A Half-Dozen Healys

The Adventures of Amy, Jason, Seth, Evan, Nora, and Maya

Blog Masthead: A Half-Dozen Healys

The Tower of London, High Tea, and Revenge of the Nan.

by Jason

Jason: Amy and I decided to be ambitious and head for the Tower of London, which is one of the main tourist attractions in the City. The Gods of Queuing are with us, and the place isn't completely mobbed. We take a tour with a Yeoman Warder, better known as a "Beefeater". He provides a humorous and interesting history of the Tower, even going so far as to compliment Amy's neck (right after a long discussion of public beheadings).

We wander around the Tower, taking in the major sights, including the Crown Jewels. Especially expensive-looking is the 530-carat diamond set in a scepter for the monarchs, though many of the crowns are so encrusted with jewels they almost look like they're pretend instead of real. No pictures allowed of the expensive stuff, sorry...

After looking around the Tower, we meet up with Carolyn at the Monument station, briefly pausing at the tower of the same name. We head across London Bridge, and come to realize that it's not nearly as picturesque as the nearby Tower Bridge (seen in many of the pictures).

On the southern bank of the Thames, we visit Borough Market, which features many small booths of food. While tempted by the "3 bangers on a roll" lunch special, we eventually settle on a small deli and have toasted sandwiches for lunch.

We decide on (or perhaps I project an unfounded confidence in) taking the bus towards Hyde Park for High Tea. After a few changes, we manage to find our way to Elephant & Castle, and then on towards Hyde Park. It's a hot day (by London standards), and our non-air-conditioned bus is very steamy. I can't bear the heat in my long pants, and force poor Amy and Carolyn to make a stop near our hotel so I can change into shorts.

Back on the road, we tour around Hyde Park on the double-decker bus, stopping at the far end near Kensington Palace (former home of Lady Di). Near Kensington is a place called the Orangery, which was recommended by Sarah as a good (as in, not £30) place for afternoon tea. The place is a small building with manicured gardens and a tasty tea. I skeptically order a fruit scone, and end up absolutely loving it. I normally hate scones in the USA as they're often dry and tasteless, but here they're light, fluffy, and buttery (and the "clotted cream" and jam on top doesn't hurt, either). Carolyn goes for the full English Tea Service (complete with crustless cucumber sandwiches and carrot cake) and Amy tries an iced orange/mint tea (very good) and cheese scones.

We decide that we're hot and tired from a long day, and so return to the Fortress of Neverending Toast (our hotel) to recover. As tea wasn't a full meal, we find ourselves hungry during the evening, and I'm sent out to forage. Alas, the pubs aren't big on "take-away" food, so the only nearby restaurant that we can order out from is the Indian place from our first night. Amy and Carolyn pounce on some more Nan (bread), and some side dishes to match.

Now it's off to pack, as we head to Bournemouth tomorrow. This is the end of the London part of our journey, but we feel that we've seen and done a lot in our short time here. Onwards to the countryside!