Jet lag is the worst. We woke up throughout the night despite our best efforts to stay asleep and finally woke up around 10 a.m. Fortunately, it was sunny today which made it easier to get up and get going. Our first stop today was Kensington Palace. Originally my plan was to see the Princess Diana fashion exhibit, but we realized on arrival that it doesn't actually open until later this week. So instead we checked out Victoria Revealed. The exhibit is inspired by the Queen's own journals and gives an intimate account of her life. She was just eighteen when she became Queen of England. If you haven't been watching the series on PBS you should start right now. If you were a Downton Abbey fan, it definitely helps fill the void.
After the museum we walked over to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. It's a beautiful place for kids to escape the city and play. The gated park has multiple play areas including a sand pit with a giant ship for kids to climb. There's also a cafe with drinks and snacks for kiddos who work up an appetite. This is a fun park to explore. (Note: The nearest tube stop is Queensway station)
After the park we took the tube over to Bond street for lunch at the Selfridges Food Hall. I didn't realize department store dining was a "thing" until I started coming to London. You can seriously spend the entire day shopping and eating your way through London via department stores. In addition to a rotating-themed rooftop restaurant, Selfridges has a casual food court downstairs featuring Yo! Sushi, EAT, Lola Cupcakes, grocery items, and more. Upstairs on level four you'll find a multi-vendor Selfridges Kitchen with salads, deli items, and other fast-food options, including a full Starbucks. There's also an Oyster and Champagne Bar, a sandwich shop, and multiple full-service dining options within the store. There's truly something for everyone which makes it an easy and convenient stop for families.
Next stop: Harrods. If I were traveling alone I would allocate a full day just to explore Harrods, a luxury department store in Knightsbridge. The store occupies a 5-acre site and has over 300+ departments and over 300,000 people visit the store each day. It's kind of a maze inside so I would recommend downloading the store app or picking up a map when you arrive. This time we took the kids to see Toy Kingdom and explore new arrivals. When I have time to shop solo I'll definitely be back to peruse womenswear and of course, the shoe hall.
Last stop of the day, Byron Burger, which just happens to be close to our hotel. They have a cult following in the UK because it's one of the only burger joints that serves a decent American-style hamburger. I recommend the Bun-free skinny cheese burger, but if you're adventurous, you might like the "Cluckosaurus Rex", which is a fried chicken breast, onion ring, bacon, cheese, pickles, BBQ sauce and jalapeños. It's not for the faint of heart.
// The It List //
- Shop -
Selfridges to check out Material World
- Eat -
Princess Diana exhibit at Kensington Palace
Victoria Revealed at Kensington Palace (re-opens in June 2017)