Our trip today into London was going to take us “across the water” to Borough Markets. It was a beautiful bright sunny day, perfect weather for pounding the pavements of London. From the station we walked down Fenchurch Street and across Philpot Lane onto King William Street and over London Bridge. Our first destination was Borough Markets.
Bloom Paradise by Jun T. Lai
These two very colourful sculptures are sitting just outside Fenchurch Street Station.
These ornamental works of art are part of Sculptures in the City and were commissioned to bring colour and life to the City. A wonderful contrast to the glass and steel monotone high rises that now line the streets of London.
I’ve always wanted to go the top of this building to visit The Sky Garden. It’s a fairly difficult process though as I discovered. Although it’s free you have to book a time slot online and you also have to show a vaccination certificate. Although we’ve both been double jabbed and boostered, I couldn’t commit to a timeframe and I was also worried I would have no battery left on my phone to show our certificates. Something for another day then!
This building is where I had my first office job at 16. I thought I was the bee’s knees on £25 per week.
It took us around half an hour to walk to Borough Markets. There were lots of different food stalls offering all kinds of cuisine. Seating was mainly outside only though and food was served in disposable boxes with wooden cutlery, plus it was very chilly. In the end we found a wonderful Spanish restaurant and had tapas.
I wanted to explore around for a while before my dear husband wanted to cross back over the water to head for the shops! He will be now be know as Mr. Shopper.
The top photo is a replica of the Golden Hinde, the galleon captained by Francis Drake in his circumnavigation of the world between 1577 and 1580. Not open on a Monday so just a look for us.
A mural painted by an Australian painter, Jimmy C in 2016 to commemorate 400 years of Shakespeare.
We decided to cross the river at the Millennium Bridge as this was a pedestrian bridge.
In the background you can see Cannon Street Railway Bridge, London Bridge and in the far distance Tower Bridge.
Southwark Bridge opened in 1921. A beautiful arch bridge crossing over to Walbrook Wharf.
A very elegant Millennium Bridge in the distance held up by giant steel supports, opened in June 2000. Behind this bridge is Blackfriars Bridge.
Above are Cardinal Cap Alley and The Deanery. The Dean of Southwark Cathedral’s private residence and dates back to 1712. Cardinal Cap Alley is an alley in Bankside. It used to lead to a brothel called The Cardinal’s Cap named because it had been owned by Henry Cardinal Beaufort, the Bishop of Winchester, who had paraded here wearing his red hat, after being appointed a cardinal by the Pope. Source: Wikipedia
I was intrigued by this “river furniture” as they are described and did some research. They are the old red pillars that supported the original Blackfriars Bridge in 1864. I think they are rather beautiful and add a touch of colour to the grey river.
From here we walked towards the Strand and up to Southampton Street where the Shopper had some shopping to do. A few streets more and we were in Covent Garden. Deciding enough was enough I suggested a pit stop for a quick pick me up. We had a coffee and a beer in a very grand place called Caffe Concerto. Adorned with crystal chandeliers and small elegant tables we sat and rested before moving on.
Chinatown was not too far away so we walked over towards that area and thought “Chinese for Dinner”.
Deciding on a restaurant that looked good we walked to the door only to be told that the restaurant was next door. Anthony asked the security guard why he was standing there in an empty doorway and he said there was a cocktail bar on the top floor, five flights up called Opium! Well not one to turn away a cocktail before dinner we found ourselves heading up the dark and gloomy staircase. At the very top we opened a very ordinary looking door to a small dark lounge and three men waiting to take us to a table. We ended up sitting at the bar chatting with the bar staff and the owner!
Thanks for coming on this journey with us and hope you are not as exhausted as I was at the end of the day. I think we walked approximately 20,000 steps in all.