street to get to Oxford St. so Tal can go shopping.

Oxford St. in London
Oxford St. in London
Oxford St. in London
Oxford St. in London

Shopping on Oxford St.

Tal mentioned earlier in the day that she wanted to buy new clothes because she needed some. Since we were so close to Oxford St., and the stores she wanted to go to were along the street, it made sense for us to head there to shop.

Tal and I walked into H & M and Primark looking at tops and bottoms. I wasn’t looking to buy new clothes, so I let Tal take her time and look around. She didn’t really find anything of interest in either stores. While we bounced from store to store, we were communicating with Diane, the other lovely girl we met in our hostel dorm. She had other things she needed to do earlier in the day and said she’d meet up with us later on.

After playing phone tag with her for a while, she eventually met up with us in Primark. We greeted each other and discussed what we did earlier in the day. From there, we all walked down Oxford St., following Tal in and out of multiple stores so she could buy some clothes.

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Pictures of Big Ben

Once she found the items she wanted, we all left the store and discussed what we wanted to do next. Tal still wanted to shop a bit but Diane wanted to go to Westminster to get pictures of Big Ben. Since I’ve been to Westminster and have walked along Oxford St. in the past, I was down for anything.

Eventually, we decided to head towards Westminster. Westminster is where Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament are, along with other attractions. Diane wanted to get a picture of Big Ben as she didn’t get a chance to do so yet. She also wanted to do this before it got too dark, because at this point in the day, the sun was setting.

We took our pictures with Big Ben and enjoyed the moment. I’d say the pictures came out very well! My one regret, I guess you could say, was me not wearing a shirt with short sleeves. Why? Because I have a tattoo of Big Ben on my left arm and I wanted to take a picture of my Big Ben tattoo next to Big Ben in Westminster. I didn’t think we’d go to see this clock tower, so I didn’t bother to wear anything with short sleeves. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Westminster with Big Beg in the background
(From left to right) – Me, Tal, Diane in Westminster with Big Beg in the background

Evening in Camden

It was about 5pm and we were all pretty hungry. We were all a bit indecisive about what we wanted to eat. Tal wanted to eat a burger with french fries, I was craving pasta, and Diane wanted something light. After discussing our options and where we wanted to go, we all collectively decided to just head back to Camden where our hostel was.

Tal and I decided to eat at Nando’s, which was about a 10 minute walk from our hostel. Diane said she wasn’t feeling good, so she went back to her hostel room. Tal and I enjoyed the food we had. You can’t go wrong with a meal from Nando’s when you’re hungry and looking for something at a decent price. After our dinner, we decided to go to Sainsbury’s to get some snacks.

This is a great idea if you’re staying in a hostel or looking for some snacks for your day trips or adventures. Just go to the closest grocery store, buy any groceries or snacks you want/need, and you’re set with food to take with you on your adventures. I was on vacation, meaning I don’t like to cook or clean since I’m only traveling for a short time. I like to eat out and enjoy myself. But I knew I had 3 day trips coming up and needed some water and snacks to keep me going throughout the day. Tal got some fresh fruit and chocolates from the store.

With that, we left Sainsbury’s and went back to our hostel. We both relaxed in our dorm for a bit. This wasn’t the end of our evening, however. We just had to take a little break so we’d be able to continue with our evening.

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Dinner with Tal at Nando’s
My drink at The Zoo Bar and Club

Night at the club

Tal asked me the night before if I wanted to go with her to the club. I agreed to this. Typically, I don’t go to the clubs. I only go when my other friends invite me; I’m just not a club type of person. Plus, Tal was about a decade younger than me, so she was ready and willing to go to the club and party the night away. Me, and my almost 30 self, was a bit tired at 10pm and would have rather stayed in bed. But I figured since I’m on vacation, why not go?

Nonetheless, I mustered up the energy I had left and went out to the club with Tal. The club we went to is called The Zoo Bar and Club in Leicester Square. Tal found this club and thought it was the best one out of all the other options. We took the tube to Leicester Square and paid about £20 to get into the club.

The drinks here were on the expensive side and I didn’t quite care for the music they had. The club did have some older music I grew up with but overall all, it wasn’t my vibe. Tal didn’t really care much for it either. This experience just reminded me how I’m not a club person. Expensive drinks, hit or miss music, with slightly tipsy or drunk men trying to hit on me, is just not fun to me. But I was on vacation and Tal had invited me, so I looked at it as an experience to do while in London.

Although it wasn’t the best club in the world, Tal and I enjoyed each other’s company nonetheless and had a good day overall. However, I was extremely tired because we got home around 12:30am and I was still a bit jet lagged. I knew the next day, I had a day trip and had to be up very early to meet the group. So, I quickly showered and got into bed, eager to start my day trip!