When I used to do vacation recaps, I usually included all the workouts I did and healthy food I ate, so this one is a little different. I didn’t workout once.
I had planned to go for a run one morning but my body had other plans. I actually came down with a nasty case of mastitis but I’ll get to that…
We started our London experience at Borough Market, one of our favorite places from our first visit. We grabbed a donut and also a halloumi bowl that were memorably delicious.
One for me, one for you…
That was my thought our first day in London. I really wanted to go to the Tower of London. I know it’s not not something Tommy would overly enjoy so we made sure to plan something special for him the second half of the day.
I love old English history especially the whole Henry VII and Henry VIII story lines from his many wives to children Elizabeth and Mary. The Tower has long been on my list and we finally made it.
So was it worth it with Tommy? I would have liked to go around with a tour guide, rent one of the audio guides or take the 2 minutes to read the little plaques in each room. But with a toddler, you have to keep moving. It was hard to know what we exactly were looking at or learn anything new.
Tommy loved the Queen’s guard and we got some great pictures. The guard even found us on Instagram after the day telling us how cute he thought Tommy was, which of course delighted mom and dad. I’m glad we went but beware it was not stroller friendly. We made it work with our UPPAbaby G-Luxe but anything bigger would have been a nightmare.
Afterwards, Tommy took a nap as we took the tube to Covent Garden. I got my macaron fix from Lauduree.
We then went to the London Transport Museum for Tommy. He loves trucks, cars, and buses right now so this was right up his alley and boy did he love it. It was perfect for a rainy afternoon activity which it ended up being.
Nick and I enjoyed the museum as well.
I should note that we paid a la cart for all our tourist stops. We didn’t buy the London pass because our concierge at The Athenaeum said he wasn’t a big fan. I don’t know if we would have saved money or not but we did not spend more.
We attempted to go out to dinner with Tommy Wednesday night around 9 which was a rookie mistake. We thought that he would think it was 4 pm in the afternoon and it would be easy enough. I chose a pub that wasn’t too busy and it was not a good idea… We tried to get take out boxes for our already ordered meal and the restaurant said that they did not have them! We tried to eat quick but it wasn’t quick enough. The food wasn’t good, I wasn’t feeling well and it was the worst dining experience of the trip. A few hours later, I’d wake up with mastitis, essentially a 24 hour bug with a sore boob.
I don’t know how I got my act together but sleeping until 9 am helped. I was up every 10 minutes to drink a sip of water. It was miserable. Lesson learned, don’t try to wean your child from breastfeeding while on vacation.
We started our day a little later than planned and headed to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground around 11 am. Of course Tommy loved this and the weather was lovely. This park was so thoughtfully planned and just beautiful. If our hotel was closer, I would have gone each day!
Afterwards, it was time for Tommy’s nap and we headed towards Notting Hill for lunch. We stopped at Farmacy, recommended to me by a friend that is healthy vegan food. I still wasn’t feeling well so I ordered the Farmacy burger (millet, black bean & mushroom burger served with garlic aioli, goji ketchup, avocado, pickles, tomato & potato chips served in a wholemeal vegan bun) with sweet potato fries. It just sounded comforting. Nick ordered a Middle Eastern bowl (steamed buckwheat served with baba ganoush, spirulina hummus, sprouted tabbouleh, sweet potato falafels & pickled beetroot topped with sprouts and za’atar crackers) that I secretly had order envy over.
We got Tommy sweet potato quinoa cakes but he was asleep and never ate them. This allowed us to have a really nice little lunch!
I LOVED this restaurant and would go back in a heart beat. It was so good. The ketchup was out of this world amazing.
Afterwards, we took the Big Bus Tour. It wasn’t super warm but we sat up top anyway. I was weirded out by the logistics since Tommy wouldn’t be in a car seat. We didn’t have seat belts either and no one else seemed to think anything of it so off we went.
I made Nick hold on to Tommy tight and we got some super cute pictures. The tour was fun but we didn’t start at the beginning since you can hop on and off. We also got off before the end because the guide recommended it due to traffic. He suggested we take a river cruise which was fine but I feel like I missed out on the bus tour.
By the time we got home, we had a sitter coming to meet us shortly that we hired through the hotel. Our concierge made us a reservation at Chor Bizarre a Mayfair by Indian restuarant.
We tried to go to Dishoom, a popular Indian restaurant, Day 1 but the queue was 90 minutes in rain at 6pm on a Wednesday! Chor Bizarre was delicious and we would not know the difference anyway. It was walking distance from our hotel The Athenaeum and I would recommend it to anyone staying nearby! Although without a baby, I probably would have waited for Dishoom.
Nick had a work meeting early so Tommy and I headed out to Green Park which was located just across the street from our hotel.
Once he got out we headed over to Buckingham palace and then the London Zoo! Nick and I had both never been to a Zoo but heard it was a good one and worth seeing with a child.
We took the tube out to Camden and walked to the entrance which took a little bit of time but wasn’t bad.
Ok, so I kinda hate the idea of zoos to be honest. It was really cool to see some of the animals but I just felt bad for some of them. There were two monkeys that looked so sad and it broke my heart.
Tommy nevertheless enjoyed himself. He loves the Giraffes.
The lions and tigers were pretty cool to see as well.
My favorite were the gorillas. Seeing the moms with their little guys was so cute. They seem to have a lot of space to roam around and probably are treated very well here.
I was exhausted afterwards as we headed back to the hotel for our second date night dinner. We hired a babysitter to come through Nick’s coworker who is from London.
This time we went to a restaurant that was called The Ivy Market Grill. RunnerBeans recommended it to us and we were able to make a reservation. I had a vegan eggplant dish that was outstanding! They had so many different vegetarian options but still a regular menu for Nick that we both were very satisfied. This place was in Covent Garden and had an adorable patio.
On our last day we chose to just kinda wander the city and explore parts that we had yet to discover including Marylbone. Essentially, Nick and I went on a pub crawl and Tommy came along for the adventure.
We first started with brunch at The Athenaeum. It was a continental with green smoothies. Perfect.
Our first stop was at Mae Deli, the restuarant from Deliciously Ella! I grabbed lunch to eat later but regretted my order. There are a bunch of salads and mains and you choose 4. I wasn’t prepared and got two veggie sides, falafel and hummus. The worker put the hummus on top and ruined any chance for a pretty picture! Luckily it tasted delicious but I don’t have a picture of what I ordered as a result.
We made our way to Hyde Park so we could have a picnic and Tommy could feed the swans. Our hotel gave us food for the ducks and it was a hit with T.
We made our way to a little outdoor cafe and had drinks before Tommy fell asleep for his second nap.
We had dinner as a family at 7 pm. This dinner was a victory. The restaurant didn’t feel child friendly but it in fact was perfect. There were veggies on the table as we sat down. I gave Tommy a giant carrot stick which occupied him until the rest of our food came. It was a Lebanese restaurant and the tapas were out quick.
I have never seen Tommy eat so much. I am not kidding. He was a bottomless pit and we were nervous. He ate hummus, tabouli, pita, lamb, halloumi, falafel and more. He was so well behaved and it worked out perfect.
We went to a little food truck park for dessert where I got to try a bubble waffle! I didn’t realize that this was not filled with ice cream until I started eating it but the waffle was delicious.
Tommy ran around in Green Park one last time before heading back to the hotel to pack up.
Our trip was so successful because we got to sleep 10 hours each night! I loved London and am so glad we went but I’m happy not to have to deal with flying for a while.
For tips on traveling to London with a Toddler, check out my first post recapping our travel tips here!
Also, I have a video on the new YouTube family channel soon!!!!!!!!