Jolly Old London

Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Parliament Buildings, so. cool.

I have missed you guys! I hope you all had a wonderful week wherever you are and were able to relax, because I certainly didn’t do enough of that for being on vacation!  Although my last week was easily the best one of my life thus far, I am pretty far from relaxed or well-rested.  I think over the past 10 days I walked at least 90+ miles and never really stopped moving (except for food and cider/wine).  I am not complaining because I got to see so many incredible things and experience other cultures but next time I do a trip like this I need to train for at least a month.  My feet, hips, and knees did not do very well (attribute most of that to my hyper-mobility… dang bendy body) but I kept on trucking.  I am going to have to break this trip up into a couple posts, just so I can show all the awesome pictures, but I will spread them out between some recipes so I don’t go weeks without any food one here!

Before we get started, I do have a confession to make.  I did NOT remain 100% paleo on this trip.  Know why? Two reasons:

1. it would have been nearly impossible and

2. I was on VACATION and wanted authentic food in each place I went.

So sorry I’m not sorry that I ate fish & chips (lots of chips…), a traditional English Breakfast, the best burger of my entire life, a few brews in a few pubs, and lots of other delicious things 🙂 What I did do though, to save money and also ensure I could get some paleo-friendly meals in was pack a LOT of snacks.  I brought with: tins of sardines in EVOO, canned tuna in spring water, beef and turkey jerky from the farmer’s market, a ton of homemade trail mix, fruit leather, and a couple larabars.  I ate almost everything I brought, woo hoo!

Now for some pictures since that’s what you really want to see anyways! Can’t wait to share my adventures with you all!

First steps in London! Felt like I was at Hogwarts… Platform 9 3/4

One of my favorite places in all of London was Borough Market, a huge open air market with TONS of fresh foods, wine, treats, and other goodies. It reminded me of a farmers market but about 1000 times cooler.  I even found one lady who had a bakery that catered to dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, etc.  I clearly made the decision to buy two coconut macaroons and devoured them both while walking around 🙂

Fresh as it gets

So big, could’ve spent hours there

One of the best meals I had in London was at a Spanish street vendor where I enjoyed Catalan stew with paella.  It was so filling, since I am not used to eating rice, that I had to give almost half of it to The Dr.  He really liked it too, but not quite as much as the GIANT brat that he got for only a few Pounds.

Catalan Stew with Paella

so happy with his dog

Later this day I also found something I had been missing for over 6 months… My freckles! They are back, finally 😀

lovely gardens all over London

The gardens all around the palace were absolutely stunning.  It was crazy how well kept they were and how many lovely flowers, birds, swans, and even pelicans there were! If I lived in London I would spend as many afternoons as I possibly could in all the gardens and parks there.

Bridge overlooking the London Eye in St. James Park

So while we were walking around we decided to try and find Elephant and Castle (which we actually had no idea what it was but knew it was famous).  We took another looooong walk and realized after circling around for awhile that it was a really old restaurant/pub. We were going to eat there but it was now a Thai Buffet? Wtf?

no sense whatsoever

One night we decided to go somewhere for dinner that I had researched before we left called Honest Burger.  It was pretty hard to find, and sort of a whole in the wall type of place, but it was sooo delicious and even had gluten-free buns! The red onion relish and rosemary salt fries  were ah-mazing.

menu on the wall

Rosemary salt fries, I mean chips

I also learned in London that I really like crisp, dry ciders, not sweet ones.  I also highly preferred cider over beer the entire time and only had one Guinness.  This Stella Artois Cidre is my new addiction and I just found out it is now available in 26 states in the US as of TODAY. Coincidence? I think not. 😉

Mmm Stella Cidre

The funniest part about the drinks though was the warnings on the back…

Don’t drink this giant can, pregnant lady!

I also knew I wouldn’t be able to leave London without two specific meals: a Traditional English Breakfast and authentic Fish & Chips so we set out to find both a few days into our trip.

Good, but too much for me and not enough veggies!!!

The breakfast was pretty good but is no where near as good as my traditional breakfast scramble if I do say so myself 🙂

The Fish & Chips was very good, however, and I was very happy to get a small salad with mine with half as many chips.  The fish was flaky and it all tasted so good with a little malt vinegar and tartar sauce.  Pretty sure I don’t ever need it again though, once was enough for this girl!

Tea with Fish & Chips, so British

In addition to all this food we burned off all the calories by walking everywhere in London.  I am pretty sure we didn’t miss a single thing on our list and went many places multiple times!  The coolest things we saw were the Tower of London, Abbey Road, and Buckingham Palace.  Got some fun pictures to boot!

I’m a Beatle.

Royal Guards

Tower of London with Tower Bridge in the background

Made me think of Nottingham from Robin Hood!

We also saw some funny food and drink selections in London that I thought would be fun to share!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gross. and strange because what makes them different?

To end our London adventure we went to a place that I found on Yelp that had great reviews, The Grenadier.  It ended up being quite small but crazy popular.  It was built originally in the 1700s for military men and was later converted to a pub, then a bar/restaurant.

While we were waiting for a seat every few minutes someone new would come in.  They were booked for dinner so we ate in the bar, but I am SO SO SO glad we didn’t leave to find a different place because I had the best burger of my life. Yes, I know I shouldn’t have eaten the bun or the onion rings, but this burger had: pickles, barbeque sauce, onion rings, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and cheese (which I had taken off).  Plus it was a steak burger so it was even better than regular burgers… I just. died. It was so amazing. If you ever go to London you HAVE to have this burger. Period.

The Grenadier Burger

Well thats about it for London, friends.  Stay tuned for Paris because that is when I went absolutely buck-wild with sweets… specifically chocolate croissants, almond croissants, crepes, and macaroons 😀

Oh, and I started a Whole30 today to detox from my crazy off-roading (gluten, grains, fries, cheese, beer, so many sweets…) SO if anyone wants to join me in getting in summer clothing shape, let me know! I will have more updates on ‘what I am eating’ posts so you can all follow along 😀

Sweet Potatoes and Smiles,

The Freckled Foodie

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Comments: 3

  1. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed May 14, 2013 at 11:05 am Reply

    Wow looks like an awesome time! Your pictures are lovely 🙂

  2. […] been planning on starting one here but someone beat me to it while I was busy planning the trip to London and Paris.  You will meet fun people and they will eat like you, pretty neat in my […]

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