London,  travel

London Day 2: Beating Around the Beaten Path


We got a late start on day two in London. It just goes to show you that the best laid plans are not always the best laid plans. I bought the hop-on-hop-off bus tour before we left on this trip and my grand plan was to take it on day two so that we could get our bearings and know where we wanted to go on all our other days in London.


Bah! You know how that goes. You wake up late,  yelp a good restaurant, realize it has a two hour wait queuing up down the street and you end up going somewhere else. That somewhere else turned out to be this little cafe called Moi & Toi that was perfectly lovely! They also spoke Farsi which made the Persian side of the family feel right at home. (Bug and I are picking up bits and pieces of Farsi here and there so one of these days we are going to answer someone in Farsi and trip them out because we are the most gringo-looking gringos there ever were.)


The food was delicious! Unfortunately Payam was not feeling well so I had to eat his avocado “toasty” for him. Which might explain why I am looking fatter and fatter in every picture that Joon takes. Honestly, I am thankful that Joon is taking pictures though because I am never in pictures these days anymore. I miss my old thirty-something self who took good pictures of herself. Le sigh.


After breakfast we stumbled into Hamleys by mistake! We didn’t even know we were in the neighborhood until we started seeing people walking around with bags of toys under their arms. I had heard about Hamleys from you lovely people and we were so happy to just happen upon it! Four stories of toys! Of course we are all too cool for baby toys anymore but that didn’t stop us from wandering around all bug-eyed with wonder as store employees called out to us to come see the latest thing, carnival style. It really was like a carnival.

So of course we left with some sweets and some plastic moldable bubble fascination in a tube and some flying saucer toy that we could have sworn flew by magic. We were sorely disappointed when we got back to our apartment,  opened the box and found out it was merely flown by a piece of string tucked behind your ear with putty. I guess that says a lot about the magical powers of Hamleys employees. They fooled us good.


After Hamleys, Payam needed some rest to settle his stomach so the girls and I went exploring in a nearby park while he took a nap at the apartment. It was very warm and humid but not unpleasant.


It wasn’t part of my plan to stick around our apartment neighborhood. In fact, I was a little sad to be stuck in this very touristy area BUT I do like that it’s starting to feel very familiar. We are always going to remember the little park and the route we take along the River Thames to the London Eye and then back over the bridge again. It’s starting to feel like our hood.


Of course the kids love downtime and actually so do I. We are far from bored, that’s for sure! A little ice cream, some fun with bubbles…


After a few hours Payam felt much better so we took him out on the same walk to show him all the things we discovered. This time we walked to The London Eye AGAIN because we had 7:30 reservations to actually ride up in it!


We were not disappointed. It was really, really cool. Bug kept saying she didn’t want to go on  it because she is afraid of heights but she is full of baloney because she loved the entire thirty-minute ride. Does that look like a smile of someone who is scared of falling through a thick bubble of glass to their death below in a muddy river? No. She loved it.


By the time we were back down on the ground it was sunset and we were ready to find the best Persian restaurant in London. We’ve heard stories from Payam’s family members so we were on a mission.


A mission that was severely hindered by lack of wifi and roaming phone service. It is very hard to call an uber when your phone refuses to acknowledge you exist. We’ve have a lot of time to relax in the streets while we wait.


We finally made it  to Iran Restaurant. I’m not sure it was the BEST Persian food I’ve ever had but I did enjoy my fesenjoon immensely. It’s so good! Their yogurt tasted like a dirty sink so I’m not sure what’s up with that but we survived. Maybe it’s an acquired taste. I think the water tastes different here and that has an effect on a lot of things.


Then back to the streets in search of wifi to call another uber to go home. I actually kind of like these wandering walks. They are great for photography and you know how I feel about photography.


I’m letting Joon borrow my old camera and she is having a blast with it. Who knows, maybe she’ll grow to be a photographer too! I would love that.

Goodnight Day Two in London! Tomorrow we try again with the hop-on-hop-off bus tour. And THEN Harry Potter! Woot!


  • Amanda

    Hello there and welcome to London. I’ve followed your blog for donkeys years and love to hear of your travels. I live in Essex, about 30 miles out of London. Hope you enjoy your stay.

  • Jennifer

    I don’t know if you’ll get this in time, but it may be worth one of you getting a local SIM card for the rest of your trip. That’s what we did when we went to Scotland and it worked great. Any mobile store should be able to hook you up, and change it out again for your US card when you are ready to leave.

  • Jenny

    You don’t need Ubers! Get Oyster cards and use the buses and tubes to go wherever you want. Thanks for the photos, it’s lovely to see you having such an adventure.

  • Gingermog

    I’m glad your went to Moi Toi, it would be my choice too for a quick bite to eat and the toasted avacado sarnie is good. The queue for the Breakfast club brunch is always insane! We don’t know why… it’s a mystery to me and my studio mates. Super stoked that you have now visited the area I spend a lot of time in, so now when I’m emailing you from work you have an idea where I will be. All those times you were eating morning doughnuts on the beach, yep I was there wishing I was by the sea.

    Maybe you can move the bus trip to another day? Glad you enjoyed Hamleys. You might enjoy liberties, just to look at pretty things , which is close by.

    Yes, the London water is likely very different from yours, it’s hard water, you won’t catch anything nasty but the mineral content will be different and that could cause a gippy tummy. My nephew has issues when he visits France for the same reasons

    Sorry to hear your Iranian food wasn’t great maybe some place near the Marble Arch end of the Edgware Road ( top end of Oxford street near Hyde Park). Lots of cafes and juice bars with hookah pipes and near Selfridges department store.

    Have a great time.

  • Jackie

    I second Gingermog’s suggestion of “Liberty’s” The building is fabulous and the merchandise amazing. I live in Brighton, a seaside resort an hour south of London, and have to gravitate towards Liberty’s like the Mother ship every time I visit London. The furniture on the upper floors fascinates me. It is also right by Carnaby street, which although not terribly fascinating these days might be something you’d like to cross of your list. Looking forward to hearing more of your London adventure.

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