Merry Ol' London

Wow.  Haven't seen or heard from me in a while, have you?  This summer has been particularly full of events and happenings.  Recently I returned from a week in the wooded peaks of Colorado- an enjoyable time with family, hiking and eating loads of comfort food.  It's always refreshing to return from a week in the mountains- my entire self feels rejuvenated and alive.

How does that happen?  Must be the fresh mountain air.

Anyway- next stop on this girl's traveling list is London.

Yes, London.

I will be leaving in a few short hours for my first jaunt in this cosmopolitan city.  I just realized I have never spent much time in a western, developed country that is not my own.  I have been to China, all over eastern Africa, and Mexico- but these are developing nations (save China which is rapidly becoming a superpower, if not already).

That said, I am thrilled to go.  More like, on-the-edge-of-my-seat giddy in anticipation.  I have already mapped out my entire trip, printed off gobs of info, read the travel guides, read other collateral books (Oliver Twist, Persuasion, 84 Charing Cross Road, etc) and now I. am. ready.

However, being the foodie that I am, I cannot go to a place and NOT make a meal plan.  With all of my world travels the very first thing I do is find a local hot-spot and eat like the natives do.

Which is why, of course, I had to find the quintessential English pub to dine in.

OF course.

I think I have found it in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street.  I mean, this place is a relic.

Check it out.

Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Voltaire, and Thackaray all have sipped brews and eaten pub grub at this joint.  This tavern has been situated in this very same location since 1538.  

That's older than America, folks, by a few hundred years!

The place burned down during The Great Fire of 1666 but was rebuilt he very next year.
Here is a list, on the pub's wall, of all the monarchs who have reined during this 
establishment's existence.

How incredible is that?!

I am such a sucker for historical hot spots.

Another place I hope to enjoy is the local chain Marks and Spencer.

It's a department store of sorts with a nice selection of food and wine.
It's a great place to pick up supplies for a picnic lunch in Hyde Park.

And it too, has historical relevance having been first opened for
business in 1884 by Michael Marks, a Polish Jew and Thomas Spencer,
a cashier from Yorkshire.

They began as a retail business specializing in clothing
but soon moved on to bigger and better (and greater, in my opinion) merchandise.
i.e. FOOD.

And me-oh-my, don't these look tasty?

Yes, I would like me one of those and one of those 
and, OH!, how about one of those.

Yes, please.

There are also a few other places I plan to hit, such as the Wagamama
Noodle Cafe, an interesting-sounding place in itself, some good Thai
food (apparently they have a great deal of international  hot spots), 
afternoon tea at The Orangery in Kensington Palace or perhaps
in Bath when we attend the Jane Austen festival.

Oh, dear.  I am a Brit-at-heart already.

Hopefully I return.
Mr. K will send out a search party if I don't.

I'll keep you posted.

See you in a few!