With so much of Europe to see, I've been telling myself that Great Britain was a low priority. I've been there twice before and I know that I can get there easily again from the U.S. But with my husband gone on a long work trip and the kids idling at home on spring break, I decided to eat my words and book a short hop across the Channel. On the Eurostar, it's just over 2 hours from Paris on the train (city center to city center). In three days, we barely skimmed the surface -- Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Harrods, a show, St. Paul's, the London Eye, Victoria and Albert, and a Harry Potter walking tour with obligatory photos of Platform 9 and 3/4. The gardens were spectacular with the greenest grass I've seen in a long time (and no signs saying "keep off") and an incredible display of flowers -- cherries, tulip magnolias, camellias, and tulips. We enjoyed tea and scones with clotted cream and jam in the Orangery of Kensington Palace and some great Indian food in the somewhat grubby neighborhood near Euston Station.
And the best way to get used to high prices in London? Spend a year and half in Paris so your price points completely shift and then wait for the pound to fall precipitously against all major currencies. The last time we went to England in 2001, the pound was about $2.00. Today, it's around $1.46 and all the museums are free. I hope I can get back there soon.
Lots of great signs in London but this was one of my favorites.
And for those of you who have been following my inventory of potato chip flavors, we found prawn cocktail, steak and onion, smoky bacon, cheese and onion, chili and chocolate, and (yes, this is no joke) Cajun squirrel.